footy

Caribbean Cup Blues

Jamaica rolled over and willingly gave Curacao the Caribbean Cup title last night. Let me have a lil say because….I just must have a say.

1. I said it was a big mistake letting Winfried Schaefer leave…..and inevitably we’ve gone 3 steps backwards. We beat CHILE convincingly in recent times. Lost all games in Copa but had a very decent showing….Gold Cup finals defeating USA along the way. 

Despite what others have said, I stand by my opinion….Schaefer was probably the best thing that has happened to our football since Rene Simoes. I know people will reject this notion but the facts are there to see.

2. Theodore Whitmore has failed in literally all his coaching jobs he’s had….School boys with St. James High….National U20….Beach football….all had poor outcomes. Great player in his days but not convinced about him as a coach. 

Now the JFF is willing to fire the German and back Theodore Whitmore why? Because Tappa plays local based players? Thats what the masses want right?Cheapest option maybe?

The Boyz were nearly undone by French Guiana and totally undone by a professional looking, very fluid Curacao team last night. Elson Hooi literally ran the show. He was chased all over the middle of the park. They just had no answer to his many questions. Jarchinio Antonia had Rosario Harriott doing ballerinas.

We looked like school boys against big men. Its amazing that we can’t put 5 passes together. Truth be told Oneil Fisher did have a pretty decent game for Jamaica.

I’m not bashing the local league, and I think Kevon Lambert look like a player you could work with, but its nowhere near any standard for people to be clamoring for local players to ‘get a chance’. If your not good enough, you’re just not good enough. Sadly the majority of the players in the local league are just not.

We are desperate as a football nation yes but I dont think we’re in a position to be taking ‘chances’. There has to be a plan, actions and not reactions.

How do you go into a FRIENDLY with Peru not knowing how Peru play, or had a single training session with the team at the match venue prior to the game. Hell there wasn’t even a single session as a team before the game.

WE ARE JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH IN MORE FACETS THAN ONE.

Coaching POOR

Scouting POOR

Match Prep n Logistics POOR

Approach POOR.

Now we go into the Gold Cup 2017 next week and i’m afraid, with the current set up as it is, our fate is already set in stone. It will take a miracle now. 

Advertisements
Standard
footy

Inevitably Reggae Boyz

Jamaica’s performance in the Copa America Centenario can only be described in one way, just not good enough.
Let us not mince words here, we were suboptimal, and dare I say worse than last year’s showing.
We will always be at this stage if we do not address the obvious and recurring issues surrounding the team. Firstly there is always the inevitable debate about money prior to and during every major tournament the Boyz have been involved in, in recent times and second our incompetence in front of goal.
I don’t think the teams in our group are miles ahead of the Reggae Boyz, but the same old issues continue to be the problem. Why is this?

The Team
The general make up of the squad is one that is full of talent, pace and desire. This counts for nothing on the day if you do not execute the game plan and apply yourself. I get the feeling, particularly in the Venezuela game the execution left a lot to be desired.

Good grief! If I see Jevaughn Watson at full back (left or right) in another game, I am literally going to cry blood. Watson was arguably at fault for every goal we conceded in this tournament. He is just not good enough to be a defender, he has no defensive instincts. Your full backs must be technically, tactically aware and most importantly very disciplined. Watson demonstrated none of these characteristics during his 3 games.

We have a serious issue in midfield. We have bags of tenacity but no intricacy. The distribution from midfield is not the best. With aging players, coming on to the twilight of their careers, its imperative we address this sooner rather than later. I’ll go one step further and say, these issues should have been addressed already.

That aside, my biggest issue in midfield was Garath McCleary’s reluctance to use the right flank. What he did in the Chile game, going down the line, attacking the full back, there was none of this during Copa. Instead, he opted to come inside onto his weaker left foot. Now, I don’t know if this was deliberate tactics, but it did not work.

Let us not talk about our frailties in the final 3rd of the field, just not good enough, plain and simple.

