The Caribbean Championship has come and gone, with St Lucia proving that they are a nation not to be taken lightly. With the World Cup qualifiers approaching rapidly, the small island nation of the Caribbean will be looking to continue their progress and perhaps cause a few shockwaves across the footballing world.
If you missed the last post, we saw how St Lucia performed in their first set of competitive fixtures. Do go back and read it through the link below:
In this post, I look at several problems we have faced as a nation before reviewing the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Let’s get started.
World Cup Qualifiers | St Lucia to Real Madrid #3
The problems with managing a tiny, obscure nation
I haven’t been in charge of St Lucia for very long but already I have encountered a couple of problems that are making my time with St Lucia challenging (and not in a good way).
- Players retiring early
One of the biggest problems I have encountered is players retiring early. The screenshots above show 2 players who retired from football at a relatively early age. The reason for this wasn’t through injury, but it was through not finding a club, despite playing regularly for Saint Lucia.
Neither player above was a key member of the first team, but both were regular members, providing good cover for our starters. Losing them meant that we lost that depth and had to rely on our key members playing every game as our cover players were nowhere near the level required to play internationally.
- Minuscule player pool and low newgen intake
To add to this problem, the newgens coming through for Saint Lucia are next to unusable.
Over two years with St Lucia, we have had 8 players generate into the game. Of these 8 players, 4 of them are strikers and none of them have a potential ability greater than two stars. The success and longevity of my time with Saint Lucia did heavily depend on the quality of the newgens, and sadly they just haven’t been up to scratch.
World Cup Qualifiers
2nd Round – Barbados
The board expect us to reach the third round of the World Cup qualifying and we have been entered in round two, meaning that a win in this tie would appease our board.
We were drawn to play Barbados, ranked 150th in the world at the time of playing us. I expected a win here despite having lost our previous encounter back in March 2018. A 1-1 draw in the away leg set us up for victory in the second leg 2-1. Shirvone St Prix scored twice over the two legs and reaffirmed his status as a Saint Lucia cult hero.
3rd Round – Panama
Panama was a tricky tie for us with the side being ranked 109th in the world. Indeed, this proved correct after losing the first leg 2-0.
We came into the second leg knowing that we would need to outscore Panama by two goals in order to get anything from the tie. Seemingly that pressure was too much as we conceded three goals in the opening fifteen minutes. We fought back valiantly to bring the scoreline to 3-3 with 40 minutes to go. Throwing caution to the wing, we pushed forward, looking for two goals to take the tie to extra time.
In the end, Panama proved too strong as they won the game 5-4 and the tie 7-4. But we can certainly be proud of the performance of the players against a much stronger Panama outfit.
Summary – what should I do now?
Has the time come for me to move on from St Lucia? I am happy with the time I have had with St Lucia, we have performed above expectations and claimed a few scalps along the way, most notably our win against Trinidad & Tobago. But I think it is time to move one to a club – my reputation is still incredibly low and that won’t improve through managing St Lucia.
I will be searching South America for a job over the coming in-game months, meaning that the next post in this series will reveal my first club on the road towards Madrid. Which country do you think I will end up going to?
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Do you think I should leave St Lucia? Have you tried a save like this yourself? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! And be sure to follow me on Twitter as I will be posting many save updates there!
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