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Up-Close with Flex.
Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:56

Team Chemistry - "Play For We, Not Me"

Not that our players played badly, but we could have done better, I guess in time. But in the mean time Jamaica, Cuba and Barbados will be good test for us later this month in the Digicel Cup, I hope we keep the core with a few additions.

Shaka Hislop:
I do believe Hislop needs to be more aggressive. Early in the game Hislop did look a little shaky and stayed on his goal line to often but, made up for it with some telling saves, he communicated with his defense well and showed leadership qualities.

Anton Pierre:
Solid at the back, his pace is a bit slow, but his positioning is great, he proved he can also pass accurately from 50 yards out, but did his job by getting the ball out he just needs to not be so predictable.

Marvin Andrews:
Did what he had to do, but made one or two simple mistakes, he didn't cover Eddie Johnson and it cost us a goal. Another one who led the defense well for most times.

Brent Sancho:
Looked great, did what he had to do, his work rate and effort was a good sign.

Marlon Rojas:
Made some important tackles, but fumbled a bit while overlapping and crossing, showed improvement from his previous games I saw though.

Anthony Rougier:
I was expecting more from him, maybe he got a knock and had to be taken off, if not, then St Clair made a good sub because he was a none factor. I still have faith in him.

Leslie Fitzpatrick:
“First to the ball, last to give up” Great determination Tiger showed. Played hard and showed great fight. However, he needs to work on his close control and his passing, his crosses was also miss-timed as USA defense red him and kept pulling up and in the process catching Stern John off-side on many occasions. May be he would do better as a defense midfielder helping more on the defensive side though. I like his determination and fitness which was a plus for him, but not knowing the basic facts about the game (trapping, shooting, one two passing and crossing) doesn’t say to much, I hope on his part that nerves got the better off him.

Dwight Yorke:
Played an excellent first half, however, in the second half he was invisible partly and should have been substituted instead of Fitzpatrick. I predict once he gets match fit he can add more to his game. This is why he should show up for more friendly games. I also think he needs to play as a striker or right behind our strikers and not center midfield or on the wing, he is a proven goal scorer once he gets the support. But he looked a bit burnt out in the second half, he is a must though.

Carlos Edwards:
Made some decent runs, but didn't utilize his crossing ability to his full potential. Showed glimpse, but looked like he needs more time to re-gain his full fitness level. How can we use players who are just coming off long injuries or not playing regularly for their clubs to start for our team. If you notice all of the local based or USA based T&T players did what they had to do with the exception of Hislop, Sancho and Andrews.

Kenwyne Jones:
Didn't add much in the first half, but made up a little in the second. When he got a chance though he did look good and was the only T&T striker to shoot or made an effort to shoot from outside the box.

Stern John:
He's a great finisher. His close control and work rate needs to be improved. He has lost his "Stern Turn" I still like him though, but I believe these foreign players (if possible) must come for more games. Stern has rescue us many times, so I cannot be to hard on him, the miss-understanding between our midfield and forward was noticeable, so this to could have also been a factor for Stern John‘s performance. He did have 3 great headers on goal but scoring headers against any US keeper will be hard to accomplished.

Cornell Glen:
Made a huge difference when he came on, however, he gets' frustrated too fast, he needs a cooler head and play his game to his best ability.

Angus Eve:
He was an excellent substitute, made a difference when he came on. I was impressed, a good weapon to have running off the bench.

Denzil Theobald:
His pass made Eve score, so he did his job in midfield, his work rate was a good sign.

Bertille St Clair:
His tactics, formation and selection was a bit poor. In the end he did make some good tactical adjustments. He should have subbed Yorke for Glen and switch to a 4-3-3 formation seeing that USA was looking to protect that 2-0 advantage and was looking for the quick counter as well. The long ball have to go immediately, we looked great when we played the ball on the ground; something like this at second half would have been better I feel.


Cornell Glen for Dwight Yorke.
Denzil Theobald for Carlos Edwards.
Angus Eve for Anthony Rougier.

