Tuesday, 30 April 2013

One Important Week For The Reggae Boyz

The period June 4 to June 11, 2013 will be one of the most important week for our National team. We play two games at home and one away in our WCQ for Rio 2014 (not Rio Cobre).

Without even knowing what the outcome of the other games are likely to be, if we do not get at least 6 points from these games we will not be going to Rio 2014.

Montesso himself said "We must get our tactics right", indeed we must. Our games are as follows:
  • June 4 against Mexico at home
  • June 7 against USA at home
  • June 11 against Honduras away
Our next game after that series will be September 6 away to Panama our nemesis. In order to even make that Panama game worthwhile The Reggae Boyz must win two of these games to bring us back to where we need to be for a run at a berth in Rio 2014.

Tappa needs to take risks, because trying to play cautious in order to 'not lose' is stifling this team. I was not a big Tappa fan in his playing days for one simple reason, even with all his skills and ball-handling; when he was heavily marked or roughed up, he would disappear. The team seems to now play like that......hmmm. When things are tight and pressurized we lose sight of the objective and seem out of sorts and willy nilly.

We are not playing in the European Qualifiers where in my estimation we would have been out already, the teams in Europe are much stronger. We are not to be struggling in our neck of the woods here in CONCACAF. I am not belittling the teams in my current region but the facts are the facts.

There is talk of the need for a deadly striker up front and a clinical finisher, and while I agree to a point, we are not lending ourselves to scoring opportunities and shots on target. If we were creating a plethora of chances and the forwards were misfiring that's another argument, but we are not doing that.

Imagination is more important than knowledge - Albert Einstein

We lack imagination in our play against tough opponents and seem to not have knowledge of our tough opponents. Against tough opponents is when we need to be more creative, systematic, and analytical in our approach, and this must start from the bench (our coach). If this is too much to ask of my National coach well so be it, but anyone standing in that position and leading The Reggae Boyz, I will have no less expectation.

Our positive result in the Azteca is now seeming more and more like a fluke. I see no follow through and with an expecting populace, who have increased knowledge of world football and what is happening outside of our shores, Tappa will have some very hard questions to answer going forward.

Athletics alone can't give us hope and soothe our sorrows, we need football in the mix to help do the same. With the economic climate as it is, people are still going to come out to support The Reggae Boyz, we will need something to cheer about.

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© 2013 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved

All the commentary posted in this publication are my personal view(s) and do not reflect the view(s) of any Association, Federation or Governing Body.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

MANCHESTER UNITED - BluePrint for Football Success

I am not a Manchester United fan, but I have the utmost respect for them, their fans, their sponsors and their coaching staff. If ever there was a dynasty, this is it, and with the entertainment dollars being under pressure from competing sports and entertainment options, they know how to get the best of both worlds.

Alex Ferguson is basically a genius and even with the rumours of underhandedness,

Photo: Chris Foy! LMFAO!!!

the proof of the pudding is what you see manifesting on the field. This man knows how to manage a team, and if he has not written a manual on it just yet, he needs to start; I know a coach in a West Indian island near Cuba that would benefit greatly.

His acquisition of players are astounding and the sale of players are genius. A fan will be upset at some of his decisions, but obviously can't question them. One of the transfers that stands out for me will always be Gerard Pique. Gerard could not pay for a place at Man U, was sold to Barcelona, the rest is history. It was basically a homecoming because he left Barca to go to Old Trafford in 2004. That is what you call a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Manchester United has been able to strike a magnificent balance between youth and experience and as I keep saying and writing, coaches need to take note of these things and learn.

Passion, ambition, hunger, knowledge of the game, effective youth system, solid funding, sum up what is Manchester United and if things continue along this path, there will be a strangle hold on the top 3 to 5 places in the English Premiere League for a very very long time. The top teams are all doing the same thing; Man U is basically doing it best of all.

Congratulations Manchester United; a blueprint for football success.

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© 2013 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved

All the commentary posted in this publication are my personal view(s) and do not reflect the view(s) of any Association, Federation or Governing Body.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Primary Education: The Plight

GraceKennedy Remittance Services Ltd. has an initiative whereby the company donates books to primary schools, and staff members visit primary schools and read for the children; a little break from the hussle and bussle for both parties involved.

I had the privilege of visiting three primary schools today; they shall remain nameless for now. The challenges are many and varied. What jumped out at me though was that the problems CAN be addressed, and if parents don't invest their time and energy into the schools their children attend, the problems will never go away.