The highlight of this team aside from Wes Morgan’s obvious experience and class, were the little glimpses we got of Michael Binns. 100% pass completion, 100% duels won prior to the Uruguay game, pass and move, in the little minutes he had on the pitch. Its clear he is a technically adept player. I would have loved to see him getting some more playing time.
Andre Blake was also good in goal, he’s certainly come a long way.

The Coach

He won’t ever catch a break. Every single decision he makes will be subject to debate by all corners. If it’s not playing ‘locally based players ‘ it’s another issue. I have my own opinion on the local players and exposing them to real international football but its beyond the scope of the intent of this post.

One thing is for sure he has got his tactics spot on, particularly in the Mexico game where we did more than enough to win that game.
Where I am most critical of the coach is his persistence with playing Jevaughn Watson in the full back position, particularly at left back. Come on coach, we spoke about this.

Verdict

Very poor, we have to do better. With crucial games vs Panama and Haiti coming up, games that we must win, our finishing (you know, the thing that will get us the goals we need to win) gives us cause for concern.

Stand out Player: Wes Morgan
Break out Player: Michael Binns
The rest: BIN

By the way, is it me or does it seem like since Deshorn Brown grabbed his photo op moment with Lionel Messi, he has been left out of all the subsequent squads? Coincidence? Who is this Messi fellow anyway?

Oh and what became of Romeo Parkes?

Standard
footy

Reggae In South Korea

The Reggae Boyz will take on South Korea in a friendly match on the 13th October.
A few familiar faces have been left out of the squad to make way for some locally based players as Coach Schäfer freshen things up a bit.

The 20 man Squad:

1. Ryan Thompson
2. Andre Bake
3. Rosario Harriott
4. Lee Williamson
5. Simon Dawkins
6. Andre Clennon
7. Allan Ottey
8. Michael Seaton
9. Deshorn Brown
10. Shaun Cummings
11. Jermaine Woozencroft
12. Adrian Mariappa
13. Hughan Gray
14. Joel Grant
15. Lance Laing
16. Giles Barnes
17. Darren Mattocks
18. Upston Edwards
19. Errol Stevens
20. Ricardo Morris

While I would have liked to see a few of the U23 players making the transition (Damien Lowe, Omar Holness, Devon Williams to name a few), i’m particularly pleased at the inclusion of the locally based players. Hopefully they can give a good account of themselves.
Welcome back Errol Stevens, its been a while sir!

Not the strongest squad but one I think will learn a thing or two about high pressure situations. A win would be another positive no doubt.

Upward movements Reggae Boyz

Standard
footy

Williams can offer Schafer and Jamaica a ‘Speedy’ midfield solution

image

Despite impressing at the 2015 Copa America in Chile and a historic run to the Gold Cup final, Winfried Schafer and the coaching staff of the Jamaica national football team will be aware of the problem they have in central midfield. The German  boss has worked wonders with this crop of players who arguably may have over-achieved in the summer but still their discipline and spirit must be recognized and respected. Their Gold Cup final  performance  was  perhaps  the  worst  of  the  lot  in the  summer  but  it  was  a  reminder  that  the  engine  room  needs  to  be  addressed  sooner  rather  than later. As  a  classic  German  coach,  discipline  is  the  order  of  the  day  for  Schafer  and  the  Reggae  Boyz. German  teams  in  the  past  were  known  for  being  solid  in  defense,  resolute  and  hard-working  in midfield  while  breaking  quickly  in  attack.  Based  on  the  players  at  his  disposal  in  this  Jamaican squad,  Schafer  may  perhaps  be  the  best  man  to  lead  them  into  the  future.  However,  his  main problem  is  finding  a  midfielder  who  is  capable  of  retaining  possession  and  of  course  distribute  the ball  accurately  to the  attacking  players.

