The recent group draw for the Copa Centennial coming up in June, which pits Jamaica in a preliminary group up against Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela, has ignited pleasant memories of the Reggae Boyz sojourn in last year’s Copa America in Chile, where they narrowly lost all three games against top calibre teams Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, with the general consensus being that not only were they not disgraced, but they represented and performed quite well.There were, however, some fundamental mistakes made in that run at the Copa America, followed by their run in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, where they historically got to the final.However, the very next game they played after than run was the crucial first round World Cup qualifier at home against lowly Nicaragua. Three of our key players; Wes Morgan, Jobi McAnuff and Gareth McCleary were missing in action, injured and or fatigued. Jamaica went on to lose that game after going down 3-0 and were on the brink of World Cup elimination at the very first hurdle.This was absolutely poor and naive resource management by coach Winfred Schafer and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). World Cup qualifying must be the priority with every other game and or tournament serving as part of the preparation process.Schafer basically ran the players into the ground at the Copa and the Gold Cup and subsequently turned out a weakened and jaded team for the first round of World Cup qualifying. Older players such as Morgan and McAnuff were overused and overworked in those tournaments with conventional football wisdom suggesting that was gross mismanagement on the part of Schafer, as these were key players to the team’s success and should have been handled with ‘kids gloves’ and deployed instead in tip-top shape in the high priority World Cup qualifying assignments.local based playersI have long advocated for the systematic infusion of our best young local based players into the national senior set-up in order to create a wider pool of players overtime for exactly these types of circumstances.If that philosophy was pursued with conviction and the belief that there are qualities that local based players can bring to improve the senior team and the very best of players were being exposed and invested in over the past two or three years, those players would be better and more complete players today and better prepared for international duty.With the clear and present danger of fixture congestion and overwork issues with the overseas-based players, in addition to the understandable injury and fatigue concerns from the clubs of these players, Schafer really had no choice but to finally select a local core of players all be it very late in the proceedings. If, however, as I suspect he does not truly believe in the quality of the local players, then he will hardly deploy them as he should, which would leave us very much back at square one with himself and Captain Horace Burrell more than likely heading off to England to continue begging unwilling mediocre players to become a part of Jamaica’s player pool.It would be far better for the development of our football if Schafer, even if his hands were forced by circumstance, learns to value, respect and believe in the quality of the best of our local players. There is no doubt in my mind that as we venture into this crucial year of football, that we can get quality playing minutes from some players based right here in Jamaica.My understanding is that Schafer will be paid his overdue salaries in very short order and these are the crucial crossroads and the big decision moments in which he should earn every single dollar of that salary.
0Shares0000Manchester United legend says he watched Mbappe and Jesus with a scout during his coaching time at the clubLONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 22- Ryan Giggs says he advised Manchester United to sign Gabriel Jesus and Kylian Mbappe before they became stars and believes the club are paying the price for an inconsistent transfer policy.The United legend joined the club’s backroom staff when his stellar playing career ended in 2014, serving as Louis van Gaal’s assistant after spending a year as player-coach under David Moyes. And Giggs, who watched Brazilian striker Jesus and France forward Mbappe with a scout during that time, believes the club’s recruitment “could have been better”.“I watched Gabriel Jesus play three years ago,” he told Britain’s Times newspaper. “I watched Mbappe for a year. I was watching them with the scout and it was a no-brainer. It was just like, ‘get them’.“It would have been £5 million or something — get them, loan them back — and that’s where the recruitment could have been better.”Jesus joined Manchester City for a reported £27 million in January while Mbappe swapped Monaco for Paris Saint-Germain this summer, initially on loan but with an option to make the move permanent next summer for a fee of around £166 million.United, who trail City by 11 points in the Premier League, have spent hundreds of millions of pounds in the transfer market since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 but Giggs believes they do not have enough high-class players to compete with their neighbours.And the most decorated player in United’s history also thinks some of the players they let go should never have been allowed to leave the club.“I know what a Manchester United player looks like,” he said.“There have been a lot who have come through that haven’t been United players and also players who were United and shouldn’t have left.“I’m talking about Rafael (Da Silva), (Danny) Welbeck, Jonny Evans — players who are United through and through.“It was hard because Louis had his own ideas and you had to respect that but, yes, we had a few arguments about a couple of them.”Giggs told the Times he felt he was in with a chance of succeeding Van Gaal as United’s manager but understood the decision to go for Jose Mourinho even though he feels he could have given the club continuity.“They had fallen down the pecking order, so do they go for someone who — and it winds me up saying this — hasn’t got experience as a manager or do they go for a winner?” said Giggs.“They went for a winner, in Jose, a win-at-all-costs type of manager. Is Jose a typical Manchester United manager? Probably not, but United were in a situation of ‘how quickly can we get back to the top?’”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)