In a world where people increasingly demand constant success and instant results, I know for some fans it’s been a disappointing year. Unless we’re playing like Barcelona or have the undefeated streak of Bayern Munich, we’re a failure in the eyes of some.
But as I’ve tried to explain in earlier posts on this blog, there’s lots of balls to juggle when managing a football team.
- Who’s in the squad?
- How long is their contract for?
- What sort of physical shape are they in?
- Where do we have ‘holes’?
- What can we afford within the salary cap?
- What system do we want to play?
- What game plan do we need to counter each opponent, as they’re all different?
- What are the other requirements outside the team environment – such as reporting to the Board, attending events or functions, talking to media, keeping in touch with fans and so forth.
One of the things I keep reading or hearing lately is that Sydney FC has been “lucky”. I don’t agree. My view is you make your luck in a 90-minute game of football.
If you’ve got three things going for you, sooner rather than later, so-called ‘luck’ will fall your way. These three things are talent, effort and desire.
It’s taken as a given that we’ve got the first – talent. If a player didn’t have talent, they wouldn’t be in the squad. But what we also look for is those with a strong work ethic, who keep working as hard in the 92nd minute as they do in the 2nd, and for the hunger to win and to put the team in the best position possible at every opportunity.
Generally speaking, when a team loses 4-0 or more and heads go down early – as happened to us not long ago – they don’t have one or both of ‘effort’ and ‘desire’. It tells us where we need to focus our work. It’s also where a senior player can really add value in training and on the park on match day, helping younger players and pushing them along.
So while commentators might say Sydney FC was “lucky” to win the last three games, I would say we made our luck because we had these three things going for us for the full 90 minutes. And that’s happened because we’ve been working on it - in the sessions on the park, our twice-weekly video analysis, team talks and other activities.
Long may it continue! :)
Hope to see you this Saturday at Allianz Stadium for what should be a cracker of a game against the in-form Newcastle Jets. Kick-off is 7.45pm.
By the way, thanks to all for your comments on the previous blog. I haven’t had a chance to sit down and read them all but will do so when I can.
P.S. Thought I'd throw in some entertainment from the late 1980s also. This was a hit when I left Australia to play for Club Brugge! Makes me feel old.