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Maylee explains what Warriors need: fitness, firepower and ruthlessness from the bench

Costa Rica didn’t do anything spectacular against Trinidad and Tobago but they were very patient. Costa Rica played close to a walking pace in the first half, and defended with five players at the back. They were playing dead to catch corbeau alive.

Trinidad and Tobago did a relatively decent job in the first half and created the better chances between the both teams. The most important thing going into the game for T&T was limiting their mistakes and errant passes. And they did that for the first 45 minutes, which in turn limited Costa Rica’s goal scoring chances and potential counter attacks.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago right back Daneil Cyrus (left) tries to hang on to Costa Rica attacker Christian Bolanos during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago right back Daneil Cyrus (left) tries to hang on to Costa Rica attacker Christian Bolanos during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Then came the second half where the opponents took advantage of Trinidad and Tobago’s lack of fitness, compactness and pressuring of the ball on defence.

Just after the half, Costa Rica inserted their strong and versatile forward Joel Campbell, who made all the difference for them. T&T were no longer capable of pressuring the ball and closing off the passing lanes by then. The first goal came from Trinidad and Tobago players being out of position due to weary legs and a total lapse in concentration.

And that all boils down to the team’s collective lack of fitness. We can kiss the 2018 World Cup goodbye if we don’t raise our level of fitness to an international standard.

As I told one of the players, as a professional you need to always maintain at least 70% fitness throughout the year because you never know when your number will be called.

Some of the players do not understand the importance of being fit. Football is a running game and, if you can’t do it at a high intensity for 90 minutes—no matter how talented your team—you will come out on the wrong side of the result every time at this level.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Jomal Williams (centre) tries hold off Costa Rica defenders Johnny Acosta (left) and Francisco Calvo during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Jomal Williams (centre) tries hold off Costa Rica defenders Johnny Acosta (left) and Francisco Calvo during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

I think we gave our opponents too much respect. The Costa Ricans came here to play on the counter with a mindset to take a point but hope for a win. We gave them the game. We allowed the game to come to us rather than us taking the game to them.

Being at home, we lacked aggression and assertiveness. We lacked offensive fire power and a true finisher up top, as well we lacked movement and finesse in the midfield—a player who can create magic would make a difference for this team.

There are so many adjustments that are needed going forward in order for us to have a chance at qualifying.

We were very much disjointed at times last night and that’s because we lacked movement on and off the ball, especially in the midfield. When the ball was passed to the wingers, sometimes the only option they had was to run with the ball because the midfielders were not showing for it and there was no outlet on top since our target forward wasn’t moving much or running into spaces effectively.

The system we have in place at the moment makes it highly unlikely that we will score goals on the run of play. At this moment, we play with Kenwyne Jones as the lone striker and with two wingers playing extremely wide and far from him.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones (top) climbs to head the ball during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones (top) climbs to head the ball during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

If we are going with Jones as the number one striker, he needs some sort of support because he is very effective at flicking on balls for others to run on to and needs someone on top to compliment him. So our wingers and the attacking midfielder have to play a bit closer to him.

We have to be much more aggressive on offence. Apparently we don’t have the fitness to play higher up the field so, if the ball is lost, we can clamp our opponents in their half of the field and when we win the ball we’re closer to their goal which will enable us to have much more bodies in attack.

Again, goals win matches and we don’t have a lethal finisher. The one player that comes to mind is Cornell Glen. He’s the only true experienced and lethal finisher we have—even at his age.

Glen gives you speed—although not as fast as he once was—he can create his own shot, he can play with his back against defenders, he can run off the ball, and he can be a nightmare for defenders in 1v1 situations. I think he can bring that leadership that is glaringly lacking at this moment.

I admire head coach Stephen Hart but I believe he takes way too long to make changes. I don’t understand why our coaches, at most times, are opposed to making a substitution on the half.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) dashes past Costa Rica right wing back Christian Gamboa during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) dashes past Costa Rica right wing back Christian Gamboa during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

We needed some fire power and a boost of energy entering the second half. Speed kills and we have a couple shockingly fast players with the likes of Trevin Caesar and, as we have seen, Willis Plaza.

I thought the substitutions made against Costa Rica were relatively good. The only issue I had was the length of time it took for coach Hart to make them.

I think coach Hart has done a tremendous job since taking over. I have seen when T&T were losing to the likes of Guyana and St Lucia. No disrespect to to any of those teams, but we are Trinidad and Tobago and I believe we have to always set the standard when it comes to Caribbean football.

I followed the team when he first took over and, in every tournament, they improved drastically. I have seen changes in the mindset of some players and he created a team that the powerhouses were nervous to play.

I think he does a very good job breaking down the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and coming up with a formidable plan to counteract. Sometimes we as players don’t always execute the game plan but I think Hart is one of the main reasons the program is where it is at.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Senior National Team coach Stephen Hart (right) gestures during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016. Looking on is Trinidad and Tobago winger Cordell Cato. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Senior National Team coach Stephen Hart (right) gestures during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016.
Looking on is Trinidad and Tobago winger Cordell Cato.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

They are going through a spell at the moment and sometimes familiarity breathes contempt. So he may need to change the way he does things and he may need to change the way he deals with the players and be more forceful in his convictions.

Because the players aren’t playing for him the way they used to in his first year and a half.

About Maylee Attin-Johnson

Maylee Attin-Johnson
Maylee Attin-Johnson is the Trinidad and Tobago Women's Senior National Team captain and has represented her country at senior international level since the age of 15. She has a bachelor's degree in Sports Management from the Kennesaw State University in Georgia, USA.

