Sun, Oct


Terry FenwickClichés that come to mind watching this latest embarrassment to T&T football added Jabloteh's head coach Terry Fenwick:

"What you sew is what you reap."
"Fail to prepare, prepare to fail."
"A faint heart never won a fair lady."
"What goes around comes around."

Trinidad and Tobago national senior football team were officially eliminated from the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup last Sunday after two games with no points and no goals. T&T are the only team in the competition not to have scored after two games.

A workman like performance from a very committed Grenada team sees them advance to the knockout stage of the competition thanks to a sensational strike by Kitson Bain in the 69th minute, without a doubt the best goal in the tournament so far which leaves T&T asking, where do we go from here? The loss has also cost the Soca Warriors a place in the 2011 Gold Cup.

T&T’s performance yesterday against Grenada was a marked improvement from the last game against Cuba. Wholesale changes in personnel and a change in formation seemed to have made a huge difference in the confidence of the team, but this was still to no avail.

Much of this game was dominated by Trinidad and Tobago and it was clear that T&T had the more gifted players. T&T's shape was much better with its 4-5-1 formation and the players looked to be enjoying the change.

Listed below are critical points deriving out of yesterday's results, the campaign and what might be in store for T&T football.

1] - How could we have gotten it so wrong in the first game and need to make so many changes in personnel and formation at this stage of the campaign ? After all this time didn't we know our best team and formation by now?

2] - Positives from this game were the performances from Kevin Molino, Daneil Cyrus and Hughtun Hector.  Devon Jorsling is also developing into a top striker and a key figure within the team.

3] - Despite T&T's domination of possession, Grenada enjoyed as many chances due to T&T's lack of defensive organisation. T&T were made to work hard to create chances.  Grenada on the other hand was gifted opportunities when T&T were caught ball watching on several occasions.

4] - The final pass, cross and shot were again poor on the night for T&T, many impressive moves came to an end because of our final delivery or shot. Composure and technique were lacking in the final third of the pitch as well.

5] - Set plays were again awful, we persisted with short corners that never created an attempt on goal, central free-kicks were wasted as we didn't seem to know who would execute. Fact - 35% of international games are decided by set plays.

6] - Substitutions were poor, T&T's best player Hector surprisingly replaced by Glen and he along with Daniel and Theobald did not make an impact. Jamal Gay was ignored after being favored in the first game.

7] - Kendall Jagdeosingh, Keon Daniel and Cornell Glen, all three players looked short on match fitness. Silvio Spann's call up also asked the question, is there any criteria for inclusion into the national set-up as fitness and form seem to be totally disregarded? To make matters worse Spann was sent back home for another unfit player in Cornell Glen.

8] - Leadership and direction were amiss. This was evident in both games and led to the inconsistency in the team’s performance.

9] - Where do we go from here?

10] - How will the TTFF, The Special One and the Minister of Sport view this latest dismal failure?

My disappointment is laced with anger at this poor reflection on T&T football. We are not this bad!!! Change will undoubtedly come, but how and where and who will be held responsible? Who will carry the blame for throwing a national icon, Russell Latapy, to the wolves?

Unfortunately, in the ruthless game of professional football, the buck will inevitably stop with the coach and many equally responsible will escape condemnation. Many will prefer to throw scorn on my comments and personalize their denial at me but the truth hurts.

"I cyah vote for this." A disappointed Terry Fenwick in Martinique ended".

Players/Coach Observation.
By Inshan Mohammed.

Marvin Phillip - I personally like this player, however, he looked nervous and unsure and had trouble with high balls and crossed balls in the area. Despite being one of the best shot-stoppers we currently have based in T&T, he did allow a 25 yard direct shot to go in the net, but this happens, even to the best of keepers.

Anthony Wolfe - Full of energy, another player I like, but someone needs to tell Russell Latapy that Wolfe in not a left back or a right back. I prefer him in the left wing position. By the way, was Kern Cupid dropped?

Daneil Cyrus - A solid center back that had a pretty good game. His final pass let him down a few times though.

Julius James – He scored a goal that was disallowed because of a foul in the box, but Julius is clearly the best of the back four.

Joevin Jones - Made some good runs forward and helped in defence.  His recovery time was a bit frightening though, but he is still young and can improve for sure.

Kendall Jagdeosingh - Full of energy, but lost almost every ball he got, his crossing was also woeful.

