SAFA has confirmed it has agreed terms with a new Bafana Bafana coach with speculation rife that it could be Benni McCarthy.
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On Friday SAFA sent the tails of the South African football fraternity wagging after confirming, they had finalised the contract of the new Bafana Bafana coach.
The country’s football governing body went as far as stating that they intend on making an official announcement in the coming week, with speculation rife on Saturday that it could be Amazulu coach Benni McCarthy.
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McCarthy, who remains as Bafana Bafana’s all-time leading goal scorer, has been the talk of the local football scene in recent months, with his Durban-based side picking up scintillating form which has seen Usuthu sit on top of the log at the time of writing this article, having held on to beat neighbours Golden Arrows on Saturday. But Mamelodi Sundowns, who play Orlando Pirates on Sunday afternoon will have their two games restored after full time.
READ | IS SAFA TERRIFIED BENNI MCCARTHY WILL GIVE THEM HELL?
With the way he has turned Amazulu around this season, it is perhaps no surprise why McCarthy has been linked with the Bafana Bafana hot seat but is he the right man for the job? Here are three reasons why he could be, as well as three reasons why he might not be.
Pros to Benni McCarthy being Bafana Bafana coach
1. Young coach
At 43-years old McCarthy is a lot closer with regards to age, to the current generation, as opposed to the last three Bafana Bafana mentors. It is also then perhaps no coincidence that he has often appeared as close with his group of players at both Cape Town City and Amazulu.
That could be, exactly the type of figure Bafana Bafana players need at the moment with morale seemingly at an all-time low. Additionally, if Safa is serious about their long-term “visions” then maybe starting from scratch with a young squad and players who could grow together, might be the best way forward.
2. Winning momentum
Amazulu have hit the DStv Premiership League by storm this season, and their nine victories in their last 10 matches have catapulted them to being serious league contenders. McCarthy has been largely instrumental in that, as he has recruited well and to suit his image of how football should be played.
Bafana Bafana will need a coach who has a clear plan and vision as to how he wants to play football, as well as someone who can identify the correct players to fit his system. McCarthy may have shown that he already has those attributes, and that may be what attracted Safa to him if reports are to be true.
3. Stature in football
With the accolades of being the only South African to lift a Champions League trophy, as well as being Bafana Bafana’s top goal scorer, there is no doubting that McCarthy’s presence automatically demands respect in local football circles.
A lot of the players he would be calling up would either be looking up to him or have ambitions of achieving what he has in the game. That alone will have players listening attentively to every instruction he shares.
Many would argue that wouldn’t have been the case with recently fired Molefi Ntseki, with him not having the most colourful senior football CV to his name.
Cons to Benni McCarthy being Bafana Bafana coach
The other side of being a young coach is the lack of experience it may come with. Although McCarthy has a Uefa Pro Coaching license to his name, international football is not often regarded as the most suitable environment to breed a young coach.
Young coaches also often need time to build, but Safa having disposed of two coaches in the last two years doesn’t seem like an organization that is willing to afford a Bafana Bafana coach that luxury.
2. Cape Town City tenure demise
Although McCarthy’s Amazulu has been hot form under his tutelage so far, Cape Town City was also a consistent exciting threat under the Cape Town-born mentor even winning an MTN 8 title in 2018.
But his tenure dried up very suddenly in 2019 going for large winless streaks and often cutting a frustrated figure who had ran out of plans before being shown the door.
The concern now may be that McCarthy could suffer another deflation period that could see him run out of ideas for Bafana Bafana which is the last thing the country needs at international level.
3. Club coaching career rebuild
This job offer would come at a precarious time for McCarthy, having started to repair and rebuild his coaching reputation which would’ve no doubt had a few wondering if he wasn’t just a “one-hit wonder”.
He has clearly started a project with the right ingredients to be formidable at Usuthu, so would leaving that for a potentially short international coaching career really be the best option for him?