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Gally: Soca Warriors lack identity, I don’t understand what football they’re playing

“The team lacks structure [and] organisation as some players do not seem to understand their roles and responsibilities. The team also lacks an identity because I don’t understand what kind of football they are playing…”

The following Letter to the Editor on the state of the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team was submitted to Wired868 by Hall of Fame footballer and former Strike Squad coach Everald ‘Gally’ Cummings, HBM; CMTT:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Levi Garcia (left) reacts after a missed opportunity while USA defender Nick Lima looks on during Gold Cup action in Cleveland on Saturday 22 June 2019.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

A very disappointing performance but not unexpected. The team lacks structure [and] organisation as some players do not seem to understand their roles and responsibilities. The team also lacks an identity because I don’t understand what kind of football they are playing.

To be beaten by six goals was a huge embarrassment to Trinidad and Tobago. We had similar score lines like these in 1987 when I took over the reins of national football from deceased Roderick Warner and Muhammad Isa as a result of a 4-1 thrashing from the same US.

I can’t believe we have gone back to those days, especially where technology is so much more advanced and [there are] so many opportunities available for international friendlies to test your skills against worldwide opponents, which were not available then.

We keep hearing only excuses of learning experiences and developing but they don’t seem to be learning anything or developing. We have very good players, but they look good on an individual basis [and] not in a team situation, which shows a lack of organisation and [that they are] not being used to their strengths.

We cannot continue to go on like this. We need the urgent establishment of a technical committee with the best soccer minds in Trinidad and Tobago—and not friends and associates of the President of the TTFA—to oversee preparation of all national teams.

It hurts to see national teams unable to compete in international competitions due to lack of preparation with so much available potential in the country. I have noticed teams like Jamaica, Haiti and Panama—over whom we had an advantage—are remaining competitive and doing reasonably well.

Photo: USA goal scorer Christian Pulisic (second from right) is congratulated by teammates after his goal against Trinidad and Tobago in Gold Cup action at Cleveland on 22 June 2019.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

Over the last five years, I have offered my services to the past and present administrations and the Sportt Company as a technical adviser to assist in preparation of all teams because I have been observing the inadequacies all around.

When national teams are doing well, as in all sport, it lifts the spirit of the country and builds confidence and motivates our young people.

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  1. Earl Best

    Gally, a piece of friendly advice offered in the best spirit: leave it alone.

    You love the sport, you love your country and you want to see T&T do well at football. But this is the wrong time.

    Wait for a change in the administration. I have nothing against DJW but I have eyes to see. And I can see that it’s all one-way traffic here. Not Edward, Henry and Abercromby Streets, bro, Frederick, Charlotte and St Vincent. Down! All the way down!

    Patience! Maybe your day will come back.