Should Baxter Get Fired if Bafana Fail to Qualify For Russia 2018?
Stuart Baxter was given a second opportunity by SAFA to redeem himself after his sub-standard first stint as Bafana Bafana coach. After bad results in World Cup qualifying, it doesn’t seem likely that South Africa will make it to Russia 2018… but the question is, should he get fired if they don’t?
I was in the middle of my daily routine, ignoring my responsibilities, lazying around, and trolling celebrities on social media, when I came across this quote:
“sometimes you need a second chance because you were not ready for the first” (thank you, Facebook person).
The quote reminded me of Stuart Baxter who, the first time ’round, came into the Bafana job because he had a British accent, not because of his experience in coaching international and African football. He failed miserably.
Baxter left the country and came back as coach of Kaizer Chiefs where he led them to two championships, then he later went to Supersport United and helped them win two Nedbank Cups.
Stuart Baxter impressed SAFA so much that they went ahead and rekindled their relationship with him and made Baxter national team coach once again.
His first game back saw him beat Nigeria in an AFCON qualifier. Four months later, after his team played okay in friendlies and in tournaments nobody was interested in, Stuart Baxter’s Bafana lost twice, home and away, to the Cape Verde Islands, the worst team in the group, a team with a squad made up of part-time footballers and holiday resort concierge staff.
Those two results effectively ended all realistic hopes of Bafana Bafana making it to the World Cup.
South Africa need nothing less than two wins from their final two group games against Senegal to qualify for Russia 2018. Senegal is a good team, ranked fourth in Africa, and have big name players. Anything is possible but logic would tell us that this will be a bridge too far for Baxter and his boys.
With all things considered it would be unfair to dismiss Baxter for losing those two games no matter how crucial they may have turned out to be.
His mandate was to qualify for the World Cup which seems unlikely and qualify for the 2019 AFCON which appears possible to achieve.
Do you think Bafana will qualify? Will Baxter keeps his job? Let us know in the comments below.