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Look Loy unplugged: From chaos to catastrophe; why John-Williams is worse than Jack Warner

“On the eve of the game, I remember [Russell] Latapy walks in to the team hotel with a woman in tow and declares that he wants to have a meeting with the staff and [technical director] Gally [Cummings] called a meeting.

“And I’m thinking for the whole week Latapy hadn’t trained properly, he was constantly late for team meals and now here he was dictating to the staff…”

In the final instalment of a two-part interview, retired FC Santa Rosa head coach Keith Look Loy discusses his tenure on the bench, life under disgraced ex-TTFF special advisor Jack Warner, why current football president David John-Williams is a failure and who should be the next TTFA president.

Photo: FC Santa Rosa coach Keith Look Loy reacts to action during his team’s 1-0 win over Marabella Family Crisis Centre in 2015/16 CNG National Super League action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868

Wired868: How would you describe your coaching philosophy? 

Keith Look Loy: My coaching philosophy is that we need to win every day and I really don’t care how. I tend to be very pragmatic and I always base my team strategy and tactics on defending first and then countering what the other team intends to do—which is based on scouting—and then ensuring as much as possible that we take the lead. My record generally is when we take the lead, we win.

The entire team must be prepared to contribute to that [defensive effort]. No exceptions. Except, as I said before, an exceptional talent like [Arnold] Dwarika. If we play nice, great—but I intend to win be it ugly or nice. I don’t care which.

Photo: FC Santa Rosa midfielder Durwin Ross and Marabella Family Crisis Centre winger Dwayne Edwards fight for possession during 2015/16 CNG NSL action in Macoya.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Wired868: And how did that philosophy work during your time as Trinidad and Tobago national youth team coach?

Look Loy: I think it was pretty successful bar that CONCACAF Under-17 tournament in El Salvador [in 1999] when I took over two weeks before the tournament. They had fired [coach Muhammad] Isa and, two weeks before the tournament, [then TTFF special advisor] Jack [Warner] called and told me to see what I could do. I was a TTFF employee at the time so I said yes and I went to El Salvador and we got six, six and six [goals in every match].

Even then, we were on even footing with everyone after about an hour. We were leading Mexico 2-0 and eventually lost 6-2. Because what can you do in terms of fitness in two weeks?

Other than that, all my teams only lost to a top side. We beat Colombia in the CAC Games in 1994 when we finished fifth. Then we lost at Under-20 level to Costa Rica in 1995 and Mexico in 1997. In those days in particular, a National Under-20 team comprised of schoolboys—because we had no professional league then and our youth football league was school football—whereas the Costa Ricans and Mexicans were bringing players who were already playing professional football.

We never got to the knockout round of the Concacaf tournament but we also never lost to a Caribbean team. We were always on the top of the Caribbean pile, which is the minimum you should expect from a Trinidad and Tobago coach.

Photo: Haiti star Steeve Saint Duc (right) tries to take the ball past Trinidad and Tobago right back Kerdell Sween during 2017 Under-17 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 17 September 2016.
Saint Duc scored once as Haiti won 2-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Wired868: You had one spell with the National Senior Team as assistant coach to Zoran Vranes in 1996…

Look Loy: Vranes begged me to be his assistant and I went in against my better judgment because I considered him my friend. That campaign was undermined by certain players and certain staff, by which I mean they were not giving full support and talking to players behind Vranes’ back and encouraging them to be disruptive.

I speak Spanish so they sent me to Costa Rica to see them play Chile before our World Cup qualifier. I came back to our camp in [the] Normandie [Hotel] with an extensive report and proceeded to open up that report. [Russell] Latapy jumps up to say I find we treating them like a big side, why we talking about them. Then Gally [Cummings]—who was the technical director at the time—said he saw no reason to talk about them. So Latapy jumps in his car and gone with three players. I couldn’t believe it.

For that whole preparation, Latapy and [Dwight] Yorke were staying in the Hilton and literally dropping by to the team camp and at training sessions that was allowed. The lunatics were running the asylum. Vranes wanted to drop them but he couldn’t because Gally and [assistant coach] Kenny Joseph were not in favour of [dropping them].

On the eve of the game, I remember Latapy walks in to the team hotel with a woman in tow and declares that he wants to have a meeting with the staff and Gally called a meeting. And I’m thinking for the whole week Latapy hadn’t trained properly, he was constantly late for team meals and now here he was dictating to the staff.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago playmaker Russell Latapy (left) holds off Mexico midfielder Francisco Palencia during 2002 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Latapy scored the winner as Trinidad and Tobago won 1-0.
(Copyright AFP 2017)
[…] After we lost, I remember they called me to a meeting and it was Sedley [Joseph] and Alvin [Corneal] and so on. And I sat down and told them they’re fixing to fire the wrong man and if they fire Vranes, I quit. I answered the questions and gave them my opinions and then they brought in Clovis [D’Olivierra] and we ended with one point in the whole campaign. The player core was corrupted and the staff that they threw Vranes into was a waste of time.

I remember after Latapy had the scouting report cancelled, I told all the players that I had information on Costa Rica and the assignments for each player and, if they were interested, they only had to knock on my door. [Ancil] Elcock was the only player who came and knocked on my door.

Wired868: Was that a snippet of life during Jack Warner’s era at the TTFA? What can you tell us about that period?

