By Neto Baptiste
Former national striker, Conrad “Boast” Whyte, has harshly criticised the level of play by the country’s senior men’s national team during their 3-0 loss to El Salvador in their crucial Group A World Cup Qualifier on Tuesday.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Whyte — who is currently an assistant coach at the Merrimack College in Boston, Massachusetts — credited the team for its defensive play but said they lacked creativity in attack.
“They looked really solid defensively in terms of structure; they looked like they worked on that all week, but at the same time, you know you’re going there to win a game so you can’t draw, you can’t lose so you have to win. So, in the absence of film, and I don’t know if they got film on the team so I will leave that here, but the first 10 to 15 minutes is all I need to figure out what they are doing as a coach and then my in-game coaching starts,” he said.
The former striker, who won several national scoring titles with the successful Empire Football Club in the mid-90s and early 2000s, believes there should be more input coming from the assistant coach whose job, he added, is to challenge the head coach in such a way as to ensure his decisions are the right ones.
“The first assistant, whoever he is or she is, has to be a voice of reason for the head coach and that first assistant must have the cache, he has to have the respect of the head coach where he can disagree with the head coach because you cannot be a yes man as a first assistant because you are doomed to fail,” Whyte said.
“What you have to be as a first assistant is knowledgeable, have the respect of the head coach, show that you and him can butt heads in private, in the office where there are no players. I am a first assistant at Merrimack College and my boss and I fight all the time if I think what he is planning to do doesn’t make sense. There is no way as a first assistant anybody can convince me that I would have gone ahead to that place with that plan,” he added.
Needing a victory in order to advance to the next round, the Benna Boys gave up goals in minutes 40, 68 and 85 to end their Group A campaign on seven points and third in the standings.