Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Mental managers

'Sup Footie nuts,

It's been a while has it not? It took me 1.5 hours to try and figure out the password for this thing. And then a further 30 mins to make some coffee, use the bathroom and fantasize about beating a co-worker with the blunt end of an ace.

It's the transfer season. It's a perfect opportunity to get excited about transfers that will never happen. Rumours that remain just that and a chance to build your squad on whatever version of FIFA you have by following some of the idiotic ITK (In the know) accounts.

With all the rumours floating about, managers of various teams often have to spend the majority of their time, during press conferences, fielding questions about potential tranfers... which made me think of the most nuttiest interviews ever done by managers... here's my best of all time.

And oldy, but still a proper classic. I think this is the reason 'Arry started doing interviews from the safety of his Land Rover.

This isn't too long, but LVG tells a reporter EXACTLY what he thinks

I remember this cringe fest like it was yesterday. Liverpool (at that time in the season) were leading the Premier League ahead of Manchester United. Rafa, clearly thought that it was a perfect time to derail everything and go on a proper mental rant about Sir Alex Ferguson. As the drunk white girls would say, "I can't even"

What ever you do, please read Alex Ferguson's mind about what you can and can't ask him during a presser. 

Kevin De Bruyne. Some of you might or might not know, was actually a Chelsea player. Shocking right? What's even more confusing is that JM thought he didn't need to be in the Presser because they weren't asking the right questions... Lolly lolz

Part of Kenny's sacking was due to his inability to control the Luis Suarez - Patrice Evra racism incident. Here he loses his top (and lies) about Suarez refusing to shake Evra's hand. 

For good measure, here's a vid of managers losing their shit in different sporting codes. 

See you soon!


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Or look for me on Facebook - Potz Johnson

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

What's The Score?!

Footiecall faithful, it’s been a while.

We have been sorting out our new website et al and any other excuse you want to think up, for us not writing.


Today I’d like to look at a very concerning part of local football. Our inability to score goals!
If we cast our eyes across the ‘Top Scorers Lists’ around Europe, we’ll notice that our local front men are really not hitting the target [in more ways than one].

Suarez with 22goals [29 EPL games] 0.76 goal ratio
Cavani with 20goals [29 Serie A games] 0.69 goal ratio
Lewandowski with 19goals [26 Bundesliga games] 0.73 goal ratio
Ibrahimovic with 25goals [29 Ligue 1 games] 0.86 goal ratio
Bony with 26goals [27 Eredivisie games] 0.96 goal ratio

And of course the anomaly which is Lionel Messi, we’ll not take into consideration here, because he is hardly human. [42goals in 28games] 1.5 goal ratio

Our top marksman in the PSL is Parker with 10goals [22games] 0.45 goal ratio, a rather embarrassing statistic, especially as he is playing for current league leaders Kaizer Chiefs.

Having a look at the goals to games ratio of our top [used rather loosely] marksmen at international level, the picture is not much different.
McCarthy 32goals [80games] 0.4 goal ratio
Bartlett 28goals [74games] 0.38 goal ratio
Mphela 23goals [53games] 0.43 goal ratio

Quick comparison against strikers from Africa’s top ranked countries:
Didier Drogba 60goals [95games for Cote D’Ivoire] 0.63 goal ratio
Asamoah Gyan 31goals [67games for Ghana] 0.46 goal ratio [currently still playing]

Now to have a look at the TOP ranked countries globally and how their frontmen are faring:
David Villa 53goals [86games for Spain] 0.62 goal ratio
Miroslav Klose 67goals [126games for Germany] 0.53 goal ratio [currently playing]

I recall in a presser with Solomon Luvhengo, one media representative asked what he was doing to change the players’ inability to score.
He responded [correctly]: “This is not my job, this sort of thing should be taught at grassroots level” [I paraphrase]
You see, this problem happens at amateur club level already…and it stems from inadequate coaching. Simple!
Amateur clubs, for the best part, get some parent to coach the kids, who has no clue about football coaching and every session ends in a tackle-for-a-goal spree. I’m sure we can see the irony in that.
Of course this is both easy for the ‘coach’ and the ‘players’ as there’s no difficult drills to get through.
How many clubs train the same system from U7 level right through to their top side?
Probably Ajax Cape Town, if they’re following the Dutch method and maybe a few more. My point is this, if we’re inconsistent at the start, it’s difficult to un-train those bad habits later on.