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  1. Lol shutdown before we even start

  2. Maylee thanks for saying it loud and clear. Nobody has the guts to admit shortcomings of this squad although there is plenty potential

  3. we need to drop K. Jones he is slowing down the football, not turning on defenders and taking shot we can’t even play a ball over the top for him to chase…….K.Jones is simply keeping us back

  4. Everyone seeing the reason for warriors failure except hart
    What convinced hart that kenwyn is a striker

  5. Costa Rica did not need play anything

  6. Anyone observed wen d #12 for Costa Rica i believed to be J Campbell came in how he was playing, had our defender busy, not waiting around, hussling d ball linking with his midfield

  7. But he have some young talent people on his bench he have to start them

  8. Get kenwyne Jones away from the team start the younger players

  9. Y’all need a versatile striker this Jones dude is a lazy MF ,need a striker who could take on the defense, whose hungry for goal

  10. Get a new player’s is the same thing over And over

  11. It’s so much simpler than all this analysis…we need a new Captain !

  12. What i cant understand is every time we go blame fitness these guys play professionally every single one of them and they all come on national duties during their season which means they are suppose to be fit coming into camp,no grit there is no fight in them hats off to Cyrus and bateau on top of they both need to be our starting centre backs.

  13. Marlee apparently saw the same game I looked at.

  14. This coach prefer tuh make changes all around d team,leaves our best central midfielder on the bench Bocaud,leaves Guerra on the bench the only player we may be able tuh get some kinda creativity from but when it comes to the strikers position insanity kicks in, trying the same lazy,bad attitude,poor first touch,poor finishing player an expecting a different result then goes in the postmatch interview an say he worked hard. Clearly coach Hart an the country were viewing different games

  15. U see the short ball knock knock in the back we not ready for that get the ball in the midfield and attack… They tend to always go back and loose the ball to easily… The striker is a joke he doesn’t even help the midfield in no way possible doesn’t apply any pressure to the opposing team’s defense… To much TV football they want to play and they not ready for that standard the key of the game is goals and we not scoring… This current team structure will NOT MAKE IT FAR

  16. Since Germany. I see Trinidad. Playing. Football. For fun

  17. Jamal Gay …… that is all

  18. It have so many good players in the pro league and the super league who are very great players and there are not on the nation side we have so many great talents in this country but there are left in the shawdow. The nation coach need to do more scouting

  19. We may need all of that ..what we don’t need though, is Kenwyne as our striker …

  20. How could they be fit and they partying all the time .no discipline!

  21. Since you pushed me, keep one of Kevan George or Neveal Hackshaw. Maybe a good place to start.

    • I don’t think we have another player who can come close to Kevan in terms of breaking up play. So I will take him out of the picture.
      Neveal is a box to box player, just 21 years old, on an upward curve and he has more international experience than Nathaniel.
      I like Nathaniel and I think he can be a top player eventually. But I don’t think dropping Hackshaw for him helps us in the short term and might not be progressive.

    • Hackshaw doesn’t even get playing time. How is replacing one unused substitute with another unused substitute who is older than him help?
      I think people getting a little too excitable about this loss.

  22. They fit enough for boat ride though.

  23. We can only pick 23 players Brian Jordan. If you bring someone in, you have to take someone out. I just don’t think we have left out players who can make a difference apart from maybe Bostock, Molino and Glen.
    So I’m curious as to why you would include those two. They must come in for someone.

  24. Why? Because the team lacks creativity and could use higher workrate in midfield

  25. T&T need to get rid of Hart if he can’t do something simple like dropping Kenwyne…

    Jones is the only captain in world football that gets subbed every game…

  26. Lasana. the coach would have to decide based on practice, especially since he seems to not play many of his subs..

  27. Why them? We have 23 players on the squad right now. Which players would they replace then?

  28. It’s not about who they play ahead of. It’s really about would the coach consider changing or adapting his system so that either of their skillsets can aid team in particular game situations.

  29. Who would they play ahead of Brian? I’m not convinced.

  30. I think chasing a game requires a different set of skills than being ahead and/or managing a lead. Having those types of players helps on a 12 man bench.

  31. That is good…but definitely not my kind of striker..

  32. If system changes, the coach would then address that issue based upon their practice acumen..

  33. We have to play to our player’s strengths. I think both Sean and Nathaniel can aid this team situationally..

  34. What is bostock issues…is it money…

  35. I have no stats…but lasana can you tell me howmany goals jones has scored in his international career for trinidad….and his professional career…he is not a out an out goal scorer…nothing with taking of his head..
    .but he is being position by coach hart to score goals….

  36. If the previous Concacaf Gold Cup is anything to go by all these acusations would be put to rest. That was some of the best football I have seen fromT&T. I put it down to form, we badly need a run. It is convinent to blame and boo and call for KJ head, but that wont solve the slump we are in. The team needs a boost. Bostock and molino have not made that any easier.

  37. We also need vibes and passion from the supporters us as a ppl who got all that vibe and energy are too quite as the 12th man other countries suppose to fear to come play T&T in the stadium we most be loud and aggressive as fans not violent thou

  38. It’s a clueless setup if u ask me..

  39. What about our captain ?he’s obviously to slow to be of any help to his teammates

  40. Ian, we have peeps to play 352. Issue is whether the coach wants to bring in a few fresh faces in midfield. Nathaniel Garcia and/or Sean DaSilva can help there.

    • You think Nathaniel and Sean can automatically take T&T to the next level? That they can stand out against Costa Rica?

