Sport

Mariappa views French whipping as wake-up call

Tuesday, June 10, 2014    

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Reggae Boyz central defender Adrian Mariappa admits that the team has a lot of work to do after they were struck by a bout of reality on Sunday when they were given a French lesson at the Pierre Mauroy stadium.

The 8-0 whipping by the 1998 World Cup champions indicated that Jamaica's Reggae Boyz are still some distance off the highest standard of international football.

"We know we've got a lot of work to do. We are trying to build a team going forward and we've got a lot of campaigns coming up. We are by no stretch (of the imagination) the finished article, so it is good to test ourselves to see where we are. Unfortunately you have an off day coming here and you get embarrassed, so that's what happened, so we've got a lot of work to do.

"We look at every performance and every team we've played is different. This standard of team is a lot higher than the three teams that we have played and that showed, but you don't want to take away the good things from the last three games, but at the end of the day, you can't have an off day," he told the Jamaica Observer.

The 27-year-old described Jamaica's lacklustre performance and result against the World Cup-bound team as painful, while also highlighting their burdensome schedule, which began in New Jersey against Serbia on May 26.

"It was difficult, but I thought we made it more difficult for ourselves, which is more the disappointing thing. We didn't show up today (Sunday) and if you're one per cent off your game against a team such as France, then you get punished and we definitely got that.

"Maybe a few of the players we feeling little things... yeah it is a lot of games to play definitely in a short space of time and we haven't actually rotated the team as much as probably they have. We need everyone a hundred per cent at it on the pitch as we can't afford to carry (just) anyone when you are playing world class teams," the Crystal Palace defender offered, even as he tried to come to terms with the reality of it all.

He added: "We know that it is not the performance level that we have been playing at and we are not going to make excuses, but we just know that at the end of the day it is not good enough, so we'll have a look at ourselves and have a look at the game and see where we can improve and where we will have to work."

The former Watford player, who accepted his first call-up to Jamaica's senior team in 2012, was impressed with the ability of Champions League winning striker, Karim Benzema. "Benzema's finishing, that alone... you give him half-a-yard anywhere near the box and the ball is in the top corner, that's the standard of players we were playing against.

"They've got top players playing in the best teams all around the world and at the end of the day, that's what we aspire to be and you want to compete against those teams, but we didn't give ourselves a chance and when you do that you've got no hope of competing," he concluded.

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