The Teams That Train Together, Prosper Together?

Whilst catching up on my Twitter timeline this morning I came across a very interesting conversation between Tantallon Victoria and Victoria Croftfoot who both ply their trade in the SSMAFL. The discussion began with the much talked about struggle for clubs and how we can all survive in the game. Both clubs were in agreement that changes must be made and between them both they came up with the utterly brilliant idea of teams sharing pitches which are used as training facilities. With so many teams struggling to get decent numbers at training and the outrageous rise and rise of booking costs this idea could be the difference between surviving and folding.

My take on it would be that if two teams got together and agreed a training night or nights, then they could take a booking for half of a park or a third of a park and train together on it. You would double your training numbers, double your intake of funds and probably most importantly double the number of coaches. Drills and sessions could be planned with a good bit of structure between both clubs and you would know you were going to have guaranteed good numbers to put together a really quality session.

So for example if Tantallon Vics had 17 coming to the session and Victoria Croftfoot had only 9 for a Wednesday session it would mean 26 players on half a park with a handful of coaches. If each player payed £5 to train, then that’s £130 to play with for your booking. You could have a half pitch for an hour and a half. If both teams have their maximum numbers for training then even better. Funds will increase and can be kept aside for future weeks and  could possibly be used for  increasing your training time or adding an extra night into your week. It would also be good to add a competitive edge to your training with a short training match at the end of your session between both clubs.

There are so many benefits in doing this and so many different things you can do with your training session. Teams don’t have to look at it as a merger or be too proud to ask the question to other clubs. We all need to do what is best for our clubs to keep them alive. Credit to both teams for having the foresight to think of this.

There are certain areas all over the country that are heavily populated with teams. Surely this idea is a no brainer for them on so many levels.

Food for thought

The Gaffer

When Will It Stop

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I would just like to go on record and say how gutted I am at the news last night about Postal United folding. Most clubs of a certain vintage would have played against them in some capacity over their 44 years  and we all realise how big a club they were and how much history they had. This comes almost in the same week that one of the giants of Saturday morning football had to call it a day. Dennistoun Vale and Postal United are both based about a mile away from each other so this is a big loss for the area in general as well as those connected to the clubs.

I don’t think I speak out of turn when I say that the clubs weren’t going through financial trouble. From what I gather the problem lies directly with player commitment, or serious lack of it. I think a lot of young men now like the idea of being signed to a football team without really considering what it means to actually train and play football on a serious level. It’s a status symbol to tell their pals they play for (team name). The excuses I have heard for missing training this year have been chronic. Sometimes players can’t even be arsed playing in the games. Why has there been such a dramatic change in these boys attitudes? I don’t get it.

If each player in your squad knew a fraction of what it takes the keep an amateur team going and what you do for them then there is a slim chance they would adapt their thinking but every week we are fighting a losing battle. You can spend a lot of time getting one guys head back into it and you think your back on track and one text message later you have another guy who wants to leave and you start all over again.

I could talk all day about the involvement of woman and how wives and girlfriends affect who can play and who can’t but I think that’s for another blog.

I hope, somehow that the folding of Postal United is the last time we hear of a club of such stature ceasing to exist but sadly I doubt it. I hope the players who were committed and the guys involved in running the club can find somewhere else to keep their interest going and I wish them all the best.

On a side note would like to congratulate John Hughes who previously managed Postal on his recent appointment at Maryhill Juniors. John has been a supporter of the blog since day one and I am happy to see someone from the amateur game doing so well for themselves and making the step up. Let’s hope he doesn’t do too many raids for our quality players though.

Good Luck to the Postal and Vale boys

The Gaffer

School Fitbaw

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There are five male members of my family who are under the age of 14. They go to four different schools, not one of them goes to a school that has a football team.

You can’t blame the decline of our national game on the education system and its failure to promote sport over the last 10-15 years but it has a huge part to play. In days gone by a schools reputation went on how good their football team was rather than how well they did in the exam league tables. Schools were proud of the players they were producing and keen to keep track of how many of their young men “made it.” I don’t know when it happened but very suddenly school football teams started to disappear. I remember my nephew starting secondary school and telling me that this was the first year that the school weren’t having a team because the headmaster didn’t think they needed one. I even offered to help run the team but was politely turned down and told that school football at that establishment was a thing of the past.