Look Loy: It was chaos and there were a lot of people who liked the chaos and disorganisation because they could get away with things. Jack was not a fan of major planning; he liked to ad lib and make it up as we went along. But there were more resources available to the national teams. When he committed to a project, he would just bring the money and bring the personnel.

[…] If something went wrong, he would just throw money at it but that was still better than now. In those days, we were indisputably top of the Caribbean and our youth teams were going to FIFA Youth Cups and we were hosting major tournaments like two Junior World Cups. Where are we now?

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (right) and her then Minister of Works and Transport Jack Warner at the Trinidad and Tobago 2010 Women’s Under-17 World Cup.
(Courtesy FIFA.com)

If you use those objective categories, the question answers itself in pure footballing terms. Our national teams were better off and were achieving more, our domestic club football was better off, we went from Semi-Pro League to Pro League. We had teams that ruled the Caribbean football and that were not being embarrassed in CONCACAF club football. Look at what is passing for our domestic club football today.

It is not just down to money. In those days—jump high, jump low—there wasn’t the politicking we have today with national team coach selections; I give Jack that. I remember when we brought [Even] Pellerud [to coach the National Women’s team]. I put together a panel of people to search for a top coach. [Jamaal] Shabazz was on that panel and Isa. Then I went to him and said ‘This is the man’. And Jack got him. That was it. There wasn’t the politicking we see nowadays.

I was the technical advisor and we brought in Angus Eve as a national youth coach on merit and we brought in Shawn Cooper on merit because these were the people who were bringing in trophies at youth level. We said unless we bring in foreigners, we had to use people who were getting results and winning competitions locally. It wasn’t about who is your friend or if you are coaching at W Connection.

On a personal level, I always gave Jack Warner his due respect for giving me the opportunity to work in CONCACAF and FIFA at a high level and he always respected my capacity and my opinions.

On a professional level, in my mind there is no dispute that—whatever else you say about his administration under his reign—Trinidad and Tobago and Caribbean football was much more dynamic and achieving more [than it is it now]. Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica went to youth and senior World Cups and Haiti went to a Junior World Cup.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football captain and legend Dwight Yorke (bottom) salutes the “Soca Warriors” fans at the 2006 Germany World Cup.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Patrik Stollarz)
[…] His legacy will always be tainted by the charges levelled against him by the FIFA Ethics Committee and the FBI. He will have to deal with that if ever he is extradited. But he facilitated a lot of things through his politicking.

Wired868: Do you plan to run for the post of TTFA president?

Look Loy: No. I am not being coy about it; I have no interest in that. I have taken on the Trinidad and Tobago Super League [TTSL] presidency and when [my term] ends, I will be 68. I do not intend to spend all my time in football. I want to spend some time with my wife and family and I don’t want to be one of those football dinosaurs trying to hang on to power.

I want to work with and for anybody who I believe has the interest of our football at heart and is intent on progressing our football. We have had too many people in football who are intent on progressing their own personal interest and some of them know nothing about football. I will support and work for anyone I believe is the best person for our football.

Wired868: What attributes do you think are necessary for the person at the helm of the TTFA?

Look Loy: The president of the TTFA has to have experience either being a president or being in charge of an enterprise with a lot of management challenges or money passing through it. I would like to get someone from inside football with a proven record of not just work but honesty and openness to discussion.

Everyone says we want a businessman but we have had businessmen who put us in trouble before, starting with Eric James and Jack [Warner] and [Raymond] Tim Kee right up to and including [David] John-Williams; it is the businessmen who are putting us in trouble.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (centre), media officer Shaun Fuentes (left) and new Soca Warriors coach Dennis Lawrence at the TTFA headquarters on 30 January 2017.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/TTFA)
[…] It is better to have someone who knows about football and we bring in the expertise to do business. Russell Simmons and them don’t have MBAs but they hire the expertise. We need football people in charge and we can hire the expertise because the central compass has to be your love and dedication for Trinidad and Tobago football and moving us forward. Football has to guide us and what we don’t have, we hire. I will never change my mind on that.

Wired868: Is there anyone you have in mind?

Look Loy: I can’t say. But I am encouraging people to come to [TTFA] meetings and make your presence felt and exert yourself… When [critics] said I won the Super League presidency without a manifesto, I said my whole life in football is a manifesto. You want somebody to come and make promises like a politician? Anybody can put something on paper. Anybody who wants to run against John-Williams in two years’ time has to be showing their mettle now. Don’t show me a manifesto in two years time; you are not tricking me with that.

The guiding thing here is honesty and openness. If a man doesn’t know something, he can get the expertise and take guidance. Without [honesty and openness], we will go nowhere but backwards and that is where we are going—backwards! Everything in football now is politics where the powers-that-be allow things to happen because they think they can benefit. Moving football forward is by the way and not central.

Photo: TTFA president and W Connection owner David John-Williams (left) presents the winning cheque to his daughter and Connection director Renee John-Williams after their FA Trophy final win over Police FC at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 8 December 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Everybody is afraid to stand up and be counted. Look at what is going on with the [TTFA Training and Technical] Centre, otherwise known as John-Williams’ monument to himself. Who bid to run the project? Who was hired? What is the completion date?

Nobody knows and big people sit down in a meeting and allow it. Don’t feel I didn’t have ring-down arguments with Jack. We did. He would ask my opinion, I would give it and he would decide what he wanted to do—because I am not a political officer, I am [like] the PS. He valued my opinion even when he didn’t take it on.

