South Africa

Ex-Kaizer Chiefs striker Mphela describes Bafana Bafana's striking crisis as ‘embarrassing’

5:59 PM GMT 24/03/2022
Evidence Makgopa of South Africa is challenged by Marshall Munetsi of Zimbabwe during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier
The retired footballer reminded the public that none of the current crop of centre-forwards is able to hit the 20-goal mark

Former Bafana Bafana striker Katlego Mphela has described the current options in the attacking department as embarrassing.

The 37-year-old also pointed out the crisis in the striking force was present even during his time.

"At the moment, if you check our South African strikers, I mean, it's embarrassing. The guys are struggling to get into double figures," Mphela told KickOff.

"The issue of our strikers in the country is something I think we need to take a serious look at.

"Our striker crisis is something that has been going on for too long. It has been a problem for a long time now, even with us when we were playing it was a problem."

Apart from pointing out the crisis, Mphela suggested a solution.

"It's like goalkeeping. If your team is losing and your goalkeeper is costing you, you need a goalkeeper coach. Why can't they do that with strikers?

"Even if it's not us former Bafana strikers, they can get whoever they want to get to coach the strikers.

"That's the thing they need to look at because they don't want to do the development thing.

The former Kaizer Chiefs forward gave the example of Evidence Makgopa and challenged him to show his potential as he serves the national side.

"At the moment, no one is able to hit the 20-goal mark. The likes of [Evidence] Makgopa has the potential, but that drive needs to come from within.

"He needs to decide which level he wants to reach, whether he just wants to go to Bafana Bafana to make up the numbers or if he's looking at Benni McCarthy's record."

Mphela further pointed out the weaknesses of the Baroka striker: "He's got the potential though, but sometimes his runs and movement sometimes are a bit wild for a striker," he added.

"But he will get it right with experience as time goes on, to know where to go and when to go, and obviously, we will judge him with goals.

"I've seen him missing a few sitters, if you don't score goals, then you can't represent the national team, it's been always like that.

"He must start positioning himself very well for him to score goals."

Although the South African criticised Makgopa, he conceded there are no better options available.

"But if I say now he doesn't deserve to be with Bafana, then who are we going to call?" asked the retired striker.

"It's the coach who understands his players. Each coach has his own players, I remember the almost same thing that happened to me during Pitso Mosimane's era.

"Okay, we do have Victor Letsoalo, but maybe he is not the preferred choice of the coach."