Boyz's World Cup dream still attainable
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Given Jamaica's shaky start to the CONCACAF semi-final round of World Cup Qualifiers, coupled with some off-field issues, I remain optimistic that the Reggae Boyz can mount a formidable challenge and ultimately qualify for Russia in 2018.
To achieve this, however, there has to be a concerted effort by all stakeholders - players, management and technical staff - to remain focused and unified. Over the years, there appears to be a disconnect between the performances of the team and the dream to which they, and all of us, aspire. As with any team sport, teamwork makes the dream work, and since 1998, this dream of returning to the world stage has remained just that. This has to change.
Whatever happened to the high levels of passion, courage, enthusiasm, pride, determination, will to win and never-give-up attitude that have been associated with wearing the black, green and gold jersey in years gone by? Are they not motivated enough to relish the lifetime opportunity of being among the top 32 football nations on earth while sharing the stage and matching skills with some of the world's best players?
Think about the financial incentives to be derived and the ability to market themselves to prospective agents for top clubs in the major leagues around the world. For the remainder of the campaign, the modus operandi has to be to win all home games and avoid defeat away. This is easier said than done.
There are some concerns that must be highlighted. Any off-field issues must be resolved ASAP so that their mental preparation for the task at hand is not negatively affected. The ability of a lot of players to maintain a high level of fitness for 90 minutes is a deficiency which must be addressed urgently, especially when we face Central American opposition. The team needs to score goals.
They must be dynamic in attack and alter their style of play in creating goalscoring opportunities and positioning themselves to convert same. Our forwards and attacking midfielders must have an eye for goal, displaying that awareness, sharpness, speed and strength to hold up the ball for their teammates in support.
Russia wi seh!