Highlands Park coach and former Bafana Bafana assistant Owen Da Gama is not a fan of Stuart Baxter and wants him gone.
Baxter is fresh from leading Bafana to AFCON 2019 where a quarter-finals exit was preceded by a historic performance to knock out hosts Egypt.
But Bafana’s lackluster displays in the group games and the last eight 2-1 loss to Nigeria hasn’t been forgotten and the Briton’s future is now a subject of speculation.
Da Gama’s central argument against Baxter is his foreign status as a Scottish-English man.
“I think we have got to sit down and talk as a country. If we look at the best countries in the world...Brazil‚ they have never taken a foreign coach,” began Da Gama to Times Live.
Baxter drilling Bafana ahead of AFCON 2019
The former SA U23 coach gave more European examples to argue that Mzansi should follow the same appointment model with the country’s unique style of play in mind.
With many followers of the game expressing frustration with Baxter’s well structured, organized but blunt attacking threat, Da Gama supported those views.
"Germany‚ they have never taken a foreign coach. France‚ they don’t take foreign coaches. I wish Bafana could have the same approach and use our speed‚ our skill and our explosiveness to play our football.”
“Not to play another brand of football. You can’t play a different style of football,” the man known as Rubber Doll added.
Bafana's class of 2019 ahead of AFCON in Egypt.
Da Gama, whose done well since leaving the national set up to join Highlands (promotion to the PSL in 2017/18 and eight finished last season), concluded his views with words of caution that Baxter has ‘done well’ but South African football nevertheless needs soul searching.
“I think Stuart Baxter has done the country well and he has done incredibly well so I think we know that.”
"But guys (the media) don’t kill me. “Don’t go and say ‘Da Gama lambast Baxter’‚ because then you are killing me but not the cause (of Bafana’s problems). I’m a South African. Don’t say ‘Da Gama lambasts Baxter.’”
“So guys if you guys don’t open your eyes then we are going nowhere. Our game has got to be based on our strengths.”
Loooorch scores against Egypt!
"Not the way Germany plays. Not the way that team plays. All I’m saying is that I will never criticise any coach. But guys let’s play our football. So truly hoping‚ I'm truly hoping that we can get someone into Bafana‚” concluded Da Gama.
Meanwhile, Highlands Park will kick off the upcoming season at home to Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday 3 August 2019 in Tembisa.