In trying to be objective, it is quite difficult to comprehend the latest decision made by new TTFF President Raymond Tim Kee and Technical Director Anton Corneal to appoint former Guyana head coach Jamaal Shabazz as joint head coach for the Trinidad and Tobago Senior Men’s Team that will contest the 2012 Caribbean Cup Finals next month in Antigua & Barbuda.
Without sounding like a broken record what is the criteria to qualify for such a position? As a die-hard supporter of our national football team, I find myself continuously asking this question since Jack Warner began pulling the strings in T&T football.
Tim Kee himself stated that Shabazz’s success at Caledonia AIA has not gone unnoticed and was one of the reasons why he got the current position. With an influx of Guyanese players Caledonia has had great success over the past year whereby they won many titles including the FA Trophy, Lucozade Sport Goal Shield, First Citizens Cup (2011 & 2012) and the CFU Club Championship.
At the international level they however were quickly reminded about football outside of the region when they were drummed by Marathón and Seattle Sounders respectively to finish as table propers, conceding 8 goals and scoring 3 in the process with one point in hand.
Now let’s examine Shabazz’s coaching record at the international level with Guyana where just recently they exited the Caribbean Cup second round qualification in last place, scoring 5 and conceding 6 as French Guiana and Haiti progressed.
At the 2014 World Cup qualifiers Guyana had an impressive first round series, knocking out the Soca Warriors by a point. During the semifinal round though, the team were ridiculously beaten by Mexico, Costa Rica and El Salvador scoring 5 and conceded 24 goals.
To add insult to injury Super League team Stokely Vale has already knocked out Caledonia from the current Toyota Classic.
If the TTFF reckons that their decision in appointing Shabazz to the hot seat was based on club success, then did they even consider other local coaches who have garnered more success on the club level?
Were coaches such as Stuart Charles of W Connection who to date has been the most successful local coach in the Pro League even considered?
Is there really such a dearth of capable local coaches that the same usual suspects are being recycled within the TTFF?
Some of these local coaches get unlimited opportunities and then excuses are thrown out that they are the most successful and qualified ones. At least give the others a chance too?
Interim head coach Hutson Charles has been doing a decent job and has not lost a Caribbean Cup qualifying game since taking the helm, so does he really need the help? Why not hire Jamaal Shabazz as an assistant then?
As a loyal poster on SocaWarriors.net pointed out, maybe this appointment was put in place to keep an eye on Charles and continue to maintain control of the national team from a higher level. One can only imagine what Charles must really be thinking of this situation.
There should be a fair system in place to screen coaches and that should also include presidents and technical directors as well.
So in light of this recent development my advice to our new president is, if you really want our football to progress, please stop making trademark decisions and don’t take Trinbagonian supporters for fools. You promised to listen and work with the fans, but already this decision seems contrary to your word. I guess the more things change the more they stay the same.
Over and out.