Striker Cornell Glen, who came on as a substitute against Grenada in the 1-0 loss in the Digicel Cup on Sunday, has called on the T&T Federation to consider the best players for regional tournaments if they intend to be title contenders.
Glen, one of the surviving members of the 2006 World Cup squad, said he was disappointed the Warriors did not try to get their best players for the tournament. He noted things have changed in the Caribbean.
“The smaller islands don’t have as much good overseas players as we do, but their best players are now on the same level or even better in some cases than some of our home-based players,” Glen said.
“We are suffering because we keep thinking our players at home are good enough, but it is clear this is no longer the situation.”
Former T&T defender Brent Sancho, who is doing commentary in Martinique, echoed Glen’s sentiments and called for the Football Federation and its stakeholders to engage in a thorough post mortem.
“It was disappointing seeing us in the manner we did and to think we were once kings of the Caribbean. Now we can’t even get out of the group stages and it’s happened twice in a row. Something has got to be wrong. Before we start pointing fingers, the Federation and all stake holders need to take a look in the mirror,” Sancho said.
Looking back at the manner in which the number one ranked Caribbean team lost to Grenada, the ex-Gillingham FC stopper added: “From the outset we looked a lot better and we were unfortunate not to take the lead but we never took control of the game.”
Sancho felt the Grenadian forwards were more hungry. “There were one or two good performances from a couple of the players but overall it was a poor result because we just didn’t play like we should,” Sancho added.
The last time the Soca Warriors captured the title was in 1999 when they defeated Cuba 2-1 in the final through goals by Anthony Rougier and Stern John.
During that tournament, T&T defeated Jamaica 1-0 and demolished Haiti 6-1, Guadeloupe 3-2 and Grenada 7-0. The last time T&T won the regional title was in 2001 when it defeated Haiti 3-0 in the final and also defeated Cuba (2-0) and Jamaica (2-1).
T&T failed to reach the 2003 Gold Cup after losing to Honduras, Martinique and Cuba. They scraped through to the 2005 Gold Cup after losing to Cuba and Jamaica before defeating Barbados 3-2.
Their next Gold Cup appearance came in 2007 after losing 2-1 to Haiti in the 2007 Digicel Cup Finals at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.