Is this a problem in Africa?
I’m not sure it is. Look how the likes of Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba have dominated goal scoring charts, playing among Europe’s elite. Of course, we can again look at the coaching/attention to detail received at these clubs, compared to that being offered on home soil.

Say no more…

So next time you watch a PSL game or go and watch Bafana Bafana…maybe try and find out where that striker cut his teeth, before we blame 1) the player 2) the current coach.
Thanks for joining us here at Footiecall.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Home Jerome

Greetings footiecall faithful.

International break, done and dusted. Back to the business of league football.

Before we get there though, 

This article suggests that Gordon Igesund will be looking to a few 'foreign-based' Saffers to further strengthen his squad. Players who were born in RSA, but who have never worn the colours of Bafana Bafana...some of these players may even have opted to play for their new 'home' countries before.

The news made me cast my mind back to that French national side of '98. So many in that side were of African descent. Marcel Desailly [Ghana], Patrick Vieira [Senegal], Zinedine Zidane [Algeria] etc...

There is a bit of a back story to Desailly though. Adopted by a French diplomat, who would marry his mother...Odenke Abbey was just 4years old when he arrived in France 
[and subsequently changed his name to Marcel Desailly]

Les Bleus have been benefiting from Africa for many years though, we can go as far back as Jean Tigana, a fantastic talent, who could have chosen Mali over France...or further yet to Just Fontaine, one of the finest marksmen the game has seen, who was born in Morocco. 

Besides their 'World XI' winning team of '98, they've relied on neighbours for other talent too. Raymond Kopa [Poland], Michel Platini [Italy] and Robert Pires [Portugal].

Of course, France is not the only nation to benefit from "forced" movements of our African brothers and sisters, seeking a better life in these 1st World countries.

Independent tests prove that 3 of 4 Dutch players come from Suriname

Quite interesting to look at the amount of players Holland have 'grabbed' from their former colony Suriname
Davids, Bogarde, Hasselbaink, Kluivert, Seedorf, Winter and Rijkaard to name a few...

Portugal have also drawn strength from their colonial links to Mozambique...their greatest 'import' is certainly Eusebio, while the little maestro Deco hails from Brasil [so too Pepe].

Now then to ze Germans. It's well known that Jerome  Boateng has chosen his new home Germany as the country he wants to represent, while his brother Kevin-Prince Boateng is more than happy to don the colours of the Black Stars.
There are also a few Polish lads running out for Die Mannschaft, Poldi, Klose and also Trochowski of the current crop.
Then there are those who are ethnically Turkish, like Mesut Ozil and Serdar Tasci...
So naturalisation has happened for many years and continues to be the order of the day.

What are your thoughts on this? 

Should players be allowed to choose their allegiance based on length of stay, where they feel most comfortable and/or the football jersey that fits better?!

After all...HOME, is where the heart is.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Which league dominates the UEFA Champions League?

Last season I noticed an increasing feeling on social media platforms and amongst the tv pundits, that La Liga is the best performing league playing in the UEFA Champions League. Now in the past few years with Barcelona dominating, it can be understood. Yet if you took a look at Real Madrid’s past few years in the UCL, you’d notice that they were rather disappointing. I decided to go back into the record books and see which league really does dominate the Champions League.

