Teko Modise’s spot in the Bafana Bafana pecking order appears to be dropping, and he will not be an automatic choice for the national team under new head coach Pitso Mosimane.
The Orlando Pirates favourite, who has not missed a Bafana match in more than two years, failed to get on the field during Bafana’s stunning 1-0 win over Ghana in Johannesburg on Wednesday night, and he had to watch his Bafana teammates from the bench for the first time in years.
Modise (27) failed to deliver for Bafana in two major competitions — the Confederations Cup last year, where Bafana reached the semifinals, and at the World Cup finals in June.
When asked about the midfield playmaker’s future, Mosimane said: “Modise will have to fight for his place in the side like everyone else.”
But the problem for Modise is he is up against vice-captain and Bafana’s most skilful player, Steven Pienaar, under the new national coach.
“I will be using Pienaar on the right side of midfield [where Modise operates] as I believe Pienaar is more effective in that role on the right,” Mosimane explained .
“I made him vice-captain and he grabbed the chance against Ghana. He led by example when I replaced team captain Aaron Mokoena with Siyabonga Sangweni at halftime.
“He seemed to revel in the new role on the right and getting the captain’s armband, and showed a lot of leadership qualities.”
Mosimane said he was delighted with the performance of his other ball-playing midfielder, Siphiwe Tshabalala, who was replaced by Pirates’ new recruit, Daine Klate.
“Shaba was superb against Ghana. He, like Pienaar, tired and that is why I replaced them late in the game.”
Mosimane also praised Sangweni, who he said had potential as a top-class central defender.
“Sangweni and Morgan Gould did fairly well as this was the first time they played together. It was not perfect but there is potential in that partnership.”
But Mosimane warned Gould: “I was not happy with Gould’s ball distribution. That is one part of his game he will have to improve on.”
However, Mosimane said that having choices in midfield and defence was a nice headache to have going into next month’s difficult home match against Niger. — Sapa