The final scoreline in San Pedro Sula tonight—which read “Honduras 3, Trinidad and Tobago 1”—was barely half the story, as the Soca Warriors succumbed to their second successive defeat of the CONCACAF Hex.
Trinidad and Tobago finished the match with 10 players as midfielder Khaleem Hyland limped off the field with a hamstring injury in the 84th minute after coach Stephen Hart had already used all three substitutes. And there was an cataclysmic feel about the whole affair.
In the closing minutes, Hyland, with an ice-bag strapped to his hamstring, had to be restrained by the technical staff as he tried to reenter the field to help his comrades. Captain and first choice centre forward Kenwyne Jones was slogging it out in his place, as an orthodox midfield anchor.
And, most worryingly of all, there was the state of starting goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams, who was bodily lifted off the field inside the first 10 minutes of the contest and taken to a nearby hospital after being knocked unconscious in a collision with Honduras striker Alberth Ellis.
TTFA media officer Shaun Fuentes revealed after that a cat scan showed no bleeding in the brain of the concussed Central FC custodian, who is now said to be in stable condition.
Lest we forget, the Warriors were already without marquee playmaker Kevin Molino due to internal disciplinary issues, his stand-in Keron Cummings is yet to fully recover from a gunshot to his leg, team manager William Wallace never made it to Honduras due to his failure to renew his passport in time and their leading scorer of the qualifying series, Joevin Jones, was the first player to be withdrawn midway through the half.
If this was not a disastrous trip, then it was close enough. And, in its wake, Hart would surely have a sleepless night.
Twice, in his two and a half year stint as head coach, the former Canada boss and St Benedict’s College schoolboy was named on CONCACAF’s for its Coach of the Year award while he helped lift a team that was struggling regionally to their current spot as FIFA’s fifth highest ranked nation in the confederation and first in the Caribbean.
Yet, the poise and resilience that epitomised Hart’s Warriors were nowhere to be seen tonight. And, with some football supporters now in open revolt, his future lies in the hands of Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams, who never seemed to fancy him much to begin with.
At present, Hart is the only head coach from the previous Raymond Tim Kee-led administration who still has his job. And maybe one day the Warriors coach might wish he had left with an early bullet and dignity intact like Women Warriors head coach Randy Waldrum.
Instead, this was like Chinese water torture. First, there was an averted players’ strike over match fees owed by the TTFA before last year’s Copa America Centenario Play Off with Haiti, which Trinidad and Tobago lost.
Then Hart stayed silent as John-Williams allegedly asked his players—in the former’s absence—to override the coach’s decision to turn down an additional practice game at the end of a three-match tour.
Public criticism, encouraged by the TTFA, of Hart’s failure to drop Molino for an indiscretion followed. Next, the TTFA refused to publicly support the coach when he did drop the playmaker for a repeat of his misbehaviour.
A tame 2-0 home defeat to Costa Rica on 11 November was next in the sequence of events before the Warriors headed for Honduras, without their team manager, via a lay-over in Panama.
Hart and his team knew they needed a result in Honduras or, at the least, an encouraging performance. They offered neither.
The Trinidad and Tobago starting team showed just one change from last Friday’s defeat with the speedy Trevin Caesar joining Kenwyne upfront in place of Jomal Williams.
The tactic appeared to be press high and take a more positive approach than showed against Costa Rica. But, just six minutes into the contest, the visitors were already reeling as Jan-Michael sprinted off his line to challenge Ellis and was knocked cold by an inadvertent knee to his temple by the Honduras’ Mexico-based striker.
It took three minutes to get the Central FC goalkeeper off the field with Marvin Phillip taking his place.
Phillip, incidentally, was effectively relegated to fourth choice during the Caribbean Cup qualifying tournament just a month ago, after Hart announced that Louisville City custodian Greg Ranjitsingh, who was born in Canada to a Trinidad and Tobago father, would be his new number two with Police FC custodian Adrian Foncette as his deputy.
But, like England-born midfielder John Bostock, Ranjitsingh had availability issues and has not joined the local team since while Phillip was again chosen ahead of Foncette in Honduras. In truth, the real mystery is how Phillip ended below Foncette to begin with.
Yet, within seven minutes of his appearance, Phillip was taking the ball out from the back of his own net.
Much will be made from the fact that the goal came from right back Daneil Cyrus’ flank and maybe the defender should have gotten across quicker to put pressure on the shooter.
But Phillip had a good view of the angled effort and got a hand to the ball without effectively changing its trajectory.
And, in the 19th minute, Honduras doubled their advantage as Trinidad and Tobago defender Carlyle Mitchell became entangled with Ellis and Honduran left back Emilio Izaguirre pounced on the loose ball to beat Phillip with a free shot from inside the box.
Hart’s last trip to San Pedro Sula was four years ago as Canada coach. And the result was a freakish 8-1 mauling that ended his tenure with the North American nation.
For a few fleeting moments, even he might have wondered if lightning would strike twice.
