Friday, 7 June 2013


In my previous blog I mentioned under the subtitle MY STRATEGY that Jermaine Beckford should be the target of all set plays. That advice bore fruit in the 89th minute of play to allow Jamaica to equalize with the USA after an Altidore header in the first half. A free kick swung in from our left flank by Richard Austin was flashed in by Beckford.

A simple laps in concentration cost us the match. We have to be cognizant of the fact that the Americans concentrate for 90 minutes plus the time added on. I think this was the match we didn't deserve to lose, a fair result would have been a draw; but the USA was steadfast and disciplined as I have always said and did all they could to win the game.......and they did.

The USA player that impressed the most for me was their #4 Michael Bradley, he was the one who was the force to be reckoned with in midfield for the USA (I guess that's why he now plays for Roma in Italy). Dempsey played his usual classy game.

Before I give my Reggae Boyz players review, I want to mention something about ALVAS POWELL. In my last blog I wrote that he was one for the future, I think that future is now. Portmore United (his club in Jamaica) should be able to get at least GBP5million for this player straight to the Premiership...and I am not joking people. He ran for the entire game up and down his flank defending and attacking, he can do no wrong for me right now (shades of Roberto Carlos) and he is only 18 years old. Raw talent on display and if he continues on this trend he should have a long career in football.

Ricketts - as usual did what was required
Marriappa - as usual did what was required; he should not
                   have a problem getting a contract back to the
                   Premiership, classy defender
Gordon - proving to be a suitable Nosworthy replacement
Woodbine - missing for most of this game; played much
                    better against Mexico
Powell - see paragraph above; phenomenal talent
J Johnson - took on defenders as he needs to do,
                  but wasted a lot of energy, if he gets things right
                  no defender can stop him, not even Vidic
M Eliott - played better today, good holding midfielder, however,
                needs to use the ball a little better sometimes,
                his passes often put players under pressure
McCleary - took on defenders as he needs to do,
                   but still going lateral, I need him to attack to goal more
Austin - gave 150% today, I wish everyone had his
             enthusiasm and purpose
J Hue - still walking on the field too much for me, if he is not
            getting the ball we are in essence playing with 10 men.
            His work rate is too low. We can't afford a one dimensional
            midfielder in this setup. Give him one half and ask
            everything of him.
R Johnson - bustling but not giving us what we need right now

T Robinson - didn't feel his impact when he came on,
                     he can do much better
O Daley - did what he had to do
J Beckford -  the goal scorer, did what was required,
                     he can be used much more, a potent option,
                     or starter

I seem to keep repeating myself, but it is what it is. I saw a lot of positives today nonetheless:

  • More shots to goal
  • Tried to get down the flanks to whip in crosses
  • Alvas Powell got forward a lot, this is an option for us to look at seriously
  • At times a glimmer of a passing game
  • Our defenders played well
  • One too many wayward passes
  • Concentration needed for longer periods
  • Need more initiative in attack; more creativity
  • Instructions from two coaches MAY cause confusion on the pitch
The USA is a very disciplined team, almost robotic, this is something I admire about the team. The USA will stick to the plan and try their best to execute the plan effectively and efficiently. Only a pity the Reggae Boyz had to find this out today. Jurgen Klinsmann must be breathing a sigh of relief if even for a short while.

Quite unfortunate the Reggae Boyz lost today, but such is the game of football; you don't always get what you expect. The precipice is getting steeper by the match; can we now climb this mountain to Rio? Reggae Boyz you are killing me. I just hope when the Reggae Boyz do get things right it's not too late. No white towel for me just yet, 5 more games to go. The USA, Costa Rica and Mexico have struck serious blows to our World Cup chances. I refuse to give up until the fat lady sings nonetheless.

JAMAICA I don't want to hear that fat lady sing.

© 2013 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved

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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.