As a kid growing up in the early 90’s, Serie A was the dominant force in Europe. It was clear to see in this competition too, with a Serie A club involved in every final for 7 straight years: 1992-1998.
Although the Champions League was rebranded in 1992, it didn’t resemble the current tournament until the 1997-98 season. This was the first season where teams could enter the UCL without the need to win their league.  In my research I aim to see which league is consistently in the final KO rounds of the UCL and if 1 league has more than 1 team, they get more than 1 point. So to keep everything as fair as possible, here were my guidelines for this test:
  • I’ve taken the date range from 1997/98 – 2011/12
  • I consider teams in the QF stage and onwards only (final KO rounds)
  • 1 point per team
  • I’ve only taken into account the top leagues:
    • EPL, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Primeira Liga, Eredevisie

Quarter-final stage
So let’s see who really does dominate the Champions League as we know it. The consensus seems to be La Liga, but let’s see who’s dominated the past 15 years of the QF stage:
Over the past 15 seasons, the English Premier League has been an ever-present in the quarter-final stage. Aside from that, they’ve made a total of 32 appearances at this stage. This is more important since it is a reflection of the strength of the league. An example is the 2007/08 & 2008/09 seasons which both had 4 EPL teams reach the QF stage. That’s 8 appearances in the QF over 2 years for the EPL. No other league has had 4 teams from their league in the QF at this stage, yet the EPL managed it in 2 consecutive seasons. La Liga trails in this regard with 27 appearances over 15 seasons.

Semi-final stage
It has to be said that the QF stage of the Champions League has been dominated by the EPL teams for nearly 2 decades, but if we think about the Semi-Finals over the past few years, one team springs to mind – Barcelona. An ever-present for half a decade in the semi’s, and possibly the main reason many believe La Liga to be stronger in Europe. It’s quite true though. The last time Barca failed to reach the SF stage was 6 seasons back. They are clearly the best team in Europe based on UEFA coefficients. But what about the rest of La Liga?

Even though the past 6 seasons saw 11 appearances by EPL teams in the semi’s against the 9 from La Liga, the Spanish league pips the Premier League since the EPL made most of their SF appearances in the past few years.
One of the most striking facts one can take from this table is the gulf between the EPL/La Liga teams when compared against the rest of the European Leagues. None of the other leagues have made 10 appearances at this stage, yet the EPL & La Liga might make their 19th & 20th appearance this season if more than 1 team reaches the SF. It speaks volumes as to why many foreign players are choosing the EPL & La Liga over Bundesliga & especially Serie A. There seems to be more chance of glory in those 2 leagues.
Having said that, there has been a Bundesliga team in the semi’s for the past 3 seasons. Italy’s last appearance in the semi’s – 2009/10. In fact, out of the past 15 seasons, a Serie A team has only been present in 7 of those 15 tournaments at this stage. And what of the Eredivisie? 1 appearance in the semi’s in 15 seasons? It’s little wonder that the youth of Ajax choose to move to the giants of Europe.
Of all of these numbers & figures, the 3 year stretch by the EPL between 2006 & 2009, has to be the most impressive. 3 EPL teams reached the semi’s 3 years in a row. 9 appearances in 3 seasons.
La Liga takes the prize for the best semi-finalists, edging out the EPL for now at least.

It’s very easy to count who has won the most titles over 15 years, but dominance doesn’t always result in titles. Chelsea vs Barcelona/Bayern last season. The dominant team didn’t win. Simply reaching the finals is a massive achievement. Things can go wrong within the game, but reaching the final is no accident. Having said that, which league has had the most appearances in the Final since 1997/98?

The EPL slightly edges La Liga, having made 9 appearances in the finals over 15 years. The graph roughly states that there’s currently over a 50% chance that a team from the EPL will reach the finals. However, if you look at their run before 2004, you’ll notice the stark contrast. Simply 1 final before 2004 – the famous 1999 victory from Manchester United. It clearly shows how far the EPL has come over the past decade. Over the past 8 seasons, there have been 8 appearances in the finals by an EPL team. That is ridiculously good. In comparison, the past 8 seasons have seen 3 finals from La Liga teams (all 3 appearances from Barcelona). La Liga had more of a presence in the finals in the years building up to the 2002 Galacticos victory.

