Home / Volley / Global Football / Look Loy: Thank God for Frenderup; T&T need multiple improvements—plus ‘Froggy’ and Rampersad

Look Loy: Thank God for Frenderup; T&T need multiple improvements—plus ‘Froggy’ and Rampersad

“[…] Is the selection [of defenders] based on a physical prototype preferred by coach Terry Fenwick—tall, big and strong? I ask because for the third match now we saw Neveal Hackshaw, who is known as a defensive midfielder and now plays central defence for his club, appearing as the left back. 

“Every position has associated physical, technical, psychological, tactical characteristics, which are the basis of effective performance in that position. Our wing-backs, particularly Hackshaw, do not meet the basic wing-back characteristics.

“But he doesn’t select himself; this is on the coach…”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Neveal Hackshaw (right) blocks the path of United States forward Daryl Dike during international friendly action in Orlando, Florida on 31 January 2021.
(Copyright AP Photo/Phelan M Ebenhack)

The following commentary on Trinidad and Tobago’s 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw with Puerto Rico was submitted to Wired868 by former Concacaf technical study group member and Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) technical committee chairman Keith Look Loy:

After getting by a poor Guyana outfit with a mediocre performance, we all hoped for a win with a better display against unheralded Puerto Rico today. 

I was left distinctly unimpressed by what was, in fact, a worse display; one in which—but for the heroics of goalkeeper Nicklas Frenderup—we were very lucky to have a draw and a share of the points. 

Frankly, with due respect to Puerto Rico, I fully expected we would win against a country with no footballing pedigree, which had hired its coach only days earlier, and lost its opening qualifier to St Kitts and Nevis. Not so in the event.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Nicklas Frenderup takes a goalkick during World Cup qualifying action in Mayaguez on 28 March 2021.
(via TTFA Media)

We started slowly and poorly while Puerto Rico demonstrated readiness for the battle with two attacks inside the first minute. They never let up after that. Indeed, the determination to have a result was demonstrated by their early appearance from the tunnel after the half-time break. 

The Puerto Rico players were already in their battle stations while my team strolled out to resume battle, without the look of urgency expected from a team realistically chasing a World Cup berth.

The highlight of our performance was the goalkeeping of Frenderup. Surely the number one jersey is his to lose now. He was outstanding. Not much more could be placed in the positive column. Having seen two matches now, my concerns are, briefly:

(Ball possession)

Our ball retention and rotation lacks energy and is far too lethargic. We make too many unforced errors through sloppy passing—often in dangerous areas too. We seem uncertain how to move the ball from the back, through the lines, and into the opposing penalty area.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Michel Poon-Angeron (left) passes the ball while Puerto Rico midfielder Devin Vega looks on, during World Cup qualifying action in Mayaguez on 28 March 2021.
(via TTFA Media)

(Defence)

Is the selection based on a physical prototype preferred by coach Terry Fenwick—tall, big and strong? I ask because for the third match now we saw Neveal Hackshaw, who is known as a defensive midfielder and now plays central defence for his club, appearing as the left back.

Every position has associated physical, technical, psychological, tactical characteristics, which are the basis of effective performance in that position. Our wing-backs, particularly Hackshaw, do not meet the basic wing-back characteristics. But he doesn’t select himself; this is on the coach.

As ever, our defence is far too porous, and lacks a marshal; an organiser. We continue to be plagued by the twin issues of: a) lapses in concentration, as evidenced in poor passing out of defence, and loose marking (the Puerto Rican scorer was surrounded by four defenders); and b) lack of cover, particularly for Hacksaw (as in the Guyana match), who was tormented by 17-year-old Wilfredo Rivera all match long.

I don’t know where the team wants to regain possession and how. Pressing is inconsistent and not effective enough.

Photo: Puerto Rico left back Raúl Gonzáles III (centre) looks to advance past Trinidad and Tobago flanker Levi Garcia (left) during World Cup qualifying action in Mayaguez on 28 March 2021.
Looking on is Trinidad and Tobago coach Terry Fenwick.
(via TTFA Media)

(Attack)

Compared to the Guyana match, the wing-backs were more involved in the attack. But because they are not natural wingbacks, they are very limited in their offensive actions.

They do not make plays or combine with team mates in the attacking third, or in and around the opposing penalty area. They do not enter crosses. I do not have the match statistics but I am sure they will support my analysis.