But the Warriors clawed themselves back into the game and even had a half chance on the break in the 39th minute, which Caesar hooked wide. The scoreline stood at 2-0 to Honduras at the interval.
There was no immediate evidence of a shake-up after the break. But, in the 50th minute, Trinidad and Tobago finally joined the party.
Honduras goalkeeper Donis Escobar produced a fine save to deny a Kenwyne header, off an inswinging Joevin cross. And, for the next 60 seconds, the Warriors pummelled their hosts into submission.
Hyland’s subsequent corner kick was flicked over the opposing bar by a panicked Honduran defender while his second set piece was imperiously headed into the far corner by Mitchell to halve the deficit. It was Mitchell’s first international goal in his 32nd cap.
It was a flash of what made the Warriors so effective under Hart: fast, aggressive and irrepressible from dead ball situations.
In the 56th minute, Escobar was tested again from an angled Hyland free kick and the goalkeeper required treatment after colliding with Trinidad and Tobago defender Sheldon Bateau, who followed up in the hope of a spill.
But Honduras slowed the game down, as—midfield hard-man Kevan George apart—the Warriors just could not get the ball off their hosts. And, once more, it was the opposing technical staff that seemed to get more from the bench.
In the 68th minute, Honduras substitutes Eddie Hernandez and Carlos Discua replaced the strike pair of Quioto and Mario Martinez. And, within seconds, they nearly combined to restore their nation’s two-goal lead as Discua’s first time cross—again down Trinidad and Tobago’s right side—was headed off the top of the bar by Hernandez from barely six yards out.
Hart responded with two changes of his own, as teenaged winger Levi Garcia came on for the stone-faced Joevin in the 71st minute before Willis Plaza replaced Caesar upfront in the 75th minute.
They were like-for-like replacements that typified Hart’s pragmatic stewardship, which has generally been about minimising risks rather than putting pedal to the floor.
Trinidad and Tobago were trailing by a solitary goal and, in theory, could muster an equaliser through another precise set piece. So, the Warriors coach kept his defensive structure in place—including midfield shield, George—with the hope that his squad could turn the tables on their hosts through sheer willpower.
The problem was the scoresheet at the time was a flaming lie and the disjointed Warriors were only in the contest on paper but not in reality. And midfield organiser Andre Boucaud, Trinidad and Tobago’s most creative force as a substitute against Costa Rica, never made it on to the field.
Plaza did get a shot off in the 78th minute, after a give and go with Kenwyne. But, in the 80th minute, the brittleness of Trinidad and Tobago’s defence was exposed in a sequence of eight unchallenged passes that carved up the Warriors backline like a slab of ham on Christmas morning.
Hernandez made no mistake this time, as he tapped home Boniek Garcia’s incisive cross for his first international goal in his 14th appearance before lining up with his teammates to celebrate with a demonstration of synchronised rowing.
Trinidad and Tobago were up the proverbial creek without a paddle at that point.
As Hyland limped off for treatment and then tried to force his way past the team doctor to help out, Plaza could be seen making a defensive clearance from inside his own area while Phillip pulled off a smart close ranged save to deny Ellis in second half stoppage time.
Trinidad and Tobago were well beaten.
The Warriors need in the vicinity of 15 points to get to the Russia World Cup directly or squeeze into the play off round against a team from the Asian Football Confederation. Remarkably, Hart’s troops actually climbed off the foot of the table tonight as Costa Rica trounced United States 4-0 in San Jose to send them bottom of the standings.
Four home games remain and with those, at best, the chance of 12 points in Port of Spain. Trinidad and Tobago must then nick at least one result on the road.
Hart led the Warriors to a 2-1 win in Panama just last year while their loss to Costa Rica was the first competitive home defeat by Trinidad and Tobago in three years. So, in theory, neither task is beyond him.
And, 11 years ago, Trinidad and Tobago also lost their opening two matches—the second was a humiliating 5-1 loss away to Guatemala—and then drew their third game against Costa Rica in Port of Spain. But still recovered to make history by qualifying for the Germany 2006 World Cup.
The caveat is the coach for those initial three games, Bertille St Clair, did not last to see it, as he was replaced by Dutchman Leo Beenhakker.
Can Hart be trusted to restore the order and poise that epitomised his team’s showings just last year, when they defeated Guatemala away and managed draws with Mexico (twice) and the United States?
Does he deserve the chance to finish the restoration job that he began with aplomb at the 2013 Gold Cup?
The John-Williams-led football administration will have to answer that question before the Warriors next competitive international assignment in the Gold Cup play off round on 4 January 2017.
Trinidad and Tobago (4-4-2): 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK) (1.Marvin Phillip (GK) 9); 5.Daneil Cyrus, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 12.Carlyle Mitchell, 2.Aubrey David; 7.Cordell Cato, 19.Kevan George, 8.Khaleem Hyland, 3.Joevin Jones (16.Levi Garcia 71); 20.Trevin Caesar (13.Willis Plaza 75), 9.Kenwyne Jones (captain).
