Team selection dissatisfies ex-nationals
WALTER ALIBEY Wednesday, June 21 2006
ANOTHER dogged display by the Trinidad and Tobago â€śSoca Warriorsâ€ť which brought pride and satisfaction among the public of this twin-island republic, despite falling 2-0 to Paraguay in Kaiserslautern yesterday.
And according to Prime Minister Patrick Manning, Trinidad and Tobago were the winners â€śas they have placed this country on the world map.â€ť
Still there were mixed reactions after yesterdayâ€™s defeat most of which pointed to the selection of the team and the tactics used.
Ex-Strike Squad defender Brian Williams said he was a bit disappointed with the performance of the team.
â€śI thought there was not that urgency and drive by the players to go out and win the game yesterday.â€ť The ex-national Rasta hair-styled defence man, who now coaches United Petrotrin in the T&T Pro-League said he was also dissatisfied with the selection of the team.
â€śI thought left midfielder Collin Samuel should have started and I also feel that coach Leo Beenhakker has shown just a little too much faith in striker Stern John in the match,â€ť Williams said.
He felt John should have been substituted having been used in two previous matches to no effect.
â€śIt could have made a difference for Trinidad and Tobago if coach Beenhakker had used another striker in place of John because he was not getting any goals,â€ť Williams added.
â€śWith the result we were looking for I thought the coach would have gone for a more offensive team in probably a 3-4-3 system where there could have been the use of the extra striker,â€ť Williams said from his German hotel last night.
He also expressed the view that midfielder Russell Latapy should have been used earlier in the game.
â€śYou saw the immediate effect when Latapy was brought onto the field which suggests that he could have been given a little more time, probably to much more effectâ€ť Williams noted.
Marlon Morris, another ex-Strike Squad member said he was satisfied with the team generally, and noted that the performance of this team showed that this country could play very attractive football on the world stage. â€śI was pleased with what I saw in the game despite the 2-0 defeat by the South Americans in yesterdayâ€™s all-important match,â€ť said Morris. In fact Morris said, â€śI was more proud of the performance of the team in this game than in the other two matches because it showed that we can play very good, attractive football and now the entire world knows about Trinidad and Tobago.â€ť But he was a bit concerned with the selection of the team saying he felt Latapy should have been a starter.
Morris said further, he could believe the omission of Shaka Hislop in for Kelvin Jack.
Like Williams, Morris, who is a cousin of ex-Strike Squad captain Clayton Morris, said he felt the coach had shown too much faith in Stern John.
â€śStern has not been scoring goals and could be considered as hurting the team even. In addition I felt Latapy should have been considered firstly, instead of Evans Wise who was not effective in the game.
â€śWhen you look at the team, you realise it lacked creativity and therefore a man like Latapy would have been the obvious choice in this game,â€ť Morris added.
He quickly added, however, coach Leo Beenhakker is an excellent coach but in this match he picked some wrong horses, one of which was Wise and the other goalkeeper Jack.
Former national team manager Richard Braithwaite described yesterdayâ€™s performance as â€śa wonderful display of football.â€ť
He noted that while the World Cup may be over for TT, the Soca Warriors did show the world that we have the determination and talent to compete on the world stage.
He said the World Cup campaign has opened the eyes of the powers that be in sport in TT and therefore we will see a greater commitment to sports in this country.