With John-Williams, we have one mannism and we have had enough of that; that is the history of our country. That is why I am very proud of the TTSL. Because we have grassroots democracy where everyone is involved in the process. Let us decide collectively what we have to do. If we make an error, we all make an error and we all have to decide how to correct it.

Wired868: What is the first thing you would change about the TTFA if you could?

Look Loy: The first thing I would change is the personnel in charge of football, starting with the elected officers in charge of regional associations. We need vibrant, forward-thinking people to be in charge—at both the regional and national level. Admittedly, that is difficult because people don’t come forward.

Photo: Then SPORTT CEO Adam Montserin (centre) greets players and officials before kick off between Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 March 2017.
TTFA vice-president Ewing Davis (right) broke away from the customary pre-game ritual to take a phone call.
(Copyright CAI Images/Wired868)
[…] Then we need a change in the political culture, which is more difficult. The TTFA remains an association where the dominant philosophy is one mannism. One man decides and everyone hush to get a trip here or an appointment there… The TTFA lacks transparency in important areas like financial, with the most important being the  TTFA project that’s going on. Nobody knows anything and who knows isn’t talking. There is a major problem with the decision making process where we keep trying to force democracy on them and they keep trying to sidestep democracy.

[…] The other area is the bumbling around. It is a very inefficient organisation and the matter of compliance and club licensing are just two examples of that.

Just look at the situation where Sharon O’ Brien is an employee of the TTFA and subject to the direction of general secretary Justin Latapy[-George]. But then Sharon is also president of WOLF and sits on the TTFA board. So in the office she is junior to Justin but, in the TTFA boardroom, she is his boss. How can an employee be on the board of the TTFA? Who is the boss in that relationship?

It speaks to the level of inefficiency in the organisation… When the Central FA was considering getting rid of [Board-appointed Samuel] Saunders, they asked for the TTFA minutes to see his attendance at meetings so they could tell if Saunders was representing them. And I have it on good authority that John-Williams was livid that any board minutes should be shared with anyone [outside of the Board]. What does the Board have to hide? [The TTSL] allows anyone to come in and view minutes because that is the right of the membership.

Photo: Ex-Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president Gordon Derrick (second from left) is sandwiched by TTFA president David John-Williams (second from right) and TTFA employee Sharon O’Brien (far left) before the CFU Under-17 final on 25 September 2016 at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
John-Williams tried unsuccessfully to replace Derrick as CFU president on 23 July 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
[…] And, of course, the other issue is the political decision making that is at the heart of appointments for the national team staff. Jabloteh have won the Pro League Youth tournaments for three years in a row and not one coach [from that club] gets an appointment and the majority of the elite youth coaches are from Connection and south Trinidad. You have men from Connection who can’t beat anybody and can’t demonstrate any success but are getting national team appointments.

[…] Why do we not have a general consultation about why our our national teams are consistently coming outside the top five even in youth football? Why is that not a crisis? Why are people failing and constantly coming back as though it is just another day at the office?

Wired868: I asked you about your best moment as coach before—but what is your worst?

Look Loy: There are two. The first one was the period when I had to fight the SSFL in court to overturn an unjustified and unjustifiable ban. That was a terrible time because people had all sorts of things to say about me and I was public enemy number one for call-in programs with Fazeer Mohammed and them.

I wasn’t coaching anybody at the time and I had a young son, Khari, so my wife, Cathy-Ann, said why don’t you start your own club? I said that was a brilliant idea and that is how FC Santa Rosa started.

Photo: FC Santa Rosa forward Ja-Shawn Thomas (centre) celebrates on the back of goal scorer Jevon Benjamin during the RBNYL Under-15 final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 1 July 2017.
Santa Rosa won 2-0.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

The next one would be when I took over that Under-17 team that nobody wanted two weeks before the tournament and I went to El Salvador and we got six, six and six. The same thing happened with Joe Public in the CONCACAF Champions Cup when Isa was coach and I was technical director. Again, they fired Isa and a week before the match in the RFK Stadium in Washington, [Warner] said ‘Try and do something with them for me.’ We got [eight] and again Look Loy was the worst coach. But I never doubted my acumen. Maybe I should have been smart and said ‘No’ but those were three moments where I took a real buffeting.

But as I said at our TTSL prize-giving function, by Monday morning I done forget about that loss [against UTT] and I am thinking about 2018. That is how I have always lived my life. I took my licks and I came out alright.

Now, I am returning to the coaching I really love. As a player in the United States, I would coach young children in the off-season and I am going back to that to finish my career. I will handle ages 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 but nothing over 12. I will be quite happy doing that.