Unused substitutes: 22.Adrian Foncette (GK), 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 10.Marcus Joseph, 11.Ataulla Guerra, 14.Andre Boucaud, 15.Neveal Hackshaw, 17.Jelani Peters, 18.Yohance Marshall, 23.Jomal Williams,
Coach: Stephen Hart
Honduras (4-2-2-2): 1.Donis Escobar (GK); 21.Brayan Beckeles, 3.Maynor Figoeroa, 4.Henry Figueroa, 7.Emilio Izaguirre; 15.Roger Espinoza, 20.Jorge Claros; 14.Boniek Garcia, 12.Romell Quioto (13.Eddie Hernandez 68); 10.Mario Martinez (6.Carlos Discua 68), 17.Alberth Ellis,
Unused substitutes: 1.Luis Lopez (GK), 2.Félix Crisanto, 5.Allans Vargas, 8.Alfredo Mejia, 9.Roman Castillo, 11.Diego Reyes, 16.Johnny Leveron, 18.Oscar Salas, 23.César Oseguera.
Coach: Jorge Luis Pinto
Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA)
(Friday 11 November 2016)
Trinidad and Tobago 0, Costa Rica 2 (Christian Bolanos 64, Ronald Matarrita 90+2) at Hasely Crawford Stadium;
Honduras 0, Panama 1 (Fidel Escobar 22) at Estadio Olimpico, San Pedro Sula;
United States 1 (Bobby Wood 49), Mexico 2 (Miguel Layun 20, Rafael Marquez 89) at Columbus;
(Tuesday 15 November)
Honduras 3 (Rommel Quioto 16, Emilio Izaguirre 19, Eddie Hernandez 80), Trinidad and Tobago 1 (Carlyle Mitchell 51) at Estadio Olimpico, San Pedro Sula;
Costa Rica 4 (Johan Venegas 43, Christian Bolanos 69, Joel Campbell 74, 77), United States 0 at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose;
Panama 0, Mexico 0 at Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City;
Costa Rica 2-2-0-0-6-0-6
T&T 2-0-0-2-1-5-0 (+1)
USA 2-0-0-2-1-6-0 (-1)
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Good news. It could have been much worse.
Jamela Khan, he got a cat scan and there was no bleeding in his brain. He was discharged last night.
Real total failure. Well thats it for our world cup hopes. In know way we could Win the rest of the games. Impossible !. One Defender i’ve notice that is unprofessional, lack composure, Slow and the list goes on is that guy called : Daniel Cyrus…Waste of F……g time. Also Goalkeeper Marvin Phillip is not ready for this level of football. He should stay in the Pro-league. To immature in his goal keeping. You mean to tell me, We don’t have an international goalkeeper we could use. SMFH ! Saying all of this, The Coach S.Hart should resign immediately ☝☝☝
And can somebody please tell my Coach Hart that when he is being interviewed eh, stop repeating over and over that he have to review the videos of the games eh, he isn’t sounding like a real Foreign Base Coach at all eh and he really needs to review the games of my second sweetest country, Mexico, Panama, Haiti and whoever else our Soca Worries will be playing against eh moving forward. Them really good yes,
Lol. So you want the man to watch the game again before the post match press conference Mango?! Just now you will criticise Hart for not starting by singing the national anthem.
Them really good yes. Lol
I can understand the disappointment for sure. But people should realise too that Ancelotti and Del Bosque and the like are not exactly waiting around hoping for a phone call from the TTFA eh. :-/
Whenever we play abroad we get disrespected and bullied but when teams come here they get treated royally and then they proceed to beat us. Why can’t we traumatize these teams so they know it’s hard playing here?
the defense looked hopelessly out of sorts in this match. slow to cover, slow on movement, indecisive and ineffectual.
i questioned this in the first game: do the guys understand the system?
Look at the last goal they scored: no one closed the gaps, no one is covering the passing lanes. these are basics for any system. any team sport involving a ball. a table tennis player can understand and anticipate diagonal movement off a ball.
the team has regressed in form, in passion, in intensity and in execution. this performance is beyond singling out any individual player—but…let’s ask the hard questions: why arent we giving other players a look? Is Levi injured? out of favour with Hart? Why isn’t he starting? His pace and direct approach was needed in this game.
HON had pace and determination. lot of movement and they made penetrating runs on nearly every play. are they THAT good a team? i dont recall seeing anything on the pitch to suggest that they are a class above TTO. what they did look like was hongreeee to eat a small food team at home.
warriors will always be battered if they cannot turn things around within the next game , we were in trouble from the first game wich showed we showed fair playing at home in your own back yard an going defencevely from the whistle , 4 -5- 1 .
By the way what be came of our striker from Carenage who use to also represent Mau Pau in the pro league I think that he is still plying his trade somewhere in Europe I just cannot remember his name nah Lasana Liburd.
Give me a bigger hint than that.
Dion Sosa help meh out here nah, when he comes home he likes to drive in expensive cars he also represented our sweet country in the Gold Cup eh his last name starts with a “P” Lasana Liburd.
