Theordore Whitmore: Indictment Unsealed
The indictment against Theodore Whitmore (Tappa) is more an indictment against the Jamaican Football federation (JFF) and we the fans(stakeholders) . The indictment can be viewed as crimes tantamount to professional negligence. This deserves to be condemned by all concerned about the state of Jamaican football. There will be no rock unturned, no ground not examined, no cave to hide, no site or quarter to hide with the usual excuses as the indictment is carefully unsealed with intense examination. All will be on the table to be examined; the masks will be torn off, with the objective that all must ,and will answer, for whatever transgressions of negligence.
Jamaica entered the 2019 Gold Cup with a squad of 23 players with two members of the squad currently playing in the Jamaican league (RSPL). These are Ricardo Morris and Tyreek Magee. Ricardo Morris came on as a sub against El Salvador and started in the Curacao game. The rest of the team compromised of professional players who play in the Europe , MLS and USL. This is important to note because in both these leagues they have adopted the European guidelines of best practices in coaching education. This means in order to coach a professional team you are required to have an A license (Lic) or Pro License, also it will be looked at in regard to it being a deficit in Tappa and his assistant’s preparation for this gold cup.
The most glaring issue noticed by the pundits, was our disjointed play in the midfield and how they were bypassed, therefore leaving our forward line on their own to create their own chances or in most instances chasing the ball. From what I observed these players fought for every ball and chased every ball; we failed in passing the ball from the midfield to attack. In other words, no fluidity in our play, most of the plays were from the defense to the attack by an air route. I attribute this to a lack of chemistry displayed by the ignorance of Tappa. As you will see below in contrast to the USA consistency, our team changed 33 to 40 % every game , that’s 3 to 4 players with the bulk of it coming from the midfield and forward line. In fact, the only time the defense changed was after Lowe had to sit out the semifinal game because of an accumulation of yellow cards. Of note the contrast is also noted in the Mexican team, who kept the same defense and forward line for the first two games, thereby resting most of its squad for the dead rubber third match, but still using the same forward line. The consistency continued to the final where the starting 11 for Mexico in the final had 4 changes compared to its first game. They were 1 in the forward line 2 in midfield and 1 in defense. I suspect cards or injuries and tactical adjustments played a role in that, more than any intentional professional negligence as it was in Jamaica’s case. Below is the starting 11 contrast with the USA.
Jamaica vs Honduras (3-2) 1st round – 6/17/19 – 4-3-3
Jamaica vs El Salvador(0-0) 1st round – 6/21/19 – 4-3-3.
2 changes were made from the last game against Honduras both in midfield, Flemmings and Lewis came in for Vassell and Williams
Flemmings ………….Hector …………….….Lewis
Lawrence ……….Francis ….…Lowe…………Powell
*Ricardo Morris RSPL used as sub
Jamaica vs Curacao (1-1)1st round – 6/25/19 - 4-2-3-1
4 changes were made from the last game against El Salvador where Nicholson, Morris, Williams and Watson came in for Brown, Bailey ,Flemmings and Lewis.
Flemmings ………..Lewis ………Morris
………….Williams ………...Watson ……
Jamaica vs Panama(1-0) Quarter final – 6/30/19 – 4-2-3-1
Two changes were made where Orgill ,Bailey for Lewis and Morris. Of note Topey came on as a sub our next true center half who plays in the USL.
Orgill …………Flemmings ………..Bailey
………….Hector ………...Watson ……
Jamaica vs USA (1-3) Semifinal -7/13/19 – 4-4-1-1-
3 changes were made where Mattocks , Vassell,Williams , came in for Nicholson, Orgill and Hector replaced Lowe at center back and Williams slotted into Hector Defensive Midfield position.
……………….. Vassell ..……….
Flemmings ……Watson ………...Williams ……Bailey
The USA in contrast to JA used the same starting 11 in its first two games and rested the entire team for its final game against Panama ( even the G.K) with Altidore who has been coming off an injury given his first start. They resorted to the same starting 11 in their quarter final game against Curacao and made one change in their semifinal game against Jamaica, where Altidore started and Zardes their main striker came off the bench. To sum up Berhalter’s approach in one word, it is consistency in his starting 11.
