Monday, 23 June 2014


Without a doubt this has been the most exciting World Cup I have ever seen. The sheer number of goals is unbelievable and IN MY VIEW, the defending has been quite good......for the most part. Spain has brought back some semblance of respect to their dynasty with a comprehensive 3 nil victory over Australia. Holland asserted their dominance with a workmanlike performance to defeat Chile 2 nil and finish top of the group. A potential meeting now looms for Chile and Brazil in the round of 16; all things being equal.

This has been a coaches World Cup if you ask me and I use this as my proof. Holland brought on 3 substitutes, and 2 of them scored in their victory over Chile. Although out of contention, Del Bosque started 2 of his strikers previously on the bench, they scored, and he brought on Juan Mata and he also scored. Portugal brought on Varela who scored with 15 seconds to go in the match for a 2 all draw with the USA. Belgium brought on Origi who scored in the 88th minute for the victory over Russia (1 nil); and there are many other examples. We are seeing the importance of strategy and tactics in all the games played so far, and who have employed the correct strategy have come out on top, or did not lose.

The two teams that have really come to play and have not allowed 'name brand teams' to intimidate them have been Costa Rica and Chile. Nothing is clear cut anymore as the teams that have put themselves in a position to go through have all looked good in this first round. My disappointment has been with Bosnia, as I thought this team showed good promise coming in to this tournament, they sit comfortably at the bottom of their group after losses to Argentina and Nigeria.

There is one team that has showed real quality as now the top contender to win this World Cup and that is Holland, and the results have shown that; or maybe they will choke on another bone. Germany, Brazil, and Argentina have kinks to work out and Columbia, Costa Rica and Chile need to be given a look in. The teams that make it to the round of 16 will all be deserving of their place, as the quality of football has been very good.

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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.

Sunday, 15 June 2014


After 8 games, WC 2014 is looking as exciting as ever. There has only been one surprising result IN MY VIEW; Costa Rica beating Uruguay 3 goals to 1. Holland beating Spain was not surprising, the scoreline was surprising.

The games so far have brought the coaches strategies and tactics centre stage. When teams lose you blame the coach, there is a lot of merit to that statement from what I have seen thus far and I have seen no unbeatable team.

European teams have fairly good results against Brazil. They play a physical game and man to man mark, Croatia didn't do enough of that to nullify the marauding Brazilians, hence the scoreline.

The Africans play open indisciplined football for the most part, which prevents them reaching far in major international competitions often. Mexico seemed a much more organized and improved team since their qualification campaign. Cameroon need more imagination upfront and not be too dependent on Samuel Eto.

Spain seems to have forgotten what they did to beat Holland in WC 2010, and Holland did what they should have done WC 2010. Isolate the Spanish backline for numerous one on ones with Van Perse and Robben; Pique and Ramos as was clearly seen could not contain them. This loss for Spain sits squarely with del Bosque; I don't think I have seen this great coach get something so wrong before now.

The CHILE and COLUMBIA games went as scripted, AUSTRALIA and GREECE don't have the manpower to challenge these teams, although GREECE should have done better. I saw where if they got to the by-line and cut the crosses back to the edge of the 18 yard box, they could create many chances. I saw them do it a couple times and it pried open the Columbia defence; they failed to convert.

Did not see the URUGUAY v COSTA RICA game, but being from the CONCACAF region myself, I am happy with the Costa Rican victory.

I expect England to lose their 3 matches, and this expectation was before the WC started. Pirlo is the maestro for Italy and allowing this 35 year old not-so-mobile player to dictate the game is madness on the part of England. Italy deserve to win.

This game more than any showed the impact a coach has on the game. Drogba is nowhere near fit, but Lamouchie took a calculated risk to bring on Drogba and it lifted the Ivory Coast to victory. JAPAN when leading 1 nil were giving up possession too often and too easily.

I foresee more surprise results on the horizon, and the issues and problems that dogged the FIFA administration and the country that is Brazil seem to be dissipating rapidly.

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Friday, 13 June 2014


The win for Holland over Spain is not surprising, it is humiliating. In previous blogs I have highlighted the chink in the Spanish armour; the diagonal pass behind the centre backs. This was used by Holland in three of the five goals scored. Spain can't seem to handle this pass at all, and Holland did this in the last World Cup 2010 but never converted; no such luck for Spain this time around.

