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24
Tue, Oct

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Yes, I can understand the discomfort of playing matches when the odds seem to minuscule for success.

I also understand part of the problem which emanated from players being penalised for making irresponsible decisions prior to the Honduras match.

Unfortunately, the behaviour of two players giving preference to playing fete match prior to a key World Cup game was a signal to you and everyone else their level of patriotism to our national programme.

Actually, your forgiveness to allow them to stay attached to the team was stretching your patience and at the same time, sending the wrong message to those who follow the rules.

As to the omission of eleven players who were attached to the squad for almost every qualifying match in this tournament, one wonders what the reasons behind the decision.

You agreed that in the previous matches that these guys were giving great effort and slipped along the way because of strategy which failed to get the results intended.

However, that being said, your weeks of preparation with those players showed some level of improvement.

Also keep in mind that these experienced players are the ones who can adjust to the heights and marvellous talents of Mexico (14th ranking) and the rigours of the USA (ranked 28th).

If these new players were capable of a national team shirt in the recent past, why were they not given the chances while our chances were still possible?

Coach, I have always been of the opinion that coaches do not expose players with potential, but incapable of outdoing the regular players, to play in World Cup competition.

Those players must be made to utilise the friendlies and if the national team is fully in control of one of the major tournaments, then slip one in for the short term experience.

Your decision to make this drastic change sends the message of one or two trends of thought. The first is that you have given up the ghost. The second is that you may see your decision to use these relative newcomers together is the way to prepare them for the future World Cup tournament five years down the road.

I humbly disagree. These present players have come through the mill and are probably in the prime of their football lives. Tossing them aside is tantamount to your desire to take pressure from the fact that you have failed to make it to Russia.

Maybe, you will recall that a great international coach called Bora Milutinovic carried a Mexican team to play Jamaica in Kingston, which was well short of almost all the top players, simply because Mexico has qualified. Jamaica got the result they wanted and qualified for France.

However, the Mexican coach was immediately fired for the decision even before they went to France.

International tournaments are special to every country and in a most indirect way, each country must play hard enough to force all opponents to work hard for points, whether they can qualify or not.

I hope that for your sake, your selected team will surprise us all and even the USA which is struggling and need three points against the Soca Warriors to keep its automatic qualifying birth alive in the tournament. There is also a shadow of stinging defeats which can destroy the future of our youngsters and cut our support to a minimum. Good luck.