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Fri, Oct

Typography

Francisco Maturana was a winner on the football field again on Tuesday night with a 2-0 triumph against Guyana at Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.

It was his sixth win from ten matches since inheriting the post of Trinidad and Tobago head coach. But the performance, against a disinterested Guyanese team-already eliminated from the 2010 World Cup qualifiers-would have done little to convince football stakeholders that he could produce a squad to match Leo Beenhakker's 2006 outfit.

If there are doubts over the Colombian's leadership, his inconsistent philosophy and dodgy scouting are nearing farcical levels.

It took him six games to work out that schoolboys Jamal Gay and Akeem Adams were better off left to develop with the national under-20s. He needed three more matches to spot the potential of versatile W. Connection midfielder Clyde Leon, who made his international debut two years ago but saw Maturana use four different holding players before turning to him.

Leon scored the opener with an audacious long-range effort in the eighth minute, while Keon Daniel got the second after an accomplished individual showing playing behind the lone striker, Cornell Glen.

But it was Glen's charges down the channels-between opposition full back and central defenders-that were a breath of fresh air and the Warriors' most potent weapon on Tuesday night.

Maturana claimed to have full knowledge of the 2006 World Cup players yet it was Glen's first game for the Colombian. Does Maturana also know that Glen has not played a competitive domestic match since May?

Glen has ditched Pro League outfit Ma Pau and spends his time training with former employers, CLICO San Juan Jabloteh, who he cannot even represent in Reserve matches. He is expected to rejoin Jabloteh when the transfer window opens in August. Wait until Coventry City discard, Chris Birchall, hears about this.

Perhaps Maturana has finally grasped that Trinidad and Tobago's limited talent pool does not allow for the haphazard replacement of capable players. If Glen's selection means such a shift in policy, one hopes the Colombian has not left it too late.

But, arguably, the most damning indictment against Maturana's reign thus far never got on the pitch. His name is Ataullah Guerra, but it may well have been Osama Bin Laden judging from the national coach's apparent fear of unleashing the 20-year-old talent.

Maturana, almost from inception, showed a fondness for babysitting duties as he summoned a litter of rookies into his training squad. Yet his treatment of Guerra has been so appalling that perhaps Jabloteh may consider a call to the relevant child protective services.

Economy North East Stars impressive climb up the T&T Pro League standings was rewarded on Tuesday with 45 minutes each to their midfielders Akeil Guevara and Anthony Wolfe-the latter was also a 2006 World Cup squad member.

Striker-cum-midfielder Kerry Noray also got 16 minutes despite his belated start to the 2008 season with bmobile Joe Public. No such luck for the lone representative from the present Pro League leaders and defending champions, Jabloteh.

Guerra has made just two substitute appearances under the present regime, against Grenada and Barbados, for a grand total of 23 minutes. Worse still, the technical staff is stubbornly silent regarding the slight on the John John resident.

Tall and graceful with a good turn of pace and decent shot, Guerra is the reason why Jabloteh did not lose sleep over releasing gifted but temperamental playmaker and national captain Aurtis Whitley last season.

His appreciable technique aside, Guerra, like most Jabloteh employees, cannot be faulted for desire to retrieve possession when off the ball. It seems an indication of some potential. Only the head coach appears lukewarm to the idea.

Maturana, who formerly harnessed the likes of Colombian legends Carlos Valderrama and Faustino Asprilla, should know a good player when he sees one. But then his selection policy thus far, under the watch of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF), has fluctuated more than a teenage girl in a shoe store. From Guerra to Glen, Maturana's philosophy continues to mystify.