The team lacks creativity in midfield. Only Duane Muckette has the look of a natural playmaker and his play is far too laid-back. He needs to demand more of himself, he needs to get on the ball more and play progressive football (as opposed to little back and lateral passes), something which I discussed with him during the 2020 USL season.

An important aspect of effective attacking play is forward running out of midfield, which is virtually nonexistent at the moment.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Duane Muckette (centre) looks for a teammate during World Cup qualifying action against Puerto Rico at the Estadio Centroamericano in Mayaguez on 28 March 2021.
(via TTFA Media)

Our shooting is generally very poor. Frankly, Levi Garcia’s efforts on goal are unprofessional for a forward in an elite European league

We lack a genuine centre-forward, of which there are different types, but Ryan Telfer is not mobile enough, disappears from the match and is not a predator.

(Match management)

Fenwick did not manage the match properly. He never sought any tactical adjustment to assist Hackshaw in handling Rivera. After a dismal first half, Muckette correctly entered; but Michel Poon-Angeron, not Daniel Phillips, should have been substituted.

Jabari Mitchell entered to replace the injured Joevin Jones and proceeded to do nothing. Why wasn’t the dangerous Judah Garcia used—as he was to good effect against Guyana?

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Judah Garcia (centre) tries to keep hold of the ball during friendly senior team international action against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 17 April 2018.
(Copyright Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The truth is that senior players like Jones and Levi Garcia not doing enough to show their level at all. Compare their effort to that of Rivera.

So now we are looking up the table at St Kitts and Nevis, who beat Puerto Rico and Bahamas, and need only to defeat Guyana to entrench themselves in the driver’s seat for the last match of the group. 

Still, we have two months to improve the team via recruitment. Whatever Fenwick does, I suggest he talk to his assistant coach, Derek King, about bringing in two of my club FC Santa Rosa’s former players, now with Halifax Wanderers of the Canadian Premier League (CPL).

Those are 2020 league top scorer Akeem ‘Froggy’ Garcia and club captain and midfielder Andre Rampersad. Accuse me of favouritism if you will, but I cannot understand why Telfer (also CPL) is in the team while Garcia is not. (Derek was assistant coach to Stephen Hart at Halifax in 2019.)

So we look towards June. Two months. Let’s see what transpires then.

Photo: Attacker Akeem Garcia (centre) controls the ball during a Canadian Premier League match against Pacific FC at the Wanderers Grounds, Halifax, Canada in 2019.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

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5 comments

  1. Also our mid field has no control over the ball ,no change in tempo ,no skills display n creativity with craftiness, lack of vision

  2. I agree with 99% of the comments, as for the keeper Adrian Foncette is a better fit, as he is the one that marshal’s his defense, as for Frendrup I’m not sure if he speaks english.
    Any one every watched any of the Canadian Premier League games? That league is 10× easier than the TT Pro league and the top goal score, scored 5 goals for the season only 5.

    Please let that sink in your thoughts

  3. I agree with most of his statements I would just give Telfer a little more credit he is a good player not much flare but tactically sound the issue is he is been played in the wrong position he is a winger not a center forward this seems to be the main down fall of all t&t coaches they play talented players in wrong position for example again look at jones why do our coaches do that i certainly don’t know. After watching the team selection I wondered why Akeem” the dream” Garcia was not selected because I watched all of games last season and he is clearly the best cf we have speed and finishing is top class and hacksaw needs to be on the bench if even that

  4. The man touching on all the right issues that makes the team ineffective (inability to retain possession for at least 1.5mins, inability to complete passes, slow ball movement, not adhering to strategy/tactics) These labels can be applied to just about every national team that has represented this country for the last 20 years. We need to put proper mechanism to improve our fotballers trchnical capabilities and stop crying and moaning when they fail to perfotm. The fact is the federation and all its cohorts are setting up our players to fail while they live ‘high off the hog”. Puerto Rico looked far more organized in all of the areas highlighted.

  5. Coach ain’t ready, telfa is a dead horse, D Captain must lead from D front & stop being confrontational. Let D ball do D talking. A short forward twisted & arched his body backwards, & scores between 4 tall ass defenders, bullshit. No playmaker, (latapy) no top class forward, (Stern John) no poacher (dwight yorke). Any coach worth his weight in gold, shud B able 2 create any of these players mentioned, & put dem in motion. I did it in my time, & wil continue given D opportunity.