Within just a space of five days, the picture which seemed challenging to many, hoping the team gets to Russia in 2018, appeared to have changed, together with the immediate thought of adjustments to the team’s training pattern.
The Warriors had a few practical tests leading up to the World Cup Qualifying fixtures against Costa Rica and Honduras, two teams which have been doing very well in the competitive stage in international activity.
In hind-sight, we are now aware that both our opponents were superior, both in technique and tactics, leaving us all with the apprehension as to whether the warriors are capable of matching strides with these advanced countries.
Everyone saw the matches and may still have some reservations of the differences in standard between the quality of play by the Central Americans and ourselves.
From that stage, the objective ahead must be a very difficult one, knowing that there has been no strong area in our national team’s performances which will indicate that they can close the gap on the opponents.
Already there are questions of what the next move will be. Will the administrators make any changes that will close the gap in terms of results? If so, a new plan will have to be formulated and stringent sessions are necessary if the quality of our players must bring better results.
Whatever route is chosen, the essential ingredients needed for competence must be a vast improvement in the physical capability, the basic fundamentals of accurate passing, retaining possession for long periods and executing these values in the opponents half of the field.
The major lesson that should have been learnt by the Soca Warriors and coach Stephen Hart, could be based on the demonstrative chemistry and player capability to gain maximum possession for the purposes of going into organised attack.
Costa Rica gave us a lesson on methodical build-up with a classy variation of the use of passing lanes mainly through excellent player movement in and around their opponents.
Honduras was even more aggressive and mixed no matters to recognise the weaknesses of the Warriors by capitalising on their errors and making use of precise creation of space.
Where do we go from here? Maybe Hart will consider communication with the Technical Committee as to what plan he has in mind as an effort to get results to re-enter the race for Russia.
There are four months to our next World Cup encounter, which is sufficient time to bring some improvement to the players individually and collectively. I was actually surprised from their lack of physical capability, knowing that the players are with professional clubs and within their season.
A sports psychologist to enter the minds of the players will go a long way towards providing more efforts, both physically and thoughtfully. I have heard enough about systems, none of which seemed to work well. The reason for this problem is simple. Systems of play do not win football matches...players do.
Unfortunately, no one seems to share some dialogue with regard to why our team failed to produce results which could affect our opponents.
If they decide to ask themselves questions and study the videotapes which will expose the deficiencies and effectiveness of our players.