Analysis Opinion Insight

Friday, August 13, 2010

How do you dig a Tunnel ?

As mentioned in our previous blog, this new season is “new” in more ways than just the chronology. Going by the changes, it seems that the Premier League has embraced F1 style methods of making the competition more level-fielded, more open and there by more entertaining. Not that it was any less entertaining but the changes do seem for the better. So we have the Citys, the Spurs, and et all, putting their thinking caps on and devising ways and means to make this league a many-horse race than the traditional four- horse race it has been. There are many areas that teams can think of, each peculiar and specific to their own. Yours truly seeks to answer one that is common to all.

One question often asked in corporate circles is “What’s more significant to a company’s performance, Bottom-up actions/implementations or Top-down decisions/strategies?” Any professionally managed Football club is not averse to this intrigue. And like a corporate body, a football club has lots of clearly defined roles like the CEO, the media manager, the Admin team, the PR team and the likes, with each contributing either bottom-up or top-down. However, for the sake of precision, this write-up considers the importance of the players’ contribution vis-à-vis the importance of the Manager’s role.

Although the role of a manager of a football team is obvious and universal, there are few points worth considering that are beyond obvious. To begin with, any team’s fortunes depend, to a considerable extent, on the respect that its manger commands among the inner circles of the footballing fraternity. A lot depends on him to negotiate for the right schedule. You don’t want your team to play a crucial European fixture within a short while of playing a big team in the league. Depending on the way you look at it, it might come as a privilege or as a partial treatment. But some teams always get the right fixtures while the less fortunate complain. While this does not take away any credit from the team’s ability, it certainly gives them that extra advantage. Then we have the manager’s ability to handle how his team is treated on the pitch. We have seen time and again how some managers always get to make the right observations about referee’s decisions and get away with it while others get banned from the dugout for making relatively mundane comments about the errors those men in black commit. This keeps the pitiable souls on their toes and they will be extra cautious before wielding that casual card or giving the ball away to the opposition in dangerous areas. Also it is exactly this strong personality of the manager that helps him to keep that high profile, fast-car-driving, club-hopping, millionaire kids under his control. And any club that has such an intense manager should be lucky and its fans, proud.

In a corporate environment, without execution, all the planning and drawing board blue prints will remain just that. The same way, all the preparation and strategy will go for a toss if the players do not perform on the field. That, in a nut shell ,is the importance of players. You can have the best of the manager, with all the afore mentioned qualities. You can have the best of the training facilities in a scenic English country side. And all the best of the human and material resources. But none of which can perform on the field. The players, Demi-gods to fans, are the ones that go out there and assume the role of foot soldiers and win the battle for you. Now that’s like stating the obvious. Look beyond it and you will find certain qualities that separate the men from the boys. It’s easy to be hungry when you haven’t eaten for hours. Its easy to be motivated to win a trophy when you haven’t won a trophy for 34 years. But to go out there and be motivated to win a trophy within weeks of winning your previous one underscores the importance of the role, the players have to play. And that’s just a part of the challenge. You overcome all the adulation of playing for a big club.You overcome all the glory of winning every trophy that you possibly can. But alas! You’re not done yet. You have your own stardom to deal with. And you play like you’ve won nothing with all the hunger for more. That’s the importance of players.

So be it the manager or the players, both contribute for the success of a club (remember, for the sake of precision, this write up is only about these two aspects). So who contributes more? That brings us to the question, How do you dig a tunnel? If you want to dig a tunnel from Point A to Point B, you don’t dig a tunnel from Point A to Point B. You start digging from both Point A and Point B and make them meet somewhere in the middle. So Top-down or Bottom-up, they matter equally enough.

Smart Alec says “ Chicharito drilled it between the legs of Casillas !!

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