THE EDITOR: One must certainly commend Dennis Lawrence for his bravery in taking on the task of getting our national football team to the World Cup in Russia. It was a Herculean task from the moment he took over from our last foreign coach who was able to read the writing on the wall early in the game and hightailed it out of TT before the curtain could drop on him.
I read Lawrence’s post-game comments and I must say that in spite of the dismal outcome of the last seven games he was still able to put on a brave face and to give a sober and realistic view of where he should focus in the future. I can only wish him luck in the Gold Cup, providing that he could get the players that he needs when that time comes along.
Clearly, from what I have seen, there is no doubt that individually TT is able to produce quality players. If this was not the case we would not be having so many of our players with overseas contracts. But whether we could play as a team when the players are called together to do so is quite another story. For some odd reason, we never seem to be able to get it right as a team.
In looking at many of the games, one could see flashes of brilliance by individual players while the rest of the team seems to be in some distant place, totally disconnected to the game plan.
What is even more baffling is that our opposition continues to score soft goals on our team with very little effort. I cringe every time I see the opposition with an opportunity for a free kick or a corner, as I know without fail they will score on us.
What is even worse is the fact that even when we get an opportunity to score, in some instances with a wide open goal, we are unable to do so.
In some of our games, we had at least five clear opportunities to score and we were unable to capitalise on those opportunities.
I am not a sports analyst, but common sense tells me that the inability of our team to win games has very little to do with lack of funding or poor support from the population. What I see missing is the hunger and thirst from the players to win games, their inability to punish their opponents, and their lack of cohesiveness as a team.
The challenge now for Lawrence is to motivate the players following their dismal performance. But who knows, that same team could surprise the whole of TT and blow away Mexico and the US in our last two games.
Over to you, Lawrence.
JOAN GOWER DE CHABERT