I know why this happened though and I just can’t get my head round it. Parents, teachers and head teachers became very namby pamby with the kids and instead of promoting a healthy culture of competitiveness amongst the pupils they made the transaction to making every pupil a winner. I could not believe my eyes at one sports day to see every child in a race getting a medal. There was no incentive to come first, second or third like there was in my day. What kind of message is that sending to our kids. It goes totally against the fundamentals of any sport. You play or take part in a sport to win, not to take part. The powers that be are guilty of breeding a culture that imparts a softness to all. We need to bring back the ruthlessness whereby the fastest kid, the one who could jump furthest or the best footballer in the school was rewarded. No wonder our game is in the condition it is in at the moment where we scrape a result at home to Lithuania. No wonder young men would rather go for a Nandos or a sunbed than come to football training with their local team. We have totally excluded a whole generation of kids in Scotland from what it means to win, what it feels like to achieve in sport.

It can be rectified easily and with a little bit of effort. Stop feeding children with nonsense about it being about taking part and not about winning. It’s ok to tell a child that they can do better next time if they came last, that’s what being an educator is about. Teaching not only academic topics but also the facts of life. If someone is good at sport then promote and celebrate it to other kids. It’s the only way to create healthy competition. If your school doesn’t have a football or netball team then start one up. Find a set of strips and start playing other schools. Get kids interested in competitive sport again. How many times have you saw a school on tv with a Premier League star like Harry Kane or Wayne Rooney going back to speak to their old PE teacher. It happens a lot! You could be that person who spots some raw unnoticed talent. Don’t leave it to the local boys club or Pro Youth team. Sometimes a kid doesn’t have a parent to get them involved in a team initially. Playing for your school is a great way for a coach to notice you. It’s also the beginning of your football network amongst your peers and helps you with contacts when you become an adult. The system works and it has always worked.

We need to get back on track with our kids and sports. The new generation of player coming into the amateur game just isn’t the same as what is just about to retire for good. For the sake of football in Scotland please give these kids a chance.

Toughen them up

The Gaffer

A Negative Influence

As an outsider looking in to the current Joey Barton fiasco that is going on at Rangers, I think the playing days of Joey at the club appear to be numbered. Reading all about it got me thinking about similar situations I have found myself in and the various ways of dealing with players being disruptive and having a negative influence over your squad.

I think to be able to relate to the situation then we must first assume that Barton has either spoken out against the Manager in open forum or said something so bad that he has left Mark Warburton with no option but to suspend him pending further punishment.

Most of us in amateur football management have had to deal with a player who’s ego vastly exaggerates his playing ability as it does with Mr Barton. The player who has to be the focus of attention every week who doesn’t really bother that the team dropped points because he scored a goal or pulled off a few nutmegs. Generally we only put up with these players because they are an individual who can change a game with a bit of magic or class when they are in the mood.

Similar to Bartons heavy use of Twitter and regular contributions on TalkSport where he has expressed his feelings of being correct (in his mind) but having not expressed his feelings in the proper manner, I have had dealings in the not too distant past  with amateur players who questioned my decisions or playing style and goaded or mocked the opposition on their own social media or the forum of the squad whatsapp group chat. I should add that this is safe in the knowledge that I would see these displays of dissatisfaction and attention seeking. I agree that people’s opinions are there entitlement but as a team mate there are lines that should not be crossed. I am safely old enough to remember amateur football before social media and (whisper it) before mobile phones. I can even remember in my early days having to phone players at the house! This new age has given people with their own strong opinions a forum to say what they feel in seconds without really considering what they are saying or the consequences it will have. Once you tweet or Facebook something it is out there and if it’s bad you can bet it will be screenshot by someone and kept for everyone concerned to see. Rightfully our governing authorities have included rules for abuse by our members on social media but it is up to each individual manager to Police his own players regarding speaking out against the manager, other players and other clubs.

Harking back to Joey Barton, how much egg did he have to wipe on his face after goading Scott Brown and Brendan Rodgers before the match a few weeks ago. I’ve had players in my group do that with my club before and I’ve also had it done to me. It did nothing other than to add much more to my motivation to win.

