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‘Fenwick is misleading the public!’ Eve knocks T&T coach for supposedly disrespectful, contradictory statements

Club Sando FC head coach and former Soca Warriors stand-out Angus Eve has accused Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick of misleading local football fans on several issues—not least regarding the Warriors’ supposed 5-0 win over Sando, earlier this month.

On 23 January, Fenwick posted on Facebook that his outfit had just crushed a Club Sando Select team 5-0 with a ‘resolute team performance’.

Image: Soca Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick claims a 5-0 win over a ‘Club Sando Select’ Team.

Eve and Sando managing director Eddie Dean swore that never happened.

“We never played the national team any game,” Eve told Wired868. “Some of the Club Sando players may have been involved in a pick-up game [against the national team], but to say we played them is something very different.

“[…] WIN TV ran a story based on Fenwick’s post that he beat Club Sando, but we never played them.” 

Fenwick did not respond to Wired868’s request for comment. The Warriors did beat an outfit 5-0 on that day. But the suggestion that the Englishman is uncertain about which team he came up against, might be indicative of the value of those practice games.

Eve said Fenwick’s social media posts, which cooed about how his national team was getting on, created a false narrative for football fans. Fenwick even refereed the matches himself and passed instructions on to his players while doing so.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick (centre) guides his team during practice at the Police Barracks in St James on 3 July 2020.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

“I went to watch two of their scrimmages and when I saw the coach in the middle of the field refereeing the games—it didn’t sit well with me,” said Eve, who is a former National Under-23 and and Under-17 Team head coach. “It was misleading to the public of Trinidad and Tobago to be equating pick-up games with teams that were not training with real games, so as to make people feel they were playing proper teams. 

“All that was happening is these coaches were giving their players the chance to be seen by the national coach and trying to help the national team’s programme. So they took games they knew they were not ready for, and then the national coach used them for his own devices.”

Arguably, Fenwick learned a thing or two about taking a game he was not ready for on Sunday, as a fresh-faced, local-based United States team battered his players in much the same way that they treated makeshift local opposition. The end result was a 7-0 loss, which tied a national record set 21 years ago against Mexico at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

Fenwick blamed the lopsided scoreline primarily on the difference between the developmental programmes of the two nations, as well as the supposed failure of newly assimilated North America-based players to grasp and implement his tactics.

Photo: United States forward Jonathan Lewis (centre) reacts after scoring his team’s sixth goal in their 7-0 rout of Trinidad and Tobago in Orlando on 31 January 2021.
(Copyright AP Photo/Phelan M Ebenhack)

Eve said he was confused by the national coach’s statements.

“If as national team coach he has 20-something people in training, is it that he is saying he doesn’t think those players are of national quality and the ones he brought from the US are national quality?” asked Eve. “But then he turned around and contradicted himself by apologising for not using the local players. So now is he saying the American system that produced the players he used for the game is also shit?”

Ironically, Eve got his first top level coaching job as assistant to Fenwick at San Juan Jabloteh—roughly 13 years ago—before he went on to work as head coach at St Ann’s Rangers, North East Stars and Club Sando. He also regularly scoops up titles in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) as Naparima College head coach.

Eve still holds the mark as Trinidad and Tobago’s most capped player of all-time in Fifa-recognised fixtures, despite spending almost his entire career playing locally. He criticised ‘the last three coaches’ for ‘not recognising the local players’.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Nathan Lewis (right) tears down the flank during 2018 World Cup qualifying action against USA in Couva on 10 October 2017.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

“I remember [then San Juan Jabloteh winger] Nathan Lewis was a player who everyone was saying should be on the national team and it wasn’t happening,” said Eve. “Then Nathan signed with one of the USL teams, and within a week he was called up to the national team [by then head coach Dennis Lawrence]. 

“I think a lot of coaches disrespect the work done by the local coaches in the colleges league and beyond […] but when a local player gets a sporting scholarship from one of those universities in America, doesn’t that mean those schools believe the player is developed well enough that they can come in and help their programme?

“The likes of Kevin Molino and so on left in their 20s to become professional players, which means their development was done right here in Trinidad. Not so? 

“Yes, we know the local leagues and clubs are not perfect, because we are working with limited resources. But at the same time, local coaches don’t get the respect they deserve.”

(Editor’s Note: Nathan Lewis had two international caps under Stephen Hart and 11 under Dennis Lawrence before he moved abroad to play professionally.)