I will list some of the challenges:

  • More books needed for the library
  • Lack of a computer room
  • Poor infrastructure
  • The children that learn differently need more resources
  • Teachers restricted by too much admin work
  • More specialist teachers needed for certain subject areas
  • I could go on for a while with this list but I will cut it here
However, all the schools were very clean; I was quite impressed with that. Also, a grade 3 class where I read was very disciplined and attentive, big up Ms Warden. And a grade 6 class at a different school was quite impressive as well, big up Ms Coward. A special big up also to Ms Douglas.

My child goes to Jessie Ripoll and I can tell you that the vibrant PTA and parent involvement HELP to make that school what it is. They face challenges as well, but that well oiled machine is not successful by accident. 

Parents/Guardians need to buy into the schools their children attend and find a way to help in any way, shape or form. I have now come to the simple conclusion that the Government is not going to do what is necessary, or maybe it can't. My highly placed 'Source' has another spin on things. She feels more accountability needs to be placed on the leadership within the education system.

Whichever it is, the majority of our children can't continue to learn in the circumstances they currently do and we ALL need to see the relevance of our participation in their learning and education. What is even more bothersome to me is that my 'Source' has kindly informed me that some of the challenges I raised are only the tip of the iceberg....NOT GOOD.

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© 2013 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved

All the commentary posted in this publication are my personal view(s) and do not reflect the view(s) of any Association, Federation or Governing Body.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

How Much More Disappointment

Jamaica crashed out of the U17 World Cup qualifiers at the quarterfinals stages. We went into the lead twice and were pegged back. When the Canadians went ahead we had no answer. We lost 4-2 after being 2-2 at half time.

One of the Jamaican young players based in Spain gave an interview and it spoke volumes of the current state of our football programme and our mindset. He said basically that we (Jamaica) were miles behind the World in our tactical approach to the game.

Jamaica has been to a World Cup of Football and I honestly think that its time we move from the 'also ran' category at this time. It is obvious that its tactics and a lack of concentration that is continually letting down our teams.

Another school of thought is that some of the power nations in football have players going fully pro at even 16 and 17 years of age (and even younger). Their ascension to the heights of football will continually outpace us then if we can't get our players seriously thinking about this game early in their life and foster the transition from youth to senior football. Furthermore, if our coaches can't develop the mental fortitude and capacity to handle ever changing scenarios and strategies this will continually be very frustrating for the supporting public.

Right now I don't want to hear about resources, if this is going to be a continuous excuse or wild card, don't send any teams to these tournaments then.

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© 2013 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved

All the commentary posted in this publication are my personal view(s) and do not reflect the view(s) of any Association, Federation or Governing Body.

Friday, 12 April 2013

The True Heroes

In my own little way I try to be a part of anything positive mainly if it has to do with children or impressionable youngsters.

I watched a documentary recently about a lion pride in Africa. It was concentrated around them, but it encapsulated other species of animals and how they cared for their young. What was most amazing to me throughout all the species was that their most prized possession was their young. All the activities was geared to ensuring continuity of their species and the roles the adults played were carefully defined. It would stand to reason that if mankind is the most intelligent on the planet, we would take the care of our young to another level....I hope.

In business there are short term, medium term and long term plans. We continually hear how much each person owes due to the Jamaican National debt (even the children), and I wonder if we are serious about the future our children will inherit. One of the main problems in my view is a lack of identity; yes we ride on the wave of Bob Marley, Usain Bolt, Blue Mountain Coffee, Gracekennedy and other things uniquely Jamaican, however, my good friend Errol Whittle one stated that 'in Jamaica people have problem paying water rate, but not holding back on buying champaigne', this is such an absolute truth. Okay so we all want the finer things in life but are we going to roll the dice on our childrens' future to get these finer things? We see the lifestyle of other opulent countries and think that the lifestyle is by some accident, they obviously have the resources to maintain this lifestyle. We need to put things in perspective as Jamaicans and get our thinking right.

My true heroes in this country are our teachers, and I am talking mainly about the ones that take on the profession without even thinking about the financial reward. Teachers are our national builders....full stop. I really need to see more respect being shown to them from Government, students and parents, because without teachers a country shall perish. Teachers have the ball (our children) in their hands, we can't afford for them to drop the ball. As far as I am concerned, teachers and children are the foundation of any country.

I don't live in a vacuum and of course at times I like to 'bling' and 'bazzle' just like anyone else, but that can't be the focus. Just to reiterate something I wrote earlier, we need to get the thinking right and know where the main focus should be.