It is now evident why Ikar Casillas is not seeing much playing time at Real Madrid this season. This is sheer lack of confidence by the seasoned custodian. The third goal was scored due to Casillas lack of command in his own six-yard box. Instead of going to collect confidently he went up timidly to swat away, bouncing and falling when the Holland defender went up for the header, Stephan de Vrij made no mistake with the rebound on the far post. The four goal was carelessness on the part of Casillas, no review necessary on this one.

Failure to convert also weighed on the Spanish team. Being one up and with a glorious chance to go two up, instead of driving hard and low to the far post, David Silva opted to lob Cillessen in goal for Holland, who managed to get a finger on it and the ball went wide of target.

Holland looked crisp and sharp, fit and ready, which in turn seemed to put Spain totally off their game. Ramos and Pique don't work well as the centre backs. Pique will always be susceptible to speed and dribbling, del Bosque has to address this quickly.

Robben and Van Perse were ruthless, and if they are to shrug off the 'choker' moniker that has dogged the Netherlands from the 1970's, they need to do more of this.

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014


The FIFA World Cup starts June 12, 2014 and everyone is on the edge of their seat awaiting the roll out of the teams they are backing. I must say the coverage this World Cup has received (both positive and negative) has been second to none I can remember. Everywhere I turn there is some advertisement or commentary about the World Cup 2014.........the sponsors must be elated, and saying money well spent.

I still think the traditional powerhouse teams (who have already won the World Cup) will factor in the latter stages with Spain now joining that fray. There is a formula to win the FIFA World Cup and Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Italy and .........unbelievably England, know how to do this. However, IN MY VIEW, World Cup 2018 will be won by a team who has never won it before.

My only regret is that I won’t get to see Radamel Falcao of Columbia playing at this FIFA World Cup, if I feel this way, I can’t even imagine how he feels. This striker is lethal in front of goal; and if I have to explain to anyone who this player is, something must be wrong with you. Nevertheless, you can read about his exploits here,

I think there will be a lot of surprise results at this tournament. The minnow teams are doing their homework and getting much better at organizing and strategizing. I speak of teams from the CONCACAF region, Asia and Africa. Europe holds centre stage when we speak of powerhouse teams, as 5 World Cup winners belong to Europe and 3 belong to South America.

The solid teams have shown themselves so far, namely Spain, Brazil, know the usual suspects. It will be dangerous to predict which 2 teams will be coming out of their groups; I will only attempt to predict 1 from each group:

GROUP A      BRAZIL (FIFA ranking #3)
GROUP B      SPAIN (FIFA ranking #1)
GROUP C     COLUMBIA (FIFA ranking #8)
GROUP D     URUGUAY (FIFA ranking #7)
GROUP E      FRANCE (FIFA ranking #17)
GROUP F      ARGENTINA (FIFA ranking #5)
GROUP G     GERMANY (FIFA ranking #2)
GROUP H     BELGIUM (FIFA ranking #11)

Injuries are impacting all the teams, which is in itself a chance for each team to show their depth. The eventual World Cup winner of this tournament (which I think will be Spain....again), will have it very hard this time around. Firstly, Vicente del Bosque has the fact that only 1 coach (Vittorrio Pozzo) in the history of the World Cup has won back to back tournaments, going against him. Also, Spain is aging and in my estimation this team has hit their plateau (although they are still ranked #1 by FIFA). Nevertheless, they will take some beating as they have the quality and they have done it already.

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Wednesday, 7 May 2014


I am somewhat confused as to why fans would go to a football match, hurl racial slurs, cause the club to get fined, and irritate people unnecessarily. Racism has no place anywhere. Nothing is wrong with feeling confident about oneself, our their race, but to think one's own race superior is basically ludicrous.

Mental conditioning may have a lot to do with how people feel about themselves, however, the human spirit somehow has to shine through if this world is going to get any better.

The last chess tournament I took my son to play, a lot of different races were represented and I watched all of them playing together on the basketball court, the monkey bars, the swings and even American football. Every time I see children from different racial and social backgrounds play like that, it reminds me that they have it right and most adults don't. 

It is now 2014 and the World still has people thinking in a vacuum, and it is not centred in a certain region. Racial slurs are thrown in England, Spain, seriously people. Footballers are there to entertain, let them do that. I would prefer the fans hurling insults like,  'you are the worst defender', 'my daughter could have saved that shot', 'you can't even keep a secret', 'him can't score to save him life', you know, normal insults like that without being disrespectful. If it is to get any worse, wait until you reach home invite your friends over and cuss all you want, but keep that to yourself.

