If Jamaica Football Federation President Captain Horace Burrell sticks with his current trend then Luciano Gama, coach of Jamaica’s Under-20 squad, might be heading back to Brazil shortly after they arrived home Thursday night. Following the debacle of the Caribbean Football Union Caribbean Cup where Jamaica, the two-time defending champions, failed to win a game and were bounced from the competition Captain Burrell fired Technical Director Walter Gama and goalkeeping coach Armando Bracali.
According to a newspaper report on the firing; “Following a review conducted by the JFF Technical and Development Committee into the Reggae Boyz’s wretched performance at the recent CFU Caribbean Championship, it was found that Gama “lacked proactive leadership”, while Bracali was deemed to have “not shown enough teeth” in the execution of his duties. “We have decided to terminate the employment of both gentlemen following recommendations of the Technical Committee arising out of a review of the below-par performance of the team at the Caribbean Cup,” Burrell said.”
After another wretched performance at the Under-20 qualifiers, will we be getting a similar reaction?
The national Under-20 squad left Jamaica with high hopes of qualifying for the World Cup in Turkey later this year. Things started brightly enough with an impressive 4-1 over Puerto Rico but from there everything went downhill – fast. The young Reggae Boyz were on the wrong end of a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Panama and then were humiliated by the home team by a similar scoreline. After the drubbing by Panama, an international coach asked me who was the coach of the Jamaican team. When I told him he remarked “This guy is out of his element.” I asked him why he made that call to which he responded. “He looked like he had no idea on what tactical adjustments to make. That game should never have ended 4-0. Jamaica played poorly,” he said.”The team has no real concept on how to play at a high level. For example, the supporting angles, distances made it impossible to pass. The team could not make a pass. It was shocking!”
These comments came from a highly qualified coach whose judgement I respect highly but I still went out and got a second opinion. Not surprisingly, there was consensus among both that Jamaica’ U-20 team, a team that included members of last year’s U-17 World Cup team, was tested and found tactically wanting.
Now, I don’t know if the tactical deficiencies were solely because of the coaching but when a team makes adjustments and they make no impact on what the opposing team is doing then something is very wrong. I suppose a review of the team’s performance will be done by the JFF Technical Committee and their findings put into a report that Captain Burrell will use to make a decision on the fate of Gama and perhaps Alfredo Montesso. As of right now there seems to be only one option left for the JFF President to do, and that is start from scratch and that means a new approach and a new coach.
That could well mean the end of the line for at least one of the two remaining Brazilians.