Igesund puts boot into Bafana

After watching Bafana Bafana lose 3-1 to Tunisia in the Africa Cup of Nations group stage game on Sunday night, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Gordon Igesund says certain players are not being used in their best positions.

“I believe that a team has to be built around the strengths of its players,” he said. “When I won the league with Manning Rangers I had a tall striker [George Koumantarakis] and we could knock the ball up-field to him and I was criticised for these long-ball tactics.

“I could not use the same tactics at Sundowns as the players I have here are different to the players I had at Rangers,” said Igesund, who has won the PSL league championship with Rangers, Orlando Pirates, Santos and Sundowns.

“I think Steven [Pienaar] and Aaron [Mokoena] and Bryce [Moon] are being played out of position,” he said.

“Steven should be played in the middle and Aaron has to play in central defence. Bryce has more attacking qualities than defensive qualities and he should be used as a winger, not a fullback.

“With the squad [national team coach Carlos Alberto] Parreira selected I cannot say who should play as an anchor if Aaron is used as a centre-back but I think that is his [Mokoena’s] best position for the team together with Nasief [Morris].

Igesund says Parreira still has time to mould a formidable team for the 2010 World Cup, which is why the Brazilian was hired.

“The likes of Macbeth Sibaya, Delron [Buckley] and [Benni] [Benni) have been left out so Parreira still has players to work with and he has time to do so.
We just have to be patient,” he said before adding, “He is here to build a formidable team for the World Cup”.

Igesund crtiticised some of the players for being over-elaborate when one pass was all that was needed. Bafana Bafana now have a very slim chance of getting to the next stage as Angola and Tunisia need just a point each to get to the next round.

“I’m disappointed in the performance tonight. Some of the guys were over-elaborate and instead of making that quick pass they would hold on to the ball for too long and it cost us. They failed to get behind the Tunisian defence by whipping in crosses and tried too hard to go through the middle,” a dejected Igesund said.

“It was a game we had to win as the group was tight, but now Angola and Tunisia have the advantage and all they have to do is draw to get to the next stage.

Bafana take on Senegal—who surprisingly lost 3-1 to Angola in their group stage game earlier on Sunday evening—on Thursday and like SA, are on one point only after two group stage games. - Sapa

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