The United States’ elegant display of football (colloquially known as “European Soccer” in the US.) against Portugal inspired me to write this. I mean, if they can improve in their football over the years, why can’t we!? And before you mention money etc.. hear me out:
1. Get rid of all the Juju, Witch doctors, sangomas,superstitions
Time and time again, we have heard the embarrassing claims & predictions of the few witch doctors who make headlines prior to the tournament, the most recent being the witch doctor who “bewitched” Cristiano Ronaldo. Not only is this a waste of money, but it also reinforces the negative stereotypes that people have of the African continent:
2. Encourage our Leaders to become Facebook & Twitter Literate.
Imagine if our boys at the tournament received encouragement from their respective statesmen? What would it do to their game? I imagine it would improve it. Exhibit A: Obama wrote the following on twitter: 11 on the field more than 300 million cheering them on. Who knows, maybe instead of having the long annual state of the nation addresses every year (which consume time and prime time television), we will have state of the nation tweets, short and sweet.
3. Get Sammy Kuffor, Shaun Bartlett, Neil Tovey & Andre Arendse out of the Supersport Studios and back onto the pitch
Yes, I know they are retired. But these guys would be more beneficial to the African game if they were at the helm of our national football teams, taking on management responsibilities. After all they elegantly comment and analyse the rights and wrongs of the teams that play; they can do much better can’t they? Plus, Sammy Kuffor is just a hater. Get him outta there!
4. Import, Import, Import: African Leagues to become the next Old Age Home for football.
Frank Lampard and David Villa to New York City FC. Beckham to LA Galaxy. Thierry Henry to New York Red Bulls. Pele to New York Cosmos. We have all witnessed these high profile players move to Major League Soccer. While the general consensus for years has been that these guys are simply sell-outs who are seeking greener pitches for their sore feet, perhaps we have failed to see that these high profile players may have improved the quality of these leagues and perhaps in turn improve national football. So then, may I suggest: Casillas to Supersport United, Nicholas Bendtner to Ramblers and Fernando Torres to Hearts of Oaks SC.
Most of our teams have serious deficiencies in the defense, especially the goalkeepers, apart from Vincent Enyema, a keeper who only emerges once in a blue moon. I would like to hypothesize that the lack of exceptional football is a result of our approach to those social games of football we have. You know, where nobody wants to become goalkeeper. Stop being lazy and take one for the team, just hang for the whole afternoon.
6. Money Problems? Hire Arsene Wenger.
Yes, I know that someone out there, and perhaps even myself, may reason that all these suggestions require money and that our football associations are plagued with problems arising from a lack of money. However, may I suggest that Arsene Wenger should be hired-I mean, seriously, the man has been given a tight budget for years during his tenure with Arsenal and still he has managed to secure them a top 4 finish season-in and season-out. The very least I see is that he will take one of our teams to the 3rd place playoff where we can at least secure 4th position.