To give any sort of report on the Panama versus the Soca Warriors match will make fans and supporters unhappy, disappointed and in some cases, give up hope for the future.
I humbly prefer to break this performance down to the reality of the picture which our players presented during the course of the game.
The game actually did not start when the whistle was blown to indicate the ball to being kicked off.
Of course, these points of view are from hindsight, except for the different team selection which was handed down one hour before the start.
My immediate observation was the choice of player personnel, not necessarily because of the talent of the players individually, but the implication which was recognised within a system formula of the great game.
After seeing the names of five competent central defenders on the starting eleven, immediately the impression from my point of view was that our performance will be based strategically on solid defence. Some may claim that five defenders will surely solidify our protection and ensure that no goals are scored.
With my sincere respect for two former English premier league defenders in our coaching staff, this was probably our most crucial error of judgement.
In football mathematics, five defenders will find much more difficulty to coordinate alongside each other, and all the problems will come from an absence of adequate communication among themselves especially when the tacking policies of the opponents will surely come from short quick diagonal runs in and around the individual players almost at the same time.
The end picture was confusing, and although individual skill showed up at times for Kevin Molino and Joevin Jones to bring glorious chances to Willis Plaza three times in the first half, the formula deprived the real goal scorers no decent scoring opportunities.
Then there was the question of regaining ball possession. It was non existent. The players waited to see when Panama will make a mistake and hand a bad pass or two over to them.
The reality of choosing defensive ploys have actually been demonstrated by our English friends in the World Cup finals in 1966 in England. They sole the dimensional formula that four defensive players can cover the width of a field and also can develop defensive methods of being either defending or supporting.
The world accepted that concept and extended different formulas to fit the quality APand understanding of such a defence.
This move by our experts led to the weakness of our midfield, a factor which left that area to be occupied by one solitary defending midfielder in Kevon George and two of our effective goal scorers and creators in Molino and Jones plus a promising attacking midfielder in Nathan Lewis, whose skill within the opponents penalty area have been known to upset bigger defenders than the Panamanians have brought our goals at times.
Unfortunately, the original strategy failed, maybe not because of the implementation recommended by the technocrats, but because they have lost their way. During that time, Panama grew in confidence. They were faster to the ball, which was not difficult and after some awful mistakes by our defenders, the roof fell in and shadows of defeat were obvious.