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Author Topic: Maligned star could lift Beenhakker's men.  (Read 1623 times)

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Offline Flex

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Maligned star could lift Beenhakker's men.
« on: May 28, 2005, 02:36:27 AM »
Maligned star could lift Beenhakker's men.
By: Lasana Liburd.


Calling Samuel.
New Trinidad and Tobago coach Leo Beenhakker already observed most of his country's active international players and might have read dossiers on the others as he prepares for a crucial World Cup qualifier at home to Panama on June 4.
With seven days left before his first competitive fixture, Beenhakker may be reasonably confident of knowing the best players for the job. If so, then the former Real Madrid and Dutch national coach, in my humble opinion, is wrong.
Not until he looks at Dundee United attacker Collin Samuel.
Samuel, who turns 24 in August, was ignored by ex-coach Bertille St Clair and discarded early in the tenure of his predecessors Stuart Charles-Fevrier and Hannibal Najjar. Even United have struggled to facilitate the speedy, industrious and versatile player.
Crucially, though, St Clair, Charles-Fevrier and United manager Gordon Chisholm used 3-5-2 systems that did not utilise orthodox wingers. But, when a coach-like Beenhakker-uses four across the midfield supported by full backs, Samuel should not be dismissed outright.
Competent with either foot, Samuel rose to prominence as a dynamic left sided midfielder for CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh. He was 18 years old when then national coach Rene Simoes gave him his first cap away to Grenada.
Simoes also played with wing backs rather than wingers and facilitated Samuel by using him up front.
The ex-Mayaro Composite utility player responded with a hat-trick on his debut. He did not know then that he had fashioned a rod for his own back.
Samuel played in both matches at the United States-based 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament and was subsequently capped three times by interim coach Clayton Morris and Najjar, while Charles-Fevrier used him in one full international. He did not score once.
His last appearance was in a 1-1 draw away to Kenya, two years ago, and Samuel is still bewildered about his rapid fall from grace.
"I feel a bit disappointed (about being left out)," Samuel told the Trinidad Express. "Most of the coaches know who I am and I don't know how they select their players. I made my debut at 18 years and scored a hat-trick. I don't know if anyone ever did that.
"In my heart, I really feel left out."
Samuel scored 16 times in his debut season in Scotland with First Division club Falkirk, but could not reproduce his scoring form in the top flight with a United team that does not use wingers.
On the rare occasion that United swapped to a 4-5-1 system, which they are prone to do on tricky away fixtures, Samuel is guaranteed a starting shirt and responded with impressive performances in a 1-0 win away to Glasgow Rangers and a 1-0 loss at Celtic this season.
United manager Gordon Chisholm hinted in midweek that Samuel would play from the start today in the Scottish FA Cup final against Celtic at Hampden Park.
On the eve of the Cup final, though, Chisholm opted for a more adventurous 3-5-2 system. Samuel's teammate and compatriot, Jason Scotland, starts up front but he misses out again and will be among the substitutes.
It is these subtle shifts in philosophy that have made such a huge difference in Samuel's career.
He praised his Trinidad teammate and hopes that United get the best out of Scotland's talent today.
"Scottie scored in the semi-final so everybody is looking for a big game from him," said Samuel. "He will be a marked man. I think he is on top of his game now I think if we put the ball down on the pitch and play it into his feet, we have a chance of beating (Celtic).
"What helps them is their tall guys at the back but, if we play to our strength, we have a chance."
Samuel almost left United for newly-promoted League One club, Sc**thorpe, in January but was denied a work permit. He is aware that he needs to find a more suitable club although he is excited about United playing in Europe next season-they are guaranteed a place in the UEFA Cup as Celtic already qualified for the UEFA Champions League via their league placement.
"I think it is a little different for me now (since new United manager Chisholm took charge)," he said. "I think I need a change but, at the end of the day, I am contracted for another year so I will just wait until the end of next season. But I really look forward to playing in Europe next season for the experience and to prove myself."
He also looks forward to linking up with Beenhakker and is anxious to stake his claim for a place on the left flank.
"I am excited to go back," said Samuel. "I don't know if he will have the same squad of players already in training or if he will be including me and Scotland. I think I am good enough to play.
"In a 4-4-2, I would like to play either left or right. I think I am capable of playing on the left side because that is where I played at Jabloteh... My game is based on running at defenders with pace and making things happen and I hope I get the chance to show what I can do."
Real Salt Lake midfielder Leslie "Tiger" Fitzpatrick apart, the Trinidad and Tobago team cries out for left sided players. Samuel deserves a good look.
T&T duo emulate Nixon in Scottish Cup.
By: Lasana Liburd.