USA vs Guyana 1st round (4-0) 6/18/19
USA vs Trinidad 1st round (6-0) 6/22/19
USA vs Panama 1st round (1-0) 6/26/19 - 4-1-4-1
The formation was noted because of the return of Altidore. The entire team was changed down to the G.K ,with Altidore making his return after an injury. This was basically a dead rubber match as evidenced by the wholesale changes.
….………... Altidore …..
..Lewis …….Mihallovic …Roldan…Morris
USA vs Curacao quarter final (1-0) 6/30/19
As you can see the USA reverted to its preferred starting 11 that it used from its first game before the dead rubber match with Panama.
USA vs Jamaica (3 -1) 7/3/19
4 changes were made by the USA ,2 forwards and 2 in defense.
…..Arriola ……..Altidore …..Morris
..Pulsic …….Bradley……Mckennie …
..Ream ….Long …Miazga…..Cannon ..
Contrast in Consistency
The obvious contrast between Jamaica and the USA was the consistency in the USA starting lineup. Jamaica consistently started the same defense up to the semifinal against the USA, where Lowe was absent due to an accumulation of cards. The USA consistently started the same defense up to the dead rubber against Panama, where the whole team was changed. They consistently played the same midfield in every match of consequence, Pulsic …….Bradley……Mckennie …up to the final excluding said Panama game. Contrast that with Jamaica who changed its midfield an average of 2 players per game where 3 were made against Curacao. The changes continued with the same average in the midfield until we were knocked out by the USA. The USA Started the same forward line for the first two games until the dead rubber against Panama where Altidore was eased back as the starting striker. They reverted to the same starting 11 in the quarter final against Curaco,and then proceeded to use Altidore, Morris and Arriola as their starting strikers. Of note Arriola has started every game in this Gold Cup. In contrast the only midfielder for Jamaica to come close to that is Flemings, who started 4 games for Jamaica. Not one of our healthy forwards started every game. Nicholson started 2 consecutive games and Bailey who functioned as a winger started 2 consecutive games twice.
This begs the question why the contrast in a consistent starting 11, between the USA and Jamaica, is the coaching staff sitting on some privileged knowledge that we don’t know about why they would approach a knockout competition in such a fashion. Were players injured , were players being held back because the occasion was too big , were they taken to the gold cup for the experience of sitting on the bench. Were any of these factors’ reasons for the rash constant changes to the lineup of the team.
Best practices in football dictate that you play your Best 11 every game barring an injury or you adjust for a tactical advantage. Besides Lowe with his accumulation of cards, are we to believe that Tappa and his charges saw the need to make an average of 3 changes per game. No player was said to be injured or coming off an injury in the midfield or forward line except Bailey, and he played 4 out of our 5 games. Food for thought, imagine Klopp rotating Salah, Mane or Firmino in the Champions league campaign with no injuries.
If Tappa and his charges believed the occasion was too big for certain players, why bring them. If he needed players who needed GC experience, he should have brought them. If any one of these are the cause for the madness that we saw at the G.C, heads need to roll and this calls into question an examination of players, the coaching staff, and those that hired the coaching staff.
Examination – Players
The first examination must be the comparison of the players. Jamaica , Mex and the USA all have players in the gold cup that played in professional leagues. Most of the players from these three teams came from the MLS, Mexican premier league (Liga MX) or European leagues. One can argue because the Jamaican players had an even balance of USL/MLS players, that the quality of players were substandard, because USL is viewed as a step below Liga MX and the MLS. Another excuse used by some looking to absolve the coaching staff of any blame, is to suggest Jamaica used players from Europe who mainly came from substandard European leagues with the exception of Bailey. All of this is debunked by the M.O.M performances from European players Lowe , Nicholson and credible performances from Powell who plays in the USL. Of note an average of 3 USL players started every game with Flemmings being the only one to start 4 of 5 games.