Photo: Naparima College coach Angus Eve (right) makes a point while Presentation College (San Fernando) coach Shawn Cooper looks on during the Big Four final at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 12 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Trinidad and Tobago’s embarrassing scoreline against the United States, according to Eve, owed more to Fenwick’s approach than our issues in developing players. First, he said, the former England 1986 World Cup defender employed questionable tactics for the match.

Why on earth did Fenwick choose to use a high press against the Concacaf powerhouse?

“If your team is presumably not as fit as the other team then tactical fitness has to come into play, which is reserving the amount of running your team has to do as opposed to the other team,” said Eve. “When you play a team like Liverpool or Manchester City, you know you won’t have much of the ball, which means your team will have to run more. So you play with a low block, which will suit unfit players better anyhow. 

“Also America did one thing all day, which was put the ball down and get it down the flank where the winger would run inside with his full back going outside of him. We never addressed that all day…”

Eve brushed aside Fenwick’s explanations regarding the difference in preparation between the two nations. He suggested that the Warriors coach made a rod for his own back.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Terry Fenwick acknowledges fans in the stands during warmups before an international friendly against USA in Orlando on 31 January 2021.
T&T lost 7-0.
(Copyright AP Photo/Phelan M Ebenhack)

“The American professional league broke in November and [the US players] were in camp from the 9th of January, whereas we were training for five or six months,” said Eve. “So we had more time with our players than the American coach did; and the American team had a lot of debutants too. The only difference is [Gregg Berhalter] had his players in camp, so he could see what they could do—unlike looking at a player on YouTube, where people post only the good bits. 

“It would have given the coach a lot more credibility if he used the players he had seen and assessed over the last five months. You can’t coach players for four months and not get what you want [from them].”

Again, Eve bemoaned the perceived ‘disrespect’ shown to local players.

“If a group is with me for four odd months, I would not keep a player for that long unless I think he is of a particular standard,” he said. “So now I need to assess them after four months of training in a friendly against opponents other than ourselves—and those games he was taking in Trinidad were not valid games. 

“Based on the sacrifice those players were making for four or five months, in coming to training every other day and not getting a salary or a stipend, they should have gotten the opportunity to play that game. 

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Duane Muckette (left) competes with USA midfielder Kellyn Acosta for the ball during international friendly action in Orlando on 31 January 2021.
(Copyright AP Photo/Phelan M Ebenhack)

“And you saw the four of five players who were training [locally], when they came on there was finally some semblance of play.”

Eve pleaded with supporters to give 24-year-old defender Josiah Trimmingham a second chance, after his performance—and waistline—came in for biting commentary on Sunday.

Trimmingham plays in the United States’ third tier and is a former Club Sando and national youth team player.

“I know Josiah well and he is normally a reliable, solid player, but what hampered him in the game is his physical condition,” said Eve. “He was [Fenwick’s] captain and I know that baffled a lot of people; but the coach has his decision to make and each one of us as coaches has to live and die by his decisions. 

“In my opinion, I would not have put him as captain because there were more experienced players on the park. When I looked at the team huddles, the most vocal player was Alvin [Jones]. 

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Josiah Trimmingham (right) tries to keep a lid on USA forward Jesus Ferreira during international friendly action in Orlando on 31 January 2021.
Ferreira scored twice and created two other goals in a 7-0 rout.
(Copyright AP Photo/Phelan M Ebenhack)

“But the coach would know why he chose Josiah over the more recognisable players. He is working with them and I am not; I am just commenting on what I saw.”

Trinidad and Tobago hope to have two more warm-up matches against Dominica and the St Vincent and the Grenadines, later this month, before the Qatar 2022 World Cup campaign starts in March.

The Warriors are due to host Guyana in their opening qualifier on 25 March. Eve would hope that Fenwick steadies his ship by then, to give Trinidad and Tobago the best chance of progression.

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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21 comments

  1. So my comment is weeks late, but better late than never.
    I agree with much of wat Eve said, if not all. Still, I must add that he’s missing a few vital points. I’m not against T&T playing against USA, Mexico, Germany or even Brazil in a practice match. That’s what USA did, and now they’re a threat to many of the world footballing powers. So holding that against the NC is a bit short sighted in my view.
    That being said, the main issue with our footballers (besides lack of development) is fitness. The players are right now being refused the chance to take the field, which to me is curious. How do you expect them to perform against teams that are on the field regularly? Having players in a five month camp says nothing if they’re not on the field and getting match practice. Which brings into question if we really have the best players available on the team.
    Unless the players are back on the field playing matches, don’t expect any success from the coach or the national team. We can’t keep using shortcuts and hoping for miracles when we choose not to put in the necessary work required for WC qualification.