    • Sean is too slow to play international football… and i say this with no malice as he went to my Alma Mater and i enjoy watching him play when he is on… and playing 352 at club vs 352 at international level is 2 different things… especially with mobile forwards… and the issue will be do the wide players have enough discipline to time their runs and be effective wing backs…. with the speed of most of the teams in our region (especially on the wing) not a good option for us…

    • That’ll be a really brave move

    • I don’t think there any players outside apart from maybe Cornell Glen who can make an immediate impact. There are players with talent who can grown in team and so on. But that’s it.
      To prove me wrong, tell me who player would come in to replace in starting team?

    • It have this midget fella that does play for a team in Grande eh and the opponents will be so surprise that what he will be doing on the field we will always ketch them watching the midget while Mr. Bound not to score will finally start scoring plenty goals eh since my Coach Hart is not giving up on him Them really good yes hahahaha

  41. The coach needs to sit Kenwayne Jones on the bench better yet off the team. There are a lot of young and hungry forwards out there. Time for some new and energetic blood in the team and playing too

  42. I think we did decent, why is nobody recommending ball pest to the team to occupy that pocket between mid and KJ

  43. Lasana…my 2 cents…can someone tell me what system of play or formation are we playing…are we disciplined for 90 minutes to play their roles in the system…look at the first goal which was scored….where was the discipline of our right back…was he ball watching…yes…..i will still say that plaza is the best striker we have in trinidad…the system of play looking at the match saw long balls going into jones with no support for him backward or forward…then you bring plaza on and the long balls kept coming at him….different players…need to receive the ball in differently….i can go on and on…fitness is not the issue in my opinion…discipline of formation and structure is utmost important…

  44. You sure damn right look at the first goal from the right flank poor defence

  45. Just imagine that eh I got to understand that Jomal Williams is really a midfielder eh, and my Coach Hart put him in the forward line eh, and he have the really prolific stickers on the bench Willis Plaza and Caesar eh which means as I said my dictator President David John-williams is his boss and he better play his W- Connection players so that they can obtain their caps so when they get a real big professional contract abroad eh, my dictator President will get plenty monies for his players eh. Them really good yes.

    • Hart only played one forward … jomal got a free role in the midfield to stay close to kj for support in short an attacking mid. If yuh wanna go after Hart at least have yuh facts straight nah homie. Ah trump man!

    • So who was the forward eh and doh tell me that it was Bound not to score because anytime Cato and Jones went down the flank to make the crosses eh he was no where to be found because he was always in the midfield position moving like ah snail eh. Them really good yes hahaha

  46. Now the minister weighing in on commentary. If these guys understand the way in which they are viewed by the bodies that they fund, they will refrain from making those comments. What we’ve seen in TT is a lack of independence of these bodies receiving state funds and as such, comments may influence important decisions

    • I don’t think anybody takes Darryl Smith seriously.

    • Lasana Liburd I know that but he might have some influence because the TTFF is even weaker than him

    • He can’t even speak properly the same like the ex corrupted Sports Minister Mr. 2 pull steeupps and since he said that he represented one of our national football youth teams back in the days eh. I am still trying to find out if this is true because no one remembers him doing so and if he did eh maybe he was a shit hound the same as Mr. Bound not to score eh, and dem politicians could lie. steeuupss. Them really good yes. hahahaha

    • Darryl Smith never represented Trinidad and Tobago in anything but his dreams.
      I think sporting bodies have been aware of their own power for a long time.
      The only sport minister I’ve seen successfully bully sporting entities was Anil Roberts.
      I doubt DJW is quaking at the thought of negotiating with Smith.

    • Earl Mango Pierre I played for the national team too. As a water boy

    • Lasana Liburd the bullying doesn’t have to be overt. Influence comes when one simply funds yiu

    • Brian I know what you mean. But DJW has wiggle room because FIFA money has started to flow for maybe the first time in five or six years.
      So the TTFA isn’t as badly off as it was before. And not through any fault before or brilliant move now.
      It’s just that FIFA has finished taking back what they felt necessary due to Jack’s machinations. And we are starting afresh.

    • Lasana Liburd good so maybe they would develop some smarts and go out and get the help like the other football bodies in concacaf- hire consultants to come in an help implement systems and processes like – leadership development, accounting and budgeting, coaching development and assessment, team psychologists, infrastructure planning, nutritionists and supplementation specialists and performance coaches. All of these can be in the form of a proper strategic and tactical plan that embodies a vision, some operating principles and looks out maybe ten years with reviews annually.

      When such a plan is in place and given that they have their own FIFA funding maybe they can develop some balls.

      I’ve done this for several sporting bodies in different places and always wanted to do it in TT or the wi. Pay me and it shall be done – and well

    • The minister knows as much about football as he knows about diet.

    • Gerard Johnson – its Sunday be kind!

  47. They play like they’re at practice ..

  48. Ian, Lasana.. I think Williams was next to KJ a couple times, ahead a few and behind many. Possibly because he was asked to perform a role he wasn’t quite familiar with..

  49. When would we realize that the best playmaker is the one who don’t have the ball. Is like if a player don’t have the ball he thinks he can’t make a play.

  50. Observation #1: the slow type of football we want to play, needs someone who could make killer passes to split defences.
    Observation #2: someone with the ability to split defences with vision, need strikers who could run the channels.
    Observation #3: this team will go toe to toe with any concacaf team if the game is spread, anytime it’s compact one touch football is problems.

    • you on the ball. I’m sure mr heart can find a real playmaker for the midfield and with that said me will have to use running forwards

    • I question why Sean de silva got dropped he has the best vision on the team. Also boucaud should be starting he is the strongest midfielder we have as well as protects the ball well.

