Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has called on president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) David John-Williams to follow Belgian Tom Saintfiet out the door.
Warner, who had described Saintfiet’s appointment over a month ago as “the biggest injustice in Trinidad and Tobago football” and mocked the TTFA for their choice of selection, yesterday said the TTFA and its boss need to face ramifications for their decision making.
“The person who should be fired is David John-Williams.
They should fire him now. The guy has poor judgement, he doesn’t understand football...He believes football is of course like Nescafe - quick fix. He doesn’t know that in football there is no quick fix. There is instant coffee, there is instant chocolate, there is not instant in football.” Warner believes Saintfiet was asked to resign after losing three out of his first four matches with the team not gelling and squabbles with several senior players.
“I feel like he and Williams came to some agreement whereby he would resign and save Williams the embarrassment. But the fact is he was fired yesterday and they are dressing it up as if it was a resignation,” he said.
Is there anything the current TTFA boss could do to get football back on the right track? “Except to resign and to appoint a coach as Dennis Lawrence to guide the football for the next five years,” Warner replied.
Lawrence, who headed the winning goal against Bahrain 12 years ago to get T&T to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, has made a name for himself in England as an assistant coach to ex-Everton manager Roberto Martinez.
Meanwhile, former manager of the national football team, Bruce Aanensen, believes a local coach may be a suitable replacement for Saintfeit. Aanensen, who managed the national team from April 2005 to August 2006, said, “I think the transition depending on who they replace Saintfeit with it could be easier or it could be more difficult.
I don’t know if they intend to look at a local coach for those two games (World Cup qualifiers against Mexico/Panama in March) and look for a foreign coach in the longer term or whether they have some foreign coach in mind.” The former manager says members of the TTFA have to look at themselves.
“It is a serious indictment on the football association that they would hire somebody like this guy and then get rid of him in no time. He may have resigned but basically they get rid of him.” Aanensen, who was the manager of the national team during the 2006 World Cup in Germany said it will be challenging for a foreign coach to come on board at this late stage.
“Now for a new foreign coach to come in at this stage it is going to be difficult. The local coaches have a better appreciation of the players we have.” Aanensen said there is the issue of alleged indiscipline within the T&T team that has to be addressed.
“We need to get everybody on the same page, we need to lay down the law of the land to the players of what they can and cannot do.
It’s a situation where we need to regroup as a country, regroup as a team, bring all the players that we need in and see who is available and who wants to play and then make some decisions going forward from there.”