Saturday, May 18, 2024

Is Butler and Paul fit enough for Zebras?

After stepping down as Botswana’s senior national coach in 2006, Serbian, Jellusic Vesselin was replaced by Briton, Colywn Rowe. Rowe came with pomposity and even had clashes with the media saying it was always negative against him and the team. Even inside the field of play results did not come as desired and the only memorable positive results for him was a goalless draw with the then reigning African champions, Egypt. Rowe would later come under pressure from the supporters to resign. In one incident that actually broke the Camel’s back was a goalless draw against Madagascar at the National stadium where some supporters at the famous Panda stand refused to leave after the game. They chanted his name saying he must resign.

Few days later, Rowe was history. After almost seven years another Briton, being Butler is at the helm of the team replacing Botswana’s most decorated coach, Stanley Tshosane. Butler seems to possess almost the same qualities as Rowe, and he seems to go a bit far because he easily vents his anger that concerns his job in the social media. Butler even easily bashes his players in the mainstream media regardless of how sensitive the issues at hand are. Butler was once quoted saying ‘he cannot go to the cattle post and beg players to play for the national team.” That was after he called Mogogi Gabonamong to the team but he failed to turn due to miscommunication at the Botswana Football Association (BFA). Latter the two smoked a peace pipe and Gabonamong currently forms an integral part of the team. Latter on the same Butler made another nasty comment about Jerome Ramatlhakwane saying his international days are over and won’t call him in the future. However, after realizing the team was firing blanks; he re-called Ramatlhakwane to the team.

Also before the start of the qualifications for 2015 Afcon, Butler complained that he was not given enough support as far as friendly matches are concerned. He took his war to twitter saying ‘When is this nonsense going to stop?” Just recently when Ngele left the team camp after allegedly being bashed by assistant Paul in front of other players, Butler went on record saying he (Ngele) acted childishly. When Butler arrived in the country he started assembling his team together with Paul and almost dismantled what they found on the ground. Within few weeks the team they had at hand was once again dismantled and he recalled most players that were in Tshosane’s team.

Butler’s situation is worsened by the fact that his assistant Paul is renowned as a temperamental person in soccer circles and has clashed with many people he worked closely with.
Both Butler and Paul’s situation at the helm of the team is compounded by the fact that both of them lack international experience in coaching. The developments in the Zebras are now leading to some people questioning the fitness of the duo to handle the Zebras job taking into consideration the current and past developments. Former BFA administrator, Segolame Ramothwa did not want to fully blame the technical team but said the leadership of the association is hugely to blame. He said the current team lacks strong structures that would enable the working environment to be conducive for the technical team. “To be honest I think the BFA blundered by firing all the technical team and support staff members. You cannot just wipe out all the members, and for that matter you replace them with inexperienced ones. Maybe they should have retained the previous assistant coach and some members like the goalkeeper coach and the welfare manager. I am not saying those he brought in are not good but you need to take into consideration a lot of things,” he said.

Ramothwa also added that even the current national team should have been built on something already in place. “We had the best Under 17 that qualified for African Championships in Morocco and where is it now? We should have blended those young boys with experienced players and that was going to take us far. But right now we see players that are a bit old and have never played for any national structure and some are new in the Premier League and can we call that development. This does not augur well with us and it is about time we do the right thing,” he said. Ramothwa also added that the comments that he always read about in the media attributed to the coach are not good for the team and called on the BFA to call Butler to order if it is true.

Ramothwa stressed that the recent developments regarding Ngele and Nato also show that something is not right within the team. On the other hand, one sports analyst who preferred anonymity did not mince his words. He said Butler should be shown the door because there is nothing valuable he has brought to the country. He said the BFA should have just left Tshosane or brought another local to develop him. “What really has he done for us that a local cannot do? We are developing a foreign talent instead of developing our very own. The BFA should just put their house in order and do the right thing and fire Butler. I do not have any problem with Paul because he is a local and we are developing him,” he said.


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