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Offline E-man

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Eastern Lions take centre stage.
« on: September 03, 2008, 10:22:38 PM »
Eastern Lions take centre stage.
By: Lasana Liburd (Express).


Public statement

Success, according to some sociologists, has more to do with how one feels he is perceived by others rather than an inventory of his own achievements. By such a benchmark, it can be argued that Bmobile Joe Public chairman Jack Warner may feel more satisfaction in Tuesday's 4-0 CONCACAF Champions League win over United States Major League Soccer (MLS) team, New England Revolution, than Public's maiden Pro League title in 2006.

It must have been nice to outdo his local rivals, two years ago, but how much sweeter to humiliate MLS powerhouses like Revolution-they were MLS Cup finalists for the last three successive seasons-in their backyard. The Trinidad and Tobago football community and, in particular, the other nine Pro League outfits, should share his joy.

Thirteen years have passed since Joe Public opened their doors and declared their intention to become the Caribbean's premier team and a force in CONCACAF. In that time, Warner handed the daily management of the club to elder son, Daryan, before his second son and present boss, Darryl, took the reins.

The local public's reaction to news from their Macoya headquarters was mixed at best.

There were sniggers all around, in 1998, when the "Eastern Lions" were drawn against MLS outfit, DC United, in a CONCACAF fixture and ended on the wrong side of an embarrassing 8-0 rout in Washington.

"After the first two," then Public coach and present director Keith Look Loy told the Washington Post, "it's hard to remember (anything else)."

Warner, who promised victory beforehand, strode into the dressing room after the loss and threatened to immediately dismiss the entire squad, which included present players like Arnold Dwarika and Lyndon Andrews.

In retrospect, Trinidad and Tobago's domestic league-Public represented the Semi Professional Football league (SPFL) at the time-was still underdeveloped and unprepared for such a contest. Ten years prior, Defence Force won the CONCACAF tournament outright while the army/coast guard combination and Police continued to have strong showings into the early 1990s.

But the steady exodus of local talent to Europe and the spread of talent as young players began to snub Police and Defence Force for salaried jobs elsewhere in the SPFL meant that domestic football was in a state of flux.

Defence Force, Clico San Juan Jabloteh and W. Connection sounded a warning to the confederation's top leagues with first leg triumphs in this millennium before stumbling on foreign soil.

Public might have lost their chance too as a series of wasted opportunities led to a slender 2-1 first leg win at Macoya last Tuesday. Barbadian coach Keith Griffith, barely a month into his first stint in Trinidad, casually promised an away win.

The fact that Griffith was good as his word is only half the story. The expressive, proactive approach of the Public team in Boston was a sight to behold-despite the obvious limitations in observing the proceedings by television.

Public were fearless and set the pace from the kick-off. Griffith started with two conventional strikers and as many wingers with an ageing playmaker, Dwarika, to boot. Dwarika, who was superb in the first leg, again outshone Revolution's much vaunted Grenadian star Shalrie Joseph in the midfield and Public prospered as a result.

If Dutchman Ruud Gullit coined the phrase "sexy football" during his coaching stint at Chelsea, perhaps Griffith should get copyright for "happy football".

Of course, one drizzle does not make the rainy season. Public are sixth in the league at present and Griffith's two domestic outings so far ended with a triumph against a fading United Petrotrin and a loss to second from bottom Defence Force.

There is much to be done before he can consider himself the equal of Connection's Stuart Charles-Fevrier or Jabloteh's Terry Fenwick, while the work of Rangers' Anthony Streete, Economy North East Stars' Clint Marcelle, Petrotrin's Brian Williams and the Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA duo of Jamal Shabazz and Jerry Moe also raised eyebrows this year.

Griffith will not have the element of surprise either when Public face Mexican side Atlante, Honduran club Olimpia and Canada's Montreal Impact in the group stage.