It is not just social media use or misuse that gets players into trouble. I learned very quickly that failing to deal with a disruptive influence in your team can have severe consequences. Most importantly you would begin to lose the respect of your players which in turn results in losing the whole dressing room. Reflecting back I have had heated arguments at training sessions and during games with disruptive players who have disagreed with me. The important thing for me is to never get into an argument with a player if there is a chance he is right. There is nothing wrong with openly saying to a player that you take on board what he says and you will discuss it later in private. Once you get into an argument then you both lose. The player because he will now have to be brought down a peg and disciplined and you as the manager because you have been undermined in front of other players.

Ive often found that dropping players when it gets to this stage doesn’t tend to work. It just makes a bad situation worse. On one occasion I met the player away from football and we had a good chat and got everything out that we had to say. We both felt good and moved on from it and had a bit of success together. There are others I’ve had similar situations with though who I’ve had to release in the end. With some people they will always have a bad taste in their mouth after being told they are in the wrong and after strong words there is no going back.

I have never got to the stage where I have been in a fight wth any of my players but I have come close once. Luckily my Captain stepped in to pull us apart before it got messy. Looking back now I am glad it wasn’t allowed to escalate but it did have an affect on the players for a few weeks. Not only is it unprofessional but it is a shocking example to set to your squad. Once you lose control of your temper then you lose control of your team.

If my advice was any worth to Mark Warburton then I’d say stick by your principles and do what is best for the sake of the team. No player is ever bigger than any of our clubs.

It’s good to be back!

The Gaffer

A Referees View

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An interesting piece which has been submitted to the blog by one of our serving amateur referees. 

While driving home from today’s fixture, I don’t know why, but I thought about The Gaffers View page. It got me thinking…why has a referee not stuck one in? Why have none of us fired in an opinion on the amateur game?

Who knows?

Well here is my view

All said and done, I’m a referee now and I love it! I’m fortunate even if I do say so myself because I’m decent at it,  I know I am because I take a mental note every time a team and coaching staff tell me “your the best ref we’ve had” and hand on heart there’s far more of those shouts than negative ones. Does that make me big headed? No, because I’d never tell my league or anyone for that matter of the praise I receive, I let teams make their own mind up.

I played youth football and dabbled with amateur all my life and I was good, very good. Sadly, illness put paid to my proper playing days.

I took a good few years out, I fell away from it and it didn’t bother me. I always played fives and I’d regularly get the same questions from the boys there,

“why are you not playing 11’s”

“come down on Tuesday mate”

“it’s a joke your sitting in the house”

One guy said to me one night “your winding me up man, are you a ref in disguise?”

It got me thinking though. The truth was that I couldn’t commit time to an amateur side, it had passed me by, teams were far too serious now. It’s fantastic for the boys involved but at the level I think I was at, I couldn’t justify it to my personal life. Two training sessions a week and the game every Saturday meant I just couldn’t do it. I’m full throttle when I am part of something and attending here and there was no good.

I then said to myself “I’m going to batter this ref’s course.”

I sent the email and waited…
and waited…
I then got a reply The course starts next Monday.
Ooft! We’re in!

What did I have to lose now? This will give me a wee look at what the ref’s get up to, I’ll hate it no doubt but the course won’t cost that much so feck it, I just won’t go back if it’s not for me.

Three weeks in and I was hooked.
It kept me involved, it was steeped in knowledge of the game and I loved every scenario we spoke about. Football, football, football.
I knew I’d be good at it. The course was full of young men that had never kicked a ball in their lives. They were shouting out answers to questions that would get you hung on a Saturday afternoon in Drumchapel!

I could see it though, feel it, I knew it.
Refereeing is simple, it’s all common sense. Football refereeing though, for all involved is hard. I’ve thought about the next line before I post it and I decided I’m going to say it, don’t get too shocked players….

Refereeing the amateur game is a human impossibility.

There, I said it. I’ll explain that bold comment shortly.

When your ref arrives, standard things always happen.
There is a quick hello to both teams

“any trialist?”
“What colour is your keeper in?”
“Give me a shout when your teamlines are done” the usual stuff.

The game then begins.

Let’s get it going, you toss the coin, count the body’s, start your watch, we’re off.

