Warriors’ Condition Needs Urgent Remedy

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Shooting from the Hip
Carlos Kambaekwa

One just fails to digest all the brouhaha in the aftermath of the Brave Warriors lukewarm performance of late. Truth is; Namibia does not have the quality of footballers expected to take our football to the next level and even if we rope in the services of Sir Alex Fergusson or Fabio Capello for that matter, the status quo would remain.

Looking at the team’s poor showing in as many matches, let alone a 3-1 drubbing by Ali Akan’s AK FC, a team campaigning in the South African 2nd tier division, leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

Yours truly is tempted to conclude that the current crop of players are just not up to the task at hand and football authorities should start putting their ducks in the row and map out a comprehensive blueprint aimed at arresting the current slump.

The Namibian Football Association is really making some recommendable strides in World football off the field and can certainly not be faulted for the team’s catastrophic performances on the field.

There is an urgent need to engage all stakeholders and have a dialogue on how to improve our football setup – ranging from junior level up to the top.

The real bone of contention is not about losing but it’s the fashion in which the tame Brave Warriors have been donating points at the slightest provocation against football’s lightweights such as Guinea, Malawi and Botswana.

Given the current state of affairs, it’s now crystal clear that there was no proper planning in place as to how Namibia was going to make sure of qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in neighbouring South Africa, rather than lots of lip service with no Plan B in sight, period!.

As it stands, the Warriors need to win all their remaining three games in group two of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Preliminaries that also double up as 2010 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers if they are to stand any chance of even making their third appearance at the continental showpiece taking place on our doorstep in Angola.

As much as yours truly has lots sympathy with Coach Arie Schans – statistics point to a somewhat gloomy picture with one victory and two draws from eleven matches – certainly not the kind of start any respectable coach would have wanted.

The coach’s tactical acumen and team selection still leave a lot to be desired to say the least. No offence to my homeboy Richard “Ou Rich” Gariseb, the boy is a classy defender but was totally played out of his preferred centre back position – leaving the doubting Thomasses with serious reservations about the technical staff’s wisdom to deplore a player who can hardly walk on his left foot in a left back position, nogal at this level.

Discarded Brave Warriors’ utility left back Franklin April isa natural left footed player and has been a pillar of strength during the Warriors Qualification campaign for the 26th edition of the African Cup of Nations finals in Ghana earlier this year, but the hard as nails defender has been cold shouldered for just one below par performance against Morocco in the opening game in Accra.

It’s quite irritating to notice how the technical staff persists with off-form players while others are being shown the door at the drop of a hat for committing human errors. In the match against Guinea, Rudolph Bester was in my opinion the best Warrior on the pitch and combined well with Costa Khaiseb, but the schemer was surprisingly hauled off.

Quinton “Magic” Jacobs has very little peers when it comes to handling the spherical object but it’s obvious the skillful midfielder is not getting the required backing from the technical staff – a situation that does not do his confidence any good at all.

One still can’t understand the rationale behind deploring tall strikers in the box if you don’t have wide players capable of delivering the desired crosses. A player like Jeremiah “Bullfrog” Baisako has been unable to transform his club form to the international stage and has certainly overstayed his welcome in the Brave Warriors setup.

With gangling strikers Wilko Risser, Arend “Ostrich” von Stryk and Floris Diergaardt around – one needs decent wingers in the mould of Getzen Ndjiharine and Freedom Puriza as well as intelligent midfielders like Meraai Swartbooi and Klaas Blom to complement the aforementioned trio.

Klaas Blom is the best midfielder in the country right now and his inclusion in the national team is long overdue unless we have been watching different games.

The continuous omission of Razundara Tjikuzu and Sydney Plaatjies remains a mystery because apart from Collin Benjamin, these two are the only players from the current crop with international experience because of their attachment to top clubs in Europe and South Africa, respectively.

Ever wondered why we lost against Guinea? Well! the answer is simple; Guinea has Pascal Feindounou and a horde of World class footballers who ply their trade in top European leagues week in and week out as compared to our bench warmers in lower leagues. Stop the Bra-skap and select players on merit and current form! I rest my case.

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