The Fault in Football

One of the reasons for loving football is for the perpetual scenarios it brings up.

Take for example what happens when a team is not doing well. More often than not, observers will mention how it is the players’ fault. Take the Wolves situation. Jamie O’Hara wheeled out the acknowledgement that it was the players who put in the poor performances that led to Mick McCarthy getting sacked. We are meant to join in the chorus of sympathy.

I’m not buying it.

The fault lies with the manager for a good reason – the performance of the team is his responsibility. He is given the task to put out the best team capable of getting results. In McCarthy’s case, sad though it is to lose a job, he’s had five and a half years at the club. That’s a good stint. Long enough to build your own team. Long enough to get them playing to theor optimum so that new signomgs join a settled routine that’s understood by the core of the playing staff. It is often a sign that you’ve been there too long when motivational ploys become predictable and decrease in effectiveness. That’s why change and renewal are good things in football.

Even the case of Sir Alex Ferguson at United follows the same principle. New coaches enable him to refresh and renew the team constantly, so that they can consistently challenge for trophies.

It is that lack of renewal that has caused the problems at Arsenal. To suggest Wenger has earned the right to turn things around, blinds people to the obvious need for the club to accept the time has come for change.

This is where Villas-Boas at Chelsea offers hope if indeed Roman’s commitment to him is worth the substantial funds he invested in him. In his first season critics have been swift to point out how bad things are in terms of performances and especially player unrest. Alluding to his youth and inexperience the cynics are counting down the days before AVB goes the way of his numerous predecessors. Yet here is the very example of the kind of change and renewal a club needs especially when it comes to management.



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