All this bickering. All this negativity. And all of this on our doorstep.
I have been following the blogs closely over the last few weeks, rather keeping to myself but after receiving my weekly “Naweek se dinge” and quite enjoying the post Willem did, I have to say that he is absolutely right.
For those of you that doubt the spirit of our National Captain John Smit, you should sit back and watch how he operates. Let me put this in terms you will understand: No other man in South Africa can lead like he does.
The understudy and vice captain of the Springboks for many years, Matfield has proven to be a good captain for the Bulls. He still lacks the ability like many others to demand respect from his players.
Jean de Villiers:
Too little experience in the role of leading a National team. One of the “mini captains” of the Springboks under the tenure of Jake White. Will never be able to concentrate on his game and carry the weight of the team at the same time.
Fourie du Preez:
Someone that has the title of “mastermind” but lately it seems that he is just not firing. Many of us, myself included hopes for a focused and in form Fourie come September, quite simply because we need him.
Now above is just some of the examples of “possible” leadership options Pieter has at his disposal. None of them however comes close to the leadership attributes that John possesses. He is able to carry the team on his shoulder, he installs a calm presence when things go awry and can get his players to stand up when they need to. This weekend with the exclusion of Bismark and John starting in his preferred position of Hooker, he showed the reason why he is still highly regarded. His workload spoke for itself and one can only but wonder what will happen if they drop him:
They drop John as captain. Team morale goes down.
They keep him on as captain, play Bissie from the bench for the second half
Drop him, leave him at home, and we lose the biggest asset we have in the leadership department.
I honestly believe that John will be firing at the WC. We simply cannot do it without him. A simple example would be 1999, instead of keeping Teichmann on as captain, Mallett went for broke and chose Bobby, who himself is a player of huge potential but he just didn’t get the respect as a captain, respect especially a Bok Captain deserves.
For many of the detractors, that believe that John Smit is not a suitable captain, you can go jump off a cliff for all I care. I am saying that he is not the World’s most capped Test captain for nothing. To be a captain is not just about decision making, but making good decisions at crucial times, as well as rallying your troops around you when the going gets tough.
I still went on about a programme, aired last year that showed the BIL Tour of 2009 and during the Second Test while trailing at Half Time, Smit skelled the living crap out of the team. He told them exactly what he wanted and he got it.
Now tell me, can anyone else do that?
Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -Harry S. Truman