Our beloved World Cup of Football 2014 will be held in a few weeks, and sadly some of these morons will attend. My hope is that with all the unrest that has happened in Brazil, and the race against time to have stadiums completed, we will see a splendid tournament.

© 2014 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved

Follow on twitter: @antoniobellmc

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, 24 February 2014

Gibson Relays 2014


Bolt yet to open his season......hmmmmmmm

The Gibson Relays 2014 by all indication was a resounding success. I liked the order, the performances and the camaraderie. There are so many good stories that happened February 22, it really look like Boys and Girls Champs 2014 a guh.....tun ovah.

One of the many things that stood out was a gallant run by the Manchester female athlete on the second leg of their 4x200 heat 2 Girls Open. Cramp hold on to this athlete left leg and she stumbled a bit, shrugged it off and handed over to the 3rd leg runner, grimacing with every step; Manchester came a close third at the end. Memories of Bertland Cameron came rushing back. When I see athletes perform in this way I tend to get emotional a bit because that is showing pure heart and leaving 150% on the track.

Why are some athletes still running barefoot? Cake sale and raffle can gwan a di school inuh......mi not calling no names here. The athletes must not come to stadium a run barefoot. Zola Budd would love to see the athletes wear shoes now although shi never did like run inna none,

I saw some very tall athletes running for Port Morant and these athletes really look ideal for middle distance running. One of them almost look like Asbell Kiprop son, Their loping strides look perfect for those events.

Xavier Boland a gwan good in the pole vault, a lot of promise there. His meet record of 4.42m shows he is no slouch in that event.

Christoffe Bryan in the high jump repeated his personal best of 2.20m. Recurring decimal for this athlete, big talent.

I need to see our female long jumpers attacking the board a little more.

What can I say about the KC class 2 or the Calabar class 3 or Calabar duo of Donkeyman and O'hara. Anyone trying to follows these people will certainly blow a gasket. Barring injury, this years' Boys and Girls Champs will be exciting and breathtaking. I just want to see these athletes at their best. It is a privilege to watch these athletes perform.

That Wolmers Girls class 2 anchor leg runner in the 4x100 relay is just phenomenal, she dug deep once again to overhaul the leader; Shauna Helps big up yuself.

However, I still contend that KC will win the Class 1 4x100m at Champs. We were much too close to Calabar with Mr Anguilla (Zarnel Hughes) missing. And O'hara in my estimation can't run past Mr Anguilla if he gets the baton before him; once he is sound.

These athletes show promise of epic proportions, and I see the changing of the guards regarding our sprinting going smoothly for decades to come. Also I think we have enough ammunition in our young athletes physique to take a serious crack at the middle distance races.

Yohan Blake look good early in the season and Warren Weir finally pacing himself properly over 400m. Once again Glen Mills methods can't be questioned. Javier Bell nearly injured himself and Yohan on the final leg of the 4x400 relay. Javier can run by Yohan over 400m, no need to force the issue trying to go by Yohan on the inside. Yohan slammed the door (no room was there anyway) and both runners almost fell. At the end of the race Yohan was visibly upset, frankly so was the Gibson Relays crowd.

I want to say congratulations to the Planning Committee of the Gibson Relays 2014 for a splendid event. And the dedication of the games to the memory of our beloved Neville Teddy McCook was quite noble.

I look forward to the coming years.

©2014 Antonio Bell. All Rights Reserved.
Twitter: @antoniobellmc

Friday, 7 February 2014

Vashon Throws At Champs......What A Surprise

What a surprise.........Vashon is cleared by Ascot Principal Murray to throw at Champs. I think Shakespeare had written 'Much ado about nothing', a suh that guh?

There is not much I can write on this because it was just a big waste of time for Principal Murray to

1. Make such a pronouncement and
2. Put the youngster and his family through unnecessary stress.

I think I know what happened in the board meeting to facilitate the discussion between Principal Murray and the Vashon delegation.

It may have gone like this.....Principal Murray, Vashon needs to throw at Champs, so you may need to get off your high horse and do some backpedalling.

Frankly I am just glad that this is now behind the athlete and he can now really focus on producing his best. Although, what has happened in the recent past didn't seem to faze Vashon at all, he just kept racking up win after win after win.