La Liga has taken more UCL titles than any other league in Europe. Currently sitting on a 75% chance of victory if a La Liga team reaches the final. All 6 of the La Liga titles have been won by either Real Madrid or Barcelona, whereas 3 of the 4 EPL titles have been won by different teams. A shock to the Bundesliga (recently rewarded with 4 UCL spots) is their success rate over the past 15 seasons. 1 title (Bayern Munich). Even more worrying for the rest of Europe is that there have been no winners over the past 8 years other than Serie A, La Liga & EPL. A total domination of titles shared amongst 3 leagues.

Bear in mind that all of these stats are taken from the 1997/98 season – 2011/12. The reason is that 1997/98 was the first season to invite other teams apart from the league winners. This means we can grade the league and not just 1 team from the league (as pre-1997/98 tournaments were structured). Since UEFA have invited more than just 1 EPL team into the UCL, I would venture to say that they have dominated. Using the tables above, we can take the following info:

This is a table based on presence – basically, who was there in the final stages over a period of 15 years. There has been more of a presence in the final stages by EPL teams rather than La Liga. The difference is that the La Liga teams go on to win the trophy when reaching the final. Well 6 out of 8 times, that is. At the end of the season, the winners are always remembered & rightfully so. Hopefully this article shows that the EPL in recent years has dominated. It also shows the vast gap between EPL & La Liga teams when compared to the rest of Europe.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Liverpool Crisis? Not one dam bit!

'Sup footie nuts? No premier league Football this weekend. How will we survive!? I know... Footiecall!

So Liverpool's current lack of strikers at the club is a worrying concern to all involved. Be it fans, coaches, journos and according to an open letter, the principal owner John Dubya Henry. I, like many, was left frustrated, angry, shocked and even embarrassed at our inactivity on the transfer deadline day (a pubic holiday in my life). Adding to this were rumours floating around that Liverpool were about to "put in a bid for almost everyone". Annoying to no end. There was even a point, when I was HOPING we had signed Clint Dempsey. We all know my feelings about him. I don't think (and still don't) that we need him. What we needed was a striker. Yup! An out and out striker. A goal scorer. We never got that. We never got anything. Not even a mean cup of instant coffee.

Waking up the morning after transfer deadline day, I felt shattered, gutted really that we embarrassingly missed out on Dempsey, Sturridge, Hunterlaar, Rob Sneijder and Bane from Batman. In my mind, Liverpool NEEDED a striker! I went so far to suggest that we should get Michael Owen. To possibly keep Henderson company on the bench. Yes, that's right. I was calling for Michael Judas Owen to come in and be our saviour. WHAT was I thinking!? Following the loss to Arsenal at Anfield. I made up my mind again, that a striker is needed. We are doomed for mid table AGAIN if we don't sort it out. Get Owen in BR!

However after the rage at the loss to Arsenal, I sat down, had some lavender tea and decided, "Let's think about Liverpool's options up front." This is what I came up with:

Realistically, we only have two first team forward men. Luis Can't close my mouth Suarez and Fabio I miss when I want Borini (more on him later). Liverpool have recently purchased an u/21 Yesil from Bayer Neverkusen. He was, however, bought with the intent of playing in the newly formed u/21 league. We do have three promising forward men in the reserve team though. Dani twitter freak Pacheco, Adam get me 10 000 followers Morgan and also Big Mike Ngoogle. Pacheco hasn't been a managers favourite since Rafa Benitez left Anfield for  unemployment. Kenny Dalglish? He wasn't British. And now Brendan Rodgers, who tried to send Pacheco on loan to some team outside the top two in La Liga. Anybody who isn't Brendan Rodgers, won't know the real reason why Pacheco is out of favour at Melwood. All we can do is speculate. And, if anything, Liverpool fans are GREAT at speculating. Embarrassingly so. Mike NGoogle hasn't really been tested in the first team. In fact, I'm not sure if he has played a competitive game for the first team. He has been prolific for the reserves though. So maybe he is worth a shout? Morgan, we have seen. He looks determined. Looks like he loves the crest on his chest. At 18 years old, he needs to be a bit more composed in the box. But that will come with more playing time in the first team. Here's a thought, put him on the bench and leave one of Carra, Kelly or Coates out of the match day team? With the lack of strikers, it makes much more sense to do that no? Yes.