All subs capable off running at tired legs.

Some of you may not agree, but the way I saw it (off course I could be wrong) we had 25 minutes to go and we needed to score badly. USA was getting tired and we could have gone all out an exploited this. USA was playing very high and kept catching us in their off-side trap, their coach is also tactically fit and made sure his defenders played that high style effectively.

T&T played great in the final 30 or so, the subs St Clair made also was a huge factor for the team doing so better. T&T needs to play more eager (attack as a team and defend as one). We started of playing as a team but faded in the last 30 of the first half. Every man was covering each other in the first 15 of the first half and the team looked great. We didn't keep up the pressure on USA and maintain procession we also looked a bit unfit even more than the Americans at one time.

"Why defend if you are not being attacked" , we are at home and we are down 2-0 even up to the 80th minute, where's the urgency. The long ball from defense to forward was killing our momentum “win the midfield, you win the game”.

I have said this before and will say it again;

1. We need to use a style that best suits our players.

2. We need to use our midfield and our wing players more often; they are the link from defense to forward.

3. Our wing players are key members because of the forwards we have. When we attack through the wing we looked dangerous. This will also force the opposing defenders out of defense and open space for our forwards.

4. We need a physical training (maybe Ato Boldon ?) can help, but running all day may not be enough. May be training in a high altitude environment may help improve our players, but some advance training is needed.

5. We need to use the whole field.

6. I recommended we use a 3-2-3-2, this formation will allow us to switch to a 4-4-2 or even a 3-5-2 if needed, something like this for example;


Maybe Jones for Rougier...??

Jose Luis Seabra may get his papers now seeing that Patrick Manning was there at the game, he may see the importance of having our best players represent us. Possibility of having Silvio Spann, Andre Boucaud, Kerwyn Jemmott and Arnold Dwarika might be good option as well. We lacked stability and creativeness in midfield, our defenders have no clue how to pass a ball out of defense to midfield, so this is why we need 2 defensive midfielders to help distribute the ball out to our midfield and also join the attack or defense.

Arnold Dwarika may not be the best possible T&T player but he does open up spaces and adds creativity to our attack. He's also well respect in CONCACAF by other teams and could be a useful sub or decoy, which ever way.

Jose Seabra, while some might dis-agree, I think he can help, he will surely be a better option on the left wing over Fitzpatrick or even Rojas. He is great with crosses and set plays as well. Fitzpatrick could join the defense midfield (see above).

David Nakhid will surely add some leadership and stability in midfield. While Spann, Boucaud and Eve are good back ups.

Maybe Avery John can also help as a defensive midfielder or wing back.

USA will beat a team on three main points:

1. They use psychology where they build you up and then put you down in an instant. They play mind games, they also distract your attention making you feel they are looking at certain players when that is only a hoax.

2. They out-think their opponent, the coaching staff has great tactical ability, they scout their opponent and they are technically fit.

3. The players represent their team like troops in the Army, they are fit, prepared, proud and determined.

Just my view, I am not a coach nor a player and in the end I am in full support of T&T and who ever represent us. I just gave my view and felt we could have done better because the United States was, or is very beatable. Football is also a game where you have to out think your opponent, so over-ally, we need to change our approach in many aspects.

I also believe we can reach Germany after seeing the last 20 minutes or so of the second half yesterday, but we just need to put the puzzle together and be more consistent at this level. Even though USA came off the peddle a bit and started playing more defensively to protect that 2 goal advantage they had, we should have exploited that. When they score one we must have the determination to score two.

Whether its Me, Tom, Dick or Harry, the heads of T&T football need to be more open to constructive criticism, simply because, if we are not opened to suggestions, then how can we grow. All teams, businesses and other successful organizations do it. I dont know if they do listen or they have someone who advises the team. I just wish we had a more collective effort from everyone. Germany is not over. T&T dont give up.

Good Luck T&T.
Full support to the staff and Team.
We cannot change the past, but we can prevent it from happening in the future......

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