  2. I totally agree with mr. Eve, the head coach has no excuse he should have carried all the local based players an give them the chance. T&T has alot of talented players that deserve that opportunity to represent and be featured aganist USA. SMH I continue to pray and support my national team, but give the local based players a chance.

  3. I was just discussing this attack on Fenwick with my 21 and 19 year old sons… Football crazy., and love the modern game alot more than I do. They also watched the entire game on Sunday, and also can’t believe that people are actually blaming the coach and blasting his decision making for the loss. But it was the 21 year old that brought the whole thing in perspective and I have to agree with him…. This whole attack especially by Sancho and Eve is because of Wallace… I don’t know how I missed this, I’m just too damn chupid and trusting in the national spirit and goodness of my fellow citizens. So because Wallace hire Fenwick he must get treated just like Wallace…. So I concede… I agree with my son, Fenwick should spare the country all the drama and just resign now!
    I don’t give a flying firetruck who allyuh put, I might watch the highlights to see how Duane Muckette performs, if he plays, because I just love to see him play.
    But this is it for me, wid football and allyuh Trini people and allyuh dutty ways. Again, I cry shame on wired 868 for joining the band wagon of the demented… SMH

    • Lasana Liburd

      Talldog, I am against Wallace too? Thanks for sharing that level of analysis with me then. Nothing new. Anybody gets criticised it is because someone doesn’t like them. Go brave.

      • You know that you have never addressed the crux of my point that this is extreme negativity after just 1 game.. 1 game.
        1 game Mr Liburd.. It has been 1 game….
        You just don’t get it.. It not in allyuh Trini dna
        But I’m truly sorry for offending you,

        • Lasana Liburd

          Talldog, I’m not offended. Journalists aren’t supposed to be wallflowers. I don’t know if it is different for coaches. In fact, I’m sure Terry received much more worse than this in England.
          Some people will say that “it’s just Trinidad”, so we shouldn’t have standards. Record loss? Small thing. I’m sure he tried his best.
          If I became one of those people, I’d just stop writing altogether. Sorry. It was one game and Angus Eve saw things beyond the scoreline (which is what you are focusing on) that he is concerned about.
          Maybe Angus has a better eye for that than you. He has the pedigree as a licensed coach and a former player to have an opinion. And he shared his opinion. You don’t like it but we won’t deny him a platform for that reason. Do you think your evaluation of football tactics is better than his?

          • I’m not a licensed coach, so you won’t bait me with that question, but I have a better and more pointed question.. Is he a better tactioner and reader of the game than Fenwick? And once again, Question we could both answer, are his comments, tone, and analysis of Fenwick tactics on point after 1 game???
            And to give you the satisfaction of some sort of response to your question… I’m around football longer than that fellow, and he never impressed me. And since becoming a coach he has seldom made comments that I agree with. His assessment of the length of time that Fenwick had with his players versus the US coach is absolutely nonsensical, as that in no way could create an advantage when the US team is made up of mls pros, and ours are unattached players, local club playersand usl semi pros. He often comes over as a jealous simpleton, as he never responds aptly to the point in front of him.

          • And one more point… Those social circles that making a mountain out of a molehill over a friendly game, during a pandemic, and after all we went through with DJW and fifa, need introspection.
            Check allyuhself…

            • Lasana Liburd

              For now, Angus Eve’s record as a coach at international level is far better than Terry Fenwick’s. So for Fenwick’s sake, I hope he catches up. You weigh up Eve’s career as a player and a coach and choose to describe him as a simpleton who never impressed you–all in defence of Fenwick? I’d rather not comment on that. That speaks for itself. Thanks for the feedback.

