Dwight Yorke is the greatest player ever produced by Trinidad and Tobago! Well, some may think I have just opened a can of worms. The arguments immediately begin to pop up in everyones minds as to why my statement is not true.
Latapy is the greatest because of his skill level. De Leon, Corneal, Buggy Haynes, Leroy Spann, Stern John, Shaka Hislop, Sedley Joseph, Selris Figaro, David Nakhid, and the list keeps going on and on.
The simple fact is that Dwight Yorke has plied his trade for a sustained period at the highest level of the game.
In fifteen years as a professional in England he has achieved greatness. FA Cup medal, Premier League titles, Young Lion Award, Carling Cup (League cup) medal and most importantly a Champions League winners medal.
Dwight played for Manchester United! Manchester United! The United! The biggest club in terms of worldwide fan support and revenues.
Dwight has played against all of the worlds best players and shone on many an occasion. Furthermore, let me bring it down to brass tacks, Dwight has simply earned more money during his career than any other local player in history.
Of course, we do not begin playing football to simply earn money, nor should we compare players by earnings. All very well and good in a Utopia, but we live in the real world.
You want to drive a BMW it costs more than a Corolla; therefore it is considered a better car.
You want to see Machel Montano and Xtatic; tickets cost more than a Blue Ventures show.
AHHH the refreshing taste of Evian bottled water, costs more than more than Government Juice.
People pay more for quality; specialist doctors earn more and command a higher fee structure; lawyers with winning records and years of experience simply Make more dollars.
Dwight Yorke is the greatest.
Recent reports have hinted at the fact that Coach Bertille St Clair is once again wooing Dwight Yorke, in an effort to convince him to return to International duties to assist T&T in the bid to qualify for Germany 2006.
Some Pompous Pontius Pilots immediately scream, WHAAT! He should want to play for his country, we should not have to ask him, he should be honoured, so forget about him, he feel he too big, we doh need him!
To these people I will simply provide a hypothetical situation and ask a simple question as follows:
Imagine that you are an extremely skilful computer programmer hired by NASA being paid top dollars.
Job security is extremely low because technology changes so rapidly and many young geniuses are waiting in the wings. Your country calls you. Your services are required.
The mission is a very dangerous one, you will be required to work with ten locally trained technicians who are not versed in the latest technological advancements. You will be paid a pittance and the odds of completing the mission successfully are very low.
Furthermore, it is very likely that during the mission you will loose all of your fingers, thereby making you obsolete in your profession. You have no other skills which would provide you and your family with financial stability. Little or no insurance cover is provided.
DO YOU ACCEPT THE MISSION?
Now you can see, everything is not as clear cut as you first thought. Football in T&T has been without funding (except for Jack Warner) for many years and continues to be under- funded.
Corporate T&T and the Government have to take steps to rectify this situation. TSTT recently ploughed approximately three million dollars into the campaign and must be commended, but that is simply a drop in the bucket.
Over the last year the Canadian Olympic Swimming Team spent over seven million US dollars (42 million TT dollars) on preparing 28 swimmers for Athens 2004.
Needles to say, swimming cannot compare to the national and international appeal of World Cup Football. We cannot expect individuals to give up so much as we all put so little by playing the National Pride Card.
Over the years, Dwight Yorke has been criticised for not being committed on the field of play when representing T&T. I have heard statements such as, He scoring so many goals for Manchester United, but he cyah score for we. If he so good he should dribble through them three defenders like nothin an score. He doh tackle. He only passin to Latapy. He studyin de party in coconuts later. He only like white girls! ( just checking to see if you are still paying attention).
People who make these irresponsible statements have not taken the time to look at the games with an unbiased eye. Dwight Yorke was never a dangerous dribbler going to goal; he would dribble across the field, unlike a player like Kona Hislop, who would simply attack, and run past the heart of a defence on his way directly to goal.
Secondly, a Manchester United, Dwight played with a midfield consisting of, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Roy Keane. Service was consistent, impeccable, on time and at pace. This service provided Dwight with his goals. This type of service does not and never did exist in our national team.
How many times have we seen players like Dwight and Stern, forced to take four and five touches on the ball because our midfielders are twenty five yards behind the play.
Finally everyone who played football knows the fastest way to get injured is to play half-hearted.
Dwight Yorke is not over the hill. Dwight is the consummate professional on the practice field. He adheres to his fitness routine at all times. After a night at 51 Degrees, you can see Dwight and Brian running around the Savannah at 6 am, while the critics sleep, followed by 600 sit ups and 200 push ups.
Dwight is as fit as a fiddle. The only player who may compare to his level of fitness at this present time is Leslie Tiger Fitzpatrick.
Others have been calling for a younger team, Give the youth a chance. Professional sport is not Lotto, players must earn their spot. We are not sharing a birthday cake. Being selected to wear the Red, White and Black is not a Run and Roti Lime. The only young man showing clear promise and ability to step up right now is Scott Sealey who clearly demonstrates, speed, tenacity, fitness, intelligence, composure, compassion, and skill, while playing for T&T.
Bring back Dwight and anyone else who will contribute in a POSITIVE way to the team. Negativity will not be tolerated.
Together we aspire, together we achieve.