The Zebras who were pitted in the same group with North African giants Tunisia, Egypt and Senegal only managed to score one goal and conceded 11. In all the seven groups, the Zebras have the worst record followed by Sierra Leone who managed to find the net three times. When Butler arrived in Botswana nine months ago to replace fired Stanley Tshosane, he promised to play attractive and attacking football. But the statistics do not tally to the promises. It is for this reason that some former Zebras players feel that Botswana Football Association might have appointed a wrong person for the job. According to them, inconsistent line-ups and his continued battle with employers and players are some of the things which have let the Briton down.
“We come a long way with Botswana football and we cannot be silent when we see that things are not adding up. The coach came here and promised attacking football but from what I’ve seen in the qualifiers he has taken us backwards. He seems to be uncertain of what he wants to achieve. We just came back from the African Nations Cup (in 2012) and we expected the team to be on the rise. Instead we’ve gone back with Butler,” said former Zebras skipper Masego Ntshingane. He pointed out that after the Zebras qualified for Afcon and the national Under-17 played at African Youth Championships in Morocco, there should be progress in Botswana football. “As much as youth development is concerned, I don’t think we have a problem. Butler should not hide from giving us results by saying that he is developing. The other plus for him is that we’ve a number of players plying their trade outside Botswana which has never been the case in the past. Something tells me that we’ve appointed the wrong person for the job,” he added.
Ntshingane further slammed the coach for fielding inconsistent line-ups during the qualifiers. According to the former Mogoditshane Fighters’ captain, national team is not where players are trialed. “The coach must not fool us by saying that the group we were in was tough. We’ve been in this situation before and performed better. BFA must explain to the nation why the team fared so badly,” Ntshingane continued.
Former Gaborone United striker Chandy Moruti shared the same sentiments with Ntshingane that Butler has failed the nation. Moruti said that the foundations were there for the Englishman after the previous appearance at Afcon. Moruti said what let Butler down was the continued chopping and changing of the line-ups. “Yes, BFA must have seen something in him but personally I have doubts. I think the players tried their best but what was lacking is the leadership,” said Moruti.
A coach who preferred anonymity said BFA did a mistake by firing Tshosane when he achieved what many foreign coaches failed to do- that is taking the Zebras to the continental showpiece. “I think that is where BFA erred. What was important was to give Tshosane the necessary support, we would be far now. He had the experience after working with a number of coaches and he knew African football better. Honestly, I did not see what Butler was trying to do in the qualifiers. The other thing is his arrogance, he doesn’t want people to advice him,” said the coach.