Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 14th 2013 Contents 15
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Issue 92 • Friday, June 14, 2013
Last week, the Trinidad and Tobago national
football team closed its European mini-tour of
friendlies with a 1-0 loss to Estonia. That followed
Tuesday's 4-0 loss to Romania.
Jamaal Shabazz, who, together with Hutson
"Barber" Charles shares the coaching duties on the
team, urged supporters to not focus solely on the
results but to have a longer-term view of the team.
"We've got to be patient with results. We must
recognise that is just the preparation phase. These
are matches to show us what we've got to work on,"
Shabazz said in a statement published on
Looking back to the Caribbean Cup final against
Cuba, which the team lost 1-0, the once mighty Soca
Warriors have now gone six games without scoring
and five of those games were losses. A nil-nil draw
against Belize is the only blip in that unblemished
losing record. But it's also the only time the team
didn't let one in---in the last eight games, the team
score only three times, but conceded 13 goals.
With all due respect, Shabazz, that's not an im-
provement, seeing that nearly half of those was in
the last two matches alone.
There are many more questions, but I want to
concentrate on this five:
#1 Why did T&T go to Europe with only a
wifebeater and one extra pair of jockey shorts in
their luggage? To call this a "Soca Warriors" team is
berating what that name once meant.
No offense to the men who suited up, but this
was a B squad. Yes, there are names who would run
even if the full team was present, but let's ask a
truthful question: How many times would this com-
bination have even trained together as a unit? This
is a patchy quilt to expect warmth from on a Euro-
pean tour against Romania (34th in the FIFA world
ranking) and Estonia (ranked 89th)...
#2: When last these men get a proper pay
cheque? Is the coaching staff still under the gun
from the Ministry of Sport where their money is
concerned? I ask this question because I cannot un-
derstand how grown men can face their wives and
families when they cannot fill a fridge with gro-
ceries when the monthend comes. I know that
would certainly disturb my equilibrium, and have
devastating effects on my ability to devise long
term plans. We want professional results then the
least we can do is pay people a proper and timely
#3: The team that ran out in the CFU Caribbean
Cup was a bomb squad---mainly local-based, and
none of the high-profile foreign pros. The coaches
built on that and the team started to take shape. If
it wasn't for a momentary lapse in concentration
from 'keeper, Jan-Michael Williams, that Cuba final
could have gone the other way.
Now we're seeing widespread personnel changes
and for no legitimate reasons.
Some men say they need a rest? Padnahs...take a
long rest yes---like for the rest of your career. Is T&T
make you, and now yuh wanna coass? Them fellas
who made themselves unavailable should really
have to account for themselves in the full glare of
the national press.
#4: The question of Don Leo...
This is touchy. Leo Beenhakker is one of the best
coaches out there---that's a fact: Tactics, personnel
management, foresight and planning are all his
But let's be frank here: The journeyman Don' pay
packet could fund a lot of the programmes that can
correct this current situation we find ourself in---not
just on the senior national teams, but fundamental
developmental issues from the ground up in T&T
There is no compelling argument that the current
coaching staff are such abject failures that they
need to hire Beenhakker. NONE.
So what if we bring in Beenhakker? What would
that be for? A 2018 World Cup qualifying bid?
Come nah man! If we could afford four years of
Beenhakker, would we have these problems we're
Fix we first, and then study the Don Leos of the
#5: The '06 Warriors have agreed to terms with
the TTFF. Does that mean we will see some of them
coming out of the woodwork and again suiting up
for the team? Where have those guys been, any-
way? Time to look forward, if you ask me. We have
enough time and certainly enough raw talent to
build a new team of Soca Warriors---even though
right now we're looking a little patchy and more like
a raiding party than a brigade.
Highlights from T&T vs Estonia:
Follow the team on Facebook:
The T&T senior men's national football team played a tow-match European tour against Romania and
Estonia last week, and lost both matches.
Tiago Splitter is no pussycat.
He's big: 6' 11" and 240 pounds
of solid, beef-fed Brazilian mus-
cle.So when his San Antonio Spurs
teammate Tony Parker split a top-
of-the-key double team with a
tidy bounce pass on the pick-and-
roll...Splitter was just a quick one-
two step away from the thunder
slam down the Miami Heat's gul-
let in Game Two of the NBA Finals
series played last Sunday.
However, no one told LeBron
James, who had been on the
lower left of the Heat's efficient
box-and- one defense, left his
man, shooting guard Kawhi
Leonard, and stepped up to at-
tempt a block. By the time he
made the jump, Splitter was al-
ready airborne, and his out-
stretched right hand was a good
foot above the 10' rim and coming
down with the momentum that
would typically crush his way to
an ESPN highlight reel.
But LeBron is a different kind
of human. Rules of nature---the
mere physics of gravity, torsion
and leverage---don't apply to this
Splitter would have his high-
light, but, unfortunately for him, it
would be for the nastiest blocked
shot of this generation of NBA su-
LeBron's right hand must have
blocked out the sun; creating a
singularity, a wormhole in the
very fabric of time and space that
swallowed up the thermonuclear
energy of Splitters dunk with the
kind of disdain that only this man-
child has the swagga to pull off.
Splitter probably never even
saw it coming; he was so focused
on executing that dunk. To the av-
erage eye, LeBron would have just
stepped off the man he was dee-
ing up, but don't be surprised if
future generations of video analy-
sis proves that he phase-shifted
and materialised into Splitter's
path like a Necromonger Lord
Marshall. You never know with
The Heat utterly destroyed the
Spurs in Game Two to split the
series 1-1 in the two home games
in Miami. They are now facing the
prospect of going on the road for
three games, to the AT&T Center
where the Spurs have won 41 of
48 home games. By now you
would have already know the out-
comes of two of those, with the
third game on Sunday at 8pm. If
the Spurs play to form, they can
take at least one, maybe two of
these games, and will unlikely be
swept at home. Whatever hap-
pens, this is a great series be-
tween two top-notch teams.
Check out LeBron's block on
Catch series highlight videos
and analysis here: nba.com/play-
Miami Heat's LeBron James crushed Tiago Splitter's attempted
slam dunk in the NBA Finals Game Two.
San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan, left, is
using all his experience to show the
Miami Heat the business of being a
top NBA centre.
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