              • Oh really?
                I said what I said not in defence of Fenwick, but because you went in search of a stupid opinion., and held it out to the public as though it was relevant to sensible people in some way or another. That puerile commentary resonates only with people with axe to grind,… well unlike you I doh pander to foolishness… And if you want to
                defend bad judgement on your part by holding up a clown like Angus Eve as a model of football knowledge no one would take you serious… Like I started off saying.. This amount of negativity after one game is just counter productive… If you can’t see dat, well what can I say… Granny used to say show me your friends, and… Who you know the rest

  4. Fenwick is an old school coach. A younger coach with fresh ideas is needed

  5. After 1 game this is the foolishness allyuh getting on with… Shame on you wired 868…never saw you all as part of the problem… BTW Angus Eve rivals Dumbo Sancho for the dotish man award… Trust me people who actually playing football, watching real football, and ardent followers of football are against this foolishness of attacking Fenwick. Do better than that word 868!

    • Lasana Liburd

      You think Wired868 should refuse to publish comments from any coach or football supporters that are critical of the head coach?

      • In this case, YES! Because this is senseless and insane behaviour. We played one game, 1! And the comments and tone of your articles is as though we are Barca, and we failed to reach the champions league. I don’t know about you, but from what I saw and heard from Sancho and eve they vex that Fenwick is the coach.. Plain talk! . Sancho was braying at half time that our players are professionals and they have no excuse, they should be fit… Oh really our players are professionals? And that comes out at half time of our first game in eons… And you are promoting more dotishness from eve who is nit picking like a jealous smitten 16 year old girl about a post on social media about whether the national team played club Sando, or players from club Sando…. Steups.. Dotishness…
        You all need to learn from CNN… When they finally realised that the last us president was just full of brown waste they just stop caring what he had to say… But not here, you all in the media are still stuck in la la land, practicing 80’s journalism, and just pissing of the public. Alot of people I know are only making fun about the score, like converting it to TT, and comparing the South Hampton loss etc..but no one is carrying like what your writing and pushing about the coach… Whatever circles you are socialising in that pushing that foolishness, allyuh don’t really care about national football, allyuh grinding axe.. I’m not asking you,, I’m telling you this atrack on the coach after 1 game, it is a counter productive narrative, that we just don’t need at this time!

        • Lasana Liburd

          Thanks for your feedback. If you did not appreciate Angus Eve’s comments then that is your right as a reader. It will not affect our editorial policy. We cater for an exchange of ideas here and encourage it. If you believe that Eve does not deserve to share his ideas or that they offer nothing to the discourse on the game, then we disagree. And that’s it.

          • Mr Liburd, are you saying that those Angus Eve comments after I game is adding value to the national discourse on our football???
            So what next, if Fenwick picks a side for his second game that you or eve find disagreement with, you all would call for him to be fired before the game is played??? Its not about stifling eve’s views or as Mr Best suggested about suppressing Pro Fenwick opinions, it is about the overdone response to the results of 1 game.. And I’m not sure that you are appreciating the negative effects of your position!

    • Earl Best

      How is wired to be blamed for merely HOSTING adverse comment, Talldog? Are you suggesting that the Editor is suppressing pro-Fenwick comment?

      If commenters see only a “make-shit” side, is wired868 to be blamed for that? ”Isn’t that what the function of the site is, to represent public opinion?

      And just for the record, wired868 did not start attacking Teflon Terry “after 1 game.” If you have a more careful look back at some of the stories carried here, methinks you are likely to change your tune.

      • Mr Best…its not simply hosting adverse comments… Its promoting dotishness from persons that it is obvious have an axe to grind… And if you look closely at the reason I’m pointing this out to wired 868, I’m speaking to the deterioration of the higher standards I have grown accustomed to from wired 868! I just pointed out to Mr Liburd that you all have to follow the CNN model. Stop promoting foolishness, and destructive behaviour, its as simple as that. There are soo many more sensible and educated coaches and football managers that would provide more pointed and fair criticism and analysis of that 1 game we played in eons! 1 game.. Just 1!
        We would reach nowhere dancing to a beat from Angus Eve… Done talk!

  6. I was shocked to lesrn that players were selected on the basis of a video clip over the ones in training for fout momths. Fenwick seem to be taking us for fools.
    That is enough to fire him right away. He would never do that with an English team far less a national team..

    • Sorry sir, using Mr Best’s slang… Methinks is the media that is talking is for fools… With the likes of Andre Errol Baptise and Walter Alibey reporting you won’t be getting football news, you would be getting football Bachanal and kangkata!
      I hold Mr Liburd to higher standards, so I’m hoping that wired 868 would drop this disturbing approach to reporting on National issues!!!

    • Agreed…. he could have chosen more local players than picking what he had seen on YouTube.. its unbelievable and disappointing….
      Hope he gets things correct…