I think it is Pletier excuse meh spelling eh LOL
Ahhh. Right. Peltier. He was out of contract and his form had begun to dip. He lost out to Cato.
Peltier is attached to FK Příbram in the Czech Republic, but he seems to be on the hunt for another team, because he hasn’t made an appearance since September.
If we are looking for disciplined players with the right attitude and hunger, I’m not sure if he is the answer either.
WOW and he really had some potential eh, but eventually the real professional Coaches in foreign does eventually realized that our players are really lacking the discipline and other certain attributes for the beautiful game eh, the same like Mr. Bound not to score who was the last representing our sweet country in the EPL. Them really good yes.
He’s hardly played any club football this year.
Yuh see and that is the problem with our player pool eh, depending on our foreign base players eh instead of really raising the standards of our players at home because they are the ones that are really trying to get out to play for the real professional teams abroad and will always give 1000% in other to do so more that the players that made it already. Them really good yes.
He is not a striker
Well actually I mean’t that he is a wing striker eh hahahah
Wait.. is latin yuh pull out on meh day…. But what the….. lmao… #CICforLIFE
Yeah and I am also blaming alyuh CIC, Fatima, Presentation, with plenty Soccer IQ for the state of our football eh,, because Alyuh parents never trusted meh uncle Jack Warner and his corrupted TTFA eh, and made certain that alyuh studied alyuh school work and got a scholarship to attend the Universities and Colleges in my second sweetest country eh and alyuh never looked back to represent our sweet country eh, some years ago my baller for life Leslie Fitzpatrick “Tiger” invited me to a old boys game CIC vs Fatima on CIC grounds eh and when I saw the players playing the beautiful game eh, with plenty touches and Soccer IQ eh, I said to mehself buh wah trouble is this I never see some of these players representing our sweet country nah, and then of course I was told the reason why eh so Ian R Briggs, Prof Keith Look Loy, and Mr Live Wire Lasana Liburd try alyuh best eh and get our football back where it should be eh hahahaha
Keith Look Loy well talk nah, doh just be laughing dey and saying, “This fella call Mango eh, buh why he like plenty bacchanal so eh. hahahaha
don’t even have to go there Keith….. Honduran and Panamanian leagues are far superior to any product we put out from Pro league (unfortunatley I have watched some games in these leagues also… I watch WAAAY too much football..lol)….. right now as it stands Honduras and panama will always fight to be the 4th and 5th best reams in CONCACAF…. top 3 by some margin are CR MEX and US….. CR development program is bearing fruit so this reign as a power house in Concacaf is going to continue for some time… Mexico will be Mexico and US is having issues developing a creative player so their top biling in Concacaf is under serious threat…. point is even if MEX and US have off development years, they will still have enough fire power to qualify from the HEx… everyone else in the region is moving forward and we are moving backward…..
the coach has my support !!!
And this is what I have also been saying Prof Keith Look Loy we really have to raise the standards in our sweet country and get our local leagues on a real professional level in order to raise the standards of our local players so that they can finally once more also make it in the real professional leagues abroad eh. Them really good yes.
.The other issue here is the relative strength of the local and Honduran leagues. SIXTEEN of the current Honduran squad play at home…
This article ranks the Honduran league as 7th best in CONCACAF. T&T Pro League comes in at 13.
..We ranking better than ketch arse Haiti and Belize. And worse than poor arse Nicaragua..
Wait until my second sweetest country vs Soca Worries meet next year, we will show Alyuh how the beautiful game is played eh, if alyuh don’t get alyuh acts together alyuh will find out where barely grows hahahaha. Them really good yes.
I spend waay too much time in school and watch WAAAAAY too much football and coach waaay too many hrs in the hot and cold to be blindly patriotic too anything, especially football. 🙂
..Ian. I didn’t have the energy to do say what you have said so eloquently. Patriotism is no substitute for analysis..
Brian, this is the HEX…. we are barely competitive in the Caribbean right now…. The highest level player right now in the TT sqaud plays in the Dutch Ereivisie, is a teenager and does not start…… CR has a GK who plays for Real Madrid (La liga) A forward who plays for Arsenal (and comes off the bench), a skipper who plays and STARTS in La liga… US has 4 players that play and START in the Bundesliga… and they START their youngster because he plays in the Bundesliga while we bench our only real product…… Mexico has at least 1 GBundesliga, a few La liga etc….. Bottomlline..ALL the teams have players who play in real leagues and are competitive is said leagues… this means as a team the competing teams football iQ and technical ability are FAR superior to us….. explain how are we supposed to be competitive…. The boys are as competitive as they can be…. They can try and we can call as many names as we want, change the coach, ask for brother juju to drop a spell… on stricty football teams TT is not good enough at ALL levels to be competitive in any competition of worth (probably should bring back sunshine snacks competition… we might have a chance then)
Where did I hear that argument before? Oh, i remember… just before Beenhakker took over. We may not be equal in talent to the rest of the teams in the Hex. But don’t tell me we are as competitive as we can be. These are the same old arguments we used when Bertille was coaching. This team can play much better and be more competitive. What Hart is doing right now is making no sense on every level including the starting team. Take the biggest defensive liability on the team, Cyrus. The only reason for him to be on the field is for his overlapping prowess and his dangerous crosses. We played two games and he has not done that yet but he is still out of position every time. You have Joevin or Cato playing in the lane reserved for the overlap so it means either the coach doesn’t want him to overlap or the system we are playing makes no sense. And that’s just a sample of the stupidity that is going on. Hart has lost this team for some reason. They are not responding to him. Unfortunately, there are no good coaches around that we can afford at this time. So it is what it is. But don’t tell me this crop of players can’t play better and be more competitive.
