Luc Eymael: South African players lack intelligence

Luc Eymael: South African players lack intelligence
Luc Eymael, ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Jan 30, 2018. 20:00

Free State Stars coach Luc Eymael says South African players have a lack of “football intelligence”.

The Belgian coach, who has overseen the resurgence of Stars from relegation candidates to top eight contenders, was left frustrated by his team’s decision making in their 0-0 draw with Ajax Cape Town this past weekend.

The Ea Lla Koto tactician argues that this issue permeates all the way to the senior national team level.

“We deserved more than one point,” Eymael said after the game, as quoted by Kick-Off.

“We had 10 attempts on goal, some were blocked or off target, but I think my keeper had just one brilliant save to make.

“I’m a bit disappointed in our decision-making in the box, as was the case last week against [Cape Town] City, and before against SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits.

“We had a lot of chances, but unfortunately did not make the right decision at the right time when we were in the box.

“We build up well and create the chances, but from there it’s up to the inspiration of the player – I don’t have a remote to say ‘now cross’ or ‘shoot’ or ‘pass the ball 45 degrees’ – that’s very difficult.”

He added, “There’s a clear lack of decision making and football intelligence.

“We have a few young players [at Stars] that I took from the academy – Tebogo Pontsane, Thabo Maphakisa – but they have to improve on this – they have a lot of creativity, but if they don’t improve regarding football analysis, decision-making and soccer intelligence, then they will start to drop.

“But it’s a matter of education, not a matter of being Free State Stars.

“It’s something I’ve seen a lot of in South Africa, and the reason why we have such problems in the national team, and why our players only become mature at 25 or 26 years old, which is very late compared to Europe.

“There at 25, you are a regular player making the difference in teams, so that’s a big difference between the PSL and the Premier League.”

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