Opinion

There is no Serero-shaped spot in the Bafana Bafana set-up

12 November 2017 - 00:00 By BARENG-BATHO KORTJAAS

Self-centredness. Uncomfortable when not the centre of attention. Constantly seeking reassurance or approval. It is called histrionic personality disorder (HPS).
The latest Thulani Serero stunt made me think of HPS. South Africa's "god of football" wanted guarantees that he would get game time if he rocked up for the two conquer-at-all-costs 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Senegal.
He got none. He never came. Has there ever been a Serero-shaped spot specially reserved for him, or any other player for that matter, in the Bafana Bafana set-up?
The temerity of this Vitesse Arnhem maverick is Machiavellian. Which brings us to HPS.
As a man armed with a barrel of ink, it is not my disposition to give a diagnosis.
The inescapable observation, however, is that our superstar Serero has shown a long pattern of attention-seeking behaviour. A history of his previous indiscretions does not cover our miniature megastar in glory.
In 2013, Serero fomented drama on the eve of the 2014 World Cup qualifier under coach Gordon Igesund.
After complaining of a tight muscle, he proceeded to request to be excluded from playing. Of course the clash in Durban between Bafana and Botswana was a dead rubber - Bafana had already failed to book their berth for Brazil.
But our mini Messi wanted to spare himself any potential injury, a Champions League clash between his then-club Ajax Amsterdam and Barcelona loomed large on the horizon.
Fast forward to 2014. Exit Igesund. Enter Shakes Mashaba. Serero delivered more theatrics by snubbing a Bafana pre-2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) camp that December. A choir commending his decision sings the chorus "people are quick to hammer Serero without looking at things from his point of view".
Last December, he didn't have to fly all the way from the Netherlands. He was already in the Republic, but regarded rocking up at festive-season matches a priority than reporting for country duty for an Afcon qualification to which he contributed two goals and several assists.
Exit Mashaba. Enter Stuart Baxter. Fast forward to this year. More histrionic mannerisms are manifesting themselves from the selfsame guarantee me game-time Serero. He has a right to believe his own hype. He's probably buoyed by being named best player at Vitesse for the months of August and September. Patchy as his pulsating performances are for Bafana, there's no denying that when on song, Serero strings opponents as though strumming a Spanish guitar.
A great pity about his sudden amnesia for when Dutch delight deserted him. Not long ago, Serero was deemed surplus to requirements by Frank de Boer in Amsterdam. Igesund picked him and played him. De Boer relegated a rusty Serero to playing with the reserves, Mashaba selected and played him.
Igesund and Mashaba played him ahead of players who were much match fitter and sharper. Those players never picketed. They never boycotted.
This flagrant behaviour persists perpetually because the powers-that-be have aided and abetted it. We are in the middle of a crisis of Safa's own creation.
Players have figured that kukwamagidas'bhekane eSafa (People do as they please without consequences). There are no repercussions for their infantile behaviour. Absolutely bugger all happens when they say they are fatigued or not second-choice players. They get away with, "I'll never play for Bafana for as long as this one is still a coach".
Heck, they even go as far as dumping South African citizenship in favour of becoming Dutch nationals just because they travel from the Netherlands only to sit on the bench.
So, Serero has figured it all out. May Mahlangu, Kermit Erasmus, Dino Ndlovu, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Tokelo Rantie, Safa keeps rolling the green carpet for the tantrumalitis lot. Mary mother of Jesus, who died and declared Serero the next best thing since sliced bread?

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