Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper and the current Bidvest Wits goalkeeper coach Andre Arendse believes that Gordon Igesund should have called Bongani Khumalo into the national team to face Central African Republic.
The Bafana coach explained the exclusion of captain Khumalo during the announcement of the squad and his main reason was that the player hasn’t been playing much for his club after the recent Afcon tournament, but Arendse believes that Khumalo is not just a player, but the kind of a leader Bafana need at this stage.
“This is something our football doesn’t need. Bongani Khumalo should have been in the squad. He is our leader, and I think the team needs his leadership skills at the moment,” Arendse told Goal.com.
“Yes, he hasn’t seen much game time since Afcon, but a coach needs to protect his captain at all times. Bongani is not just a player, he is a leader and that has been lacking in our Bafana team. Not a wise decision from Gordon to drop Bongani Khumalo,” he said.
Arendse is nevertheless, hopeful that the captaincy issue will not have any psychological effects on the selected players. Chiefs’ Itumeleng Khune has since been appointed the captain for Bafana’s next game.
“It shouldn’t affect the players. Khune has been the captain at club level. I haven’t worked with him so I don’t know his leadership skills, but I am sure he won’t have a problem with leading the nation,” said Arendse.
The former Sundowns stopper also raised his concerns on the exclusion of striker Katlego Mphela who didn’t have an impressive 2013 Afcon. He believes that Mphela should have been in the squad, given his ability to score crucial goals.
“It’s true that we didn’t see the best of Mphela during the Afcon, but I think he should have been there. He’s got so much to offer upfront. His ability to score goals is unquestionable. Mphela can score goals even when hope is gone. We need him too,” added Arendse.
Igesund opted for three strikers for the game against Central African Republic and Arendse who won 67 caps with the national team, believes that Bafana have enough midfield players that can help with scoring goals.
“I think we have capable midfielders that can push forward and score goals. Tshabalala is one player that comes to mind. I think this is the department where we have been excelling,” concluded Andre Arendse.