National team coach, Stanley Tshosane is the man who really has never known peace since he assumed the reigns about four years ago. Just after it was announced he will be the full time coach, many doubted his abilities despite the background he had. Some sports analysts openly critisised his appointment saying the Botswana Football Association (BFA) then under the leadership of David Fani does not have a vision. Tshosane was however unfazed and he silenced many people after beating African giants like Tunisia and Togo and finally leading the country to the maiden appearance for 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. His critics however kept on castigating him saying the team style of play is boring and less attractive.
Currently knives are once again strongly out for coach Tshosane by his critics saying he must resign or be fired because he is not taking the team anywhere. The calls for him to go intensified after the team failed to reach the semifinals of the regional COSAFA Castle Cup despite not losing a single game. Botswana drew with both Lesotho and Swaziland and beat favourites Kenya 2-1 but Lesotho qualified on goal difference. His critics mainly say he does not give many unknown players and young ones a chance to prove themselves at a bigger stage.
But Tshosane has always said there are no supporting structures where he can easily select the players as compared to other countries and the next thing the nation needs results from him. On the other hand former coach and Technical Director of the (BFA) Losika Keatlholetswe told Sunday Standard that coaches are hired to be fired. He said it is up to the BFA to part ways with Tshosane. “To be honest the job of the senior national team coach is to motivate the players but not a developer and that’s why they are called managers in other countries. But if the BFA feel that that motivation is no longer there in the senior national team it is up to them to make a decision which should be amicable,” he said. Keatlholetswe also added that Batswana should also not forget where they are in world football and they should not punch above their heads.
“Looking at the world football in general we have a long way to go in football and if we fire a coach and bring in someone, we would still have the same challenges we had before unless the the football leadership change a lot of things, he said. Keatholetswe also added that the champions of Botswana, Mochudi Centre Chiefs were once humiliated by Democratic Republic of Congo side, TP Mazembe by six goals and most of Chiefs players play for the senior team. He said it is then illogical to always want results from the coach while the ground is not too fertile for him to succeed. Keatlholetswe also added that he is always surprised by people who say Tshosane rarely introduces new and unknown players in the team saying that it is opposite. “If my memory serves me well, Tshosane is the coach who has introduced so many unknown players in the senior national team. Many of them did not let him down as they excelled. It is surprising to hear people saying he is recycling same faces,” he said.
Keatlholetswe also added that the way things are currently as far as the senior national team is concerned, there is no clear mandate for the coach. He said the association should always sit down with the coach and map the way for ward every time there are major games coming. He gave an example of Brazil that was using youngsters at the recently ended Confederation tournament. He said the bigger picture for Brazil was to prepare for the World Cup and the Brazill football association agreed with the coach to use strictly youngsters and left out experienced players like Ronaldinho. On the other hand, one football administrator who preferred anonymity told Sunday Standard that it would be totally unfair for the BFA to fire Tshosane. He said the former army man has done a lot for the country and can still do more provided he is given the support he needs.
“The way things are at the BFA, he is not a wanted man and are doing all they can to frustrate him. The coach has for a long time been crying for support but little is coming and it is sad,” he said.