On Target
September 14, 2018
Another cruel exposure

Once again St Vincent and the Grenadines’ football has been cruelly exposed at the international level.

This time though, the cruelty was magnified, as last Saturday’s display on home soil here at the Arnos Vale Playing Field, was against an ordinary Nicaragua outfit in their opening match of the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League qualifier.

St Vincent and the Grenadines’ performance cannot be measured only by the 2-0 defeat, as was the case in the score line.

Those who saw the match, would agree that there are some fundamentals which are lacking in our players, when they meet opposition with some level of discipline, experience and organisation.

Our team could not consistently string successive passes together, thus, looked new to this type of competition.

Too, the St Vincent and the Grenadines team, sad to say, lacked a definitive plan to either match or surpass whatever the Nicaraguans had to offer last Saturday.

Unfortunately, the visitors did not have much, but we were equally woefully deficient in our responses.

St Vincent and the Grenadines’ football for too long has been relying on the individual ability of a few players to see the national teams through.

This type of instinctive football, which would have worked in the past, is no longer applicable, granted the social dynamics and the way football is viewed in this era.

Hence, we are now left wanting, as the sport has evolved, and science and tactical advancement have resulted in us looking at others through the rear view mirror.

Beyond that there has not been the responsive change towards keeping in stride with modern trends and developments.

More so too, one though has to concede that our current technical personnel in all the strata of the national set up, are very limited in their knowledge and execution, and that comes out whenever a national representative team is put on the park in tournaments.

But despite the poor results in the last four years by all of our national teams, those charged with guiding the players, have remained in their respective posts, as the status quo holds.

Here, loyalty and maintaining portfolios on the executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation are paramount, instead of fixing our football.

As a consequence, this country is paying a heavy price, when precedence is given to personal development, rather than national football progress.

St Vincent and the Grenadines, which was once viewed as a developing football nation, has been relegated to simply a nation that plays football.

Whilst others may differ, the fact that countries don’t see us as worthy opponents for international friendlies, is one way of evaluating where we are at this time.

This is against the reality that the warning signs were being turned out, but were not heeded, as for many years, persons who are close to football here, and who are interested in the total development of the sport, have been clamouring for an overhaul of the structure.

Among themeasures have been the structure of our coaching methodologies, national tournaments and the deployment of the technical human resources.

This is despite the mouthing that pierce the eardrums with frequency, of the many technical courses, that St Vincent and the Grenadines hosts.

The propensity of these courses has not materialised in much visible development, except for historical purposes, that they were held here.

So our participation in the CONCACAF Nations League in total, is a barometer of the development of the smaller members of the confederation.

Therefore, we cannot forever continue to conjure up lame duck excuses when we fail, but then gloat and praise the existing structures of our football when there are some minimal achievement by one of our national units.

Unless some decisive actions are taken immediately, our football will forever stay on the course of regression, and make this exposition always applicable.