In  central  midfield  the  65-year-old  has  persisted  with  FC  Dallas’  Je-Vaughn  Watson  and  skipper Rodolph  Austin.  While  their  ability  to  cover  the  ground  and  snapping  at  the  heels  of  the  opposition are  quite  good,  they  both  lack  the  quality  to  distribute  the  ball  and  retain  possession.  Watson  is  a willing  runner who will  run for the  manager all  day  while  Austin provides the  steel in midfield  as he  tries  to  protect  his  defenders.  However  after  working  hard  to  win  possession,  it  is  normally gifted  to  the  opposition  with  a  loose  pass  or  quite  frankly  their  ability  to  pick  a  pass  is  a bit woeful when the  attackers attempt  to run the  channels. In  that  regard,  Schafer  and  his  coaching  staff  should  take  a  good  look  at  former  St  George’s  College skipper  and  midfielder  Devon  ‘Speedy’  Williams  of  New  York  Red  Bulls.

The  former  Robert Morris University  man,  who has one  international cap back in 2011 against Trinidad and Tobago, could  provide  the  answer  for  the  Reggae  Boyz .  An  admirer  of Barcelona  legend  Xavi  Hernandez,  the  23-year-old  goes  by  the  saying  ‘calm,  cool  and  composed’ which is synonymous  to the  nature  of his play. At  ease  and  assured  in  possession,  this  extremely  gifted  box-to-box  midfielder  is  known  for  his excellent  range  of  passing  as  well  as  his  qualities  as  a  natural  leader  on  and  off  the  pitch.  He  is  very comfortable  on the ball  and is  more  than capable retaining  possession in a  crowded midfield area. He  also  has  great  feet  and  can  get  past  players  if  necessary, but  his  preference  is  always  to  look  for a  pass  especially  in  forward  areas.  His  vision  is  also  very  good, he has  the  eye  for  a  defense-splitting  pass.

Speedy  has already  registered two assists  in 9 games for the  Red  Bulls second team and hit  the  back  of  the  net  once.  He  has  also  featured  in  the  Red  Bulls’  4-2  victory  over  English champions Chelsea  earlier this summer. With  the  5ft  8in  midfielder’s  technical  skill-set  and  passing  range,  the attacking threat  of  Darren  Mattocks, Deshorn  Brown  and  Gareth  McCleary  would  be utilized more efficiently.  They  have deadly pace and tenacity which on  the  counter-attack  could  be  hazardous  for  any  opposition  if  they  get  the  right service  in  the  channels  and  behind  the  defense.  Speedy  could  be  their  best  friend  and  be  their supply  line  from  midfield.

At  23  years  old  he  still has  a  lot  to  learn  but  that  youthful  exuberance  makes  him  even  more  fearless  and  more  willing  to take risks that could prove beneficial for the team. He  has  made  an  impressive  start  to  his  professional  career  with  his  athleticism,  passing  ability, sharpness  in  a  tackle  and  consistency  being  admired  by  many  around  the Red Bulls.  If  he  continues  to improve  and  impress  it  will  only  be  a  matter  of  time  before  he  is  called  into  the  first  team  and hopefully  in  the  Jamaican  squad.  There  is  little  doubt  he  will  progress  because  it embedded within him to work  hard  as  well  as  actively seek  ways  to  improve  his  game.  He  was  once  described  by  St  George’s College  coach, Neville  Bell, as  one  of  the  most  discipline  players  who  always  tries  to  do  the  right thing. His  ambition is  to  reach his  full potential and play  at the  highest possible  level and with his humble  nature, few would doubt him taking  his game to a few level upwards. Williams’  hard-working  nature  would  fit Schafer’s  philosophy of commitment and hard work but  of  course  he  has superb  techinical qualities.  His  addition  would bring  some  fresh  impetus  into  the  squad  and  of  course  more  competition  for  places  that  could improve  the  quality  in  the  team.

The  Jamaican  public  and  fans  on  a  whole  will  appreciate  more young  talent  and  with  his  unique  qualities  that  are  needed  by  the  team  he  could  become  a  fan favourite much like his days for the boys in blue from North Street.