Clyde Leon - Broke up plays well and tried his best. His one dimensional play however is his biggest problem. His shooting is a poor sight to behold. How Leon was made captain is baffling, as he is the quietest player on team.

Trent Noel - Had an excellent game. Surprisingly, his downfall on the night was his free-kicks as he is a player who is capable of delivering from set-plays. He was wasteful with free kick opportunities, but he broke up many good attacks from Grenada.

Kevin Molino - Showed confidence and glimpses of good football, however he was very wasteful with his final delivery of the ball. His decision making was also very poor which gave an indication of his inexperience. The simple things were missing in Molino's play. A simple return pass, an off the ball run, a cross ball or a shot deserted him at times. He also wasted many good passes from Noel, and Jorsling was often left holding his head as if to say, "Hello, I'm right here, free like a bird!".

Hughtun Hector - Had an excellent game and I was surprised he was substituted.

Devon Jorsling - Isolated upfront for most parts. Devon’s trapping and shooting are superb. Had Jorsling gotten better service from the wing men he would have delivered.


Densill Theobald – He showed his passing was class and was composed on the ball.  He communicated with the players around him, but failed to add energy to the team. The final spark was missing.

Cornell Glen - What can I say, a player who relies on his speed looked a shadow of himself. Maybe he is unfit; I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. His level of play did not improve and he didn't combine well with Jorsling, as Baptiste normally does.

Keon Daniel – He had two, maybe three chances to score, but wasted every opportunity. He brought no spark to T&T attack and drifted in and out of the game.

Russell Latapy - A problem, but one within a bigger problem. He is not the only one to take blame for this disaster, but he must accept he is not cut out for coaching a national senior team at this point in time. My advice to Latapy if he does get fired as T&T head coach is to spend some time coaching a youth or professional team and try to better himself as a coach.

Latapy displayed too many flaws. The first one was putting two different line ups in two games. This was the final stage of the Caribbean Cup, not a friendly and it seemed he was still guessing who should or shouldn't play?  He should have had a settled team by now. Hello, this was the actual tournament!

Secondly, his player selection seemed bizarre. Silvio Spann had been inactive for such a long time, he got the call and then he was dropped for another unfit player. Kerry Baptiste was also unused against Grenada. Why was an unfit Glen given the nod over Baptitse who happens to be T&T's second highest goalscorer for the year, after Devon Jorsling?

A natural right back in Kern Cupid showed a lot of improvement in the qualifying round, but was dropped for a makeshift Anthony Wolfe.

All these unanswered questions lead to a main one, what exactly is the criterion for national selection? I recalled asking a member of the TTFF (not calling names) to give a trial to a T&T player who has professional experience. He is a solid defender who was willing to cover his travel expenses and I was told that he could not get the trial because he was not connected to a professional club. If this was the case then why was Jamal Gay even on the team? Having been without a club in over six months, Gay was surely short of the fitness required for international football.

Finally, Latapy seemed to lack a fixed game plan which begs questions such as: Why wasn't a formation settled? Why was the team playing in spots, leaving big gaps between zones? Why was the team displaying such poor organization especially in defence?

Russell tried his best with what he had to work with and did try to exposed many young players. We as fans may also be oblivious to what goes on behind closed doors. So should he take 100% blame? No, but it's a reoccurring problem that has haunted T&T football for decades. No plan, no brand!!!

Latapy mentioned that after the loss against Cuba he said the team wasn't prepared, but November 17th was a date for international friendlies, so why didn't he utilize it? There was the FA-Cup on the 17th as well as Pro League games on the 19th, but our first DCC game was the 26th! That's a week to at least organize a game, even if it was against a club side. Besides, what manner of communication exists between the TTFF and the Pro League that not even a match between the Warriors and a Pro League 11 could have been scheduled?  To put this fiasco into perpective, Grenada does not even have a professional league.

Maybe he had false hopes after the semi-final stage where T&T blew past St Vincent and Haiti and scraped by Guyana or maybe Latapy simply underestimated his final round opponents. Either way, Russell has hung himself and must accept defeat without the same poor excuses. A win versus Martinique is now irrelevant but this might be the time when T&T performs at its best and then we will again hear all the good things promised as the cycle continues. Sorry, but enough is enough, it’s time to move on and rebuild.

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