It’s a game of football, I’ve played, I’ve scored, I’ve won, I’ve lost, tackled and I’ve been tackled so I call it as I see it. Every thought possible runs wild in your head but you know it’s early days, just stay alert, try and pass the first ten minutes with no drama and call the first throw in right, lovely.

As the game loosens up, I feel it’s important I get a few things across. I don’t know how many amateur players will read this but if one player takes notice and in the next game he plays, he cuts his ref some slack, I’d be delighted.

Please, give this a thought….

EVERY SINGLE TIME I blow my whistle, HALF, YES HALF of the people there won’t agree. Please note, I didn’t say players, I didn’t say coaches, I said PEOPLE. Football is split, the ref can’t win. Nearly an exact half of every single human in attendance of that match will not agree with me, even though I may know I’m right. Why? Cause you want your f****** team to win! It’s natural guys, I’m a football fan, I want my team to win, it’s human nature.

This however, is where refereeing is explained…I hope.

I don’t care who wins. I may know a lot of the boys involved but I couldn’t give a monkeys who scores more goals and I don’t care who I’ve booked because I’m busy, I’m busy hoping my next decision does me, as a ref, justice.

So yes…

I know “there’s two teams on the park”
I know “I’m letting him speak to me like that”
I know “I’ve not given you anything today”
I know “I’m having a fucking laugh”
I know ” I’m having a fucking nightmare”
I know “I’m being paid for this”
I know ” he’s offside”
I know “that’s a fucking foul”

I’ve heard them all. We all have.

But lads, can you please let me remind you…

I’m concentrating hard and trying to be the best ref I can be.

You want an offside call right?

Ok, well here it is, what I mentioned earlier…

I’m watching the line, OK, I know your right back has the ball, OK, I know the opposition left winger is closing the right back down, OK, so when your right back lumps to your centre forward….

You want me to keep looking at your right back after he has played the long ball, you want me too keep looking because we all know the nippy wee left winger is going to lunge at him don’t we? However as well as catching that lunge, the opposition want me to call an offside against the rapid centre forward bearing in on goal don’t they?

Remember what I said about half and half.
I can’t, I just can’t see everything. I don’t have two pairs of eyes, I’m not super human but I tell you what I am, I’m a referee. I’m trying my best and I’ll be more specific on what I’m doing. I’m taking a punt. There, I just said that, I’m taking a punt.

Refereeing in amateur football and getting EVERY SINGLE CALL spot on, is IMPOSSIBLE.

Unless it’s slow and unless it’s as clear as the nose on your face, then yes, your ref is taking a punt lads. An educated and experienced call, yes, but it’s sometimes a total guess.

Why?

Because he’s pals with the other side?

Nah, he’s human and he’s alone.
He’s trying his very best, trust me.
It’s hard enough to quickly remember what way a team is shooting when awarding a throw in never mind calling an offside and a lunge at the same time.

I’m confident in my ability as a ref but, aye, I’ve had it all…

“That’s an embarrassing decision”
“You’ve never played the game”
“That’s why your a ref”

All this coming from someone, who I wouldn’t let borrow my old boots.

I take it though, we all tend to. Why? Because we’ve usually been there before. Not because we’re weak or because “I’ve bottled it” It’s because we’ve been there and we appreciate the passion in the heat of the moment.

Listen, I’m not stupid and I’m certainly not blinkered, I know we’ve a few belters, a few that might be in the latter stages of a glittering career and a few who might be shooting to the juniors and senior list in a fashion that defies belief but hey, we’re not all 6 stone and can referee 15 games a week but that’s not why I’ve written this. I’ve written this contribution because I want a favour.

I want you to go out in your next game and I want you to enjoy it. I want you to challenge the referees decisions in an adult fashion. I want you to accept what he says, where he points and how he sees it, why?

Because he’s the referee, it’s me, it’s your ref for the day. He started your game and he’ll finish it.

If he’s having a nightmare game then trust me lads, he won’t need reminding. Your criticism won’t help him. Suck it up, it’s not intentional or a personal attack on you.

It’s a thankless task and we all know that but please remember this…

The next time you feel the urge to chase the ref 30 yards up the park to contest a throw in on the half way line? Have a word with yourself.

Don’t let it ruin your game and remember one thing…

Yer man’s job is impossible.

IMPOSSIBLE.

Enjoy your season.