Back to Borini. I always believe, that a striker's form shouldn't be judged on the chances he misses or converts. But rather, that the striker is in that position in the first place. If I had a striker in my team who wasn't scoring OR missing chances, I would be VERY worried. But with Borini, he has missed at least 3 sitters and 3 half chances this season. We can sit back and mock him for that. But just the fact that he was in a goal scoring position at least 6 times so far this season in league and cup competitions is at least some sort of positive to take out of this situation. He will score. He should be played up the middle. Like all strikers should.

Liverpool are NOT in any sort of crisis. We are a bit light up front (Leave the Suarez racism jokes alone) but a crisis? Almost entering into administration is a crisis. This... this is nothing.... this is Anfield...

Twitter - Give us a follow - @POTZ56

Friday, 31 August 2012

Golden Generation Rusting

Today's piece comes from a lover of the local game. He's a player himself, a coach & has SAFA badges to prove it! He's one of the few Cape Town residents who actually take the time to pay & watch the PSL. He's got a much more positive view on the local talent. Read below to see why -

While we start drooling over yet another Brazilian generation and what looks like it could be one of their best if not there best ever. Many of us south Africans are thinking when is our golden generation coming to save this country’s football from albatross? Do we even have the infrastructure and development plans in place to produce a golden generation? What if I told you South Africa had a serious chance at a medal in this football Olympics!! “Not possible” “we didn’t even qualify” that we didn’t qualify is not the lack of talent or the development excuse that every junior national team coach throws in the media’s face after yet another failed qualifying campaign neither is it the coach.  The sole blame lies with SAFA and their lack of vision in identifying a talented group of players. To give everyone an indication, South Africa have only qualified twice for the Fifa U-20 world cup, the first time was in 1997(a team containing McCarthy,fortune,etc) that team made up the core of the Olympic team in Sydney that shook the footballing world by beating a Brazilian team containing Ronaldinho,Adriano and Alex. This team of amaglug should have gone on to dominate the national team for years to come and bring us glory. That sadly was not the case due to reasons we all know(coaching changes no 1) the 2nd time we qualified for the Fifa u 20 world cup was in 2009 where we lost out on progression from the group stages on goal difference. Now if you were in Safa`s shoes alarm bells should have been ringing. This team should have been earmarked for the Olympic qualifying campaign to lead us to only our 2nd Olympics. How wrong we were, shakes Mashaba could not choose he’s best team for the last qualifying tournament where SAFA and the PSl were at each others throats over the release of certain players. Sanity eventually prevailed if you can call it that with Shakes Mashaba taking a 2nd string team consisting of bench warmers and NFD players with just a few days preparation  but how different could it have been? Let me break this team down department by department to give everyone an indication of the wealth of talent that Shakes had at he’s disposal if SAFA had any vision at all.