Photo: FC Santa Rosa coach Keith Look Loy (centre) talks to his players at halftime while then captain Jovan Rochford (right) has a drink of water during 2015/16 CNG National Super League (NSL) Premiership Division action against Club Sando Moruga at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Editor’s Note: Click HERE to read Keith Look Loy Unplugged (Part One): Why I quit as Santa Rosa coach, ups and downs at Malick and the “Sosconosco sorcerer” Arnold Dwarika.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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177 comments

  1. DAVIOD, WHERE DE MONEY GONE?

  2. I remember vividly that 8 nil thrashing vs DC which i think is the best club team to have graced the MLS. We were totally unprepared after being called up to replace Petrotrin in the middle of the off season. I remember when the coach tried to put some fitness work in the ‘big boys’ on the team say ” like is olympics we going awha?” Keith Look Loy as he mentioned was a replacement for Isa and given his history of run ins with the ‘ big boys’ he didnt bother to fight the issue. Of course fitness played a huge part in the thrashing. RFK was like an oven , i remember cramping ALL over. I also remembered the Costa Rica match, Latas was broken up by a Costa Rican in the first half. I remember saying not a man had it in him to see Soto or one of their top players follow Latas off on a stretcher. I also remember Vranes being undermined by the staff , i had a terrible dream about one of the staff members deliberately doing things to destroy the team’s chances of qualifying. I can safely say that if we had our house in order in terms of coaching staffs ;people who would put players in their place like Beenhaaker we would have qualified for at least one other WC before ’06.

  3. Mr. Look loy has an obsession with Latapy and Yorke, I wonder what is his marked legacy as a footballer and administrator? just asking

    • Wayne I usually stay out of these discussions, but do not make it appear that what Look Loy is saying is not correct. I had a similar experience with that group as the Manager of the National Team. They had an arrangement with Auto Rentals to receive a vehicle, but I had provided a bus for the Team, so I told them that they had to travel with the Team and whatever arrangement otherwise would be dealt with after the game. Happy to say that we had no issues. I think what is missing now, is the ability to properly manage the players and give them the respect that they deserve. It is the only way that you attain there respect.

    • This is situation can only give rise to the absence of strong leadership; and ( I mean leadership, not the management of daily operational activities). But beyond the languaging of Mr. Look loy, I simply asked what is his motivation?

  4. Lasana Liburd I always hear arguments about this one better than that one. But I never hear David Nakhid’s name in those arguments. Do you know why?

  5. And the biggest boo boo award in sport for 2018 goes to…….

  6. I do wish the next TTFA President [present or future] seriously tackles a workable, practical and sustainable NATIONAL football league. That has the key to improve & develop EVERYTHING….Players – Men & Youth, Coaches, Referees, Administrators, Match Commissioners, Administrators, Physios, Field Staff, Sponsors, World Cup Chances, Communities etc

  7. Ha, can someone say anything. About the happenings of the Hotel at Balmain, which Williams are building, which Williams ent?

  8. Keith Look Loy for the next president and Mr. Live Wire Vice President yes and our football will surely rise again…..Them really good yes

  9. Great interview Lasana Liburd and Keith Look Loy. Thanks for sharing

  10. Lasana – like you is Keith’s PR rep? Ah find you’re giving him way too much free press. Anyway – it was interesting to hear his perspective on Jack. As one of Jack’s beneficiaries I see he had nothing bad to say about the biggest bandit to ever walk the land in Tnt. The man we should be blaming for the terrible state of football in the twin island republic. Can we imagine where football in Tnt would be today if the TTFA was able to tap into the millions of $$$ generated from Germany 2006?

    • So are you saying this interview was a waste of time or you gleaned something valuable from it? Hard to tell which.
      Judging from the response, many people did appreciate hearing Keith’s views. So I’m not sure what the problem is.
      In fact, after you spoke so much about the issue with him coaching Rosa I would think you would welcome the announcement that he has called time on that. Because this series is fundamentally about his retirement as Rosa coach and a reflection of his career as a coach through Malick, the TTFA and Santa Rosa.

    • Nah man. Not saying that. Your interviews are always informative and well constructed. Just saying (implying) that you’ve been giving Keith a lot of mileage lately. But I understand now that your focus is on reflecting on his coaching career now that he has retired from coaching. And yes, I think his decision to give up his Santa Rosa coaching hat is good one. How much it changes things I’m not sure, as he’s still the owner of the team, which means he might still perceive that refs are out to “get him” and his club. What the TTSL needs is an unbias leader. One who will make decisions and pronunciations based on what’s good for the league, not based on his team. By the way, you need a Part 3 to this story. Part 3 should be focused on how his peers, management, players, and friends view him. We need the total picture:-)

    • Carlos so now you want more on Look Loy? Let me enjoy my Christmas too nah! ??
      Our comments section is really good at getting opinions.
      Your suggestion is very valid. No doubt. But let me get some pastelle and thing nah. Another time. Lol.

    • Hahahaha – Well – since you start the story ah asking you to finish it. Doh halfway wrap the gift. Tie ah bow on it nah?

    • Carlos let de man get he pastelle nah…how yuh so …?

    • Malik – alright…alright….alright. I’ll give him ah pass until the new year.

    • Lol fair enough ..season greetings to you and yours!!

    • Season greetings to you and your family as well. Nuff blessings!

  11. Finally the Bird land part deux . great read, I really appreciate Look Loy’s comments on organization and succession planning as this is missing in too many organisations. I see we are spending a lot of time on Latapy/Yorke behavior which for me is water well under the bridge. The future can be bright if we can focus on the organisation, planning and accountability. Ironically, Keith said Jack wasn’t a planner but he made sure the resources were available for multiple projects where the not only TnT but the region had success. There is lesson there for the next President

    • Jack got the resources because he was a FIFA vice president. Our next president will get the resources where?