The Referee

 

 

Once More Unto The Breach

On the eve of the first competitive game of yet another season I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you the absolute best of luck from now until the end of May.

Between all of us Managers there will be many ups and also many downs. I hope that we can all bear in mind that the bad times are always worth suffering as they make the good times so much better.

I hope that the players can try to see the reasonable side of the decisions that your Managers make and I hope that you achieve what you deserve in your season.

Me, I will be relaxing tonight knowing that everything has been organised and my squad are fresh and raring to go. I can’t wait to get going and to hopefully find more material for the blog.

Lastly, I really hope that we do not lose any more clubs because the recent disappearance of some teams has been very disturbing. Here’s hoping it’s not the case.

Good luck

The Gaffer

#PassItOn

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Last week I ordered a whole load of training balls for my team to replace the ones we have from last season that are starting to show some signs of wear and tear. The balls we have can get us by but the funds are there so we might as well use them. This got me thinking though. The footballs that I’m replacing are still in semi decent condition. They will no doubt sit in my shed until they go flat, lose shape and become unusable. I think I’ve got a solution for what to do with them and with a bit of help and support from all of my readers we can try and get this to take off.

I’m going to keep a few of the balls I no longer need in my car and whenever I see a group of young boys in the street or at the park I’ll stop the car and hand one of them over. It’s the summer holidays and kids that are still of school age should be out playing football all day in my opinion. Thinking back to my younger years we used to go through a load of balls every summer because we played constantly from morning until night. If doing this means we have got a group of kids playing for the rest of that week or we generate an interest in football for one boy then we have already won.  I’m also mindful that there are kids out there who’s parents can’t afford to buy them a ball so this gesture could mean the boy has his own to look after and for a change he can be the one the rest of them want to go in for because he has the best ball.

There are hundreds of amateur teams out there and no doubt scores of you have new balls for the season. Have a think about where your old ones are and how we can put them to better use. The younger generation aren’t out playing in the streets any more like we used to. Let’s try and spark some interest back into them and get them involved in the game again at proper grassroots level. Even the basic ball and a wall routine has gone from our streets. 

Spread the word and let’s see how far we can take this. Get involved and post your photos of the footballs you are giving away to the kids in your community and use the hashtag

#PassItOn

The Gaffer

 

Starting The Process

Firstly thank you for the excellent response to An Open Letter To The SAFA. The feedback and support was superb and very refreshing. It would seem there is a definite appetite for the beginning of the end coming for the cheats in our game.

I have taken the criticism which has been both constructive and dismissive on board and it has got me thinking a lot more on the subject. I will now be submitting a proposal that the SAFA remove the rule of clubs being able to pay travelling expenses to players thus eliminating the loophole if a club was ever to be challenged by the governing body.

I would also like to hear from anyone who has direct experience of a club who has been paying players to play for them. It is not my intention to expose anyone who speaks up but I have no issue in being able to put together some form of documentation of instances of cheating and presenting it to the SAFA. All communications will be in extreme confidence.

I have no doubt that people in high places have read my last blog. It was retweeted numerous times and the official SAFA account was mentioned in all of the social media discussions. To date nobody from that office has contacted me but I would love to hear from someone to discuss how we can go forward. We need action here because genuine football men are becoming disillusioned with amateur football due to being outbid on players.

There were several suggestions muted about the best course of action. Some of these were very extreme. For example teams refusing to participate in the Scottish Cup until the cheats are hounded out. It was also suggested that payment of players is sanctioned and a separate league is created for those with the financial backing to function in such a setup. These are radical steps for extreme circumstances but we may not be as far away from these events as we think.

If anyone has any other ideas then I would love to hear them. We can’t let this momentum go away.

Someone has to do something.

The Gaffer

An Open Letter To The SAFA

Dear SAFA

I would like to use this blog, which will reach a substantial audience in footballing circles to ask that we become pro-active as an organisation (of which I am a paying member) to rid our game of cheats. To clarify, by cheats, I directly mean clubs who are paying substantial amounts of money to sign amateur football players.

The discussion on the clubs in amateur football who are cheating and bending the rules has been done to death. Teams who are sticking to the constitution are suffering because of a lack of action. Established clubs with excellent reputations are now disappearing for good because they cannot compete with teams who are attracting players to them by means of financial payment as well as other unsavoury incentives. Surely it is time to stop burying our heads in the sand when this topic is mentioned and to take action against these people. It is ruining our game, absolutely ruining it.