A special big up to Dianna Lennon on supporting her child.....real woman. Coach Vassell keep on doing what yu doin'. Much more in store from this athlete and he will need the support.

My only contention is that nobody had to even hear about this scenario. Principal Murray could have called the meeting long ago (just as he did now, albeit under duress) and this would have been squashed long ago.

©2014 Antonio Bell. All Rights Reserved.
Twitter: @antoniobellmc

Monday, 27 January 2014


Vashon McCarthy (Ascot High School) won his pet event (Shot Put U20) at the Queens Grace Jackson Meet January 25, 2013 at the National Stadium. While Derrick Pitt of KC gave him something to think about with a Put of 15.44m, it was not enough to overhaul Vashon's Put of 15.84m. Everyone else was a metre or more behind.

Well I guess this proves that although principal Murray hasn't seen Vashon at the school training, he (Vashon) is actually training.

I wait with bated breath for the outcome of the Ascot school board meeting on the subject of Vashon going to Champs. Personally, I just think the meeting is a way of allowing principal Murray to backpedal on his initial statement, but frankly, as long as it allows Vashon to throw at Champs, so be it.

©2014 Antonio Bell. All Rights Reserved.
Twitter: @antoniobellmc

Thursday, 23 January 2014


I heard part of what Principal Murray said on the sports news in regards to his decision to bar Vashon McCarthy from participating at the 2014 Boys Champs............frankly I am still lost.

What I heard from Principal Murray is that Vashon has not trained at the school since September 2013. IN MY VIEW there is some gross miscommunication taking place here. Vashon is a National Age Group Champion, so his ability is not in question. Furthermore, this case is not unique, there have been stellar athletes during the years not training at their school but under guidance from coaches outside of the school; as stated by Hubert 'Mr Info' Lawrence in his article,

Why is this even an issue?

I understand what Principal Murray is saying to some degree, but if there is an issue, here is what I would do.....just my two cents,

  • Call Vashon to my office and state my position regarding his training outside of the school programme, and ensure he understands my position ( I don't get the impression Principal Murray communicated with Vashon).
  • Call Vashon's mother and do the same thing (can be done via phone)
  • Call the Ascot coach 'McLaughlin' and aprise him 
  • Call Vashon's 'extra lesson coach' Vassell and do the same thing (can be done via phone)
  • If necessary call all of them to a meeting at my office and make sure everyone is on the same page
Why is this even an issue?

This did not need to reach here. The only one that will be impacted the greatest in all of this either way is Vashon McCarthy.

©2014 Antonio Bell. All Rights Reserved.
Twitter: @antoniobellmc

Monday, 20 January 2014


I constantly clamored for the inclusion of Lovel Palmer in the Reggae Boyz setup, and now to read that he has retired is very disappointing. This player IN MY VIEW has a lot to offer the National Team.

Thanks for everything Lovel, I hope someone can convince you to reconsider.

©2014 Antonio Bell. All Rights Reserved.
Twitter: @antoniobellmc


Happy New Year friends.

Regarding Jamaican 16 year old discus and shot put phenom Vashon McCarthy from Ascot High School, let me start off by saying we really should hear from the Ascot principal in all of this. Barring an athlete due to assistance from another coach (outside of the school), in my estimation is bordering on lunacy.

I distinctly remember a Camperdown female discuss thrower (her name eludes me now) coming over to Kingston College to be helped by Leo Brown during his tenure at KC; I don't think her school barred her from the Girls Championships. There obviously has to be more to this story as I can't logically see the need to bar a student based on that fact only.

I am all for discipline prevailing in High Schools in all circumstances, but barring McCarthy based on help from another coach just does not make any sense to me at this point.

Vashon is an exceptional athlete, and as far as I am concerned, these types of athletes (even though in High School) should be treated as such. We need to go the extra mile to facilitate them so they can reach optimum performance and potential (without breaking the rules, but bend them slightly). I really don't want Vashon to be thrust into the 'where are they now category' in the future.

This thrower Vashon is a national treasure and I reiterate, should be treated as such, Principal Murray we need to know what is going on with Vashon. The 'no comment' response nah really fly right now. Furthermore, Vashon mother is 'cross, angry and miserable'.

There were once calls for Bolt not to go pro so young.....I am sure glad he didn't go pro so young

©2014 Antonio Bell. All Rights Reserved.
Twitter: @antoniobellmc