    • Agreed his position at FIFA provided the resources. Given that and current conditions our next President needs the ability and skill set to install confidence in corporate TT and the regular citizenry outside of the football fraternity. The current level of financial transparency with its faux audits do not build confidence. The next President needs to understand and respect difference between “football business” and the “business of football”. The resources are out there we have to develop the product to attract them.

    • Gerard to be fair to Jack, he would get local businesses to cough out too. TSTT, Carib, etc would line up to pump sponsorship money into the national team at that time. That had nothing to do with FIFA.

    • There are very specific accusations against the current TTFA management that have to be taken seriously. So I’d like to hear from football stakeholders on that.

    • Lasana Liburd Most of what the Caribbean gained from Jack Warner came about because of his position and influence in FIFA.

    • Gerard I agree. But I’m just saying that there were always local sponsors happy to be associated with the team then. It is astounding to me that we were in the Hex without a single significant local deal.
      Either the current administration is hopeless when it comes to raising money or… well there isn’t really an “or”. I think the team was ranked about 49th in the world when DJW became president. And in the top six in Concacaf. Weird that we didn’t cash in. We are just operating on Fifa money and the NLCB cash for elite teams.

    • Lasana Liburd My post was not a defense of DJW but a reply to someone who suggested the new administration learn from Jack.

    • Gerard Johnson the learning from Jack Warner was his focus on the resources as pivotal to any success.

    • Sean Powder Doesn’t change what I said. Jack had access to and influence in FIFA. That’s where most of the resources came from. Now if you mean DJW should learn how to be an international hustler and kiss the behind of someone at the top, I’ll agree with you.

    • Gerard, I’d say DJW is already an international hustler. He had Infantino here twice already and staged one campaign for the Caribbean presidency. He just isn’t too good at it based on his success rate.
      I didn’t take it as you defending him. I’m just disappointed at how much ground we have lost in terms of attendances and fund raising.
      Part of that is down to the economy. But then Warner had people like Glenda Morean and Iva Gloudon and bigger involved in the financial arm. DJW won’t even say who his finance committee is if he even has one.

    • I think jack Warner figured if Trinidad and Tobago did well, he could use their success for political clout. And there would be more money to steal.
      That’s sad. But amazingly, as Keith said, things might be even worse now.
      We all know that Jack didn’t bring back Gally or hire Bertille because he liked those guys. He did it because he wanted results and was told they would help.
      Could you see the same here? Skeene recommended Fenwick. Who thinks that DJW would ever have allowed that even if he felt Fenwick could do the job?

    • Gerard Johnson I am not trying to change your point or practice revisionist history. I am saying that the primary responsibility of the President(which Jack recognized as TTFF special advisor)should be gathering the resources required, where the resources come from is determined by the current environment. I believe opportunities exist for local funding but not with the current product nor leadership. All politics and all hustling is local first, the current leaderships inability to build consensus locally will never propel them to the international stage.

    • Sean and Lasana your memories are short. It was Jack who caused a lack of confidence in the TTFF. DJW may have made it worse. But businesses refused to help after Jack destroyed its image

    • Gerard, there is nothing about Jack Warner I forget. And those companies knew more about Jack Warner than even I did. Because the FBI indictment showed that several who’s who were helping him to launder that FIFA money.
      Businesses didn’t stop backing T&T football because of Jack’s tainted legacy. I can tell you that with certainty because I know two big companies who wanted to come on board but were turned off directly by the managerial style of the jefe.
      You really think Carib didn’t want to have exclusive rights to sell beers just after T&T had 20,000 people in the stands to play USA?
      Jack did a lot of damage and caused a lot of debt. But our floundering at present is incompetence. That’s not Jack’s fault.
      Just like it isn’t Jack’s fault our U-17 team got knocked out of a Caribbean tournament in the group stage at home.

    • Like I said DJW may have made it worse. But Jack did enough damage for the both of them.

    • I would never suggest that Jack didn’t damage T&T football. But I would be lying if I said that he did absolutely nothing of value.
      He deserves to go to jail for his crimes. But what does he deserve for the bits that worked?

    • Everything Jack Warner did was to benefit himself and his family. Football was a cover for his thieving and corrupt machinations. From that we benefited in some ways. The test of a man’s success and failure at a job is whether he left it in a better condition than he met it. You can fill in the answer for Jack.

    • And I agree with all you just said there Gerard. No question. I just won’t use it to excuse the current predicament we are in.
      Gerard for two years I’ve been trying to find out if the TTFA has a finance committee and who is on it. Two years!

    • And you need to continue. I’m not excusing this administration. I was trying to set the record straight because you seemed to be suffering from a little bit of empathy for Jack. lol

    • Gerard don’t forget I wrote about the Simpaul Travel scandal at a time when a lot of people in society were calling for Jack Warner to get the Trinity Cross.
      I proved at the time that Warner was trying to financially exploit the patriotism of his people. Just as he later attempted to spin a disaster in Haiti to his benefit. You don’t need to remind me of these things. I’d be the last person to forget.

    • I was the one who faced the brunt of the attack. There was not a single person in the local media who wrote any of those things.

    • Lol. Empathy? Don’t know. But I believe if Corneal, Look Loy and Vidale called Jack and said Lasana could take the Warriors to the Qatar World Cup, he’d give me the job.
      He didn’t let personal grudges or ethics get in the way of something beneficial (for him first and the country second, of course).
      So I agree with Look Loy on that one. He wouldn’t give a partner the job. How does Leonson Lewis go from being fired at St Benedict’s to an elite coach?

