Sat, Jul

Waiting on John Williams reactions.

The second effort by our new look national football programme has been completed in a manner which can provide a review of some kind as to the success or lack of it.

Coach Tom Saintfiet has had much of the players, home based and foreign, not only on the field of play, but off it as well.

In a crowded four match programme, our national team’s performance fluctuated from match to match, leaving the fans and also the administration with a complexed impression regarding the quality of team and management.

Maybe a lot of “off the field” activity had affected certain aspects of the exercise, where the question of discipline, inappropriate comments from all stakeholders and faulty management could all have produced a picture of its own.

The chosen players during the period saw locals being projected among the more advanced ones and in certain cases, creating a positive standard for themselves, while the foreign based stars may not have faced the new image with the seriousness it deserved.

The structural formula regarding systems of play was never recognised as organised as good as was needed, and occasional skill and creativity was noticed on the basis of individual output as opposed to collective team play.

The fact that we were defeated on three occasions, twice in the official Gold Cup competition, did not allow the coaching staff any reasonable excuse, simply because the attitude, level of understanding the game, the instructions of the coaching staff or the inability of the pros and amateurs to adjust effectively all seemed flawed.

What seemed more visually obvious was the selection processes which were made regularly without bringing any improvement to the quality of our game.

I suppose that we are forced into commending Suriname and Haiti, both of which outplayed our team and also to demonstrate the tactical display of instructions given by their coaches.

The inclusion of some veteran players may have been beneficial in the very short term, but the two muscular injuries which affected both Carlos Edwards and Cornell Glen lent some guidance as to the disadvantage of age in the competitive world of football.

Pockets of ill-discipline were not helpful to the players or the team and appeared to have been unacceptable by the coach.

These were all part of the reason for failure to give the success which we expected, add to that the useless forms of communication which affected the smooth running of the media by placing complaints and accusations which were not even related to the game itself.

It would be unfair not to congratulate Shahdon Winchester for scoring a hat-trick on his birthday, an occasion which he will probably cherish for the rest of his life.

And finally, coach Saintfiet, how would he describe the performances of the team as opposed to his instructions on and off the field?

Moreso, how would David John-Williams react to the reasons or excuses which he may put forward for the failure to achieve his goal? Will he retain his opinion that these matches will lead positively to the Mexico and Panama World Cup activity?

What about us the public? Are we convinced that better days ahead or should we redirect the course of future events by changing the guards and the generals, invest into new ideas and look at the progress as a long term project which would allow the promising youngsters to develop within an environment which will place them into a comfort zone surrounded by the culture of the people, the task of guiding the minds of the players, and providing the country with a plan which may well gain the ascendency which our youth programmes from the 2004 - 2012 era.

Finally, we need to change our colonial belief that the foreigner is always superior.

We must understand that the majority of our star players of yesteryear were not because of the foreign coaches but by the extraordinary talent which they nurtured and attracted the world with a ball at their feet.

There is no need for a blame game, but more so, as to the search of organised education and extensive coaching all year round. The next two months could be a nightmare for our football.