  51. See Cornell Glen the pride of cocorite they need you on the side like we hadda start a petition for you to come back

  52. I agree, the team played like they had no idea of what they were about,no plan

  53. Well let’s look at it from a coaching perspective…. We got the scouting report right… Costa rica does not play very fast… they like to knock the ball around, patient build up, but you must be careful of the wingers….. to play against this style of football you need EXTREMELY disciplined players who will hold the “lines” and not get suck in to chase or ball watch leaving the space they want to exploit…. the pace of the game was slow because we were playing Costa Rica’s game…. WE ARE NOT BUILT TO PLAY THAT WAY FOR 90 min…. the way you beat them is to actually be brave, up the tempo and stifle the midfield outlet passes… force them back and make sure the back four are launching the ball forward (hurried passes) as opposed to trying to build it out… and we must win the 2nd and 3rd balls….. We tried to play like them and got burned… why…. we are not good enough to a man in every position of the field to play that way…. We were probably better off in this game going with a 433 offensively with LEVI and JJ wide to see if we could get them in 1v1 situations… it forces the wing backs to be honest and if we win some of those battles causes havoc with the lines of defense….. then revert to a 451 defensively so that we kill space in the middle and attacking 3rd… that way we keep KJ out of the defensive picture and have him only work in the attacking 3rd looking for service from the wings (his bread and butter)…. WHAT IS VERY CLEAR is We can’t play this way (vs Costa rica) and expect any results in the Hex…. the teams are too good for that….

    • One thing I will add. That 4-3-3 system you mentioned would also need Joevin and Levi to track the Costa Rica wing backs. That hasn’t been a strong point for either.
      And finding players who are extremely disciplined sounds good. But where do you find them?
      Our player pool is small with mostly Pro League players and a handful of lower level European and US players for the most part.

    • Lasana, I agree somewhat. Joevin tracks and defends well in the MLS. Similarly, Levi does the same for AZ Alkmaar. We may need to step up our expectations for these players..

    • Agreed, but note I said a 451 defensively……. that relieves the wingers of tracking….. their job is once ball is lost get baclk to a set position of the field (it have nuff drills for that and I have seen Levi play for AZ, he has to track back and defend all the time) …

    • It’s baffling why some players are not leaving everything out on the field. But they have to believe in what the team can do more than us.

    • Honestly right now I think HART is over thinking it …. we have players playing in a system they are not playing at their clubs and is is not consistent with any of their natural style of play…… he needs to dumb down the package and literally play a basic 442 package which morphs into either a 443 or a 451 depending on situation and need…. EVERY PLAY knows their role in a 442…. we have players that can play 433 and 451 is just wing recovery…… al these systems will allow for us to carry KJ, with the expectation that when the chances come he buries them….

    • Ian, sometimes it is harder to spot the system on tv. But that was the system we played.
      Jomal was so close to Kenwyne that it was usually 4-4-2. Sometimes he dropped slightly deeper and it became 4-5-1. That’s how we almost always play.

    • What is so baffling about that Mr Live Wire do you really think that our players will ever put out 100% to get injured and loose their contracts abroad and know that the corrupted TTFA doesn’t really care about their welfares eh, hence the reason why I am always saying that they need to concentrate on developing our younger/ thirsty players who are all trying to get a real professional contract abroad and they really also need to have a real professional league in our sweet country to eh where our players are really getting paid the real professional monies and that is the only way that we will be a force to be reckon with in time to come and I dun talk. Them really good yes.

    • Honestly sana wit hthe spacing on the field it was quite difficult to pick up what they were doing…..

    • and I bet it wasnt a 442…. did we have 2 holding midfielders?

    • And that is so true eh Ian R Briggs most of the times I really don’t know what system our Soca Worries are playing eh and I am positively certain that they doesn’t know themselves steuuspps Them really good yes,

    • Ian R Briggs, Kevan George and Hyland were the two holding midfielders with Kevan sitting while Hyland tried to push forward when he could.
      Jomal is new to this and he usually plays as a wide midfielder. So his movement in the inside role wasn’t the best.

    • We dont have the talent pool to effectively play that system… just like we cant play a 3 5 2 or 343…..

    • Yes, we have played a 4-2-3-1 throughout Hart’s reign with a brief experiments with 4-3-3. The attacking central midfielder kinda determines what the post would look like.
      For the 2013 Gold Cup, that was Cornell Glen so it played like a 4-4-2. Since then we have had Kevin Molino, Ataulla Guerra, Keron Cummings and Khaleem Hyland play there. All different types of players, so the style has been different..

    • I’m trying not to encourage Trini Don, Brigo! You’re making it hard for me to keep a straight face! Hahaha

    • make comments about our team with a straight face is work enough…. must laugh

  54. And Brian Jordan if our workrate has to improve in order to compete in the Hex and I do certainly agree with you, Mr Bound Not to score definitely shouldn’t be on the team eh, because his workrate will never improve. Them really good yes.

  55. Earl, not just Venezuela.. but we do have to keep in mind, we can’t consistently beat Martinique, Haiti and others too eh..

  56. Just imagine that Venezuela is our next door neighbors eh and we doesn’t even play them a game every year eh, to test our abilities against them and of course other South American and European teams the same like Costa Rica and my second sweetest country does do eh, and the game will always be like Barcelona vs Real Madrid, eh Them really good yes.

  57. Fitness would be an issue in so far as it impacts optimal workrate. Our workrate has to improve, particularly, in the midfield if we are to compete in the hex..

