The reality is Barbados senior men’s team were outfought and outworked in addition to other contributing factors and these factors led to them being trounced 8-1 against Bermuda in the Concacaf Gold Cup Qualifiers, says head coach Russell Latapy.
Speaking today during a virtual press conference via Zoom, Latapy once again took full responsibility for one of the worse thrashings in Barbados’ football history. He attributed this poor result to improper travel arrangements where the team arrived in Florida in different groups, a lack of pre-game training time and weather conditions which affected the available training time..
“Like I said before, very unexpected results happened against Bermuda and I think there were a few things that I can also give my view on that contributed to these results.
“Things that I believe I had no control over, again I have to say it loud and clear that I take full responsibility, it is my job to take responsibility for whatever results we have on the field and I would protect the players to the end,” Latapy said.
The former Trinidad and Tobago midfield star noted that in the face of criticism he was happy with his team selection. He was also not surprised that many past national players were calling for his resignation.
“It is understandable for people who have invested and have an interest in football and the football family are hurt by the result. So, we understand that and they have that view and we have to respect that view.
“What we would say to these people is that – like I have said from the time that I have got here – we need the whole football family to work together for us to achieve success. So, we understand the criticism and we still say that along with the criticism, if you can come and support us as well to become better, we would also appreciate that,” Latapy explained.
“Obviously when you lose the game it is easy to point the finger at individual performances. What I tried to do in my time here is build a team that works together, so I obviously would talk to a group of individual players about their performances but I think it is incorrect to come on this format after a loss and talk about individual players and players who were selected.
“I think it is my job and my responsibility to pick a team based on what I have seen on the training ground and I have tried to do that to the best of my ability. There is no doubt that opinions vary and at times it appears to people that some players should be on the squad. I am not always going to get it right but again all my selection processes are done on the football pitch,” he added.
When asked whether he saw this 8-1 result as a warning sign that local football has a problem, or if he saw it as a case of Brazil versus Germany in 2014 when the South American heavyweights were unexpectedly thrashed 7-1 in the World Cup, Latapy stated he believed it was both.
“I would say maybe it is a bit of both. Whenever we lose a game in that way, we definitely have to look at ourselves and we know that there are improvements that we have to make and things we have to get right or cannot get that wrong I should say in this case. He described this recent performance by the Bajan Tridents as uncharacteristic.
“When I look at the games that we played before, it was really uncharacteristic of how we played this game and what we try to call our identity and how we play this game, our philosophy. This was very different from who we are, so yes, we are going to get deeper into it and try to make changes to ensure results like this don’t come our way again.
“I also think it just wasn’t the way we played, there were just too many things that went wrong for me. We have very clear ideas on how we want to get the ball back from the opponents, where we want to force the ball into corners and how we put pressure on that ball and none of these things we did really well in the game,” he said.
Latapy noted that as a team Barbados Tridents have gelled really well and that was inclusive of the overseas-based players.
“I would like to say that one good game doesn’t make you a good team and one bad game doesn’t make you a bad team. I think that in terms of our use of these players in the past, we have had no complaints, we have been given a lot of credit in the past for the way that we have done things.
“I think unfortunately when you get a result like this everything comes to the surface that a lot of people who are out there just waiting for something to happen to comment about it. But again, that is the business that we are in. Again, what I can say based on past experiences and we take this game away, we have gelled really well as a team, we have integrated the foreign players in a really good way. There haven’t been any complaints from anyone in the past in relation to how that went, so I think that is an unfair criticism based on one game,” Latapy stressed.
Looking ahead the national head coach said: “Over the coming weeks, we would have a more in-depth analysis of everything that happened that contributed to this result and obviously we will try to improve on these things and make them better so we can keep moving forward.”