Clive Barker at Orlando Stadium in Soweto. Picture: SYDNEY MAHLANGU/BACKPAGE PIX
Clive Barker at Orlando Stadium in Soweto. Picture: SYDNEY MAHLANGU/BACKPAGE PIX

Former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker believes Molefi Ntseki has overstayed his welcome after failing to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and must be replaced by  Benni McCarthy or Pitso Mosimane.

Bafana failed to qualify for the tournament in Cameroon after a 2-0 defeat to Sudan in Khartoum on Sunday and a candid Barker said he always expected Ntseki  to struggle in the challenging post he assumed in August 2019.

“I have always said that you have to have coaches who have won things. I mean‚ not to be against coach Molefi Ntseki‚ I think his mannerisms are good and I think his intentions are good‚ but really you have got to win things. I feel for him‚” Barker said on Monday.

The 51-year-old Botshabelo-born Ntseki is a dead man walking after Sunday’s defeat saw the unheralded coach fail to deliver on his mandate to qualify the team for Afcon.

“I think it is terrible that we have all these facilities and just be knocked out so early. It is just crazy. The quality of football leaves quite a bit to be desired‚” said Barker.

Ntseki’s appointment two years ago raised eyebrows when he was announced as Stuart Baxter’s predecessor because of a low profile top-flight experience and an empty trophy cabinet as a coach.

The 76-year-old Barker‚ who guided Bafana to victory in the 1996 Afcon finals and is the only coach to do so‚ criticised the decision to appoint Ntseki in the first place.

“You can’t go there and be in charge of a national team and you have never won anything. I can’t recall if he has won something and if he has won‚ then I do apologise.”

Barker suggested that even Ntseki’s assistant coach Arthur Zwane could have been a better option for the Bafana job.

“Arthur Zwane sits there and he has won all types of trophies‚ how can he go there and have a guy who has never won anything?”

Barker said McCarthy‚ the AmaZulu coach who has got Usuthu purring in the domestic league‚ still enjoys legendary status as Bafana’s leading goal scorer‚ and Pitso Mosimane‚ the all-conquering former Mamelodi Sundowns coach and current Al Ahly boss‚ should have been considered for the national team job instead of Ntseki.

“They should have thought of someone like Benni McCarthy or people like that who can come in and turn this whole thing around‚” said Barker.

The veteran coach said there should be a conversation between the SA Football Association (Safa) and AmaZulu to allow McCarthy to vacate his club duties for Bafana.

“No doubt about it‚ he [McCarthy] is a breath of fresh air. He knows the game at the highest level and he has played and scored at the highest level.

“He has made his mark at national level as a player and he is now making his mark as a coach locally. He is the guy that should be able to take us forward.”

Barker said the country has an abundance of talented coaches who have proven themselves and advised Safa to take a closer look at some of them.

“We have got coaches here at home and we must pay them to get the team in decent situations‚ and give them the support‚” he said.

The Cameroon Afcon finals will be the fourth time that Bafana have failed to qualify in seven previous qualifiers.


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