Monday, November 10, 2008
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
WORK IN PROGRESS
Let me start by thanking you all for turning in such large numbers to all our pre-season matches. From the Limpopo Challenge until the Telkom Charity, it gave me such encouragement to notice that the Amakhosi troupe of supporters is still loyal and faithful to their team. I honestly appreciate your sacrifice and hope that we shall work together to strengthen our family. Our boys do appreciate you at the stands!
Talk about our boys, the Technical Team has been working hard to prepare them for the season ahead. Our immediate assignment has been to use every opportunity including all training sessions, practice matches and the official competitions to critically assess the quality of players in our squad. We have now reached a final stage of recommending stringent changes that have obviously attracted a lot of your responses as expected. I am not surprised because the formidable Arsenal in the British League was also subjected to this kind of reaction after letting one of their prolific marksmen, Thierry Henry to pursue his career in Spain.
It is on such responses that I would really want to thoroughly put matters into perspective to help you gain insight into the mandate I face since taking up the challenge to guide Kaizer Chiefs.
I must state that I do hear and respect your concerns; some of which are truly genuine to encourage whilst others are honestly critical of our undertakings. Be that as it may, I am thankful that at least I am able to account for our decisions based on the diversity of such concerns.
For starters, when I embraced the opportunity to work at Kaizer Chiefs, I understood that my task was a pressure-filled responsibility given the history of success associated with the team. Similarly, I knew the challenges ahead given my past experience with the club and it was for that reason that I set both personal and professional targets for myself. I also understood the urgency with which I needed to apply myself given that the team had minimally met the expectations of the thousands of supporters out there. Like any other business, I had to adopt a business-like approach where clear-cut deliverables were planned, implemented and monitored with precision.
Top on my strategy was to critically analyze the tactical make-up of the players by assessing the various systems of any match given the dynamic and challenging approaches that football has seen in recent times. There was no doubt in my mind that if Kaizer Chiefs were to compete at a higher and effective level, it was important to apply international standards that characterized football today. A closer look would reveal that on average, the style of play required quick, aggressive and a forward moving pace all the time. Obviously this is a style that requires some measure of agility espoused by a determined athleticism needed from young and hungry professionals.
A further observation is that midfielders are well prepared to cover between twelve (12) and fourteen (14) kilometres in a single match activity whilst wingers are expected to do between fifty (50) and seventy (70) sprints in one match. Surely this clearly indicates that football has set international requirements and those that perform maximally with this kind of approach have actually made it despite the size of their countries.
For example, critical followers of British Football would notice that players use a maximum two (2) seconds on the ball within an average ninety (90) minutes of play. This clearly translates into a kind of style that has a bustling tempo, pace and precision. Perhaps this is the reason why many British teams have made it into top-level European competitions and it is therefore not surprising to often find them competing in the finals. For example British teams reached the finals of the UEFA Champions League between 1976 – 1982 in succession, and a had a break that saw them repeat the feat in the 2005 – 2007 seasons.
Looking afar, countries like Holland and Austria have invested in Youth Development Programmes that instil these highly technical international standards quite early. In addition, a country like Argentina has seen their youth win the FIFA Youth World Cup a record six (6) times in the last eight (8) World Youth Cups and an Olympic Gold medal to add to their tally. Furthermore, Austria has introduced a system that offers any Under 21 player a certain type of bonuses from the Federation for featuring in any senior team. With this approach, there is a clear indication that senior teams are becoming younger by drawing these youngsters into their ranks quite early into their chosen careers.
Now let us be honest and ask if there has been a crafted strategy in this country to develop our youngsters in a more organised and properly resourced manner like that I presented above. I am asking this because we are sitting with a wealth of experience and international expertise in Carlos Alberto Parreira our National Coach who is expected to rebuild our football amidst the absence of a youth structure.
Without delving too much into the above, my mission is to at least take Kaizer Chiefs into the same wavelengths of reaching international standards. Obviously this approach might not augur well with some of us but when supported and approached step-by-step, I believe this team can be unbeatable in the future.
