Santana’s stuttering English is a good sign for South Africa

June 7, 2009

South Africa’s Brazilian coach Joel Santana has broken into English at news conferences on just a handful of occasions.

It’s mostly after rare wins for the national side when the local media are in good humour and Santana seeks to charm them with his piecemeal vocabulary. Few notes are taken amid the mirth.

So it was after Saturday’s win over Poland in Soweto – a rare triumph for Bafana Bafana against European opposition which is a confidence booster for a side in desperate need of a lift.

As upcoming World Cup hosts, much is being made of the need for the home country to field a competent and competitive side at the 2010 tournament.

Santana has been tasked with achieving that goal but his first 12 months in charge has been mired in mediocrity.

A triumph over a holidaying Polish team, shorn of many of their first choice players, is in reality no indictor of whether Santana’s work will take the team to a better level.

South Africa now face the Confederations Cup, where Iraq and New Zealand are their first two opponents.

But success against this pair will also make us no wiser as to their true potential. But it may mean being subjected to a few more news conferences in English from Santana.

He has taken to heart recent critical comparisons with the way Fabio Capello has made an obvious effort at improving his English fluency since starting his tenure with England.

Capello is a veritable Stephen Fry in comparison with Santana, but the hacks will be happy if Santana keep trying because it means the team is winning.

PHOTO: South Africa soccer coach Joel Santana looks on during a news conference in Johannesburg June 4, 2009. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

2 comments

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I think the only person who is good for Bafana Bafana is Clive. He managed to take our country to world cup in 1998 and he manage to be on top of Africa in 1996 which no coach ever did that.I think there was a bid of jelousy for him.We should now lose our pride and call him back if we fail to get some where in the confed cup and put him as the coach for the 2010 world cup.We should stop looking for foreign coaches wille we have many coaches like him and Neil Tovy.I think local is good.Look what the Frech coach did to us.Dolezer spoiling Khungoane\’s caree. All foreign coaches are not good for our soccer at all because they change the style of play at all times.

Too bad,i mean it will b a very seriuos embarassment should South Africa’s national team get eliminated at early matches on 2010 world cup.

Whole of Africa is watching you,
Please dont let us down,atleast get to quarter finals …..

FROM PETER.
KENYA

Posted by Peter K | Report as abusive