Brent, a good solid team effort can elevate the talent deficiencies. To me, we should absolutely be more competitive than we’ve shown so far.
I don’t know why alyuh hutting up alyuh heads steeuupps in 1989 the Strike Squad failed to qualify against my second sweetest country College team right in our Stadium eh, and in 2006 meh uncle Jack Warner orchestrated the whole thing to make certain the our Soca Worries made it to their first ever World Cup in Germany eh, and when they got there we didn’t even score a goal farless got to the second round eh, so alyuh really feel that is just so, just so we will ever get to another World Cup again when the corrupted TTFA continues to do ah set ah madness eh, look at the madness my dictator president tried when he excused my Coach Hart from the practice session and spoke to the players about playing another exhibition game so that the corrupted TTFA can get some monies eh and the players put him in his place and said no eh, steeuuppss. When our sweet country finally gets a president to run the corrupted TTFA who doesn’t own a professional team of which as I said before would have been a conflict of interest eh only then we might finally get it correct in our sweet country. Them really good yes.
But its like the blind leading the blind,Kenwyn Jones confidence looks very low! The team needs a stronger captain
Captain AND striker
Even without a strong captain, we have many players with loads of international experience that can collectively lead or influence de team.
Coach Hart has served us well, he did a good job….but with a heavy Heart, I must say its time, for him to pack his bags and go….he can only take us so far….meanwhile SOS for Beenhakar !!!!!….his team selections and substitutions are lacking….he takes to long to make a substitution….and his continual belief in KJ is terrible
Allyuh think Beenhakker is Jesus? Lol. The man is 74 and he said he is not coming to work with an organisation that doesn’t pay its employees.
Unless his ENTIRE coaching staff is paid up with no arrears, he said don’t bother calling him. And that was about three years ago.
That “SOS for Beenhakar” is a methaphorical call eh…..( someone of his pedigree)….but thanks still lasana
Lol. Ok Trini. I know some people are dead serious with that one.
Somebody with pedigree would still need to be paid and would still want friendlies and many of de other things that Hart calling for.
And we can’t call back Yorke, Shaka and Latapy this time.
Somebody with pedigree, would never have Kenwyne jones in d starting 11
..Patriotism is no substitute for analysis. And realty is a bitch. This team lacks the necessary talent. Both Kelvin and Trevor are correct. Having seen the other teams in the group, I don’t see where the five wins we need are coming from. That said, a sea change in team selection, individual and collective tactical discipline, mental and physical energy and commitment, is absolutely needed. Change the coach? To put who if TTFA broke. Latapy or Yorke? Please..
I said it yesterday. We have a talent problem.
There’s tremendous potential in this squad. The players are one win away from believing in themselves. They need that complete game ASAP or we dogs dead.
..Self belief begins and ends IN ONESELF. Men playing like is a Christmas morning sweat. And some vex when Hart subs them. No pride..
Brent – the talent is there. It’s not the best. It’s not the Strike Squad kind of talent, but it’s sufficient to get us at least that third or half slot in the hex. The players are just lacking in concentration, self-belief, and discipline. They need a complete game – one that ends in a win, before they will start believing that they belong in the hex.
..For all our sakes Carlos, I hope you are correct..
I’m the biggest warriors supporter but I’m not buying into that hype Carlos Lee. The US just got 4 from CR yet I ask the question, which of our players could start for the US. Give me one? Any of our players can play for Mexico? Our roster is flawed and devoid of talent. Like Keith said for our sake, I hope you are correct.
Brent – I’ll give you a few. I’ll say Hyland, J. Jones, Bocaurd, young Levi, and a fit K. Jones would easily make a US team just based on talent. But as you know it takes a well knit team to succeed in football.
You not serious. Hyland and Boucaud? I’ll give you Levi and that’s about it. KJ would make the team based on what, reputation? This team lacks talent bro. Better coaching can help but I’m not buying that we have the talent. My heart is hopeful but my head tells me otherwise
I think Hyland is a technically solid player. He’s one of the best players in the team. I saw flashes of Boucaud’s capabilities when he came on as a sub against Costa Rica. And from what I saw he should have started the game. Levi has tremendous potential. A raw talent right now, but with a few more games under his belt he’ll do great things for us. I know we all see things differently, so a difference in opinion is expected.