This would be 1 of our strongest departments. We have Darren Keet who made his psl debut at 19 for Wits University and went on to cement his place as the number 1, resulting in a move overseas. He is currently plying his trade in Belgium’s top league for Kv Kortrik and is the clubs number 1, should be battling Khune for number 1 but a case of out of sight out of mind for SAFA! As backup there is Superports  Ronwen Williams who just won the absa young player of the year and forced former Bafana keeper Rowen Fernandez to play 2nd fiddle to him. Showed tremendous maturity and has exponential potential testament to that is that he is the number 1 keeper at a big club at 20.(baby years in keeper terms) Brilliant Khuzwayho any keeper who the coach nicknames Cassilas must be worth having a look. Khuzwahyo was on loan at Thanda Royal Zulu where he skippered them to the brink of promotion where they narrowly lost out in the playoffs has recently been signed by Kaiser Chiefs where he will push Khune for the number 1 spot.
Right backs
Doctor Mampura skippered the u-23 team and is one of the best crosses in the psl. Mampura talents became noticed in Puk twana (Sundowns development team) run in the nedbank cup a few seasons back. Game time has been hard to come by at Sundowns as he is competing with u-23 teamate Ramahlwe Mphahlele who was the previous skipper of the u-23. Mphahlele debuted in the psl at 18 for Moroka Swallows and established himself as one of the best right backs in the psl. A very versatile player who can cover centre back and midfield. A big money offer was accepted by swallows and he is currently battling for game time resulting in a loan move to newly promoted Tuks. Thulani Hlatswayo nicknamed Tyson for he’s hard tackling and strength is a regular in Ajax ct back four played an influential role in Ajax 2nd placed finish 2 seasons back and is one of few positives of Ajax ill-fated last campaign. Has been earmarked for a European move.

Left backs
Sundown’s Subusiso Khumalo a player blessed with incredible pace and extremely skilful concerns over he’s defensive capabilities have resulted in him struggling to get game time also having to compete with Bafana international Punch Masenamela for a starting place has limited he’s opportunities has been compared to brazils Marcelo. Bafana international Keegan Ritchie is eligible for selection too. The Kaiser Chiefs man is one of the best crosses and is a set piece specialist. Concerns has been raised over he’s pace but makes up with he’s reading and tough tackling and is extremely hard to beat one v one. There is backup in Ajax ct Aiden Jenniker and the versatile Thato Mokeke who’s best position is centre back but can fill the roles of dm and left back as well. The former Supersport man has played an integral part of Ajax ct last season and is a fantastic passer of the ball

Centre backs
The recent bidding war that erupted between Sundowns and Kaiser Chiefs over the services of Eric Mathoho. The much sought after centre back was in the psl team of the season plying he’s trade at Bloem Celtic. Tower as Mathoho is known combines physical presence with composure on the ball and fantastic aerial prowess. Was linked with numerous clubs in Europe before he decided to join Kaiser Chiefs in a big money deal. Tower is also a big threat from set pieces and has chipped him with he’s fair share of goals will be in the Bafana team for many years to come.
Siyanda Xulu a player who was a regular at Mamelodi Sundowns at 18 was on trail at Barcelona, Arsenal and Athletico Madrid. The latter having a bid rejected as it was deemed insufficient. Is now the mainstay of the Mamelodi backline and a European move is not too far off.
David Boysen has been a regular for Maritzburg united producing some sterling performances. The lanky defender has put in some sterling performances and he’s composure, ability to read the game and command in the air has him touted as a Bafana international
Thamsanqa Sangweni brother of Bafana and Orlando Pirates centre back Siyabonga is arguably the more talented brother played a sterling role in Amazulus success last season which resulted in a big money move to Sundowns. Is a generally a holding midfielder but has produced some brilliant performances at centre back blessed with the same composure as he’s older brother but looks to have the edge in passing ability. Packs a rocket of a shot. Has been placed in defence due to the quality possessed in midfield by this team

