As the 2013/14 Barclays Premiership Football season draws to a close with three / two games to go, time for my reflections on some twists and turns on probably the most exciting end of the competition in recent years:
1. Stepping into a legacy isn’t what it seems
At the time of writing this post, rumours are swirling on social media that David Moyes will be sacked or leaves Manchester United by mutual consent [28/04/14 Moyes sacked, Ryan Giggs interim manager]. Regardless of the outcome, this has been a torrid season for Moyes. A team that won the title by 11 points last year, now sits in seventh place, without a trophy and out of the Champions League competition since 1995. The forensic analysis on the team’s disappointing season will rage for some time and perhaps, the repercussions even more so.
2. Wanted – extra squad members for strength and depth
Arsenal taught harsh lessons this season. Relying on a lone striker is a massive risk. No extra pace in the squad carries risk. Lack of squad members carries risk. Surely, Wenger and the board must recognise buying one or two players. Look at other squads this season with their depth.
I believe Wenger can’t afford to rely on supporters patience for much longer, but that’s if he stays one more season.
3. Attack, attack, attack or park the bus?
Liverpool produce attacking football this season, whilst Chelsea defend for 90mins instead. Whatever the tactics, it ensures that these two will finish in the top 3.
4. Manager misery merry go around doesn’t stop
Tottenham Hotspur FC sits top of my list for this category. Coach Tim Sherwood unhappy other managers are openly touting for his job whilst one year is left on his deal. Surely there are ways to manage this better, in an open and transparent manner?
Norwich fired Chris Hughton with five games to go. Someone hit the panic button but, the back up plan wasn’t evident and now, the team fight relegation.
The flip side is that Gary Monk managed to keep Swansea’s head above the water after Michael Laudrap sacking.
5. Club owners know best?
Cardiff City are in the bottom three. If Cardiff are relegated (which will be a shame), the blame game starts and it’s likely one person’s name will sit top of the list.
6. Reputation matters
Someone asked me why I didn’t comment on Nicholas Anelka, West Brom and the quenelle situation. I struggled to answer his question. Part of me wondered why in the beginning why the club lacked leadership when it mattered.
Another part wasn’t surprised by the behaviour shown by the player.
Integrity, objectivity and crucially accountability. Important values when it comes to managing issues that affect reputation. Football clubs take note.
The Football Premiership season finishes on 11 May 2014.