Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 24th 2013 Contents Take a bow, Warriors. I mean
that! We all wish to see our nation-
al team victorious, and especially
when it is against one of our
fiercest rivals, Jamaica.
Despite the fact that the match
which was played in Montego Bay
was not brought to our viewers or
listeners, there was still appreciation
for defeating the Reggae Boyz on
their home soil.
It would have been nice to see
both matches so that a comparison
could have been made with regards
to the quality of play by both teams.
So my critique of the match is
based upon what I had seen at the
Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucu-
rapo which produced a two nil win
for the warriors.
My idea of the statistics is always
the picture which tends to create
some level of play that was produced
by both teams.
On a surface which appeared to
be quicker than was expected,
because of the grass being cut far
too low, it was not an easy field to
display the fluency of crisp short
passing, and good ball control.
What I saw in the first half was
the absence of either team stringing
passes without losing possession.
There was no passing sequence
which brought about seven consec-
utive passes without the ball being
Because of this, both teams were
cautious not to move forward
aggressively into the trafficular con-
gestion in centerfield.
My biggest surprise was the selec-
tion of the Reggae Boyz squad,
which was void of at least eight of
their marquee players, although
many of them were playing in the
MLS and could have had been made
available to their country.
The locally based players were
provided with the experience of
Omar Daley, Kemar Lawrence, Adri-
an Reid, and skipper LeVaughn Wat-
son, among a young group of poten-
tially exciting players.
Our team included the veteran
2006 World Cup stars in Carlos
Edwards, Kenwyne Jones and Chris
Birchall, whose retirement was dealt
with through pomp and cheers from
the home fans.
Without any disagreement to the
"bye bye" parade for the Port Vale
player, there was a jolt to my mem-
ory over the former national players
who were not privy to that type of
send-off on their retirement.
Nevertheless, the memories of
that stunning goal which he scored
against Bahrain in T&T, seemed truly
appreciated and we wish him well.
Now, to return to the game, there
was not much in the first half to
indicate that we have developed a
new pattern under our new coach
Stephen Hart, something which
seemed to have drawn him off his
bench in order to marshal his forces
in the direction which he was
A few clever runs from Attaulla
Guerra, Lester Peltier towards the
flanks to swing the odd crossed ball,
brought one to the feet of the the
Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones
and heaven knows what his inten-
tions were when the ball slid off his
boot and failed to even test Richard
McCallum, the Jamaican keeper.
Midfield play for the purpose of
interpassing saw Andre Boucaud,
Birchall, and the advancing Edwards
from the right defensive position,
exchanging passes which appeared
more like handing over the respon-
sibility to each other for more pen-
In other words, the transition from
midfield rarely existed before the
opposition deprived them from get-
ting into good scoring spaces.
Jamaica brought nothing to the
table, except for the occasional
attempt by 17-year-old Michael
Seaton or Jason Johnson to challenge
a sturdy Central defence of Carlyle
Mitchell and Daneil Cyrus, both of
whom produced an airtight citadel
at all times.
A goalless first half was adequate,
simply because of the absence of
creative football on either side.
Admittedly, Guerra was doing a
good job by challenging the Jamaican
defense and it was clear that his
goal in Montego Bay was uppermost
in their mind.
A few changes in the second half
raised the bar for T&T, where Run-
dell Winchester joined Guerra, Joevin
Jones and a productive performance
The speed level increased
immensely and Winchester torpe-
doed his way past opposing defend-
ers smoothly, offering the home
team the flair and excitement which
the game needed.
So that the Reggae Boyz would
not forget, Guerra used his skill,
aggression and desire to present his
contribution as a test to their com-
petence and they failed miserably.
The former Mucurapo Senior
Comprehensive school student
swiveled amidst two defenders and
crashed his right-footed drive past
a bewildered McCallum, which set
the path for another T&T victory.
Winchester saw the need to move
in a similar vein when he made his
burst of speed past right defender
Reid towards the penalty area and
only a desperate trip could have
retarded his progress.
Skipper Jones grabbed the chance
to share the headlines through the
Unfortunately, the Reggae Boyz
brought very little to the table and
got only what they worked for.
The statistics did not reflect
much, but enough for us to wait for
better days in the upcoming match-
es.Both these countries need to take
a close look at the top teams in their
confederation and find an indepth
coaching strategy to elevate their
game to compare with the advanced
countries like Honduras, Costa Rica,
USA and Mexico.
With almost all the European
countries coming this way for the
World Cup in Brasil, this is the time
when our marketing experts must
attempt to attract at least five of the
World Cup qualifiers to play friend-
lies in T&T.
Equatorial Guinea challenged
Spain, so did South Africa. Ecuador
faced and competed extremely well
With the positive presence of the
Embassies of Germany, Great
Britain, France, Nigeria, and Australia
in our midst, the time is ripe for
these attractive opponents to grace
us with their performances on the
Funnily enough, can I just men-
tion a bit of the best kept secret
about the temporary decision of our
national team to abort their presence
on the field before Tuesday night s
For whatever reason, the team
was reported to have decided not
to perform against Jamaica, a deci-
sion which they took two hours
before the game.
I recall a similar instance in Ger-
many 2006 which brought a fright-
ful and distasteful aroma to those
who were aware.
My advice to the TTFA is to con-
cretise a payment pattern for our
national team players and complete
a contractual arrangement with each
player s signature.
In a small country like ours, why
can we not operate in the profes-
sional manner in which the larger
countries do in similar circum-
There is always a clarion call for
the administration to handle their
affairs professionally and within the
parameters of finances, discipline
and management. I have to admit
that efforts are now made to provide
a smoother path to our future.
Players now need to be more
responsible as well, so that our chal-
lenge will be left strictly to the
progress of our teams on the field.
If today s players only knew what
type of financial gain was enjoyed
by national players of the past, and
compare them with their earnings,
they would be able to review their
present approach before making
hasty decisions in the future.
There is an uphill challenge facing
our football future. We have started
reasonably well and must not stop
until we arrive at the top.
November 24, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Take a bow, Warriors
T&T football captain Kenwyne Jones scores from the penalty spot past Jamaica goalkeeper Richard Mc Callum during their international friendly at the
Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, on Tuesday night. Soca Warriors won 2-0. PHOTO: ANTHONY HARRIS
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