Boucaud playing in the 3rd or 4th division in English football for a reason Carlos. Hyland has never lived up to the hype. He is a sold but not spectacular player. Neither of them would have a sniff of making the US team. That’s a reality…
I hear you Brent. Disagree, but hear you loud and clear?
Technically and tactically this team not close to a World Cup team, I Think it’s Hartbroken
Was tough watching the fellas last night. Also felt sorry for coach Hart. I know he has a game plan/strategy for each of our opponents, but the lack of discipline and our inability to concentrate for 90 minutes is killing us. I think we just need one good game before the players recommit to the coach and his philosophy. I’ll like to see coach Hart assess some different personnel options during the Gold Cup qualifications matches. Let’s look at K. Jones coming off the bench. Levi on the right flank, and J. Jones on the left flank. We need to get Bocaurd on the field as well. I would love to see both him and Hyland in the middle, with Plaza and another lethal finisher up front. We’ve got 3-4 months to get things right. I’m still optimistic.
I agree but winning starts with playing good defense, otherwise, we ‘ll be playing catch up like last night. Mike Tyson always said everyone has a plan until they get hit.
Optimistic? Based on what? God is a Trini, no doubt. Optimism under the current circumstances is mere blind optimism that fails to take account of the reality. Well, I can see Trini fans be hopeful but optimistic? No way, Jose.
Gerard – for real. Reflecting on the last two matches it’s obvious that we can compete with these teams. We are in the game. The team is almost there. Right at the wall, but just can’t seem to break through it at the moment. The fellas have got to be more disciplined. They’ve got to work harder at concentrating for the full 90 minutes. The talent is there – not great, but good enough to get us to Russia.
Carlos Lee u said 90 minutes ?!??!…its the first 20 minutes we concede 2
Daniel Cyrus was a complete disaster on that field. Its the most too too , I’ve seen a defender play in an international game . How the hell ad a coach you not starting your best midfielder( Boucaud) in these games
Time for some serious changes Lasana Liburd ?
Btw, we also need at least one wingback who is going to stay focused on defensive end and who can offer another serious attacking option on the overlap. Our counterattacking end product could use some help.
Lasana Liburd, I stand by my earlier comment. Changes are required. Bring in both Sean DaSilva and Nathaniel Garcia into a larger training squad of maybe 30. Experiment possibly in training and practice games with 5 midfielder formation. Kenwyne should come off bench. Bateau should be skipper. Levi should start our games, and possibly play centre forward during stretches. I believe it’s our best hope if we infuse quality youth and change system now.
The solution to all of these questions and comment lie in the structure of our football in the bigger sense. I remember a few years ago having spent a few months in Brazil for work, I went to quite a few club games, What was clear is that each club had a very well structured development program at all levels so the player came through having developed skill, composure and a tactical understanding of the game, which translated to their confidence on the field. There was a vision of what they should be doing and how they should play. The end result was that players were competing at the senior professional ranks as early as 18 years old and those who were exceptional even at 16. Spending time with my friend Texeira he explained that the schools and communities had programs where players were watched as early as 10 years old. They then moved into high schools and community clubs and onto the more competitive leagues and professional clubs. As a result there was always a pipeline. Players could be pulled from this pipeline onto the National Under 17, Under 20, Under 23 teams and the communities knew exactly who those players would be because the Football IQ was quite high. The national team (Selacao) always had options. Some players went away to join the European academies at 16 because they were ready and they grew in experience thus by the time they got to professional play they were prepared. In the TT situation some clubs try to do the same but there isn’t a proper national structure for identifying players and mentoring and grooming them. So we are now in a situation where at the senior level we don’t have a consensus vision and style and we don’t know where to look for solutions. I’m not convinced that the team today is the best collection of players and I’m not convinced that we know what we want to present on the field of play as a TT brand. Football is cultural! And culture is broader than music and jam and wine; its also about geography and work habits. So what is the most appropriate style of play when you grow up in 90 degree temperatures with 75% humidity, for example. The brazilian game is short crisp passes for a good reason. The country needs a quick solution to get to Russia 2018! Thats the short term plan. TT needs a positive outcome right now as the country is just strolling along – football can help us. Remember how the vibe in TT changed when we went to World Cup 2006? The longer term plan is a better national structure around football. That starts from the top and comes down. The TTFF has to step up – get a body of coaches together and debate this. Solicit the inputs of some international coaches and advisors and define a Vision for TT Football – what we do, how we do it, who (type of player) we do it with and what are the desired outcomes.
Vision and long-term planning in T&T. Good luck with that. We can’t even get that from our government.
Sigh sad thing in the next 100 yrs they will b saying wat is said now in nothing change
Why Boucaud aint starting?????
It would have to be that in a midfield two, they preferred two combative midfielders in Hyland and George. Tactical.
At the 2013 Gold Cup, he changed half his team midway through the tournament and qualified for the quarterfinals as a result. I know the squad is small. But I would like to see such bold decision making again to shake this team up
I’m talking in terms of the numbers that make up Hart’s core team.
