No Ravel, no worries!
Hall thinks Boyz possess quality midfielders to drive Gold Cup campaignWednesday, July 21, 2021
BY SEAN A WILLIAMS
ORLANDO, USA — As Jamaica's Reggae Boyz work to fix the flow of their midfield as they progress in the Concacaf Gold Cup, Assistant Coach Paul Hall believes there are capable individuals available to the team.
The Boyz coaching staff's enduring concern here remains the lack of “cohesion” and “chemistry” with the action from the middle park.
But that is not to say there aren't concerns in other areas of the field. For the sharpness in front of goal has been an area of deep concern.
Head Coach Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore still desires to see his team “connect from the back, to middle to forward”.
Hall, a former Boyz teammate of Whitmore, would agree with the head coach, but he is confident that the ability exists in the group to achieve the desired fluency.
Some football watchers argue that former Manchester United wonder kid Ravel Morrison could bring his range to the midfield, but Hall says the focus is on players who are in the 22-man squad.
Morrison was originally named in the 23-man unit, but his arrival is held up as he awaits a decision on his US visa application.
The English-born midfielder can join the group at any point of the tournament once his visa issue is resolved successfully.
“It's a 22-man squad [we have], and each man brings his own qualities to the group which is why he is here.
“I agree that the midfield needs to be better, but more importantly, we need to be better all over the park.
“It would be nice to have a Ravel Morrison to choose from, but we have a Devon Williams who has come on and done particularly well for us,” Hall told the Jamaica Observer.
The British-born coach says the coaching will have to plan with players available to them, even though he shared the view than Morrison would bring something special to the table.
“Yes, you can ask for Ravel Morrison, but there are other players here who can play in that position, other players who can add something to the baking of our cake.
“So, hopefully, we can use those players…no disrespect to anybody and Ravel is a great player, but if he is not here, we can't use him. But what we have is Devon Williams who is a fantastic close control player who can receive the ball in the middle of the park and drive us forward,” Hall said in his glowing tribute to the Miami FC midfielder.
Williams, who has helped the Boyz from the bench in their matches against Suriname and Guadeloupe, was expected to get his first start in the top-of-the-table Group C clash against Costa Rica yesterday.
And even though the team has been criticised for not delivering polished performances, it has kept course with getting, importantly, maximum three points from two games, not counting the Los Ticos fixture.
Those points have catapulted then Boyz to the quarter-finals of the biennial tournament, in keeping with their campaign goals.
“As I have said, in tournament football the most important thing to get right is the result and that is the bottom line.
“In tournament football, you can have a great performance and lose the game, so I think three points are really key.
“What you want is to get people used to achieving three points and it doesn't matter how they do it, and if you continue to get three points, then you are going to be successful,” Hall said.
He said once the team comes together and rises to the levels that its handlers have forecast, then Jamaica could be an unstoppable force.
“So, the minute that we do click into gear, then it could be a scary situation for anybody who wants to face Jamaica,” Hall ended.
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