SA strikers 'an insult to soccer'
THE long-suffering South African soccer fan, who has been deprived of seeing goals scored in the local game should take note: he is not about to see more goals any time soon.
Players and coaches alike agree that a target of 25 goals a season, which is low, is well nigh impossible!
This is a cop-out, or worse still, an abdication of responsibility. Those who take this view would do well to get out of soccer.
Forget Lionel Messi and Cristian Ronaldo. Look to our game for reference. It was here that Collins Mbesuma and Fani Madida before him slammed home more than 20 goals past hapless goalkeepers.
Sometimes one wonders why players like Katlego Mphela, Siyabonga Nomvete and Lehlohonolo Majoro, who are hired to score goals, cannot make it past the 25-goals tally. Why should they be in the starting line-up?
Our top goal-scorers, who dream of playing abroad, have managed only a paltry nine goals out of 17 games!
Our goalless game against Senegal in Durban should serve as a test of our strike force's ability - we cannot score, not even in a goalmouth scramble.
Opinions vary as to whether it's now going to be possible to reach the target of 25 goals.
Says Moroka Swallows midfielder- cum-striker David Mathebula: "It does not look good because we could not even score half the number of those goals.
"We don't create enough chances and we don't stay in the box like Lionel Messi and Ronaldo. We run a distance before we can get into the box," Mathebula says.
But Lehlohonolo Majoro, with six goals to his credit, says: "Twenty-five goals is not an unrealistic target. We have been scoring less goals over time. We are not consistent."
Bidvest Wits coach Roger De Sa asks: "If they could not score half of the target in 17 games, what will make them score more goals with only 13 games left to play?
"It will be difficult to even get past the 20 goal mark."
Veteran coach Ted Dumitru says the target set by the sponsors should have been more than 25 goals.
"Our strikers are inconsistent and less committed in the box. It's an insult to professional soccer," he says.
"It sounds all too good that our league has a lot of money, but players are judged on performance in the field of play."
One of SA's golden greats, Phil Masinga used to rattle the net with sickening regularity. He used to compete with the likes of Mark Williams and Fani Madida who did not score less than 20 goals.
"We must find out how many chances are created in the game or is it strikers who are missing the goals. In the past we played an open game where we went flat out to try and win games," he said.