Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Yorke Is Leading the Trinidad Party Line

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Yorke Is Leading the Trinidad Party Line

Article excerpt


ALWAYS respect an old champion. Put two old champions in harness and be very wary.

On a bone-chilling night at Loftus Road, we were given a glimpse of how the partnership of a moody, ciggie-smoking, white haired Dutchman and the smiley, Aussie-based former playboy of the western world may yet give England a headache at this summer's World Cup.

Built on the admirable enterprise and organisation instilled by a world-class coach Leo Beenhakker and executed by the enduring class of their captain Dwight Yorke, Trinidad and Tobago delivered a workmanlike 2-0 win over Iceland which, even if unlikely to petrify Sven and co, at least offered the reality check that they'll be far from the pushovers they've been painted.

For if this was what it was like on a bitter February night in Shepherd's Bush with Yorke's inspiration and his fellow Soca Warriors' perspiration being roared on by 10,000 flag wavers and drum bangers, you could imagine what an uncomfortable night it could be once this passion was magnified and transported to a summer's evening in Nuremburg.

Because by then, warned Beenhakker, his Trinidad side will be unrecognisable. The wily 64-year-old has only ever had the chance to work with his far flung squad for three days at a time and hasn't seen them at all together since they qualified three months ago.

"So how good might they be when I've chance to get them together for four weeks before the finals. I'm excited," enthused Beenhakker, actually looking as excited as a weary, sixties rock star.

Yet, from last night's evidence - even if Eidur Gudjohnsen was too preoccupied with faraway thoughts of Barcelona or Ballack to inspire his Icelanders much beyond toothlessness - Beenhakker may be creating a team who could make 15 June for England feel like a nervy FA Cup afternoon against terrier-like lower division opposition which Premiership clubs hate. …

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