If there’s no coach in T&T who fits the bill then bring in a foreign coach. That’s the view of former national football captain Sedley Joseph.
However, the former Maple standout firmly believes that a good local coach should be part of the technical set up of the Soca Warriors team staff as it attempts to qualify for Brazil 2014.
Among his wishes for 2011 is seeing the standard of play lifted in the T&T Pro League. On the issue of current coach Russell Latapy, Joseph said: “The unfortunate thing about Russell is that he didn’t have much experience as a coach to come into the position of a national team coach.
“He would have been better served if he had a more experienced coach alongside him with whom he could work hand in hand, maybe even serving as an assistant to that person and then eventually that would have allowed him to get the experience and take over the job,” Joseph said on Tuesday.
“Russell may have come up short in some ways but there may be other reasons also why the team didn’t perform well at the Digicel Caribbean Cup.”
And on the likelihood of a foreigner coming to take over at the helm, Joseph added: “If we have a good coach in T&T then I would go for hiring a local coach, but I don’t know much about the coaches here in the Pro League except for a few like Stuart Charles-Fevrier, Terry Fenwick and Derek King.
“But as I said, if you don’t have a good enough coach here then I would go for a foreign coach because then also the players would be more disciplined and more attentive to the foreign coach than the local one.
“And I’m not sure how good our coaches are tactically. Tactics are an extremely integral part of coaching a team for matches today,” added Joseph who received the Fifa centennial order of merit in 2004 and was named T&T Player of the Year in 1967.
The former T&T captain is hopeful that there could be some adjustments to the selection process for the national team other than simply selecting players based on their performances in the Pro League.
“I am hoping that standard of the Pro League is a bit higher than it has been.
I have not been looking at too many of the games except for parts… and the standard does not appear to be high and that’s never good because that is where you are getting your national team players.
“In the past we used to have three North/South Leagues and clashes as well as other Leagues, so every weekend the top players would play against each other and with the best in the north against the best in the south and from there most of them would go on to represent the country.
Now with the Pro league, all the players are just coming out of there and the best players are supposedly playing in that league with one or two in the zones.
“That standard doesn’t seem to be too good and that was evident with the performance in the Digicel Cup. We need to have the top players playing against each other regularly and this could work with the zone format and there needs to be a reformation on how the selection process goes for the national team.
“I keep hearing that the gap is closing between us and the other Caribbean teams but I think the gap should always be there because if we used to be so far ahead of them in years gone by and now they are improving and coming up to our level, then what is going on with us…then we are not improving also?” Joseph added.
“Players make mistakes but when you constantly see a player making bad passes or shooting or heading badly then it means that the players don’t have that pride in themselves to work on it on their own. Footballers are being paid to do this now. It’s not like long ago. Everything now should be second nature to them,” he ended.