Sun, Jun


One of the things which I have learnt from nu­mer­ous sports ex­perts is that the im­me­di­ate step to­wards im­prove­ment is the recog­nise the rea­son for de­feat.

Maybe this de­tailed study of Den­nis Lawrence’s planned route to­wards im­prove­ment should start from the pre-game ac­tiv­i­ty, the choice of play­ers avail­able for any match to be played, through to the even­tu­al re­sult.

I be­lieve that the foot­ball-lov­ing pub­lic will be com­fort­ed to hear the de­tails and the up­com­ing plan for the se­ri­ous chal­leng­ing com­pe­ti­tion which starts next month.

Be­cause our lo­cal me­dia did not al­low the op­por­tu­ni­ty to see the game via tele­vi­sion, any com­ments, good or bad on just the re­sult, will be shal­low and based up­on the usu­al “we foot­ball is in a mess” and would not serve any pur­pose.

Like many of those who were not present at the game or wit­nessed it from ex­quis­ite tech­nol­o­gy, I shall view this match in the fol­low­ing way.

The deep feel­ing of CON­CA­CAF Gold Cup fail­ure for many rea­sons would have brought to the coach’s mind, var­i­ous ad­just­ments to his team pre­pared for the Sep­tem­ber chal­lenge.

A de­tailed dis­cus­sion amidst the me­dia may re­veal the route from now.

As far as the de­feat by St Vin­cent and the Grenadines is con­cerned, usu­al­ly, the pre-game thoughts in­di­cate that the home team has a goal dif­fer­ence of two and that will prob­a­bly be the tar­get. They are ac­cus­tomed to their home ground, the ab­solute sup­port of their fans and a group filled with the de­sire of de­feat­ing a high­er-ranked coun­try in a friend­ly al­ways pro­vide good in­spi­ra­tion to any team or group in a con­test.

Coach Lawrence has a bunch of green­horns who are al­so very in­ex­pe­ri­enced and whose to­geth­er­ness in an in­ter­na­tion­al match is ner­vous­ness and op­po­nents who are un­known to them. Then, of course, the field which they have to as­sess dur­ing the match.

So we can­not make an as­sess­ment of the past when our club teams had de­feat­ed the St Vin­cent na­tion­al team.

One goal con­ced­ed in the first half was not sat­is­fac­to­ry, but giv­en the pre-game prepa­ra­tion, there may well have been in­equal­i­ty in the op­por­tu­ni­ties on the field.

The “send­ing off” of a T&T play­er would have al­so cre­at­ed se­ri­ous is­sues for the play­ers and es­pe­cial­ly the coach in ad­just­ing. Was it easy for coach Lawrence to make ad­just­ments which cor­rect­ed first-half mis­takes with the full team? And if he was suc­cess­ful, then he would im­me­di­ate­ly have to dig deep­er in­to a for­mu­la with a ten-man team on the field.

The sit­u­a­tion was a group of in­ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers, a team with one man short, and an away crowd sup­port­ing the home team, and in hind­sight, in­suf­fi­cient prepa­ra­tion be­fore the game.

There is suf­fi­cient time for full prepa­ra­tion for the up­com­ing com­pe­ti­tion. The TTFA ad­min­is­tra­tion, who de­serve blame for the pres­ence of con­stant in­ad­e­qua­cies of our on-field foot­ball, now have the op­por­tu­ni­ty to bring some form of san­i­ty and com­fort for coach Lawrence to con­tin­ue to work with the lo­cal play­ers in a dili­gent fash­ion and work with them as though for­eign play­ers are un­avail­able or avail­able for the tour­na­ment.

Nu­mer­ous lo­cal friend­lies and team camps for four days in each week and the com­fort of rest, good meals, many black­board ses­sions with the team and dis­cus­sions about the style of play of their op­po­nents, through video ses­sions and prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ences wher­ev­er nec­es­sary, are need­ed.

Give the coach and his play­ers the en­vi­ron­ment which would bring progress. Un­til then, cool it, please.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian