History tells you to be wary of getting carried away with positive results when it comes to Trinidad and Tobago football.
But 6-1 is 6-1. And yes, there is reason to reference Friday night’s Gold Cup qualifying victory as being against 180th-ranked Montserrat. Then again, the goalless draw which eliminated the national team from the Qatar 2022 World Cup campaign at the preliminary group stage was against 201st-ranked Bahamas.
Indeed it was based on that elimination, notwithstanding the change of head coach, that there would have been more than a little anxiety in Fort Lauderdale about the prospect of another humiliating experience against a squad based almost entirely in the United Kingdom, albeit at the level of the lower leagues.
So the result under new head coach Angus Eve can almost be described as a pleasant surprise. Still, you would hope that the former national striker, someone who has experienced the perils, pitfalls and very occasional peaks associated with the national game for more than 30 years, would be reminding his players that the journey to respectability in the eyes of a weary public will be a long and difficult one, even as he offers more encouraging words ahead of tomorrow’s final qualifier against French Guiana, also in Fort Lauderdale.
If his team were to overcome that hurdle, then Trinidad and Tobago will be in the Gold Cup proper with the immediate opportunity to show this country’s mettle against the best in the region. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though because we have very recent painful experience of how that can end up.
Whether Terry Fenwick was a yoke around the players’ necks or not, they were also performing poorly under the guidance of one of their own, Dennis Lawrence, for years. So let’s see if all this suggestion of footballers finally free to express themselves and now motivated to give of their best for their country is genuine, or just the usual fly-by-night propaganda which accompanies the occasional good result.
In concluding his report on the game for his Wired868 website, Lasana Liburd stated: “The Warriors are back.” No room for ambiguity there, and in fairness, he has witnessed enough of the trials and tribulations of the senior men’s national team for his assessment to carry quite a bit of credence.
But I will reserve judgement for two reasons. Firstly, I don’t know if we saw enough in 90 minutes of football to point to a complete transformation from the previously tedious, error-strewn performances. And secondly, the weight of history is so overwhelming that one excellent result will not significantly ease that burden.
SOURCE: T&T Express