While many fans were not keen on the return of Parreira to the national team, many were happier with his presence on the bench rather than that of Joel Santana...
The president of the South African Football Association (SAFA), Kirsten Nematandani, confirmed the news when he officially announced that Parreira would rejoin Bafana after a lengthy SAFA National Executive meeting held at the OR Tambo Airport.
Nematandani said that Parreira, who won the World Cup with Brazil in the United States in 1994, was the only candidate, but fans of the national team in South Africa spoke to Goal.com, and they were mixed in their reaction to the reappointment of the Brazilian.
George in Johannesburg said, “It is good that we have gotten rid of Santana, who was destroying our national team, but is bringing back Parreira the right answer in our current state? I hope he does well, but he will struggle to get the players’ confidence up again.”
Alton had a similar take on the situation. “I’m sorry to say but SAFA is obsessed with the idea of having a high profile coach to give Bafana success," he said. "Parreira was average the first time around and will be average again the second time. It’s about time we give Gordon Igesund, a man who's proven a title-winning success with multiple clubs in South Africa, a shot.”
Grant with pleased with the coach’s return. “It is about time he came back," he enthused. "He was just starting to get something out of the boys when he left for personal reasons, and Santana has been a disappointment since then. Parreira is the right man to take charge and save our World Cup on the pitch. We will pass the first round thanks to this change, because it comes with eight months to prepare for the games.”
Sipho was also positive about the coaching change, but he was worried that it may not be enough. “The Parreira switch is a great move at this stage, and it is good that SAFA did not wait any longer to relieve Santana of his post, but I hope that the time remaining before this all-important World Cup is enough for the returning coach to turn things around and put a smile on the faces of Bafana fans, I hope it will be enough time.”
Steven’s opinion was short and to the point. “ We need is a local coach to take the side forward. All these Brazilians are bad for business,” he stated.
While many of the fans Goal.com spoke to feel that Parreira is an improvement over Santana and his nightmare reign, a great deal would prefer to see a local coach taking charge of the side.
Linda seemed passionate about a South African coach being in charge of the team. "Gavin Hunt, Gordon Igesund, Clive Barker, Jomo Sono," she reeled off. "These are just a few of the talented homegrown coaches who could be taking Bafana to the World Cup. On home soil I believe a local guy should be there instead of Parreira or Santana. I hope they do well, but I will be happy when a local is the man on the bench.”
Reddy agreed, but he also believed that a coach who knows South African football could be the best option. “I would love to see Jomo or Barker back in the position of coach for the national side, but a coach who has been plying his trade in South Africa for a few years and understands our style of play would also be good," he explained. "I’m talking about the likes of Muhsin Ertugral and Ruud Krol - they would be right for the team and Bafana would be a better group for it.”
One clear reality is noticeable from the voices of the fans, Santana’s departure is good news and there is hope that Parreira can do well. However, the general population seem to prefer a local coach to either of the Brazilians, but they will have to wait until after the World Cup for a South African tactician to take over.
Peter Pedroncelli, Goal.com