  58. Buh A A but you really knows the subject Ian R Briggs so when do you think our Soca Worries will ever get it together eh and I wonder if Coach Hart and the corrupted TTFA will ever be doing anything about our bootleg football eh. Them really good yes.

  59. Trinidad NEEDS to rest Kenwyn Jones…

  60. If you have seen them play since the last world cup, they have actually changed their style of play to be LESS european and more old style South American (i.e. slow methodical build up but attack at pace when you see the opening).. they use their wingers who are VERY fast, but they “spring them” as opposed to 1v1 battles… Chile does it, Colombia to a lesser extent, Brazil is back to playing that way…. If your team is not disciplined enough to pick up the 3rd and 4th runs you will get burned (1st goal was a perfect example)… and if you are chasing the game against them and you dont have real pace at the back you will get burned on the counter (2nd goal… and Brazil 2nd goal vs Argentina)…. they will always have numbers going forward and numbers back…. the big man in the middle is the hold out from the European style of big center backs …. and that is a product of playing ALOT of games against quality european competition… they have an identity and playing philosophy (which clearly we don’t have) and it is currently working for them…… cant play at this level and STILL have no idea who we are and what we trying to do as a team…..

  61. One thing people not mentioning is that while teams like the USA prepare for the world cup 4 yrs in advance we doing that weeks before..we don’t even know what is our regular starting line up is yet..we still looking at bostock and unsure of a few starters even in the last game..

    • Andrew…. my sentiments exactly… we prepare our teams for now for now. In my sport the coaches here prepare athletes for short term rather than long term planning.
      We see coaches preparing athletes for CARIFTA games in April and after that it stops for another three months. Good coaches look at the long term , the 2020 Olympics, and use Carifta and CAC etc as testing points in the athlete’s development.

  62. Well said my Coach Kurtwyn Baird and baller for life and yuh eh see the Chico’s brought a basketball player to deal with Mr. Bound Not to score eh, since when Costa Rica have any defender on their team tall and big, big so eh. Them really good yes. hahahaha

  63. What do you think Nigel Myers?

    • Fitness is a perennial problem for all of our national teams, men and women, youth and senior. Almost every coach mentions it. Lack of movement off the ball is another major problem. That is what leads to excessive backward and lateral passes. We are also not noted for being able to concentrate collectively for the duration of the game. Costa Rica was content with conceding possession to us, because they knew that they had another gear to go to. I believe they were just waiting for us to make a mistake and slack off which is what eventually happened. I know tournaments are all about results, but I do not believe the team played badly. I would have liked to see more creativity going forward, but other than that it wasn’t a disaster. I don’t know what people really expect. It would be foolish to just go on an all out attack just because we playing at home. You have to factor in the opposition as well as our own abilities.

      I believe one of the biggest factors contributing to the plateau we seem to have reached is we do not play enough games. As Hart say, we always in tournament mode, so there is hardly an opportunity to experiment with new formations, new players, players in different roles etc. Of course, many off-the-field issues continue to plague us as well.

    • That’s exactly how I see it too. But it seems like we are in the minority.

  64. I looked at the game,I disagree that fitness being a part of our problem,3 defensive midfielders in which neither one of them capable of breaking the defensive lines quickly in the final third,and our defensive transition was not tiredness but laziness on both goals,go back I look at the both goals of the Chico’s and the effort the players made to break our defensive lines.first half was so lackluster that Costa Rica was shocked that we were so defensive in a home game that people felt we were playing well because the score was 0-0,if we are using wingers on their less favored foot and having them cut back then you need the distraction from overlapping wingbacks,I haven’t seen the practices but to be fair to KJ,very few balls were effectively played into the danger zone because of tactical set up by the Costa Rican’s.

    The changes had some immediate impact but little danger.

    • Strongly agree with you point.

      Fitness was not an issue at all I think.
      We don’t have the flexibility in build-up to have worried them. A top team would’ve played down in their half all game, but we’re just not that strong tactically, and it’s no fault of the current team.

  65. Now they are calling our national coach “Kevin Hart”? Lol

  66. Were all reasonably excited but how do we get more creativity and add a higher level of workrate are important questions to answer

  67. Fitness cannot be achieved in a two week live in camp. You need a fitness coach. Someone familiar with cardiovascular fitness.
    Players need to be on a in season and off season program and they need to have an online log of daily fitness activities on a spreadsheet. This has to be analyzed weekly by the fitness coach and adjusted according.
    When you reach this level you have to be responsible for your daily activities and and log it into your individual sheets.
    This is not guesswork anymore this is being a National player and being responsible.

    • My opinion on this coach you need to be hired for this job you know and understand the mechanics of proper training and self development of athletes.

    • You cannot tell a club how to train their players. And the players spend 98 percent of their team with their club over the year.
      So it isn’t easy to lift those fitness levels unless the players themselves are mature enough to understand the benefit.

    • Lasana Liburd.. if the majority of players come from local clubs and we see that they are not establishing international fitness levels then the problem lies with the clubs not understanding what is required. At this level wind sprints and 10 minute runs are not adequate.

    • I’ve always struggled to understand why there isn’t a better relationship between the TTFA/national coaches and the clubs to affect these changes.
      But the Pro League clubs don’t pay well and some players are not prepared to go the extra mile for them.
      The national team created personal fitness schedules for its players at least a year ago I think. But they haven’t gotten many players to follow them.
      I think a problem is the player pool is pretty small at the moment. So some players are taking liberties and not being fully professional.

