Sat, Nov


There is little doubt, that T&T’s qualification for the 2018 Russia World Cup is in jeopardy, unless there is a very quick and instant turn around.

After two matches, a 0-2 home loss to Costa Rica, and a 3-1 away beating by Honduras, the Soca Warriors find themselves in fifth position on the six-team table with zero points, surprisingly for some, the USA is last only because they have conceded more goals than T&T and no points.

This begs the obvious question, is either of these two teams any good in the first place ?

Given that they both progressed from the same group and are now struggling, it is easy to suggest, that they’re both too weak for this stage of the competition, and their collective chances are gone.

However, one expects that the T&TFA will not sit by and not try to address the deficiencies in the team’s management, which have rare its ugly head since the Guatemala match, that was drawn 2-2 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in early September.

Coach Stephen Hart, finds himself under public scrutiny as well, and for the first time in this chapter as coach, and it must be both uncomfortable and unfamiliar despite having managed to surprise many by getting the best out of players, many arguably less talented than previous teams.

Hart, a born and bred T&T citizen has identified with the players and on more than one occasion he has gone out on a limb for several of them.

In fact, Coach Hart loves the national team so much, that for more than six months, he has worked without being paid his salary.

But the harsh reality, is that something has changed, the camaraderie, that was there before has now gone, the team unity appears to have disappeared, and players if we are to believe the coach, are not following his instructions, and are not producing in their roles that they were selected to perform, therefore the team and by extension the country is now in serious trouble.

Hart is a sensible coach, and he will have already realised , that his fate may depend on what plan he can convincingly prepare and advocate to his employers on a way forward, which includes the personnel changes that urgently need his attention.

He must show that there will be a change in thinking and perhaps needs to take some advice from others with experience at this stage, for failure to do so may not change the course of the results T&T expects come March 2017.

With two home matches, first Panama then Mexico, Hart must begin to formulate a plan that will produce a maximum six points, anything less would place the team in a perilous position, although four points from four matches are not ideal, it would mean that the Soca Warriors would have only two more home games left against Honduras and USA to make up the lost ground as far as points are needed.

Even then, points in the away fixtures to Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and the USA are most vital.

And finally, each player must be willing to raise their hand and acknowledge they have not delivered, they have not played to their best and from now on its only their A game that will count and produce the results the T&T fans are hungry to accept.