    • But he would tell you who to pick so his players could get the exposure, receive a contract, and he would benefit from the transfer fee. lol

    • Gerard, he asked Marvin Andrews to join Joe Public from Carib FC. Marvin didn’t. He didn’t drop Marvin. Although I think the transfer fee when Marvin moved to Scotland never made it past the TTFA office. Lol.
      Point is he would hire coaches even if he knew they wouldn’t bow to him like Bertille St Clair. But of course he did try to improperly influence them whenever he could. Jack’s sleaziness is well known by now.

    • Gerard Johnson For me its results, results, results. Under Jack TnT and the region progressed, certainly it could have been greater progress if resources were not misappropriated. After Jack there was lack of confidence from the public, however with limited resources the Tim Kee led TTFA rose to 49 in the world under Hart in that environment. This was accomplished without the FIFA Jack level of resources. Frankly, the current crop could learn from Tim Kee.

    • Sean Powder Some of the same people who want DJW out also wanted Tim Kee out. Careful what you wish for.

    • Ironic isnt? But having had two sons in the U17 and U20 mix, this regime has to chamge they are wholly incompetent.

    • Gerard shouldn’t we want change if what we have isn’t working?
      It isn’t easy for us to say exactly what we want when all we know is tainted officials. So then let’s say what we don’t want. That’s not much but it is something.
      I’d agree with the qualities that look loy suggested. Let’s try that if we can.

  12. I remember a qualifier in Richmond against the U.S. with Gally as the coach. Dwarika came off the bench in the first half and was tearing up the U.S. defense with clever dribbling just inside and outside the box while Yorke played his usual feet in cement game. For some totally surprising reason, maybe playing against instructions, Gally subbed the sub. Dwarika walked off the field, took off his jersey, angrily threw it to the ground, and stormed back to the dressing room never to wear a TT jersey again.

  13. Player indiscipline inhibits achievement.

  14. I still feel keith have alot to contribute to the national team ….I’d like to see him there with one of our good young coaches …cough cough sherw…… …cough this damn cough …hmmm …if only we could move this water buffalo out of power …such an obvious crook!!

  15. I remember going to see we play USA in Nashville in 2009 when we loss 3-0. Maturana was de coach and Latas was de assistant. After de match Latas tell de players doh go out. Meanwhile he was at de bar in de lobby of de hotel. Well who tell he say dat? I was in ah club in downtown Nashville and proceeded to see ah setta players walking through de door. Dem didn’t have he to study. Dat is why when he coaching now, it is tough for discipline to be one of his central tenets.

    • I was there too. We get we ass wash and them fellas was acting like real big players when they came out to meet the fans. SMH

    • But why tho? The message is more important than the messenger. None of those players are remotely as good as latas, the problem is they don’t know that.

    • Me too … mey boy from the US giving meh talk all d way home. I love Latas but if that is your level of discipline it’s no surprise on his coaching record.

    • Smdh, if a player has professional pride and ambition they’d follow the advice of the coach regardless of his disciplinary history. Do we see Atletico players acting rashly because Simeone is their coach? Did we see Argentine players using drugs because Maradona was their coach? Why must our young players be the ones to emulate all the wrong and forget their own goals and ambitions. The coach is the coach!

    • Oh yeah agreed, I think he’s a horrible coach, as per his youth record. But the thread mentioned his past discipline as the reason.

    • Ryan, Sun Tzu spoke about moral authority as one of the foundations of leadership.

    • Ryan I deleted my comment as I felt i missed the point somewhat. But yes. Coaching is a different skillset and not sure yet that he has it although I know he understands football on a different level to most.

    • Well Lasana that is an ideal I hope we one day achieve. In all aspects of daily life, not just sport.

    • Ryan i always remember my editor at Express, Earl Best, would take calls from the public respectfully and try to serve them.
      Who won the tennis match this morning between Serena and whoever? Just a minute…
      And he would go find out and return to the phone and tell the caller.
      So what do you think I did as a young reporter when someone called asking for info?
      I followed my boss’ example. That’s moral leadership.

    • But I firmly believe in taking ownership of your own space. Regardless of the personal issues you have with coaches or teammates you need to apply yourself 100% and that’s the life of a professional. This is well beyond developmental level, these guys should know what’s expected, and watching a coach slight cus he is a limer is not useful to a pro.

    • And that’s excellent that you had a great mentor in Earl Best, but if you were working for multiple papers at that point in time and had a horrible manager in one of them I’m sure as a conscientious pro you’d have applied the best practices of Mr Best. These guys play for clubs who do not tolerate the indiscipline and disrespect they exhibit within the Natl team. So in my opinion it boils down to professional pride.

    • Well that’s the other ideal. Lol. Latapy didn’t get to be as good as he did by setting standards low. Sadly not everyone has same ambition.
      But you have no choice but to get everyone at a particular level. That’s why managers get paid so well in theory. Lol. It’s supposed to be challenging.

    • All I hadda say is Las went Sun Tzu on us!!! Bombooo lol

    • In retrospect though isnt that attitude why he lost his contract at Glasgow Rangers?? Karma is real and it never forgets!!

    • Lol Sun Tzu wrote his manuscripts in a time when men accepted their lot in life and took responsibility for their station. I’m not sure that applies nowadays, we soft to the core, no amount of leadership could change that.