    • Lasana Liburd I fully agree with you. However we have to stop making excuses for athletes and also for clubs approach to taking an athlete to another level.
      It’s not just in football. We have a lackadaisical approach to the development of athletes. We adopt a hit and miss approach. Local coaches have to get serious about upgrading their skills and knowledge in the sport they are coaching. We can’t wait until our National team comes back from the Olympics to do a review of what went wrong. We have to be cognizant of what where the athlete is in his preparation throughout the year.
      Whatever do in Trinidad and Tobago is make a big fuss after the Olympics and say we should have done better and after all the criticism has died down we go right back to the wine and jam approach to sports.
      I recall Stephen Hart saying once that he lacked the computer resources that would track players in a database and what level and activity they are at. Have we given him that tool? If we have then that is a step in the right direction. But we run sports here like it’s a 10 days job. We don’t even know if we will be around as coaches come month end so we coach with apprehension and with a short term plan.
      We have the athletes with the potential so we can produce world class athletes.
      Look at the track records in middle and distance running they have not been bettered in 15 years. The last record holders like Ronnie Holassie and Sheldon Monderoy are safe to say that yhrir records from 15 years ago will never be broken in our lifetime. Very sad but not totally unexpected.

  68. We need a Captain better than that bootleg Captain eh, Mr. Bound not to score doesn’t even have a clue about being a Captain and I will always ask this question, where ever have we seen a shit hound Captain playing in any sports eh steeuuppss. Them really good yes.

  69. And also a better striker than the captain!

  70. Fitness is 95% diet . That sluggishness is coming from their diet . It may help if they are on a sustained one throughout with MINOR CHEAT MEALS and not to pop some supplement before a game and hope you have the energy to last .

  71. hmm Cornel Glen she says. Seems some of our strikers that had potential years ago are not stepping up. Winchester, Gay, where is the boy from Findland and the youngsters from the last u17 that played in Egypt. Maybe Cornel could help don’t know how fit he is now though. But I honestly think there is a problem off the field. Maylee said it they are not playing for the coach lke they did a year ago.

  72. You certainly are still in the race but too me getting more technical tactical views from different quarters …..beats the anti KJ drums that are so easy to beat …..And lends towards a discourse that we can benefit more from….Difference of views presents the final decision maker with food for thought and can be very useful in forming a decision.

  73. I have my opinion but that’s for the gaffer to decide.

  74. Well as I mentioned Cornell any votes for dragging the cat into the squad?

  75. Yeah I’m not disputing her IQ , I just personally feel for someone who is still involved in the program it’s somewhat disrespectful to speak of players & coaches in such a way .

  76. Ah come on Jason even current players today discuss and give their coaches a view point. The gal knows her football and this is what we do on Wired. Offcourse she sneak in a plug for her fellow Cocoritian Cornell Glen but that is a very valid view

  77. Ok hoss. Personally, I think pundits start somewhere. I remember Jamaal Shabazz told me once that Tasha St Louis and Maylee have high football IQs. I knew Maylee was at the game, so I asked her if she would try to break it down for our readers.
    That’s why she wrote the piece.

  78. That’s Shaka and Dwight’s job tho they are Pundit’s . I didn’t hear Birchy. Just my opinion.

  79. So what about the ex-players in the media? From Shaka, Dwight and Birchall come down?

  80. There is a reality in modern football that was brought out in the hex yesterday by the fact that all the AWAY teams won. The notion of just blaming defensive on the road has been replaced with the idea that while we need to be cautious compact and defensive we still need to try and dig out a result. Excerpts from tapes of those 3 matches would make great material to bring out these points in a coach education program.

  81. Well what I didn’t understand was why put Cato on the left flank to attack hoping to get him to shoot at the goal with his right foot and Joevin Jones on the right flank hoping for him to shoot with his left foot and both of them didn;t take not one shot to the goal eh, well joevin jones did it when he was in the middle of the goal and was suppose to take the shoot with his left foot but instead took it with his right and of course that went sky high away from the goal because he has no right foot shot eh, guess the players letting down Coach Hart with his game plan eh. Them really good yes.

  82. Then maybe at home he may have been a more balanced choice with Khaleem. Why ? Because he is also a decent ball winner

  83. Ex players should never Say what coaches or players should do. Just saying

  84. Cato ….Joevin….Levi …..all very tricky lads at home after doing such a decent job of staying compact ….then we need to try to get the points…..This is it at home is our doorstep….If not here then where. The first 7 mins of the 2nd half we were very compact and solid …..But as the article said the extra gear to go from defense to attack in numbers more than 1 (jeovin ) needs to be addressed. We will not be able to press teams at this level very effectively so as seen with Beenhakker in the past Coach Hart adopted the sensible move to stay compact

  85. The gamble was needed to create a dynamic that gets us a goal…..

  86. My real issue was with jomal. I guess i would have rather had marcus or guerra with his intl experience in that role or even cesar ……i think because of his inexperience at this level he really struggled.

    two touches in the area to score the first goal too…cyrus needs to step up his game alot.

    any views on leavin jovin at left back and playing garcia at left wing? I remember spann and edwards had a good telepathy in 2006…. i think they can both run for days and that jovin already plays there so it wont be a stretch… the left side attack would def increase

    I vote no to cornel glenn i think cesar can play a similar harrying role

    still on to Honduras tho

  87. We had some decent 1v1 on the bench Marcus Joseph …Attualah …it may have been a great gamble to bring one in instead of a third defensive midfielder.

