The recent local elections have coincided with the end of the football season. There are interesting parallels to be drawn, as success in one is similar to success in the other.
The formula is as follows:
· Charismatic manager
· Good players
· Clear strategy
· Game plan
Taking the manager first, five things are critical:
Does he/she have sufficient charisma?
DC: Yes. NC: Did. EM: No. NF: Yes
Is this sufficient to appeal to a wide base?
DC: Yes-ish. NC: No. EM: No. NF: No-ish
Can he/she control the dressing room?
DC: Just. NC: Yes-ish. EM: Yes. NF: Yes
Is there a clear, attractive message?
DC: No. NC: No. EM: Yes. NF: Yes
Can he/she be considered a potential Prime Minister?
DC: Yes. NC: No. EM: Poss. NF: No
Now to the question of players.
Cons: some on form at the top but an ageing Southern based squad
Lib Dem: good in local leagues. Own goals a problem. No strength on the bench
Labour: some proven scorers but Northern based and lack style/bezazz
Cons: well backed but lost key sponsor
Lib Dem: underfunded
Labour: well backed but currently over-reliant on Union United
UKIP: big backers could follow
What does all this show and how might this affect game plans?
Traditional strategies have been to assume that, because the goal is in the centre that is the place to be, with attacks often starting down one of the two wings. How is this currently being played out?
Cons: emphasis on indecisive right winger moving inside too
Lib Dem: a lot of dribbling, mainly in the centre of the park
Labour: emphasis on left winger moving inside too much, accompanied by traditional long heavy hoof upfield from the back. Lacking in panache ( cf TB and his Cool Britannia approach)
UKIP: decent wing play but haven’t yet found the net.
As can be seen, no side currently uses both wingers, making for an over-predictable game that is too easy to read, and bored ( younger) spectators.
Conclusions and recommendations:
No current side has the successful formula. Their tactics are either bogged down in the middle or are too predictable in terms of wing play. The aforementioned TB was the last to have the magic combination, possessing all the necessary managerial characteristics and playing successfully from both wings. If DC and his side are to survive another season he might do well to play a crowd pleasing combination of right and left wingers, but needs to be more careful in their selection. It is probable that he has left this too late as things stand, and a sell-out of Lib Dem Wanderers to Labour City looks almost certain.
The interesting one on the subs bench is obviously BJ, who has the egregious knack of being right and left simultaneously. He has all the essentials in place and may be the Special One. How long before the owners of Conservative United look to change their manager?