Examination – Coaches
The second examination is of the coaching staff. Coaching is a form of development in which a person supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance.Tappa has been a national coach from 2007; in 2014 he was the U20 coach, what has he achieved in terms of licensure/accreditation since then. What has his assistants achieved since then. Basically, the question of licensure comes up as a means of evaluating best coaching practices in this concluded G.C and in comparison, to our competitors/adversaries of getting desired results. Besides experience as coaches in the RSPL and being former players, in and for Jamaica, in the case of Tappa and Lawrence, do they have a license to coach that is of the required standard of best practices. Contrast their standard to our adversaries who we say we want to unseat as Concacaf King Pins, where the A and Pro lic is mandated to coach in North America and Europe, and without having any knowledge of the Mexican standards, I suspect it to be the same. The reason I say this is because best practices in Europe of coaching is the driving force of licensure around the world, and they dictate and mandate that in order to be a coach in a professional league you have to have the A or Pro lic. To put it bluntly USSF/USL mimics best practices of licensure from the European standard. A brief description of the UEFA A Lic; it is designed to educate candidates in the technical, tactical, physical and mental requirements of modern football. The course develops candidates' ability to devise, organize, conduct and evaluate coaching sessions in advanced skills, tactics, strategies and systems of play. It will also give an understanding of how to apply modern methods for sports science and sports medicine. In order to get the Pro lic one has to practice with the A lic for at least 12 months, also of importance before attaining the A lic,the individual must attain the B lic.
With that in mind the JFF recently had a class on the Concacaf B licensure course reported in the newspapers. No report was given if it was/is on par with the USSF/UEFA B standard or if what was taught was part of the curriculum of licensure and not the whole. With that said here are some of the comments of those who took part of a recent course in the Concacaf B license (again no Tappa) reported in our newspapers , of which coaches Marcel Gayle, Wayne Campbell, Alex Thomas , Shavar Thomas and Donovan Duckie attended and stated , “I thought, not just for me, but for coaching development in Jamaica, it was very good… I thought the course was very informative and educational, plus it broadened my horizon, and I think I speak for my fellow participants when I say that… a course like this challenged us and forced us to see the game in a different light,” said outgoing Portmore United Head Coach Shavar Thomas. Cavalier FC coach, Rudolph Spied, who also participated in the B License coaching activity, gave the exercise the proverbial thumbs up. “It is the best thing the JFF has done for the coaches, myself included, to get this pilot project to come here, and I expect all participating coaches would have improved by 100 per cent as the areas of instruction were very precise and addressed key specifics, which included how to read the opponent and how to counter them…… what these courses show is that we (Jamaican coaches) have been lambs to the slaughter because this is information that we didn't have before.
Given that context, 20 years post world cup 98, how far is Tappa and our national/local coaches behind our competitors in Concacaf, given the above statements, was our recent Gold Cup performance unexpected , and can we expect same in our world cup campaign?
Examination -The Federation
The Trinity – "At a football club, there's a holy trinity - the players, the manager and the supporters. Directors don't come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques." Bill Shankley one of Liverpool Football Club (LFC) greatest manager, in fact the first manager to put Liverpool on the English and European football map. To sum it up a well-run club should have qualified managers/coaches running a successful professional club, and directors should not be impeding it but enabling it. This trend continues today where at LFC the owners are hardly seen. You contrast that with the JFF where there is a constant stream of negative news with the persistent theme, that they are broke and begging for money to the point of the lack of practice matches for team or money to pay players and coaches. To be fair to Ricketts he inherited this chaos, but it does not absolve him from fixing the problem, after all that’s why he ran for the presidency.
The current JFF president in September 2017, after being elected, when asked about the need for a manifesto stated he has no need for a manifesto because he has a plan forward. Well here we are almost two years later, and his plan has yet to be revealed. Given the persistence of being constantly broke ,unable to prepare national teams for FIFA competitions, not able to pay players and coaches and the lack of investing in our local or national coaches to the required standard of best practices, are we asking for too much for the plan to be revealed. Is it too late to ask for a plan and should we instead be asking for change ?
