'I think we played way below our standard,' says WaiteSunday, June 13, 2021
By Sean A Williams
TOKYO, Japan — Reggae Boyz Assistant Coach Jerome Waite hit the proverbial nail on the head.
He was blunt in his assessment of Jamaica's wretched 4-0 loss to Japan Under-24s in friendly international at Toyota Stadium in Aichi on Saturday, because not even the most prolific public relations machine could find a positive spin for this one.
On target for the victors were wonder kid Takefusa Kubo (32nd minute), Wataru Endo (42nd), Ayase Ueda (57th) and midfielder Ritsu Doan (63rd).
The scoreline tells part of the story, but the horrible performance completes the ghastly picture in a rendition that left the Boyz head hung in shame.
As Waite puts it, the Jamaicans were outdone completely in every facet of the football field.
“The game was not anything that we expected. I think we played way below our standard but must give credit to Japan because they defeated us in all aspects — physically, technically, and tactically.
“This team is a well-oiled machine and they have been together, based on information, for the last four to five years, and as you know they are preparing for the Olympic Games in another three weeks, and they are really looking good,” said the former Arnett Gardens tactician.
Waite, who was marshalling the bombarded troops from the touchline in the absence of Head Coach Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore, who was unwell with a stomach condition, said Saturday's match will go down in Jamaica's football infamy.
“You would love to do well in all games at all times, but this is certainly one of our low point games. I think we can narrow it (the performance) to a lack of discipline, concentration and being able to apply yourself and following instruction right throughout the period,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
Still searching for more reasons for the below-par delivery, Waite offered that the disconnect between key links on the pitch could be owed to insufficient time playing together as a unit.
“It's still a work in progress, and we are hoping that these players can gel…these players are still learning to play with each other, and you could see that they were still trying to figure out how each other plays,” said Waite, struggling to make sense of the debacle.
He reasoned further that the team that faced the Japanese Olympic squad went through a major shake-up to allow that all players got a taste of action on the tour.
“If you noticed, it was not the team that played in the first game, because we as a coaching staff saw it fit that everyone should get an opportunity once they made the trip here and we did just that. So, it was a different team compared to the team from the first game.”
In the first match of the two-game tour, the Jamaicans featuring its front-line veterans and few newcomers from England, gave a solid 1-1 show against Serbia at Miki Athletic Stadium in Kobe on Monday.
Waite, who belongs to a club of Jamaican coaches with the distinction of winning titles at the schoolboy and Premier League levels, says his team may have lost their spirit after the opening goal.
As the Boyz were regrouping from a water beak, the Japanese had a quick restart that caught the visitors off guard, and before you know it, the ball was in the back of the net.
“At the 30-minute break when the teams were asked to get some water, and they were asked to resume, some of our players were still not ready, and because of that, we gave up a goal.
“In a sense, that situation broke the rhythm as up to the 30th minute, they were still in the game.
“But what needs to be clear, is that most of these players are professionals, therefore, they need to act in that manner and should not let any negative in a part of the game create problems for the rest of it,” Waite asserted.
He admitted that the absence of Whitmore from the dugout could have impacted affairs.
“It (Whitmore's absence) was a factor because they (players) really feed off his energy, but at the same time, what players need to understand is that the same level of respect that is given to the head coach, must be given to the rest of the coaching staff…and that wasn't there to an extent,” Waite concluded.
The two fixtures in Japan were used as final prep matches as the Boyz look to the Concacaf Gold Cup and the World Cup qualifiers due later this summer.
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