He continually comes back to the mixed emotions of the fans. Some hate to love him so we constantly find ourselves in a catch 22 when a coach does not think that the squad can work at optimum level without his presence. Amazingly though McCarthy still makes controversy when he is re re-called into the team. The media frenzy that permeated the country last week just reminds one of the multiple times he has been in the midst of some debacle. The advent of this negating of the squad by Benni began when he was at Celta Vigo and he would opt for the club over country trying to cement his place into the team. However he would immediately be available when there was some prestigious tournament to be played.
McCarthy,32, said: ” I want to start afresh and help Bafana achieve success at the world cup. It’s every player’s dream to play for his country in this tournament”, as Bafana are gearing up for friendlies against Japan and Jamaica respectively.
He is still the only player to have scored a hat-trick in history of the national team and who could ever forget the four goals he scored in Burkina Faso all those years ago. One would certainly be tempted to argue that unless the other players could match that, one who disagrees with a Benni call up should shut up. Certainly this gives him bragging rights.
His constant ignoring of the team has made him some enemies, One enemy who comes to mind is Ephraim ”Shakes” Mashaba who was consciously not electing certain overseas players because of what one could deduce as the domino effect of McCarthy’s antics. Mashaba would eventually be sacked as he would have fall outs with SAFA for meddling.
Strikers locally based and otherwise have failed to live up to Benny’s magnitude. He has done well for the country as he is leading goal-scorer of all time. He was a favourite to Jose Mourinho who was coaching him when Porto won the European Champions league. The only South African player who can pride himself with such a laurel in his cabinet.
The most successful player overseas, Who was not too long ago the third leading goal-scorer in England. He was also favoured by Mark Hughes at Blackburn but has since fallen out of grace with Paul Ince and Sam Allardyce. Questions have also risen about his fitness and fans are flummoxed as to why he has been selected but this also makes whether this could be the last kick of a dying horse. Will this be the last time McCarthy disrespects us? Is this the last time gets a call up? Will he regain form and maybe his place in Blackburn? Questions are certainly arising and the events of the next week will certainly be a huge determinant as to where the answers to these questions may gravitate.
However, A young man who has been following in his foot trails will be honored to play alongside him this in the form Kermit Erasmus who too has gone through the U/17 to the U/20. The flamboyant looking Amajita who represented the country in the recent world cup is to be groomed by Benni McCarthy.