In all due fairness to local club champions Alpha United, whose 0-1 loss to Honduran club-side, Deportivo Olimpia, in the CONCACAF Champions League on 05.08.14 at the National Stadium, Providence, Editor, in my estimation there must be an overall improvement by the locals if they are to make an impact, in their remaining home match in less than 2 weeks (19.08.14) against USA’s Portland Timbers, at the same venue.
Firstly, from an administrative perspective, the marketing of the game was extremely poor.
Wherein apart from the electronic advertisements, on radio and television stations/channels; which is very costly, since peak periods attract a higher rate than off-peak despite a 30 seconds timeframe.
However, what was most alarming is the virtual non use of the print media, comprising of the daily newspapers.
Wherein strip ads on the back page, that is normally sports oriented, definitely would have attracted more paying spectators.
In addition to pre-match write-ups, highlighting Honduras’ previous World Cup appearances including the recently concluded 20th edition, in neighbouring Brazil. How many players from the visiting cub are national players, and how many went to the World Cup? The club’s status i.e. national titles won and participation in previous CONCACAF Club Championships with the relevant successes.
Secondly, from a technical stand point, strategically with the ongoing WICB regional youth competition being played in Guyana, and the National Stadium, Providence, as a venue, automatically, the playing area at the stadium, would have a billiard like surface, meaning passes would come on faster.
As such Alpha should have resorted to training on an asphalted surface (concrete) where the ball would come on faster. And please don’t mention physical damage to joints, since perusal of an Ajax of Amsterdam, Netherlands training manual would indicate training on asphalted surface! Footwear, in terms of turf boots should have also being taken into consideration towards maintaining proper equilibrium, especially the cricket pitch area that is almost devoid of grass with descending dew!
Thirdly, from a tactical perspective a practice match against a Central American opponent, i.e. a club side from El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua or Panama!
But definitely not from within CFU, including Suriname, since the standard of play would have been unacceptable!
In the final analysis the visitors tactically and technically were ahead of Alpha United, especially with quick acceleration down the flanks; winning aerial battles; accurate passes, purposeful crosses, ball-taking/trapping and possession.
While quick adaptation to the playing surface enabled the visitors to counter-attack in numbers cohesively, and in the process, exposing gaps in the locals defence, with Alpha’s head coach admitting publicly the fundamental flaws that led to their defeat.
It’s my sincere desire for them to be corrected and a more favourable performance is displayed against Portland Timbers, who will be a tougher opponent! When it’s taken into consideration that the visitors have MLS experience!
Whether one likes it or not, putting Guyana first and Alpha second, should be foremost in one’s mind.
And please displaying the FIFA Fair Play flag is relevant, while not foregoing the announcement of both teams prior to the game’s commencement with the relevant names, numbers and positions over the Public Address System, in addition to the officiating personnel.
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