But, for now, it is best to focus on the joy of the present. And to applaud the mercurial Guyanese striker Gregory "Jackie Chan" Richardson, whose hat-trick kicked Revolution into orbit, and the precise delivery of Kerry Baptiste, trickery of Dwarika, leadership of Dale Saunders, cheeky innovation of Silas Spann, spunk of Wolry Wolfe, Jamal Gay and Jason "Froggy" Springer and calm authority of Keyeno Thomas and Alejandro Figueroa. It was a resounding "Public" statement.
Pro League club get kudos for Champions League success.
By: Lasana Liburd (Express).


Public Praise

Former United States Major League Soccer (MLS) players Shaka Hislop and Avery John and T&T Pro League coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier have all hailed Joe Public's emphatic 4-0 CONCACAF Champions League win over MLS outfit, New England Revolution, on Tuesday night. Public's 6-1 two-legged aggregate win was the first for a local club against MLS opponents.

Hislop, currently and ESPN analyst, Trinidad and Tobago Sports Hall of Famer and ex-2006 World Cup goalie said):

I wasn't sure what to expect because (I was in Europe) and didn't see the first leg. I saw New England quite a few times this season (and) certainly didn't expect Public to look as organised as they did and to dominate the game as they did from almost beginning to end.

When you think (New England) are the team on top of Major League Soccer (MLS) and at home, it made Public's result all the more remarkable. Public were fantastic."

Hislop was also impressed with the work of one of Public's veterans: "(Arnold) Dwarika bossed Shalrie (Joseph) which no one bar Dwayne de Rosario comes close to doing in the MLS and that midfield battle was key," he said.

"When you consider the resources that New England has at its disposal, it is a result that says a lot about Joe Public and the Pro League as well as the MLS

"I hope it brings better opportunity for (Caribbean) players to show their ability on a bigger stage. I hope (it changes the way the MLS views Caribbean football) but then we felt that our World Cup performance would do the same for us at Germany 2006 and it didn't pan out that way. But it would open eyes and I think (Gregory) Richardson would rightly get a lot of attention now."

In his own reaction, John the former Miami FC, T&T 2006 World Cup "Soca Warrior" and ex-New England Revolution standout said:

"It was a very good result for Joe Public and they deserved it because they were the better team in both legs. They got a great victory home and away and I can't remember that ever happening for a Trinidad and Tobago club team against a MLS team."

John also hoped the T&T club's success would alter some views in American soccer.

"I hope the MLS changes its view of Caribbean football but I don't think that one game alone should change it. I think their mentality towards us is not based on one game but it is a start and I hope their respect continues to grow. "

W Connnection coach Fevrier was impressed with Public's cohesion and said also,"their work ethic was very good."

And he was even more pleased for the positive advertisement the performance was for local football.

"I thought they represented Trinidad and Tobago and, by extension, the Pro League very well. The fact that they can go there and win 4-0 is a testament to the growth of the league.

As far as what that result will do for us, I think people have always known that we can play football in the Caribbean and that we have talent. What we have to show is that we can do it consistently... Joe Public have raised expectations now and it is very important that they do well in the next stage.


Special guest: Former FIFA president Jao Havelange is escorted by CONCACAF boss and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner through Piarco International Airport yesterday afternoon. Havelange is in the country for the centennial celebrations of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation. -Photo: Anisto Alves
« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 08:02:58 AM by Flex »

Offline weary1969

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Re: "Public" statement
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2008, 10:43:14 PM »
1 drizzle does not make a rainy season I luv it
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline Ponnoxx

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Re: "Public" statement
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2008, 10:53:17 PM »
6-1 is not a drizzle daz more like a down pour...Great Articles  ;D 

Offline fishs

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Re: "Public" statement
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2008, 11:27:13 PM »

 Is Liburd softening his stance to Jack ?
Ah want de woman on de bass

Offline judge101

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Re: "Public" statement
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2008, 11:34:18 PM »
well writen :notworthy: :notworthy:
wise men talke because they have something to say,fools talk because they have to say something

Offline weary1969

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Re: "Public" statement
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2008, 11:37:48 PM »
D fella in a league of his own
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

 

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