Written  by:  Yashiema  Love  –  Guest Writer

Standard
footy

Winfried Schäfer, blame him or thank him?

Coach Winnie during CONCACAF Gold Cup 2015

Coach Winnie during CONCACAF Gold Cup 2015

There are not very many times since the 1998 World Cup campaign that Jamaica’s national football team, the Reggae Boyz, has had this heartfelt overwhelming reaction from this many fans. The Chilean Copa America exploits had come to an end for the Boyz, losing all 3 games played, conceding 3 goals and scoring absolutely none.

But! Dare I say they were mighty impressive. How well we played, the organization, the hard work, the will of the players to fight and an astute man in charge leading from the bench.

Mr. Winnie Schäfer has not only steadied the ship but he’s brought back optimism to the once very dormant Reggae Boyz.
Jamaica has some of the most unforgiving fans there are and when you begin to realize the optimism from the public and the diaspora, it is extremely heart warming.

Throughout his tenure so far, Mr. Schäfer has crafted a team that is solid defensively, organized, well drilled, expertly prepared and very professional in going about business. Never mind the results, over the past 18months or so, the Boyz have been privileged to rub shoulders with some of the best players in the world and I for one am very encouraged.

The just ended very successful Gold Cup showing was just a warm up to what I think will be a very strong World Cup qualifying campaign. I predicted Jamaica would win the Gold Cup, purely based on our Carribean Cup showing and the Copa America exploits. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we’d be this stylish.

The swagger of the Boyz, smartly outfitted by Romai Sports, though falling one step short, was evident in the Gold Cup finals. We played exceptionally well.

There is cause for optimism for the Reggae Boyz once more and there is someone to thank for that. They often say, when teams win players take the credit but when they lose coaches take the blame.
Well now I lay the blame of a VERY PRODUCTIVE summer of football for Jamaica firmly and squarely  at the feet of Winfried Schäfer.

THANK YOU Mr. Schäfer!  Your German Engineering has given a nation full of potential, some optimism moving forward. A nation full of challenges often need these types positive vibes. The players and managment staff speak highly of you. I was even more proud when I saw you singing the National Anthem last Sunday in the Gold Cup finals, Jamaica through and through. Take the blame good sir….this one your truly deserve!

GF2OVI4Z

Hands up if you Accept the Blame

Standard
footy

How does Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner affect football/soccer?

The 94th Minute is know for its tempered insight, so it gives me great pleasure in saying this:

“Caithlyn” in no way, shape or form, affect football.

Now I know you maybe disappointed, trust me so am I, because this would have been a brilliant article. But spear me those last few seconds in the 94th.

Caitlyn has absolutely no effect on the current FIFA predicaments, nor does she affect the numerous football matches world wide. She didn’t save HSV (no I don’t mean herpes simplex virus) from relegation out of the German Bundesliga today. She most definitely will not affect the outcome of the Champions League title on Saturday June 6, 2015, though she may very well be a Barcelona fan.

What I will say though is that Mr. Sepp Blatter might take a few pointers from Ms Jenner. Blatter is in dire need of some friends in the USA and Europe and Ms. Jenner seems to have mastered the art of picking up the odd one or two new friends. Jenner now has the record for the fastest account to reach 1 million twitter followers and already has half as much fans as Blatter in a little under a day. Hey, at this rate she may even give Blatter something to worry about come next FIFA elections. Ok, I’m kidding, but seriously though, Jenner for FIFA President!. Scratch that out, Chuck Blazer may blow the whistle on it.

Caitlyn Jenner, as my wife carefully points out there is no “H”, is more transparent than the current world football governing body. It’s all in shambles in there, isn’t it? UEFA threatening to boycott the World Cup, Jack Warner choosing to banter us off with an article from The Onion, while holding a straight fucking face doing it. Quite entertaining.

I am in no way suggesting that Mr. Blatter changes his sex or his sexuality for that matter, but I reckon it would not hurt to take on a few of those pointers. One that he may find helpful is, How to come out of the closet.