In doing so, I know that there would be some criticism as already expressed by some sectors that have mistakenly thought that we have introduced the “off-side” defensive mechanism to our style. The truth is we are playing a pressing game that requires our defence to utilise minimum distance between the midfielders so that we are quick to regroup systemically when we lose the ball. Clearly there can never be any time wasting or mistakes on the ball considering the distance and the speed with which we need to recover.
I therefore would reiterate that I do understand and share your sentiments but the reality is that we cannot escape international standards that have seemingly crept into our sports. I am also not naïve to notice that it would take some measure of patience to work on the current squad, but at the end of the day, I am obliged to meet the stipulations of my business plan.
Thank you once more for your patience and may I invite you to work together to create a winning formula for all of us!
Coach Muhsin Ertugral
Thursday, August 02, 2007
It is now official: all living human beings are of African origin.
Just in case there was anyone out there still doubting it, an authoritative new study by an international team of geneticists has just been published in the prestigious journal Nature, confirming earlier findings that homo sapiens originated in sub-Saharan Africa.
We can now stop arguing whether this is proven science or not, and start talking about the philosophical implications of our African origins.
Let's first look at what we know so far. Scientists specialising on analysing human DNA and scientists investigating the fossil remains of our forebears have separately come to the conclusion that our species, homo sapiens, evolved in sub-Saharan Africa from ancient primate stock about 200 000 years ago.
These beings looked like us, but it took another 100 000 years or so for them to behave like us - to have sophisticated language skills, to practice art, culture and spirituality like we do.
This huge leap in evolution was probably the result of a natural disaster like a massive volcano eruption that caused major climate change, which in turn killed off all but the cleverest and toughest of the humans.
The clever ones...
These clever ones probably lived on our own Cape coast. They were responsible for producing the oldest pieces of art we know of, an engraved ochre tablet and necklaces from Blombos Cave near Stilbaai dated 70 000 years old.
This tiny group of people were also the first people we know of who explored the sea for food - perhaps consuming large amounts of Omega 3 and 6 oils provided additional stimulation to their brains.
Several of the world's top experts have now declared that there is enough evidence to state that the South African coastline was where cultural modernity among human beings started.
Around 70 000 years ago, some of these people whom we can call modern humans left Africa and arrived in the Middle East. From there humans gradually populated the rest of the world.
Those people who left Africa were affected over millennia by climate, diet, environment and natural selection and gradually started showing physical differences.
In regions where there was little sunshine, such as Northern and Western Europe, people struggled to take in enough Vitamin D, a vital vitamin for growth and health that comes mainly from the rays of the sun.
Darker skins need much more sunlight for sufficient Vitamin D, and those people's skins became lighter and lighter. In the areas around the Equator people became darker and darker.
People's physical build also had to adjust. The Inuit, for instance, developed short, compact bodies to cope with the cold. They also learnt how to process animal fat without developing heart disease or blocked arteries, because they ate mostly fat.
The mother continent in every respect
So much for racial classification and racial analysis. The differences between people whose bodies appear different, are utterly superficial and relate only to our abilities to adapt to our environment. Racism is sheer stupidity.
Not only are we all from Africa, but all rational thought, philosophy, art and spirituality started in Africa. Africa is the Mother Continent in every respect.
People who went to live in the Middle East, Asia and Europe had a much tougher life than their cousins who remained in Africa. It never really got cold in Africa and there were always sufficient plants, animals and space.
In the Northern hemisphere it was a different story. This led to the trend to want to live closer together and to organise society better, and that led to the establishment of the first cities. This necessitated the development of technology.
In Africa there was very little need for technology, especially not after the Iron Age. The smelting of iron made very effective arrow heads, axes, spears and knives possible, and that serviced most needs.
The African communities lived in small groups and never saw the need to stay in one place for very long. If the grazing became poor, the game hunted out, when there was a prolonged drought or if a particular region became too populous, they simply moved away. The continent is a very big place.
