One of the things which I have learnt from numerous sports experts is that the immediate step towards improvement is the recognise the reason for defeat.
Maybe this detailed study of Dennis Lawrence’s planned route towards improvement should start from the pre-game activity, the choice of players available for any match to be played, through to the eventual result.
I believe that the football-loving public will be comforted to hear the details and the upcoming plan for the serious challenging competition which starts next month.
Because our local media did not allow the opportunity to see the game via television, any comments, good or bad on just the result, will be shallow and based upon the usual “we football is in a mess” and would not serve any purpose.
Like many of those who were not present at the game or witnessed it from exquisite technology, I shall view this match in the following way.
The deep feeling of CONCACAF Gold Cup failure for many reasons would have brought to the coach’s mind, various adjustments to his team prepared for the September challenge.
A detailed discussion amidst the media may reveal the route from now.
As far as the defeat by St Vincent and the Grenadines is concerned, usually, the pre-game thoughts indicate that the home team has a goal difference of two and that will probably be the target. They are accustomed to their home ground, the absolute support of their fans and a group filled with the desire of defeating a higher-ranked country in a friendly always provide good inspiration to any team or group in a contest.
Coach Lawrence has a bunch of greenhorns who are also very inexperienced and whose togetherness in an international match is nervousness and opponents who are unknown to them. Then, of course, the field which they have to assess during the match.
So we cannot make an assessment of the past when our club teams had defeated the St Vincent national team.
One goal conceded in the first half was not satisfactory, but given the pre-game preparation, there may well have been inequality in the opportunities on the field.
The “sending off” of a T&T player would have also created serious issues for the players and especially the coach in adjusting. Was it easy for coach Lawrence to make adjustments which corrected first-half mistakes with the full team? And if he was successful, then he would immediately have to dig deeper into a formula with a ten-man team on the field.
The situation was a group of inexperienced players, a team with one man short, and an away crowd supporting the home team, and in hindsight, insufficient preparation before the game.
There is sufficient time for full preparation for the upcoming competition. The TTFA administration, who deserve blame for the presence of constant inadequacies of our on-field football, now have the opportunity to bring some form of sanity and comfort for coach Lawrence to continue to work with the local players in a diligent fashion and work with them as though foreign players are unavailable or available for the tournament.
Numerous local friendlies and team camps for four days in each week and the comfort of rest, good meals, many blackboard sessions with the team and discussions about the style of play of their opponents, through video sessions and practical experiences wherever necessary, are needed.
Give the coach and his players the environment which would bring progress. Until then, cool it, please.