Central midfield

This is the department where we are spoilt for choice. This midfield could rival any in world football at the Olympics. Picking a starting 3 from these midfielders would have been tough for Mashaba if he had all of them available. These are our central midfielders.
Andile Jail a stalwart in Orlando Pirates midfield resulting in 2 treble winning seasons(enough said) not many a midfielder has won the battle over Gattuso as jail is known. Freakish energy, excellent in the tackle and a decent distributor. Has outgrown the psl and should be playing in Europe. A man to take with you to war!
George maluleke was the spine of Ajax ct for 2 seasons. Blessed with all the qualities of a box to box midfielder. Maluleke has recently been signed by Superport United after 2 fantastic seasons at Ajax ct where he was the team’s most consistent player.
Daylon Classens Has been touted for great things ever since he had a trial with real Madrid at 15. the former Ajax cape town player has been plying he’s trade in the Belgium league for SK Lierse and was voted club player of the year which has alerted QPR who are interested in signing the silky playmaker. How he is not a Bafana regular is the question everyone in Belgium has been asking!

Thulani Serrero the jewel in South Africa’s crown. The most talented player to come out of mzansi in many a year. The Ajax Amsterdam player left these shores in a big money move from Ajax Cape Town to mother club Ajax Amsterdam after a clean sweep in the individual player awards at the back end of the 2010/2011 season almost single handedly winning the psl title. Has found game time a bit difficult but this is due to the sensational form of Christian Ericksen who has been on the wanted list of almost every top club in Europe.
If a midfield 3 of jail, Classens and Serrero has you salivating. There is still a few more gems left none so than May Mahlangu. Displays in Sweden for Helsingborg sent shockwaves throughout South Africa. Here was an unknown South African player getting rave reviews in Sweden this resulted in him becoming the Swedish player of the year talks of Swedish citizenship being offered to Mahlangu to play for the Swedish national team were rumoured. Still no Bafana call up! Eventually Pitso yielded to the media and public and called him up to the Bafana national team. How the playmaker was not capped at junior level is a mystery to all and sundry!  Kamohelo Mokotjo is a currently plying he’s trade for Dutch super powers Feynoord played 22 games last season for feynoord can play in midfield or defence. Moktjie displays in midfield has led him to signing an extended contract (foreign players in Holland can not sign a contract for less than 550 000 euros per anum) this shows how highly rated mokotjo is. Yet another European player who fails to grab the attention to the bafflement of the feynoord technical team.  Thandani Nhshumayelo burst onto the scene in the 2008/2009 season winning the absa young player of the year. A starring role for Superport united for numerous seasons resulted in a big money move to Orlando Pirates.  Low centre of gravity results in him possessing incredible strength for he’s small statue, energy in abundance and fantastic passer of the ball are just some of the qualities possessed. For depth we have Jabulani Shongwe who is one of the most creative players in the psl and the versatile Michael Morton who has been a regular for wits and Maritzburg united for numerous seasons.

On the wings we are blessed with numerous game breakers and potential superstars none other than Masibusuane Zongo the most talented left footer this country has seen. Discipline problems has led to stagnation in he’s career after scintillating displays in he’s debut season resulted in a bid from none other than Tottenham Hotspurs. Rumours of he’s ill discipline led Tottenham to abandon the deal. Mind boggling balls skills along with an excellent end product was recently taken under the wing of Roger De Sa where he flourished for wits on loan towards the end of last season currently on the books of supersport where he has fallen out of favour with Gavin Hunt’s rigid style of coaching. Shameeg Doutie is a player who in the qualifying tournament was selected for the team of the tournament even tho amaglug performed dismally. One of the best crosses in South Africa. Doutie is your archetypal winger with pace to burn. After a big money move to pirates did not work out. A move to supersport worked out perfectly for the fleet footed winger who thrives under a more direct style. George Lebese has shown when given a chance for Kaiser Chiefs he is a very talented player has found opportunities limited due to him having to compete directly with Bafana incumbent Simphiwe Tshabalala. Lebese has shown over the past season he is more than capable and is one for the future. Mandla Masango is the former captain of the u-23 is a player that has all the attributes to become a star. Was just 19 when chiefs gave him he’s debut and big things were expected even given the nickname as the next Jabu Pule