When we look back, we must conclude that this was not to Africa's long-term benefit. There was never a pressing reason why permanent civilisations had to be established in vast cities, as happened in Europe and Asia, and there was never a need for the development of technology. Why on earth would one develop a technology one has no use for?
When the Europeans "rediscovered" (and later colonised) Africa, they believed this lack of technology meant that Africa was backward, that its people were inherently inferior. We now know that this lack of technology was not a race thing, but it had to do with the environment, culture, lifestyle and history.
All of us, including white racists and black Africanists, need to start figuring out the real deeper meaning of our common African ancestry.
by :Max du Preez
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
A young Mandela in 1937,
at the age of 19.
Mandela's first wife,
Evelyn Mase, married
1943 to 1957.
Mandela as young attorney in his office at Tambo & Mandela, 1952 to 1956.
Mandela and his second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on their wedding day. Married 1958 to 1996.
Mandela, Winnie and their daughter Zindzi.
Mandela and Walter Sisulu on Robben Island, late 1964.
|Nelson Mandela released on 11 February 1990 after spending 27 years in prison.|
Mandela being greeted by Winnie and Walter Sisulu after his release from prison in 1990.
Mandela and FW de Klerk at Tuynhuis on 4 May 1990, known as the historical "Groote Schuur Minute".
Mandela casting his vote in the first democratic elections in 1994.
Mandela being sworn in as president on 10 May 1994.
Mandela congratulating Francois Pienaar at the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel, married on his 80th birthday in 1998.
Mandela with Thabo Mbeki who succeeded him as president in 1999. Photo taken at Thabo Mbeki's inauguration.
Nelson Mandela with Charlize Theron, who won an Academy Award in 2004.
Brazilian soccer legend, Pele, and three-time African player of the year, Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon, yesterday delivered a special birthday gift to former president Nelson Mandela.
The players are among 50 past and present international stars taking part in a soccer friendly – 90 Minutes for Mandela – to mark the iconic leader’s 89th birthday today.
A beaming Mandela received an official shirt for the match with his name and the number 89 on the back.
“I am deeply honoured to receive this tribute. But it must always be remembered that I was one of many who fought for freedom from tyranny and racism,” Mandela said.
The match, to be played in Cape Town tonight, will pit an African side against a rest-of-the-world team.“I have met a lot of great personalities in my life, but Nelson Mandela is an extraordinary person. I am really touched and honoured to lead the Rest of the World team in this match. I am a big admirer of what this man has achieved in his life,” Pele said.
Mandela praised world soccer controlling body Fifa for honouring the Makana Football Association, which was formed by political prisoners on Robben Island, where he was incarcerated for 18 of the 27 years he spent in jail.
Mandela used to watch the games from his cell until prison authorities built a wall to cut him off.
Fifa vice president Jack Warner will confer honorary membership on the Makana Association ahead of tonight’s match.
“During the dark years of our incarceration, the association drew together all the prisoners on the island around the beautiful game of soccer.
“In this way it helped uphold the values of tolerance, inclusiveness, reconciliation, non-racialism and peace that are still dear to all of us today,” Mandela said.
Mandela also discussed a number of topics, including the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, during a private meeting with the players and Fifa and local soccer representatives at the Nelson Mandela Foundation offices in Johannesburg.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I believe had Freddy applied his skills say in any European league things would have turned for the better. The MLS has stunded the African boy's growth and value. Back to Becks. Honestly the MLS has gotten better but it's not as competitive as say one of the North African leagues. Becks move was purely a monerary one. He'll make more money off the field than on it. This is one oke who got branding down to a tee. He's aware he's got pulling power, commercial sports companies wants to be associated with him.He makes a killing off endorsement deals. Such is a craze : Becks.
The £128m deal is understood to comprise his salary, existing sponsorship contracts, merchandising shirt sales and a share of the club profits! Crazy. Galaxy needs his crowd pulling power. It's a given : full stadia at all Galaxy home games and when playing away - the home fans will want to catch a glimpse of him all this at a price.
I hope his improves the standard and quality of soccer in the US.
For now, we just have to see how many he'll bend into the net.