By James Louis-Charles
For as much as I was critical of the coach Collat in the first game, I thought he redeemed himself a little in this game. Part of the reason why I was so critical of him in the first game is the fact that I thought Haiti was way too defensive against Panama. The game changed for Haiti after putting in Nazon who is clearly the better forward, and who wouldn’t have gone in had Belfort not get injured. The first half of this game against the U.S. was a piece of art. Had mostly Guerrier been on target, we could have gone in 2-0 at least in the first half. The good thing with Guerrier is that he is indeed true to his Warrior name (Guerrier means Warrior in French). The sad part however is that he is a warrior who gives his best but who is not a great shooter.
Guerrier needs to work on curving the ball on the run to the far post instead of going for power all the time. So, while I wasn’t in agreement with Collat’s decision in the first half to not start Jeff Louis, Haiti’s best attacking midfielder, I have to give him major props because it worked. Had it not, everyone would have been asking for his head. The limitations of Collat and this group of players are obvious for everyone to see. Haiti only has one formation which is a 4:2:3:1. It is a perfect formation for Haiti considering we are loaded with attacking midfielders but not enough forwards.
When you consider the problems Haiti has in scoring however, having one forward in a formation is not enough to get us a win against a good team. We need to be able to switch to a 4:4:2 or even to a 4:3:3 when it is needed, and we seem to be unable to do that right now because we don’t have the right personnel to do so. When the other team bunkers down like the U.S. did against us last night in the last 10 minutes, we couldn’t create as many good chances like we did in the first half. In other words, if Haiti is losing don’t expect us to win the game, with this formation. The best we are going to get is a tie like we did against Panama.
The great thing is that Haiti can play with the best in the world, which we all knew even though it might have been a surprise for some. If we could find another striker, or if Herve Bazile ever decides to play for Haiti, we could be a serious threat in CONCACAF. Right now, Haiti should be able to make it to the final rounds of WCQ for the region with this team. If and when the day comes we have the right personnel to change to different formations at will considering our opponent, then we can judge the coach properly. This day is not today. Still though, we may be getting some R.E.S.P.E.C.T for surprising people, the most important thing that counts is a win.