All eyes will be on Kermit Erasmus tonight to see how he reacts after he was omitted from the Bafana Bafana squad for the upcoming Caf Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, with coach Stuart Baxter suggesting the Cape Town City striker is the kind of player who wants preferential treatment to hit top form.
Erasmus will lead the line when they host Polokwane City in an Absa Premiership match at Cape Town Stadium tonight.
Baxter’s words on Erasmus could however be looked at both as criticism or praise for the 28-year-old who has scored three goals since his return to the Premiership in January.
Asked about Erasmus’ exclusion from his recently announced squad for the trip to Tunisia for a Caf Afcon qualifier against Libya, and admitting he had considered the diminutive attacker, Baxter suggested Erasmus is not a team player.
“I did say to Benni (McCarthy, City coach) that he has done a fantastic job with Kermit and one of the reasons I think he has done a fantastic job is that Kermit plays best when he is appreciated.
“Kermit has problems if he is on the periphery, because he feels he is an important player and he is indeed an important player. But maybe he does not deal with it too well if he is a squad player.
“Now he feels he is the man at Cape Town City and I did not think I could offer him that scenario now with the national team. Based on that, I don’t think we would have got the best out of him,” said Baxter when he announced his squad this week.
But with Bafana with their backs against the wall and needing at least a draw to qualify for Egypt 2019, many supporters felt Erasmus would have been a good pick. The three goals he scored were important and against top opposition as he netted against both title chasers Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns.
A win for City tonight will move them up to second, just a point behind Sundowns.