  88. Costa Rica dropped into a 5 man back as soon as they lost the ball leaving 2 in the middle and 3 up top as a shape. However Jomal could have done a lot better in making times runs to create a 3v2 for us in midfield. This would have forced a central defender to come deep to prevent him ….The decision to leave the wingers inverted meant that our players were constantly dribbling into traffic and double team in a pack 5 man wall. I felt they could have mixed it up where the wingers went down the line on their strong feet and had a better chances of getting behind them and breaking the defensive line.

  89. They need to let that joke of a striker kenwyne jones sit hit ads on the bench

  90. The issue was that Hart wanted to train on the field where they would play to get them ready for the game. Which is what other teams do …think he was just venting but it made sense …..

  91. Well I know Hart was upset that he couldn’t train on the HC pitch. But Larry Gomes and Manny are exquisite at the moment because they have no lights so games not being played there. I know it’s a journey but surely if they booked police outriders it wouldn’t be too bad.

  92. They’re called fans Roland …. and proper preparation ….well there you got it …. why didn’t Hart think of that. Proper preparation that’s the answer …. sarcastic and dotish in one statement…..

  93. All these comments seem to have some measure of what we need. I’m also very concerned about the psychological preparation. Again the top CEO’s in the world have people who get them ready everyday. What at this stage in our development we don’t have a team psychologist? We are nit able to concentrate for 90 minutes so we lose games with teams holding us at Bay for 45 then throwing it at us in the second half – that’s mental preparation. There is an issue with how the team is prepared. The best West Indies cricket team under Lloyd had Rudy Webster as a full time member of staff- then we did away with it. Having good players is one thing but everyone does so what’s defines the winner ?

    • We in almost 2017 and we don’t have a Psychologist for our National Team ?

    • Well Brian Harry the 1989 Strike Squad had a psychologist woman I forgot her name who was very instrumental in preparing the team and getting great results but when the corrupted Jack Warner woman who was also attached to the team found that the psychologist was getting to mush attention, she got her fired eh and since then no other psychologist was ever hired because I think that she is still involved with the TTFA and still wants all the attention steeeuuppss Them really good yes.

    • Earl Mango Pierre well I’ve done consulting with many sporting bodies across the world but in TT we don’t hire consultants and people who understand performance and human development, because as one commentator on this link once told me “you are the studious kind”, so as a result we go into World Cup games under prepared. I’m not lobbying for the work but, I’ve said many times ‘we need a more corporate structure around football’. Imagine we can’t consistently beat st Vincent and Bermuda ., .., where the hell are we going?

    • Well it seems that the corrupted TTFA doesn’t really care about all that to eh, because after the U 15 Women team lost to USA 22- 0 I am positively certain that the right things will not be put in place even for all the other national teams eh but they recently got 8 million from from a sponsor for developmental purposes, so again they will only be about the monies and continue going to the banks smiling eh, or maybe they are waiting for some psychologist to offer their services for free steeuuppss Them really good yes.

    • Earl mango Pierre actually it was Gally that fired her. But that’s a different story by itself

  94. Steeuuppss We need a real Foreign Base Coach the same like Benhacker eh, because my Foreignbase Trini Coach Hart did enough but he doesn’t have what it takes to get us to the World Cup 2018 in Russia eh, imagine he is still trying out other players and doesn’t have a regular starting consistent bomb squad team steeuuppss and it seems that it is Mr bound not to score is the one that is picking the team steeuuppss. The Soca Worries needs to watch the game with the bootleg Argentine team VS the greatest team in the universe Brazil and really learn how the game is played eh, over and over again eh steeuupss. Them really good yes.

  95. They need more than that firstly the distraction from the million coaches here in Trinidad secondly proper preperation.

  96. Forget russia we going trinidad kenwynne jones needs to be dropped

  97. Costa Rica are arguably the best team in Concacaf, at the moment. They have 13 players on Champions League team rosters, so that says a lot. That said, we’ve got to get results at home.

  98. I wouldnt use the word (ruthless)…Coach Hart is nobody’s friend…especially KJ…..this is the HEX and we hav to get it right at this stage to play on the big stage…
    Her observations are spot on and i will reiterate….we hav to win games…..we havvvvvvvvvvvv to build our attack around more mobile and hungry strikers…..the HEX is bigger than any man…player or team

  99. We Trinidad people don’t have respect for older players so there for players like myself Cornell Carlos Jason don’t have a chance some times we need experience on the Pitch

  100. The T&T team appears not to know that you cannot ever win a game if during the entire 90 minutes,you can get in even one serious shot to goal…….I am thinking that it is about time Hart be given his severance pay….poor strategy!

  101. Unfortunately peeps. Hart has take this team to the furthest he can. We need some outside intervention. It’s been a while since we have reached this far and it’s only fair that the team be given all the resources it needs to maximise the opportunity. We have the talent for the first time in a while and it needs to be adequately harnessed. Our team is still lacking professionalism at many levels. We have more goal instinctiveness than we have had for many years. Unfortunately kenwayne needs to find a differnet role but definitely the sole attacker role is not working as there are more hungry guys in front of goal.

    • The new coach isn’t going to come with new players. And he cannot make party boys suddenly become monks. So how much of a difference will changing coach make if you think you already have a good guy at the helm?

    • I would say Start Willis Plaza ?

    • Lasana Liburd agreed. Our player stock is no where as talented as it was in 2006. Secondly, I think Hart has done well, considering the resource constraints he faces. We can’t expect an international coach who has players for 3-4 days to focus only on fitness. That’s what the clubs are there for.