Game of our lives.
Trinidad and Tobago teammates Jason Scotland and Collin Samuel will play in the biggest game of their careers today when Dundee United face fellow Scottish Premier League combatants, Celtic, from 10 a.m. (T&T time) in the Scottish FA Cup final at Scotland's national stadium in Hampden Park.
The game, which is the closing act of the 2004/05 SPL season, will be broadcast live throughout Britain as well as various parts of Europe and the rest of the world.
And Scotland, who came off the bench to score United's decisive goal at the same venue to overcome Hibernian 2-1 in the semi-final round, is dreaming about the atmosphere and the occasion.
"It is the biggest game of my career," Scotland told the Trinidad Express. "Just knowing that it will be on Sky (television network) and the whole world will be watching. I would love to play from the start and let people see what I can do because everyone here says that I play my best as a substitute."
United manager Gordon Chisholm confirmed that Scotland would play from the start in their final session yesterday as he chose to use their usual 3-5-2 system. It means that Samuel, who is a guaranteed starter in their more conservative 4-5-1 line-up, will be on the bench.
Although Samuel is considered a squad player at United, Chisholm would not hesitate to use him in the biggest game of their season.
The versatile 23-year-old winger struggled to make an impact since his move from Division One team, Falkirk, in mid-2003. He scored 16 times at Falkirk but just twice last season for United and is yet to open his account in this SPL term.
In the right set-up, though, Samuel shone on both visits to the Old Firm-Glasgow Rangers and Celtic-this season when United used him as an orthodox winger in a 4-5-1 line-up.
They lost 1-0 at Celtic Park but stunned Rangers 1-0.
United are massive underdogs today but both players hope to benefit from Celtic's off-the-field distractions. Celtic manager Martin O'Neill resigns after today's match to spend more time with his ailing wife and will be replaced by Gordon Strachan, while the club is still distraught after losing the League title to Rangers in the final two minutes of the season.
"I don't feel they are overwhelming favourites because of what is happening right now with the manager leaving the job and so on," said Scotland. "Their minds might be off the football a little bit On the other hand, they would want to win a cup because they haven't won anything this season so it will be a hard game.
"But you saw what happened with AC Milan and Liverpool (in the European Champions League final). Everyone thought Milan would be easy winners."
If United pull off the win, Samuel and Scotland will emulate compatriot Jerren Nixon, who won the Scottish FA Cup with United in 1994.
Nixon, who was in his debut season at United, played the final seven minutes of the match as United edged Rangers 1-0.
No other Trinidad and Tobago player has played in a Scottish FA Cup final-former national captain, Russell Latapy, was at Rangers when they won in 2002 but never made it onto the field.
A Dundee United victory would also mean that Trinidad and Tobago players were involved in every Scottish trophy capture this season for the first time.
Marvin Andrews won the League title with Rangers and also inspired them to CIS Cup success, although he missed the final through injury.
It is a tall task for United, though. No team outside the Old Firm has won the cup since Hearts in 1998, while the fall in television revenue has widened the financial gap between Scotland's two giant clubs and the chasing pack.
Samuel believes that if United play the ball into Scotland's feet, then United have a chance to penetrate Celtic's hulking central defensive pairing of Bobo Balde and Stanislav Varga-both of whom dwarf even the six-foot-two Andrews.
"I don't have any chance in the air (against Balde) although I will still challenge him," said the 26-year-old Scotland, who has five goals this season. "But I think I can take him on the ground because he is big and can't turn and run as well. It will be a good challenge for me against him and Varga."
Of course, United must still stop Celtic's giant attackers, John Hartson and Chris Sutton, as well as speedy, maverick striker Craig Bellamy, who scored a superb hat-trick the last time the sides met. The visiting Celtic defeated United 3-2 on that occasion. Scotland and Samuel hope for a starring role in a United reversal at Hampden Park.
The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline samo

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Re: Maligned star could lift Beenhakker's men.
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2005, 07:10:37 AM »
good

Offline samo

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Re: Maligned star could lift Beenhakker's men.
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2005, 07:11:41 AM »
sorry.. wanted to say good luck and hope they beat Celtic..

Offline Ponnoxx

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Re: Maligned star could lift Beenhakker's men.
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2005, 08:23:56 AM »
 Colin Samuel is a decent player... hope he win the cup!! that go be three Trinis rip up Scotland

 

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