I’m not one who’s much into anniversaries – just ask my long-suffering wife – but I’m told it’s a year coming up since I was appointed as coach of Sydney FC.
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.
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.
Towards the end of last year, I read an article that set out 3 reasons to quit social media in 2013. The author said:
It's tempting to agree.
I started this blog as a way of expressing my opinion respectfully and openly about the game I love. I also joined Twitter as friends said it's a good way to stay connected to so many different people. I stayed on it, even when I was appointed as coach of Sydney FC, as I thought it would be good to interact with the club's fans from time-to-time.
But I have been pretty quiet lately. Partly that's because I'm one of those 'all-consuming' type of people who gets so wound-up in what I'm doing that it's hard to find the time for the little extras such as writing a blog or replying to people. (For those of you who write via this site, I do read what you send me but I seldom find time to respond - sorry). The other reason I've been quiet is thinking about what I call the the "new player in the game". I'm referring to social media, and especially Twitter.
As I've said many times before, I don't mind if people have a different opinion or question mine. Many people do.
But I do have a question for the small group of people - who mostly hide behind fake names or no name - who hurl mistruths, abuse and personal insults at me, some of the staff and the players. Are you really real football fans?
The campaign for #FarinaOut, the uninformed and inaccurate speculation about injuries, the constant hectoring about drinking - you need to know that they're water off a duck's back.
A real football fan follows their team through thick and thin. A real football fan, when faced with 1 win & 3 losses for the start of the season, is asking what they can do to help get the team on track. A real football fan doesn't write an expletive laden message about not going to the game on the weekend, but realises this is the time more than ever that they're needed at home against their biggest traditional rival.
I know this because I've done nothing else except work in football since I was 17. I've seen and met real football fans in Australia and all over the world.
A real football fan has their team's back. That's what makes a great club and, in the Australian context, that's what will be the next big step in the development of the game in our country.
I can promise you that there's not one player and not one member of the coaching staff who isn't striving week-in, week-out.
Sydney till you die?
Terrific. Prove it.
The Big Blue in support of Beyond Blue is on this Saturday at Allianz Stadium against Melbourne Victory. Kick-off is at 7.45pm. See you there - in full sky blue-blooded support to prove that #SydneyIsSkyBlue.
Note from Frank
It's a game of opinions and I've always thought everyone's entitled to theirs.