    • Maybe. Or maybe that’s why leaders are tossed out so often these days. Because the leaders are as weaker or weaker than the flock.

    • Nigel and we had pictures too lol..that was the game where Maturana stand up whole game leaning on the side of the dugout pissed off at Latapy lol

  16. Star boy behaviour is not uncommon. The issue with Trinis is the youths don’t understand the work it takes to get to that point. In other nations the competition is so stiff you take the good from the bad. You think latas could party more than Ronaldinho? But young Brazilians know what sense to pick from nonsense.

    Down here young cricketers watch Lara liming and scoring hunjs and feel we could do the same. We just have it too easy.

    • This is true. De star boy mentality not limited to T&T, but is how yuh manage it.

    • So Latas, Lara, Yorke and others are nothing but a blessing, but instead of learning from their success we emulate their excess.

    • Ryan, you’re talking about two players (one being the team captain), staying in a separate hotel from the rest of the squad. You can’t even compare that to international best practices anywhere.
      It is ridiculous.
      And it is worth noting that we only got to the World Cup when Beenhakker came and cracked the whip.
      And Ronaldinho used to track back for Brazil eh. Stiff competition helps. Strong management counts even more in my opinion.

    • Yes stiff competition inculcates a different focus. In a team like TNT that lacks the quality and talent of a Yorke, latas or dwarika we have to build around them, not resent them. If the youths realize they don’t have that ability so they work hard to contribute the whole would benefit.

      Genius is never perfect and we don’t have the leeway to discard our geniuses. If the benchmark is that they perform then that should be the focus. Whether they inspire professionalism in the young players is another matter, the coaching staff should be there to remind the young men of how far they have to go to attain that level.

    • Ideally your best players should be your hardest workers and should accept their role as mentors, but we do not have the player pool to have that as the benchmark.

    • Ryan, pandering to them never really worked though. The only team we succeeded as when Latapy had to settle for a substitute’s role and Yorke accepted his role within team to extent that he even played as a sweeper in one game because Beenhakker asked.
      T&T’s biggest win otherwise was arguably our 2-1 Gold Cup quarterfinal win over Costa Rica in 2000. Latapy was injured and Yorke was with Man U.
      I think we could have played without them if we had to. Remember we kept out players like Nixon, Leonson and Marcelle who could play at that level. We could have rejigged if we wanted to. They were not as talented. Of course not. But we needed leverage to keep those guys honest in my opinion.
      Look how well Yorke and Latapy did when their hearts were in it.

    • Perhaps, but I think our focus is too much on the lifestyle vs the performance. IMO we don’t have that luxury, for far too long young players are feted before they achieve. Latapy and Yorke earned that right. I firmly believe that if other players accepted their own limitations the team as a whole would have achieved far more, even prior to Beenhakker. Even now you see us struggle to accept that technically we aren’t that good. And that’s without these star boy distractions.

    • I don’t believe they earned the right to stay in separate hotels and train and when they feel like it. I do believe that all players are not equal. Sure. But there is earned privilege and there is madness.
      In Germany, Yorke had his own room while junior players shared rooms. That’s privilege. Staying in separate accommodation and picking your training sessions undermines team chemistry.
      You think Jordi Alba deserves to be on the same bus as Messi? But Messi has to have some respect for his teammates too. Lara was West Indies captain and would use his own transport to go to matches while on a tour in England. We were whitewashed in that series.

    • Lasana I’m a team man, but if each player accepts their own professional responsibility then there’d be no issue with team chemistry. These are big men, not U16s. I for one rather Messi take his own helicopter like Kamla, once he comes and performs, cus if I were Jordi Alba I’d know how important he was to the team success and I’d also know exactly what MY role is too.

    • That being said, I’m not an advocate for indiscipline, I’m an advocate for proper man management.

    • If 11 players are to move like a single entity, you will make things more difficult if one guy is staying apart from the rest. Ask Iverson about the importance of practice. Lol.
      Ryan, no team succeeds that way. At best, you beat weaker teams. But you won’t beat teams at your level. Nine times out of 10 anyway.

    • Will someone explain to me how you can be a team person at the same time defending or rationalizing different behaviors for certain players? In America that was called Separate But Equal.

    • Oh I said I was a team person. But that’s because I was never a special talent, I accepted I had to work and never resented those who were more gifted. Whatever their concessions were was their business, I knew what I had to do personally.

      And having different accommodations for your elite talent is a reality in most teams. The problem arises when your ordinary player wants elite treatment, then the house of cards falls down.

    • Ryan De Gannes So what you are saying is that you were a team player because you were not gifted but if you were a gifted player you would demand the same concessions? My bad.

    • Hahahah no I have no idea how I might have behaved, my mindset may have been different, who knows. I’m saying I accepted the reality of the situation and decided to focus on my doing my part.

    • Ryan your stance on how you would have accommodated the star players is admirable but encouraging or at least not nipping it in the bud doesnt build a team(no matter how you look at it) ….in 2006 I was mad bleeder was starting (furious) …Latas on the bench. When Latas came on and give that wonderful 20 minute cameo I was even more furious but Leo knew (like I probably did) that latas gives nothing defensively and lord knows we were under pressure defensively. The difference in assessing a game from a coach perspective as opposed to a fan. The best deal would have been to drop Latas and Yorke and let them accept team rules. Note we made the wc when latas accepted his sub role and yorke embraced his captaincy. It was the right thing for beenhakker to do but you cant be afraid to make the tough decisions. He only was able to do it because he let jack know its his way or he walks ….