Come clean FIFA and Mr. Blatter, Ms. Jenner is waiting with her fabulous self posing on the cover of Vanity Fair!

Dont look at me like that, you know she’s fabulous!

02jenner-web-superJumbo

Standard
footy

Open Letter to Mr. Winfried Schaefer and Captain Horace Burrell regarding the best not yet recognized, Andre Snipe Reynolds

Dear Mr Schaefer/Captain Burrell,

You don’t know me. I am Dr. Kemoi Reid currently employed at the University Hospital of the West Indies and I am not just your average Jamaican football fan. I live breath and sleep football and quite possibly the biggest Reggae Boyz supporter you will find, whatever the age group.

Please allow me to explain the reason for this message at length.

I take a vestive interest in football development in Jamaica especially at the youth level. It is my dream, as I am sure is yours, to see Jamaica fulfill its immense potential on the football scene. Having seen the organization of the national program since the arrival of Mr Schaefer, I have concluded that the will to give young, vibrant, intelligent, qualified and highly competent coaches exist. Allow me to draw your attention to one such person.

image

Andre Reynolds, a young coach in his own right but quite possibly the best kept secret that currently exist. Mr. Reynolds is a former Dacosta Cup player with Ruseas High School at which time he helped his school to the Dacosta Cup and Oliver Shield titles and may have very well been named the best left full back in the country at that age group at the time.

He progressed the University Of The West Indies to pursue Language and Communication, never along the way neglecting his unimaginable love for the game. He played for the University at the Intercollegiate level and at the Super League level.

However, during this time his love for coaching began to flourish. It started with the Rex Nettleford Hall Female Football Team and he never looked back.
Under the tutorage of Neville Bell, the mentorship of Anthony Williams and Emerson Henry, three of the most celebrated and respected youth coaches in Jamaica, Mr Reynolds completed the JFF Advance Level 1 coaching course.
Soon after he migrated to the United States Of America. Andre Reynolds, affectionately referred to as “Snipe” by his peers, had trial stints with Professional clubs in the USL Pro Leage and the NASL. However his ability to secure a contract was blighted by a longstanding knee issue.

Snipe used this unfortunate circumstance to his benefit and went on to complete his NSCA National Coaching Diploma.

Currently fully certified and now the coach of the Fort Lauderdale High School Male Soccer team, Andre Reynolds has brought a once dormant Soccer program to the pinacle of highschool soccer in the state of Florida. With a record of  36 wins 7 losses 4 ties, 2 championships and having won 14 straight games in his 1st season it is quite easy to see why Snipe was named High School Coach Of The Year in South Florida.

Mr. Reynolds is a very charismatic, a very knowledgeable fellow who I know would add a tremendous amount of zest, vigor and imagination to the national program as a coach. Andre Snipe Reynolds does not demand respect he commands it. He is always motivating his team mates, his players, hence getting the utmost best out of them, and has an unimaginable appetite to learn and be better.

I have known this fellow for the last 8 years and watched his progression as a coach. In my humblest of opinions, he is one of the best Jamaican football coaching personality at any level. His ability has not gone unnoticed as he has been in contact with a number of Colleges in the United States to head their soccer program.

From a humble beginning, Reynold’s aim is for the upliftment of football in Jamaica and has set himself on a path to give back to the country that taught him the most. Not limiting himself and his ability, his ambition is also to complete his UEFA coaching badges. However he has always maintained his desire to lead one of the national teams, whatever the sex and the age group.

Andre Snipe Reynolds is a tremendous person, vibrant and imaginative coach, one that I am absolutely positive would be an important asset to the national program.

Please afford this man the opportunity to give back to the country the best way he knows how. He humbly deserves it and he most definitely has the ability to become one of, if not the best.

Below are a few links of Articles which have been written of the progress and Achievements Snipe Reynolds thus far:

Local writer Christine McLean’s feature on Reynolds

Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel feature Andre Reynolds

The Miami Herald has their say of Fort Lauderdale High, now a soccer powerhouse

Standard