Edson Arantes do Nascimento, also known as Pelé, is the man credited with the phrase “the beautiful game” with which to describe football. Therefore, if football is beautiful then it stands to reason that somewhere out there, there must be a beholder. The book South African Football: From the Eye of the Beholder is a contrite analysis of South African football that incorporates comparison with some of the top leagues in the world. These include the English Premiership League, French League 1, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga.
The author made use of log table data from the 1999/2000 season to 2014/2015 season, FIFA World Cup final records and some renowned publications to develop frameworks of rational comparisons; in the effort to answer the following questions and issues:
Why is the PSL more competitive than the top European leagues?
This chapter assesses the extent to which the South African PSL compares to top European football leagues in terms of competition and degree of difficulty. It relies on a theoretical model of investigation that questions team performances and other attendant variables over the sixteen season period starting from 1999/2000 to 2014/2015. The model is run for six countries, namely England, Italy, Germany, France, Spain and South Africa, and tests various determinants of competitive strength and degree of difficulty of a football league by such variables as the acquisition of available points, average points per game and percentage of leagues finishing the season with a negative goal difference.
Why is the PSL so difficult to dominate?
In this chapter we delve deeper into the concepts related to dominance vs. competition. Just for good measure, we demonstrate the complexity of football comparisons across countries and eras by taking on the world’s most debated football subject of the previous century: Who is the best – Pele, Maradona or Zidane? By demonstrating the risk of misinterpretation that may be adduced when using top of mind ‘like-for-like’ comparisons, we set the tone for a discussion closer to home. In it we look at the other uniquely South African factors which contribute to the competitive and exclusive nature of the PSL.
The misconceptions of South African football
In this chapter we take on some of the biggest misconceptions in the South African football discourse. We look at the fallacy around the lack of football identity in South Africa. Secondly, we deal with the misconception around the absence of development structures in South African football. Finally, taking the bull by the horns, we discuss the extent to which the South African PSL compares to other European football leagues in terms of their goal scoring capability. We compare six countries, namely England, Italy, Spain, Germany, France and South Africa, and evaluate the goal scoring in each league for the 1999/2000 to 2014/2015 seasons.
Why are Premier Soccer League clubs not winning the CAF Champions League?
This chapter assesses the extent to which the South African PSL competes at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League. It relies on trends exhibited by clubs that have managed to do well in this competition as compared to the degree to which these clubs have managed to dominate their own domestic leagues (based on the point conversion theory established in Chapter 1). The chapter runs a comparison on the basis of CAF champions that have managed to conquer Africa for the 1999/2000 to 2014/2015 season period. The champions assessed originate from the following countries: Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Tunisia.
Why is Bafana Bafana performing so badly?
This chapter assesses the South African national team, Bafana Bafana. It relies on an evaluation of decisions made by the national team’s management since readmission and reveals the six cardinal mistakes that seem to be recurring over and over again in the management of this national treasure.
To order your copy for R180, please drop us an email on books@Obzeva.co.za. Also check out our social media platforms such as twitter and Instagram to stay abreast with the next events at which we will be exhibiting the book.