By James Louis-Charles
Here’s an analysis of the bitter disappointment of the Grenadiers’ home loss against Jamaica.
In my analysis of the Costa Rica match, I justify giving the coach a grade of C because I thought the team was way too defensive. In this match against Jamaica, Haiti played its usual 4:2:3:1 and was a bit more offensive. The coach also made a few crucial changes to the starting lineup by inserting Sony Norde, Jeff Louis and Soni Mustivar who are more offensive players. Those changes made for a more attacking team for us, with more shots on goal even, but unfortunately Haiti came up short.
Playing against a Jamaican team that was missing a few important players, we should have found a way to win this game. While I would have rather we played more of a basic 4:4:2, the reality of it is this is a Haiti team that is extremely limited in terms of its capacity to score. I will mention more on this later but there is simply not much the coach can do at this point. We are not at the level of the elites in the region yet.
Goalie: C –
After the Costa Rica game, I said that Placide couldn’t afford to make any mistakes, no matter how small or big, on a team like ours because we just don’t have the mean to overcome those mistakes. Unfortunately that is exactly what happened last night.
I continue to be amazed as to how a player with so much skill and talent continues to have lapses of judgement and concentration at the most inopportune moment for us on the field. While an argument can be made that Placide was impeded by the Jamaican player on the corner that led to their goal, a player in a game simply doesn’t give up on a crucial play because he thinks he is right. Would he have given up on the play if he thought the player was offside too and it turns out he wasn’t? Given our history of being in the wrong end of poor officiating in the CONCACAF, you can’t rely on the referee to make such decisions…period!!
As mentioned before, Haiti was a little bit more offensive than in the Costa Rica match. Understandably, as we were pushing our line forward more, there was a lot more holes on our defense on our defense. Still, I thought we could have done better on defense and were fortunate to not have conceded another goal in the 2nd half had it not been for the save of the Century by Placide on a point blank shot that should have ended up in the back of the net.
I have to admit that the insertion of Sony Norde, Soni Mustivar, and Jeff Louis, along with Hillaire who surprised us by playing in the game, considering he looked very injured against Costa Rica, provided us with a more offensive game. We had a lot more shot on goal in this game than in our previous one last week, as we needed to win this game. Still, we lacked imaginations and different options in the attacking third and this is reaching crisis point.
Forward: C –
Nazon as the lone striker being supported by Louis and Norde wasn’t a bad combination. We created the better of chances in the first half and were unlucky to not take the lead at the half. But to be fair, we never really tested the Jamaican goalie, who I am sure is their third stringer as he was not the one that started in the GC this past summer, nor was he the one that played against Panama last week. These two were known for their blunders and yet we never really tested this one. We gifted them a goal and all they had to do was seat back and enjoy our inability to really threaten them with our offense.
What to expect moving forward?
I can hear the voices getting louder asking to fire the coach Marc Collat after another loss to our regional rival. If the assumption is that a change in coach will solve our lack of scoring, then we really haven’t analyzed why we can’t score enough. The reality continues to be that we don’t have any scorers on the team, and I am not so sure that is something another coach can correct with only a new approach.
A good team has enough scorers on the field that they give you the impression they can get a goal from anyone at any positions, including probably the goalie. Teams like Costa Rica, Mexico and yes even the U.S. in our region that is CONCACAF, don’t only rely on 2 or 3 players for goals like we do. They don’t need a Golden Boot candidate either to be a threat, but they need 5 to 7 or more players on the field at the same time who can all be a threat to score. Therefore, if Bazile is the savior that everyone is waiting for, we don’t need just a Bazile, but maybe we need at least 4 Baziles.
We don’t even have anyone on the national team who is scoring consistently for his club team. If we have a player who is supposedly an attacking midfielder who is unable to shoot on target much less score, asking 3 more midfielders and 2 outside backs who can’t shoot either to flood their penalty area when we are attacking is not going to solve the problem. In fact, it will have the opposite effect, as it will leave huge holes on our defense for the opposition to take advantage.
So, it is my belief that changing coach is not the answer, as we simply don’t have the team at the moment to compete against the bests in the region. If however there was a time to go in a different direction and try something new, then now obviously would be a good time to do that as we haven’t been eliminated yet and we can still try to salvage our dream of making it to the WCQ 2016. We have a one game playoff against T&T coming up in January for the rights to go to the Copa America Centennial next year, and we can also use it as a one game audition for whomever we think deserves the job.