With hindsight, it appears that the Brave Warriors’ historic victory in the regional Cosafa Senior Challenge has sold the football crazy Namibians a dummy.
Judging from vehement protests and growing moans among disgruntled supporters in the aftermath of Namibia’s defeat at the hands of continental powerhouse Senegal, yours truly is obliged to put the defeat into perspective.
For starters, the boys were not humiliated considering the few goal-scoring opportunities we created deep in the second half, not forgetting the brand of football displayed by the boys against a top quality side laden with experienced players.
It was crystal clear that nerves got the better of our players in the opening half, but the boys managed to regroup and showed some mettle as the match wore on. The pair of goals scored by the visitors was given to them on a platter through pure defensive lapses.
Again, it shows the gulf in quality and more importantly experience. Our defence could not afford to commit such schoolboy errors and get away with it, and could ill afford to lose concentration in the danger zone against a Senegalese side with footballers plying their trade in some of the top leagues in world football. They will punish you severely!
Truth be told, the defeat is embedded in one single word and that’s “experience”.
Take nothing away from our players – the boys played some hardegat football, albeit in patches, and showed talent and commitment way belying their amateur tag, but lacked experience and calmness when it mattered the most as they easily got carried away when presented with the chance to put the ball in the net.
Now the fundamental debate is; should we really put pressure on our players when competing against opponents playing their club football at the highest level of international football? I’m just asking.
Obviously, Namibia has raised the bar by winning the Cosafa Cup against all odds stacked against them, but let us not fool ourselves into the false belief that we have finally arrived and are world beaters. That’s a pipedream!
The current Brave Warriors squad is a work in progress and we must all rally behind the technical staff and the entire playing personnel – give them sufficient time to develop into a formidable unit.
Let us not lose focus of the naked reality that Namibia fielded its strongest possible squad in the Cosafa Cup, whereas the majority of our competitors improvised by selecting developmental sides with players campaigning in their respective domestic leagues.
Recently, yours truly has raised concern over the sudden interest from our leading players seeking greener pastures in the Thailand league. While one considers and has sympathy with the pride and tricky situation in which the players find themselves entangled – logic suggests such moves are a step backwards as our players would not improve in playing in a country ranked way below us on the Fifa World rankings.
Security guards are rubbing the wrong way
A quick word of good advice to the country’s football governing body, NFA. The customarily pathetic and amateurish fashion in which the association goes about its business must stop, notably when it comes to august events.
It’s quite embarrassing to be constantly harassed and exposed to verbal wrestling with trigger-happy security guards manning the entry gates, in the absence of proper accreditation passes for journalists.
It’s about time journalists are treated with the respect and honour they so dearly deserve, because there would be no football without our pens. Why should we be made to beg just to get entry into the stadium to execute our designated functions, nogal. I rest my case.