The question is: Did the Nicaragua series served it purpose?
For me I will say it I think they did, if only because of the fact that you are now more informed about the quality of the players who participated in the two match exercise.
And according to our Tom Sanitfied himself, “People sometimes people forget that I am only two and half, three weeks in Trinidad and that I saw only a few league matches and I had not a lot of time to select and to find the right players for the coming weeks. So this two-week training camp plus these two friendly matches helped me a lot to know which players are ready, which system is best and how we can be prepared for Suriname and Haiti. I am a very happy coach that we use these days between Christmas and New Years to prepare our team because we have made a lot of steps forward.”
I suppose that you have also tested the competence of our organization in many ways, especially the problems which saw one player and the Chef De Mission. The player in particular who may have not remembered to check his passports for the expiry date.
That aside, your disciplined attitude to training must have sent some messages to your stringent policy regarding same.
As to the matches itself, because we have been deprived of getting the opportunity to see our new look coach and his selected players, I was faced with doing a search for any type of coverage available. When I actually began to get a glimpse of the actual match the coverage was lousy and it came over as a stop and start football match (there is no such thing).
So the only information which I could have told myself was regarding the time of possession which we were only able to hold 44 per cent of the first match and marginal better in the second.
There was also some coverage which was actually showing the movement of the ball in animated style with the abbreviated names T&T and Nicaragua guiding us.
At times, when the quality improved marginally, the Central Americans appeared more organized and displayed some good ball possession.
Thankfully, all the goals in the two matches were shown on television via news. The opening goal by Luis Peralta in the 3rd minute of the first match was a sloppy piece of defending, where three red shirts lingered around the six-years-box with trying to reach a cross which started its downward trend amidst the trio, but they allowed enough space for a Nicaraguan to demonstrate the perfect technique of heading it past our keeper.
The second goal from Daniel Cadena was even more comical whereby a shot taken from at least 40-metres saw our keeper having to cover the length of the penalty area to catch the looping ball. He failed to reach and we were two goals down. Thankfully we retaliated with an attractive goal by Hashim Arcia, way of a well taken shot from 15 meters out.
My assessment for the first game was in T&T’s favour, simply because the home team is usually start with a two-goal advantage. This meant that the Warriors may have been an formidable opponent, and could take some credit for the one goal deficit at the conclusion of the first encounter.
The second match statistically was a great plus for the new coach with an improved quality of play, but more importantly, scoring three goals in the process.
My impression of the quality of play on both sides appeared slower than it should have been, and there was too much facility offer to the players with the ball from both sides. That signalled that the game was treated as a “true friendly”, maybe with the thought of avoiding injuries at this with T&T having two crucial matches in less than a week’s time against an always tough Haiti and Suriname in the CFU Gold Cup play-off starting on Wednesday in T&T.
Nothing negative about the exercise, but whatever has been shown by the instructions from the new coach must be seem when the Warriors face Suriname and Haiti.
The real test will begin on Wednesday.