Written by dandan
Football is no longer a team game, nor in many ways is it just a squad game either, unless we are prepared to accept that all the behind the scenes experts that drive the club are squad members.
The fact is that the sports psychologist, dietician, statistician, lawyers and fitness coaches are as important to a top club and its manager as the players that wear the shirt on the pitch or warm the bench.
Many fans of course never see these guys or understand the dynamic that surrounds the word team. A new centre forward or giant goalie being far more important in the fans eyes, than the faceless entities who provide the information that any manager needs to successfully integrate the diverse individuals that are the players.
We are all aware of the clichés, like, “a successful team is more than the sum total of its parts”: Indeed it is because its reinforced by the collective expertise of the management team that runs the playing side of the club
Or, there is no ‘I’ in team, supposedly meaning that individuals have to conform to integrate, really? But then there is an M and an E in team and how different to ‘I’ is ‘ME’? Not a lot, it would suggest.
So Arsène the manager is also a team leader and a squad player, he cannot be seen to be one of the boys, but at the same time must not be so remote that he is unable to give some fatherly advice, an arm round the shoulder, or a bollocking when required. The man you see on the touchline or in front of the Sky post match cameras is just the tip of the iceberg, a professional protecting his players from the Richard Keys of this world, headline grabbing, attention seeking junkies of little talent or worth. No wonder on occasions the façade slips and reveals a little more than we are used to seeing. Of course should this happen he is immediately accused by these same nonentities of being stressed or wilting under the pressure.
It is no accident that when a manager moves he often takes these backroom boys with him, for they are as important a part of his management style as the personal skills he has honed over the years. Without them and the technical support they provide the modern manager could not operate.
So when we see players being rotated it may have nothing to do with last week’s performance or the team we are meeting. But more with the scientific information supplied by the backroom boys pointing out the necessity of such a move and the benefits to club and player.
We at Arsenal have the added benefit of having a man to control all this who is a genius at team building with a talent for picking the right staff. If you doubt this, look how often you read how national and international teams love to poach our staff, from the grounds man to the Physiotherapist
So next time you see the Emirates on TV or are lucky enough to visit, spare a moment to look around and marvel at the ambition, bloody mindedness, determination and superb management skills of Arsène Wenger the man who has made it all possible.
And maybe, just maybe you pot hunters who have no interest in the complex technicalities of running so great a club and see everything in simplistic red and white terms, will also have a new one to gloat over this year as well.