Lasana Liburd understand but just wondering if there aren’t a few gems in hiding elsewhere
For example, are there Under 20 players who can fill s few roles and bring some energy to the team??? A question more than anything else
Brian Harry As I’ve argued before not sure U 20 or pro league has any players that can essentially bring TT into a position in this Hex where they can solidify or strengthening their best likely finishing position based on full strength squad ability of securing 4th place – which would get to playoffs
The real gems are getting Bostock and securing wildly rumoured MLS trio of TT heritage in Nick De Leon (DC United), Sheanon Williams (Houston dynamo) and the long shot Bradley Wright-Phillips (ny red bulls)
If that’s not done sadly the warriors are on verge of propping up this group
mr hart is not sitting comfortably and he now has to do something different to get a different result. The last two games did not convince anyone that the team currently constituted Wil go very far. Now we must swing for the fences. In the modern game the wing backs are as much a part of the attack as anyone else. Our two current wing backs don’t pose a threat. Is it a confidence issue? Well let’s inject a different person. No risk no reward! Right? Something has to give. Abu Bakr was a standout defensive midfielder who’s now being played at central defender. Maybe also partner him with Hyland and play with two in front of the back four. That’s where he came to prominence. Radanfah is also a very good passer of the ball, a good ball winner and very steady. He’s also very inspirational and can lead from the front through his grit and effort. We need energy and he’s being wasted. So we play 4-2-3-1, but Kenywnne is not the one – Jus first touch is not where it should be. We need someone who can hold the ball and play it off to the on coming players
The squad is not small if we change the Vision for the team we want to put on the field
From the current under-20 team, Keston Julien and Noel Powder are consider prospects at fullback. But can’t say either are at this level yet.
The better bet is from the under-20 side that Levi graduated from. Six players inclusive of Levi were capped from that team but only Levi and Hackshaw remain.
The others are either injured or struggling to start on their club teams. So I can’t say any from that squad is really pushing for a place now.
I agree the team needs fresh energy. It is vital that some new faces are added for the Caribbean tournament.
Maybe Nathaniel Garcia could be one, Brian Jordan.
Colin Benjamin I concede on that because I’ve not seen the under 20 team but just trying to find some energy and enterprise somewhere . Bostock and DeLeon will be excellent additions
Colin Benjamin – Wright-Philips has Trini roots?
Carlos Lee that’s the going rumour
Even his Wikipedia profile suggest he does along with Jamaica & Grenada heritage ha
That’s the kind of lethal finisher we need. Let’s get him a TnT passport. Do you know if TTFA is looking into getting him a passport?
Aside from Grenada, Wright-Phillips would also be eligible to represent Jamaica at the senior level due to his father’s ancestral connection to the country, as well as Trinidad and Tobago through similar family connections.
Carlos Lee I’m not sure if TTFA or coach hart have ever approached BWP. Of the Mls trio only de leon has been last I checked
I know coach Hart is aware of Houston Dynamo right back S Williams though
Wow – we need to go after this brother. The TTFA should put together a power team consisting of Dwight Yorke and Shaka Hislop to convince Bradley Wright-Philips to join us. Lasana – can you raise this with coach Hart and our good President?
Carlos, they know. But he wasn’t kidding when he said international football doesn’t interest him.
He was contacted quietly at least a year ago. But he has google and he understands that certain headaches come with the red, black and white shirt too.
We need some good closers to contact this brother. Now that we’re in the hex we might stand a better chance of convincing him to join us. It’s not like he’s getting younger and has absolutely no chance of getting a call up for England. I say we put Dwight and Shaka on him.
Well, it can’t hurt to try. But I’m sure he would want to know who his coach will be first. There needs to be stability in the team before we attract players who don’t real need to represent us.
Well said. Our good president needs to come out and back the current coaching staff. I’m sure the uncertainty is not helping the situation in the dressing room.
Drastic surgery is needed for sure. Now, Hart has to convince the TTFA that he is still the best man to perform that surgery.
My personal view is that he is. But it doesn’t help his case much when his team plays like that in such an important fixture
If as you say, Hart is the man for the job in your opinion, that makes this piece excellent journalism if only for its impartiality. Reading it, the first half of it anyway, I get the distinct impression that you have serious questions about Hart’s blamelessness for the team’s recent fecklessness. You certainly come across as thinking that he is not getting the best, no longer getting the best out of the resources at his disposal.
Under the circumstances that you seem to be describing, it would seem logical for you to recommend that someone else should be given a shot.
Want to go there? Russell Latapy, for instance?
What say you, Keith LookLoy?
The team just doesn’t look like a unit anymore.
I was a bit disappointed with the team selection. I’m no coach but Boucaud and Levi should be starting ahead of Cato and Caesar in my opinion, with Hyland as the attacking mid. But I hope now we can kick on. Next break is in March, and with the USA losing both games as well the rest of te qualifiers will be interesting. Let’s go T&T!
well said my brother , we must improve. Having said that , I think Jones should be captain , I love T&T !!