    • Malik precisely. I always remember in Bahrain with a historic World Cup place on the line, beenhakker started Aurtis Whitley in central midfield, put Yorke on the left flank and had Latapy on the bench.
      How many coaches could ask Yorke to take a flank and put Latapy on the bench in such a big game?
      In the end, if a bold call is needed for the benefit of the group then you have to make it. That’s the job.

    • But Las it only worked because the guys “accepted their role” …there is something to be said about chemistry amongst coaches and players …which is why I cant understand how people couldn’t understand how Hartie being undermined by “Mr. Water Buffalo” was affecting the team.

    • Lasana that is a definite. Beenhakker was a disciplinarian and I heard he would send you home early from training if he thought you weren’t applying yourself. Latas and Yorke knew that the past misdeeds would not be tolerated and adjusted to suit. Simple things.

    • Lasana not even Messi can kick a corner and head it in the net he need a Jordi Alba or someone to make that pass sometimes. So I believe in privilege for exceptional players but other players must see them as part of the team and that the privilege afforded should not make other players feel belittled. This could unsettle a team and affect team chemistry.

    • Ivor precisely my thought. And I’ve been on teams with worse players than myself and, as was more often the case, I’ve been on teams with better players than myself. Lol.
      We didn’t mind working a lil harder for Speng. But Speng knew he had his work to do as well. Lol.

    • Lasana Beenhakker was a boss. He set up the team to get results knowing that it was more than likely not technically as good as the opposition. In T&T we are deluded – thinking we are better then we are. That we can play some expansive football when we don’t have the personnel for that. T&T need to you lay for the result and build on that foundation.

  17. I’ve asked this a million times before, but why it is Lasana does seem to be de only one who does be asking tough questions and trying to go beneath de surface of we footballing woes? I think if more reporters would grill DJW and de TTFA executive, it would keep dem on dey toes.

  18. Excellent stuff…Some I’d heard about before but lots of insight into things I’d wondered about in the past.

  19. Excellent read. I really enjoyed his insight into the national teams, not that I didn’t know tho. Latas and Yorke were a blessing and a curse to our national teams

    • I doh blame Latas and Yorke for dey behavior. Dey did what dey was allowed to do.

    • Point well taken, however they also exhibited very poor leadership. As senior players they should have done better

    • I agree Nigel. When employees are running amok, the managers have to bear responsibility. But it is sad that they didn’t think the national team deserved the same professionalism they have their clubs.

    • Because dey feel dey could get away with it because of their superior talent. We bring dat on we self. Up to this day we have de same issues. And when Hart did discipline Molino and dem, plenty people was upset. So we does encourage de bullshit.

    • 100% agree. There is the player and their is mgt. Like you said, they did it because they got away with it. However as a real pro, they should have been better leaders. Sadly, this still plagues us today as you indicated

    • Nigel Myers By that logic if you are allowed to steal you will steal. And yet we criticize politicians

    • Rubbish. There is such a thing as personal responsibility and commitment. They are completely to blame for their behaviour.

    • Some of us have very short memories. There is one person in particular who dismissed my contention that just as you can’t teach a class which has no discipline you cannot coach a team that’s without. That person seems to be taking a different position now. Indeed many persons on this thread were very angry with our last coach who depleted the team of some of its better talent because those players did as they pleased. The important thing was to win. I even made the point that teams without discipline usually didn’t go very far. This also brings to mind the World Cup semi final qualifications when I said this team was technically flawed and many made the argument the important thing was we made it to the finals. Well we played the finals with the same technically flawed team and we see what it got us.

    • This is why I have very little regard for Yorke and Latapy today. Just because people allowing me to play in shit that don’t mean I must jump in head first in glee. They help kill the team, if they eh do it by deyself.

    • If when people steal there is no penalty. Or if lawmen even tell them ‘go ahead, we promise not to do you anything…’ Then aren’t those lawmen part of the problem too? I don’t think anyone is disputing that the players let themselves and the team down.

    • To be fair, them fellas was doing the same at their clubs too. Yorke in his book stated he went practice at old Trafford and fall asleep on the field cuz he was stale drunk. Let’s not forget latas get drop from a cup final cuz he was drunk driving with Yorke in tow a week before

    • Once Yorke won the treble in the first season, his appetite grew dull and his days were numbered after that. With his intelligence and fitness levels, he could have gone on to play there for as long as Ryan Giggs. I’d bet he regrets it now.
      But he remains a legend for Trinidad and Tobago and Manchester United for his accomplishments. No doubt about it.
      And Russell Latapy is like royalty in Scotland. You’d better believe that. Maybe not as big as Marvin Andrews though. Andrews would get standing ovations at Glasgow Rangers’ Ibrox Stadium anytime the crowd got restless.

    • Lasana Liburd “I doh blame Latas and Yorke for dey behavior. Dey did what dey was allowed to do.” You were saying what LL?

    • Lol. Well I wouldn’t go that far. They must take responsibility for their own behavior too. Tiger did what he was allowed to do too.
      Until he wasn’t and he had to pay millions. Lol.