Friday, 6 September 2013


The Reggae Boyz go up against Panama in a must win situation playing away from home. Needless to say based on Jamaica’s precipitous position in the tables, this task is akin to scaling Mount Everest.

As I said in a previous blog, temper our expectations of the Reggae Boyz While I admire the exploits of Senor Schaffer, I ultimately believe he came here to get The Reggae Boyz to the next World Cup and not this one.

The squad has the core players from the previous coaching staff selections, but I still don’t see Lovell Palmer; why?…I don’t know. The inclusion of new English based players is a ‘good look’ and only tactics, shrewdness and a little luck can get us to pass this Panama test.

Panama will try to pick us a part from the get go and will try to maintain possession for the entire match. We really have nothing to lose, however, if we maintain a high press approach to this Panamanian team, we may get embarrassed. Panama’s slick passing and movement off the ball is pretty hard to counter, however, other teams in the group have been able to diffuse them……..we haven’t. It is very important when the Reggae Boyz have possession of the ball it ends with a shot to goal (on target). We can’t exchange possession with this team and hope to be successful, not gonna happen.

I will write again, we need to use the height of Beckford to our advantage. Also, the brain of Marlon King, and hopefully (since he is now included) the brut force of Tuffy to get by this test. We will not exploit Panama with our passing, their team is too compact for that and we have not been able to string multiple passes together anyway. We need to attack down the flanks if we are to be successful and the midfield will be pivotal if we are to be victorious. It would be wise to foul as we lose possession so as to not allow Panama to develop any form of rhythm (just like basketball).

The coach has to find a way to impose Alvas Powell on the game; this boy is a dominant force on the field a we must find a way to use him properly. He however needs to be a bit more technically proficient if he is to play in the middle of the field, which is where I think he is best suited. When I see him play it takes me back to the days of Boban of Croatia, Rikjaard from Holland, and Redondo of Argentina, same build, and rugged play, however, all these players can use the ball properly and pass very well. If we can fix that little issue the Reggae Boyz would have fixed the midfield problem we have had for some time now.

To beat Panama I don’t think we can outplay them we have to outthink them. Well Senor Schaffer, I will not expect much today, but I would love a pleasant surprise.

© 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.