With only days from our last-ditch attempt at WC Qualification, we are seeing Russell Latapy playing football instead of studying the awesome challenge ahead of him and our T&T Warriors.


It appears that Russell is playing football is to get fit for the El Salvador (Elsa) and future games. What a catastrophe that would be! If he does not have the belief in his players to do the job, then such a message would plummet their confidence further.

Russell needs to be decisive in his study of and preparation for Elsa. He must be ready on the sideline, assessing and employing tactics. His wits must be about observing both teams, their moods, innuendos, tactical and tempo changes, and making precise calculations and timely, proactive and/or counteractive calls. Once known for his symphonic mind-and-foot magic, Russell now has to focus on his yet-to-be proven coaching ability if he wants to mine-out answers for his players and hope for T&T.

Be reminded that T&T was the only team in the CONCACAF hex that was not involved in the just-concluded and most competitive Gold Cup. During that time, we played only one rather insignificant game against St. Kitts, and salvaged a meagre 3-2 win. Elsa, had three telling duels winning 2-1 to Costa Rica , and losing 0-1 to Jamaica and Canada . El Salvador has every reason to believe that they are one goal better than us, at worst.

I predict that both other home teams, Honduras and Mexico, will be victorious against Costa Rica and USA respectively. This will leave CR, USA , Honduras, and Mexico with 12, 10, 10, and 9 points respectively. A win against Elsa will put both of us on 5 points and within strike range of the front-runners. There are no soft games remaining for anyone, with our next four encounters following Elsa’s game being, @ Honduras, USA in T&T, @ Costa Rica, and Mexico in T&T. No team will be in a position to consider playing second-string players at the later stages. Apart from a win against Elsa, we also have to eek away at the one stat that we are first in - the goals for-against record: 6-11= negative 5. This is going to be a decisive statistic for that 4th place spot.

The above reveals my honest fears about the outcome of our game on the 12th. I write this hoping to make a little contribution towards improving our chance of a win. To be left back with 2 points would mean death to our hopes. Russell, the conductor leads the orchestra by turning his back to the audience!