My friends please look at link below and see what they say about countries that are succesful

Here is one more


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© 2013 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved

All the commentary posted in this publication are my personal view(s) and do not reflect the view(s) of any Association, Federation or Governing Body.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Seeing Into The Future

I was in church this past Sunday April 7 at my usual place of worship Christ Church Vineyard Town. When I tell my friends that I am also a member of the church choir, deafening silence follows. I tell my friends they don't do background checks so I'm good.....lol.

As I sat and listened to Rt. Rev. Dr. Robert Thompson, Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, I glanced in the direction of my son in the congregation (he sat in the middle) and our (me and my son's) eyes fastened to each other; it was if I was watching a movie. My attention left the Suffragan Bishop for an instant as he spoke about the timing of carnival and that the Jamaicans misrepresent when carnival should be; which should be before Lent. He also broke down the meaning of carnival too; the flying flesh (seems quite appropriate).

I saw in my son all that is well with the world and how a generation to come will right a lot of our current wrongs. He was too far to speak to me but it was as if he was actually conversing with me; this may have been the Lord manifesting himself in a form which I have to get used to. Much of what transpired at that moment eludes me but I know it was enlightening and refreshing (believe it or not all this happened in some seconds, just like a flash). They say the Lord moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform, this may have been one of them. I know I can take what my good friend Richard Mills said this past weekend also and put it here, he said 'I believe Jesus did all that the Bible said he did' and I concur.

We (The Jamaican People) can enlighten the world, we are doing it with athletics, reggae and robotics. Forget New York, we are the ultimate melting pot. Frankly I am not a pessimist, I view the glass as half full. We are all well aware of the problems, and we are not short of experts bemoaning this fact. However, for some strange reason, suggestions put forward that are plausible, viable and practical that logically can alleviate some of our problems aren't seeing the light of day. I liken this to hearing that reggae has 'gone to the dogs' and of the dearth of good songwriting in this country, and I wonder what the hell are people talking about.

I go to Youtube and listen a Taurus, Chronixx, Protoje, Jahdore, Ras Charmer, Kabaka Pyramid, and I could go on for a while with that list and I don't see this dearth in talent anywhere. I could go further with the recently concluded Boys & Girls Championships; the future is bright. However, if we don't find a way to harness, multiply and exploit our own advantages, and ensure we are rewarded financially for our efforts, 'The Revolving Door Syndrome' will continue to stagnate and stifle us. And that brief interaction with my son in church, our future would have found a way to disappoint it.

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© 2013 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved

All the commentary posted in this publication are my personal view(s) and do not reflect the view(s) of any Association, Federation or Governing Body.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Love & Sex: What Do We Really Know

I attended an event once (I was the host actually) put on by my good friend Carlyle Gray that had in attendance none other than the wonderful Dr. Karen Carpenter (Sexologist). She is a genius, every man's dream. She extolled the virtues of just letting the man be himself, if you (the woman) can't handle it just let him be. I guess it is just her way of saying old dogs hate to do tricks...lol. Don't believe me check out this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=16oR9OHQb84

I really can't remember her saying one thing that wasn't on the money. Our egos were stroked, but most of the women were not too much in agreement with her tactics.

Men are simple creatures (most of us) and just want to provide for our family, love our spouse/lady, watch sports in peace, flirt when we can (women do this quite a lot so don't kill me), eat our food in peace, enjoy life simply, have sex, and have some more sex; pretty basic stuff. We don't do too well on the deciphering thing, or reading the proverbial signs left by our spouse/lady. Some men have mastered the art of connecting with their spouse/lady in that way, but for the cavemen like me, God help us.

Well apparently God has heard the cries and in steps Dr. Carpenter. She will be hosting a Love and Sex Workshop: The Key to Choosing the right partner; her co-host will be Michael Anthony Cuffe.

Dr. Karen Carpenter is a psychologist, a Florida Board Certified Clinical Sexologist and Sex Therapist. Michael Cuffe is a Communications Consultant and Inspirational Speaker, also renowned radio and television host trained in Toronto.

DATE : APRIL 13, 2013
CONTACT : loveandsexja@gmail.com
COST : J$6,000
TELE : 876-275-7961

  • Easy and Quick Psychological Testing
  • Group Dynamics
  • Video/Film Input
  • Psychological Techniques
  • Personality Profile
  • Compatible Personality Match
  • Components of a Successful Relationship
  • Common Mistakes
  • Improved Communication
  • Attracting the Right Person

Photo courtesy of TVJ

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© 2013 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved

All the commentary posted in this publication are my personal view(s) and do not reflect the view(s) of any Association, Federation or Governing Body.