Wed, May


For­mer T&T foot­baller and now an­a­lyst of the game Alvin Corneal has slammed the self­ish­ness of some play­ers on the na­tion­al team fol­low­ing the lat­est 2-0 de­feat at the hands of Venezuela on Mon­day night in Cara­cas, Venezuela.

“From my ex­pe­ri­ences, I get the dis­tinct be­lief that some of them are not team play­ers. They are play­ing abroad and think ‘we are back home, and we are su­per­stars…’” Corneal said in an in­ter­view dur­ing CNC3’s The Morn­ing Shot on Fri­day.

He went fur­ther in nam­ing Seat­tle Sounders FC left-back, Jo­evin Jones, who plays for T&T in the same po­si­tion as one of the cul­prits. He said, “Jo­evin Jones is one in point, won­der­ful and tal­ent­ed foot­baller, but he wants to play for him­self and he wants to have his way, and be­cause of this we are los­ing a play­er of im­mense tal­ent and he’s on the side­line all the time.”

While Corneal was crit­i­cal of some of the play­ers, he de­fend­ed Den­nis Lawrence against grow­ing crit­i­cism. The T&T head coach has not won a game in 14 match­es which com­pris­es 10 de­feats and four draws, but Corneal said the is­sues go be­yond the field of play.

Corneal, a for­mer Maple stand out, and who al­so scored 69 goals in 119 ap­pear­ances for the na­tion­al team be­tween 1955- 1969 said, “Yes, he has not had good re­sults, but you got to look down the line be­cause the op­por­tu­ni­ties have not been giv­en to him to make him have all the tools to im­prove the qual­i­ty of Trinidad and To­ba­go’s foot­ball. We must un­der­stand that foot­ball is not on­ly on the field, but it’s al­so in the ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices as well. It is the plan­ning that takes a lot of time and a lot of ef­fort for teams to be very co­he­sive.”

Corneal, a for­mer FI­FA in­struc­tor and tech­ni­cal an­a­lyst, went fur­ther in stat­ing that the for­eign-based play­ers have not prop­er­ly gelled with the lo­cals. He said, “Life, I know, is be­com­ing very dif­fi­cult for him be­cause he’s got choic­es to make of play­ers at home and play­ers abroad. That’s very dif­fi­cult be­cause these play­ers abroad are get­ting in­for­ma­tion dif­fer­ent­ly. There are dif­fer­ences be­tween coach­es and sys­tems.”

With five weeks left to the T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion’s (TTFA) elec­tion, Corneal, who coached a Caribbean team from 1982-1983 and 1993-1994, was stern in his analy­sis that it doesn’t mat­ter if pres­i­dent David John-Williams is re­moved. He said, “If the con­sti­tu­tion is not dealt with be­fore the elec­tions then as far as I’m con­cerned, it doesn’t mat­ter who gets the pres­i­den­cy or any­thing else.”

In say­ing that com­mu­ni­ty foot­ball has been ne­glect­ed by the TTFA, Corneal stressed on the im­por­tance of con­sti­tu­tion­al change with­in the body. “If they go in­to the elec­tions with­out look­ing at that con­sti­tu­tion, they will be fight­ing a dead­ly bat­tle. Sim­ply be­cause, the fact that the con­sti­tu­tion of Trinidad and To­ba­go’s foot­ball has been pros­ti­tut­ed in every sin­gle way and no­body seems to wor­ry about what hap­pens there and now we wor­ry about what hap­pens on the field,” Corneal said.