    • Nigel Roberts The first reaction foreign teams have when the players arrive from TT Pro is that they are unfit. One exception would be Yohance Marshall who is considered and often referred to as a “top professional” by his team in Mexico

    • I think that an established foreign coach of “pedigree” can improve the team (remember when Leo took over we had 1 pt from 3 games)………having said that I think that Hart has done very well with these same players (remember the 3-3 and 4-4 draws with Mexico), however in the last few months something has gone wrong.

      With respect to KJ he was very disappointing as he seemed to not be giving his all (however he was just returning from injury). IMHO if you are playing KJ you have to be playing a lot of crosses into the box and our corners and free kicks into the box were very poor.

      I hope we play a more attacking formation against Honduras with 2 strikers up top.

    • A foreign coach is a quick fix. They are in and out and you’re left on your own for the inevitable rebuilding process.
      The other thing is we have had more duds like Pfister than inspired additions like Beenhakker.
      So there is no guarantee that the foreign coach will do better.
      Just something worth noting.

    • Plus foreign coaches are expensive.

  102. How is fitness even a question in a world cup qualifying campaign this is mind-boggling. And who is this Darren Mitchell lad??

  103. She is on point. I wouldn’t hesitate go bring back Cornell Glenn too if fit. Guatemala’s leading scorer in qualification was 35…

  104. team still not up to the pace needed for this level…Costa Rica controlled the game at walking pace and we fell into the trap. For much of the game Jones was absent and appeared not to be willing to exert himself …to me Jones looked to be hiding from the ball.

  105. I’m a big advocate of work rate over skills in certain positions. We lack a box to box midfielder and I’m surprised Darren Mitchell has no been recalled. Check how many goals and assists he makes in the last 15 minutes of games. As Maylee said, fitness is key. Once you’re at that level of fitness everything becomes easier because you know you can make runs yet still recover to maintain shape and tactical discipline if required. If you’re not fit you’re not thinking of making runs coz you know it will be hard to get back. I’m surprised that the overseas players aren’t fitter. In Friday’s game there was no transition from defence to attack. Jones steamed down the wing and even if he reached KJ, there was no one to collect a pass. Harts tactics may be hampered by poor performances from players. Let’s be honest, if he’s selecting on talent, that talent is not being shown. Maybe he should look for more work horses who will at least give 100% for 90 minutes?

    • The US leagues are out for the past month except for Joevin who is in the playoffs. I think the same is true for a couple Europe-based players.
      I like Darren Mitchell’s work rate and energy and positivity. He was unlucky not to make that South America/China tour which would have been a good chance for Hart to take a closer look at him.

    • I don’t know if you were just very vague or very specific. Lol

    • C’mon Lasana Liburd you were there what the heck was that against Costa Rica. .. that was a very lackluster display…plus a home team immediately going into a defensive state for a game that they need 3 points. The hex you have to win your home games eek out draws or victory on the road.. the fitness level is horrendous and it’s been that way for a very long while. I don’t even wanna talk about cutting edge and finishing chances.

    • When you’re Trinidad and you’re playing Costa Rica, you have to have some respect. I agree we might have been a little too tentative. But I don’t think we were overly defensive necessarily.
      Costa Rica played in stages and got three points. We didn’t have to attack for the whole 90 minutes. We just needed a few good spells for the win.
      But I agree with her general points as well.

    • I mentioned this to Gordon a couple times ,where was plan B or C when they started to stifle the wing play of Jones and Cato .. Beaucad (wrong spelling) should have been introduced earlier as Kevan looked a bit out of sorts and allow Hyland to fill that role … maybe a formation change could have helped a bit as when Campbell came on he created problems rite away.

    • Kevan is a specialist midfield destroyer. But he is limited on the ball. We would have been better going forward if we took him out. But we would have been more vulnerable too.

    • But I don’t disagree with you.

  106. Does off the field team building activities include boat rides? lol

  107. I listened to her last night, sounded very frustrated

  108. The killer instinct is lacking! The ‘take no prisoners’ attitude is sorely needed. They probably need to do 10 Fort George and/or 10 Chancellor runs a week for two months along with some camaraderie team-building activities off the field.

    • If only… Hart has just four days with them before a game unless it is for a tournament like the Gold Cup.

    • They are professional players no? Then they are responsible for their own fitness, everything else comes from the clubs they play for.
      Ask Dwight Yorke about the discipline required to maintain those levels of fitness.

    • I mostly agree with that. For some it might partly be that they are playing at a lower level in the pro league.
      But then so were Cyd Gray, Silvio Spain and Aurtis Whitley for the 2006 World Cup qualifiers. So it can be done!

    • It’s how badly you want it. I could understand match fitness and even match fitness of a higher level.
      However there’s no excuse as a paid professional athlete not to be constantly trying to maintain as high a level of fitness as possible.
      Players like Arsenal’s Alexis is ALWAYS working

    • Damian de Gannes The coach and or other managers, in Soca Warriors case, has to take charge of fitness and not let the players’ fitness be their responsibility. NO excuses. Guys who break camp should be dismissed permanently. The Soca Warriors’ performance was grossly disappointing. If we do not fix that problem, we will not make it through this qualification exercise.

    • Damian, I remember when Pogba signed for Man U after training by himself for the whole summer. He went straight into the first team and played in like three days.
      So I do feel they can work harder.

    • when Rooney gets “fat” he gets dropped and has to work his ass off to get back in the squad, literally.
      It’s up to the coaches and managers to insist on these things but the players have to do it.
      Sadly the pool to choose from is that deep.

    • Sadly, our athletes do not have the mentally, commitment, maturity level and hunger like Rooney and others