The problem that I see coming, like a brick to one’s face, is the JFF sacking our national coaches when results are not going our way in the upcoming world cup campaign. Will the shock of the impact of losses, render us confused or numb to make the right change. It’s not inconceivable for the JFF to make the same mistakes of the past in desperation and hire an overseas coach with the required standard of best practice licensure, resulting in an outlay of astronomical wages which will leave the JFF further in debt and Jamaican football worse off than before. It seems to be the predictable pattern post world cup 98, of a certain impending repetitive disaster, and the JFF seem to expect different results, isn’t that definition of madness. Seriously haven’t we been there before, all the above can simply be avoided by the JFF investing in our local/national coaches to achieve the required A standard of licensure. We can recruit within our local population of coaches and spread the knowledge of how to play the game of football within our own cultural economic reality, thereby saving millions which can be reinvested in the national program. Instead of having the repetitive flight of money and knowledge of best coaching practices when these foreign coaches leave. I believe if the JFF owes its stakeholders anything, then the least is qualified coaches that best practices demands .
Examination – Fans
Given the context of what best practices of football demands, the least of which is coaches of the required A standard running your national teams . Our knowledge of this standard leads us to demand that the JFF put that in place for the sake of Jamaican football. It is time we demand it ;we need to call for it in the media, which is print ,social media (internet), radio and in person that the least of this is (best practices in coaching standards ). Crying and blaming players is not an excuse anymore. The data is out there as to what best practices call for in terms of coaching; what is needed and what the likely results will be without it. If we continue along this vein and don’t call a spade a spade then we are party to mediocrity and we have nothing to complain about. If the JFF does not take certain action to remedy this course, we should seriously consider taking direct action to force change, as Martin Luther king stated by using economic and political acts, which "create such a crisis and foster such a tension" as to demand a response. Fans and corporate Jamaica should consider such initiatives against the JFF until best practices of upgrading our coaches to the required standard are met.
The JFF has been professionally negligent in not developing Jamaican football. The proof is, they have not developed one coach post world cup 98 to be of the required standard of the highest level of best practice i.e. the A lic. Compounding the lack of development, are coaches who are not vocal enough to demand that the JFF develop their knowledge base to that of the highest level of best practices. Compounding the JFF’s professional negligence, fans (stakeholders, corporate ,private citizen) have not demanded that the JFF/ Coaches developed their knowledge base, post WC 98 to highest level of best practices. The disjointed play, shuffling of players and psychotic explanations is only proof of more professional negligence. The contrast and consistency of the USA and Mex in displaying best practices of player selection, consistency and tactical application, is proof of the JFF professional negligence. It’s not as if the JFF does not know the standard of coaching in our adversaries. The fact that our players practice and exhibit best practices in professional leagues in North America and Europe, where best practices of coaching are mandatory but fail to exhibit same, when on national duties is proof of this. The fact that none of our national men’s coaches can state they have the required A lic for best practices, is the ultimate proof of professional negligence and no word is being uttered to rectify it by the JFF.
One disaster of a season in football can set you back years. We can use Liverpool as a classic example in the 90s; look at Manchester United now. I use these examples to point at our competition , Haiti, Curacao and Martinique. Haiti more so is worrisome because they have hired a former French U18 coach /PSG -T.D as head of their national program. They missed the goal cup final because of a mystery penalty against Concacaf powerhouse Mex . Anyone thinking Jamaica is way ahead of Haiti is fooling themselves. Haiti Has the same resources of foreign players in quality leagues as Jamaica’s and have upgraded their coaching standard to that of best practices, the Haitian coach Marc Collat has the required A lic. I would not be surprised if I took the time to examine Haiti’s starting 11, I would see consistency of his lineup, and it would mirror Mexico and the USA in terms of a consistent starting 11. For the record Jamaica has been having a disaster of a season(s) post WC 98,this is why we have not made a world cup in years. I predict until the Jamaican men national teams, upgrade their coaching standards to best practices, we will not qualify for another world cup. If you notice I said the men, the women are already upgraded.
The Evidence :
THERE IS ONLY ONE ONANDI LOWE !
"Good things come out of the garrisons" after his daughter won the 100m Gold For Jamaica.
"It therefore is useless and pointless, unless it is for share malice and victimisation to arrest and charge a 92-year-old man for such a simple offence. There is nothing morally wrong with this man smoking a spliff; the only thing wrong is that it is still on the law books," said Chevannes.
Last edited by Sir X : July 10th, 2019 at 02:06 AM.
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