Benni McCarthy. Picture: SUPPLIED
Benni McCarthy. Picture: SUPPLIED

Former Bafana Bafana striker Benni McCarthy says the best players are not being selected for national duty at the moment.

Coach Stuart Baxter’s charges sparked furious debate by blowing a chance to top Group E of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers after being held to a goalless draw by Libya in Durban last weekend.

While McCarthy was at pains to avoid coming across as criticising Baxter‚ he said the bottom line is that the Briton needs help in putting together a competitive squad.

"Are we really picking the best players that we have available? That is my question‚" the Cape Town City coach asked.

"I’m tired also‚ because after Saturday I thought: ‘hey‚ there we go again, no Afcon for us’.

"Not doubting the players‚ but we just made it difficult for ourselves now‚ because if you don’t win your home games‚ [playing] away from home is not going to be easy … and we have Nigeria coming [for the return leg].

"They’re going to want to overturn us beating them there. And if that doesn’t go our way‚ then what do we do?

"Again‚ we [would] watch on our TVs, and SuperSport gathers all the legends or all the ex-players to come and commentate on the African Nations Cup without Bafana," McCarthy said.

He said the Bafana coach probably needs some assistance because Baxter simply cannot watch every Premier Soccer League match.

"I’ve seen him at a Chiefs game‚ I’ve seen him at a SuperSport game and I’ve seen him at a Wits game.

"I’ve not seen him watching a Free State Stars game; I’ve not seen him watching a Bloem Celtic game; they [Celtic] are high flyers. What are they doing right there?

"Go and watch there to see what players are on form‚ you understand‚" McCarthy said.

"It’s not a job for one man. I think he needs help from coaches in the league to identify players that are on form. And I’m not too sure if that was our best XI that was put out.

"I’m not too sure and maybe the coach [Baxter] would disagree with me from what he’s seen that week at training."

Bafana’s next qualifier is against Seychelles at home in October.