Upfront we have Kermit Erasmus one of the top goal scorers in the Fifa u 20 tournament in 2009 Erasmus was on the books of feynoord even before he played in the psl where he found opportunities limited. A loan deal to Sbv Excelsior yielded some success but the call of the Bafana selection resulted in a transfer back to supersport did not quite live up to expectations due to Gavin hunts direct style of football. The diminutive forward struggled as he was often played on the left of a midfield but showed glimpses of why he is so highly rated. Is still being rumoured for a European move.
Bogani Nduluda was the top goalscorerer in the Olympic qualifying campaign. Is seen as the future target man for Bafana Bafana. Ndudlula is on the books of Orlando pirates where he chipped in with a number of crucial goals. Ndudlula has a good first touch for a big boy and has shown composure in the box having to compete directly with mzansi finest striker McCarthy did not aid he’s development as he found opportunities limited.
Tokelo Rantjie scored he’s first Bafana goal in Bafana last game. Explosive pace and good finishing has led him to being an integral part of Orlando Pirates treble winning team. Rantjie was on loan from Hasslehom(Swedish league) but has a number of suitors after he’s services. A failed bid from pirates to buy him outright failed as was deemed insufficient. Has just recently been signed by Helsingborg.

Starting 11?

How they will line up in the starting 11? A 4 3 3! With the abundance of central midfield talent available. Keet would be in goal. Right back will be a tough call but would have to go with Hlasthwayo. Xulu and Mathoto would be the centre backs with Khumalo on the left. The midfield would be jail as defensive along with Classens as the box to box and Serrero in the hole behind a fluid front 3 of Rantjie Zongo and Erasmus who all have the ability to interchange. This team has everything pace and creativity lacks height in midfield and the wingbacks would have been a small problem defensively but that never stopped an all conquering team before forget tika taka! This would have been superdiski with all the flicks, tricks and shibobos that come along with it. 2014 Brazil SAFA?????

Thanks Paul. Loving it! Wanna hear some more from Paul, follow him on twitter. He has no girlfriend
so it's strictly sport tweets - @superlamb1987 

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Double crossed

Moments before kickoff, players walking onto the hallowed surface...a few taking in the moment, others crossing themselves as they prepare.

Football. Religion. Rituals. Superstitions.

Seemingly there's place for all of this on the turf.

Today we'll look at a few players who have their way of going about things before the first whistle blows for kickoff.

Good day footiecall FAITHFUL!

Before every game of FIFA World Cup '98, Laurent Blanc would kiss the bald head of Fabien Barthez. Worked a charm! MUFC should maybe have signed the centre half earlier...

Argentina goalkeeper, Sergio Goycochea, had the dirty habit [or was it ritual] of urinating on the field before a penalty shootout. Worked for him, until Italia '90...
Mario Gomez will only use the urinal furthest to the left. 
How's that for taking the piss?!

Anyone recognise him? This Englishman opted not to have any shots on goal in the warm up, so he didn't waste any goals. If he hadn't scored by halftime, he'd change his shirt...if this didn't help, he'd go and get his hair cut.

Kolo Toure needs to be the last man out onto the pitch. According to him. This  is fine, until he missed the start of a UEFA Champions League game for Arsenal and was subsequently booked for entering the field without permission.

During FIFA World Cup 2010, Diego Maradona would come out wearing the Albiceleste tracksuit, only to return after half-time wearing this grey suit. I reckon it'll take more than that to improve his coaching.

Another legendary Argentine, Juan Sebastian Veron wore bandage around his right knee for every game. This started in 1997, when he injured that knee, bandaged it and it apparently brought him good fortune.

Finally, closer to home, the coach of Midlands Port Cement [a Zimbabwean 1st Division Club] commanded his players to bathe in the crocodile infested waters of the Zambisi river...as it is believed this would allay evil spirits. What it did do is reduce the squad from 17 to 16 players...and they lost their next fixture.

I'm sure there's a whole list of other routines we could refer to. Feel free to drop them in the comments section below.

Thanks for joining me.