An Cesar was our best player on the night tho ? Any way I agree with buco and levi should start but not Jones check and see how much club football he play in the last 3 months and time for a new coach.
True Caesar was good on the night I agree. But I don’t think we need a new coach because hart has done well. I think somethings going on with the squad. It seems to me like the players are divided ever since that thing with Molino
Yeah there’s slot going on behind the scenes that will only be aired when it’s clear we not qualifying
We better pick up our fucking act soon or ill start rooting for Panama Tacuma Sadlow
2016 seems to have undone all the gains made in 2015. I don’t know what the cause is, but it’s just sad to see the poor work rate, the static defending, the continual ball watching, the lack of urgency and intensity, and the repeated individual errors. Me eh want to get into de whole coach ting or player selection because dat is never ending.
Seems coincidental that the bad run coincides with the TTFA election and the rumours that the coach was to be fired as part of the new adminstratoon’s plans
Lol, well we dead now.
I hate saying this, hate to criticize coaches because you never know what going through their minds.
But these team selections are horrible from the outside looking in.
With workmanlike guys in mid and the scouts doing their job knowing our threat is on the wings we’re being nullified. #FreeBoucaud
??The TT 12th man has to be replaced. That stadium in Honduras was 110% behind their team even coming off a 1-0 home defeat to their neighbors Panama. But yet trini fans calling for a man job and we can’t even blow a vuvuzella (or how ever to spell it) when foreigners come into our home ground?! Costa rica’s 50 fans in HCS made more noise than 10,000 T&T fans. Schupz. Shame on our “supporters”
Preach ! Stephon Nicholas Kirwin Weston Earl Jean Amiel FullyFocus Mutilal Roneil K Walcott
My response to this is as usual *clears throat*
“When yuh have a set of wagonists in the stadium, what yuh expect”
We don’t have football fans in T&T, we have participants and followers
Kirwin, You’re probably right but that’s little consolation at the moment. The critical question is how do we solve the problem. Any ideas?
Kirwin Weston Ye for people like me, Allan V. Crane and whoever else has been lucky enough to watch top level football worldwide live – it’s pretty shocking to see how TT and wider Caribbean football just don’t know how to be a proper 12th man
I guess it’s a cultural problem because you go to the Oval for big TT or Windies or CPL game – cricket fans know how to be an intimidating 12th man
Ever since I started going to national team games in the late 90’s I’ve never heard our crowds being a vocal 12th man. It’s just seems not to be in our culture (I may be wrong because I can’t speak to the previous years).
Countries who have fans who cheer on their team for 90 mins usually have a sense of nationalistic pride something we lack greatly in this country. They also have an array of songs which they can select from we’re still fighting up with ‘T&T We Want A Goal!’ and Maximus’ Soca Warrior. Lastly, the fans have a mentality of win, lose or draw we’re supporting our team and we all know we’re not that type of supporters (both bandwagonists and die hards alike.
We sit and watch intensively and discuss, criticize and only cheer when something happens. It’s our culture, it in we blood and I can’t see this changing no time soon. Unfortunately.
The fact is this gentlemen.. All our opponents in the hex are better than us technically. The challenge is to bridge that technical gap by having a high work rate, concentration and a good tactical plan. It’s seems that we are unsure how we are going to approach the game. We are not sure if we are going to attack all out or if we are going to play on the break. It’s in between and there seems to be no specific plan. What’s quite troubling is that we have conceded 24 goals in our past 10 games; unacceptable. You won’t win many games with that record.. Will elaborate further on a blog.
Kelvin, i agree for the most part about the technical part but your point about the team strategy is the more critical one. There’s no strategy . Further the psychological preparation is lacking
This team has always been technically unsound. I have repeatedly said that these guys just play football they don’t understand the game. But winning masks those flaws. Now that they are on a losing streak the flaws have been magnified. We still do not know how to defend one of the most used plays in football, the give and go. We still don’t move to the ball to receive passes so we can’t play possession football. We don’t play quick enough so we can’t counterattack unless it’s Joevin Jones running by himself. We still ball watch so we don’t see movement around or behind us, the type of movement we lack. The list is long and there are no replacements certainly not from the SSFL or the Pro League. People who make those arguments are the same people who make the argument for local coaches. What we need with what we got is a psychologist to at least restore some degree of confidence to this team because that is sorely missing.
Gerard Johnson i wholeheartedly agree! The psychological piece is so evident, in addition to the technical elements you mentioned.
Would vehemently oppose idea of sacking Hart for simple fact that he is sole reason why the senior team as been the sole stable entity of TT football – while everything else has been chaotic
He has at least earned right to try and get team out of this rut
Oppose all you want, Colin, how do you convince DJW not to take action if HE so desires? That is the question.
The coach has to be replaced.
Well Costa Rica blowing out the USA
Mexico drawing with Panama so I guess we still have a chance but team selection and strategy will have to change.
Dismal…all way round!. Very poor