Monday, May 5, 2008

Let's get footy

A couple of soccer - I mean, football - things crossed over my Google Reader feeds today.

Speaking of Google, if you type an English Premier League team name in Google, its previous and next fixtures appear at the top of the page. However, I didn't similar results when I typed in "Los Angeles Galaxy."

And the other item gives me a chance to discuss something that I didn't discuss previously. This is an excerpt from a letter that was written to Soccerlens:

I need your help with a very difficult problem. I have made a sound decision based on my extensive knowledge of the game but it appears that most other people think I am wrong. I am disappointed to discover that in England people are allowed to disagree with me. In the past I would have had them….never mind, they’ve proved nothing!

People say my knowledge of football is lacking but I can assure you that I have followed Manchester for many years. I was surprised when I saw us play for the first time and we were wearing blue shirts and not the famous red ones, and I also found that we no longer played at Old Stratford, which was disappointing.

I made a big mistake when I chose the man to be manager of my team. I found out that a man who had been the manager of England, so he was obviously the best manager in the country, was looking for a job. I gave him a job and he has very badly let me down. Manchester is a big team and we won the Cup of Europe when Bobby Best and Dennis Charlton were the big men. With a history like that and Sven Goran Eriksson in charge I expected us to win every game and every competition.

Which begs the question, which isn't limited to Manchester City, the English Premier League, or soccer/football, but equally applies to all sports. Who should run a team?

  1. The players?

  2. The owner?

  3. The general manager?

  4. The manager/coach?
Since I seriously doubt that I will occupy any of these four positions in my lifetime, I figure that I am uniquely qualified to venture my knowledgeless opinion.

I haven't yet decided which of these options I would pick, but I know which options I wouldn't pick.

I don't think that a player should run a team. Certainly a player needs to execute at his or her best, and the player could certainly be a leader on the team, but the player has too limited a perspective to run a team. Which competitive player is going to have the perspective to admit that he or she is washed up and should be benched? Which player (remember, players are young) has the perspective to realize that a "dream team" with the wrong players could make a situation worse rather than better?

For the opposite reason, I don't think an owner should run a team. Owners by necessity have to be strategic, since they have to worry about much more than the way in which the team plays. However, the owner needs to delegate tactical management of the team to others. Yes, it's the owner's money, but even if the owner is Magic Johnson or Tommy Lasorda, the owner has other things to worry about rather than who will play the second half.

I haven't resolved the general manager/manager division of responsibilities in my brain yet, but it's probably dependent upon the people who occupy those positions.

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