I have several suggestions that I would like to draw your attention to and that I would like to see implemented.

  1. The removal of the rule whereby clubs can legitimately pay players travelling expenses. It creates a loophole which is easily exploited.
  2. A whistle-blower telephone number for information regarding cheating clubs and players to be reported.
  3. Investigations carried out into the finances of the clubs who have been the subject of whistle blowing reports to either confirm or deny the information. The constitution states any club must produce their accounts when required to by the SAFA.
  4. Lifetime bans for any individual caught paying players.
  5. Acknowledgement  from the SAFA that the payment of players is going on and a promise to rid the game of cheats.

This close season has seen a huge surge in the rush to get in the right players and to throw money at gaining quality players signatures. Surely the person in charge of the player registrations can see a pattern emerge whereby a players previous club(s) does not reflect the standard of club he is currently signing for, or an influx of players of great quality suddenly and strangely appearing at the one club. We need to start asking big questions…

…you need to start asking big questions!

The SAFA should not take heed of the people in our game who say that if you can’t prove it then it doesn’t happen and there is no point discussing it. The organisation should be going out of their way to ensure it is not happening and to severely punish anyone involved. The proof is out there. You just have to be willing to find it.

I am far from being the only club Manager who has been affected by losing a player from my club because I could not pay him or buy him expensive football boots yet we are the ones suffering and we have been left hung out to dry for not resorting to underhand tactics.

I would encourage anyone who takes the time to read this article to re tweet it, share it, quote it and show it to your friends. Make sure that this message does not fall on deaf ears.

We are sick of the cheaters and we want them OUT.

Yours sincerely

 

The Gaffer

A Balancing Act

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Every football manager should play his best available team…

 

…or should they?

In an ideal World it would be great to put your 11 best players in your starting team every single Saturday. It would give your club the best possible chance of winning each game and would no doubt strengthen your chances of meeting your seasons objectives. That is certainly the opinion of the players I have managed since I started out doing this, but is that what is really best for the team?

Being an amateur football Manager is very much a balancing act when it comes to team selection. Of course you have to choose a winning team every week or one that is capable of winning the game, but you also have to be fair in picking players in your squad who deserve some game time. At Junior or Senior clubs this problem is no doubt diminished somewhat as players are paid to play at these clubs and have signed proper contracts knowing that if they train well and play well then they will start.

At our level, players are paying to come and play for the club. Each player pays the same ten pounds a week as the rest of the squad and therefore deserves the same amount of game time as anyone else. If you take yourself away from thinking about your own circumstances or club and think rationally, it is the same as paying for a gym membership and not using it or paying for a season ticket at your favourite football team and not going to any games. Eventually your going to cancel that membership or give your season ticket up. It works the same way at an amateur football team, if guys can see that they won’t get their money’s worth then they will stop coming. As a Manager it is our job to try as best as we can to try and create a level playing field for all of our players regardless of ability.

One of the ways I have sometimes got round this was using all of our cup games as an opportunity to give players who have been on the outskirts of my team a full 90 minutes or to try and arrange midweek friendly matches in order that they get some game time. The risk here though is that if one or more of these boys plays a blinder then who will play in the next league match, the player who played well in the cup or the player who did nothing wrong in the last league game. Is there a right or wrong answer in this one? It’s definitely another sleepless night on that pre match Friday.

I keep prattling on about money, but for some boys, paying that tenner a week can have a real burden on them financially and they need to see a return on what they are paying for or they will go elsewhere. Ultimately you don’t want to lose any players so you have to come across as always being fair to them and show that you’re doing your best to get them all playing as many minutes as possible.

Sometimes the issue doesn’t come from the boys on the fringes of the squad though. I’ve also found that players who would probably be considered by anyone at the club to be slightly superior in ability become angry at being left out for an “inferior” player when they feel that they didn’t deserve to be dropped. It’s a difficult one to explain because telling a player he is left out because his team mate has paid x amount of money and hasn’t played in a few weeks never goes down well. You can’t criticise his match performances because he has been playing well and he obviously knows it’s not because the boy replacing him has been playing better than him. No matter what you say the guy will probably be annoyed anyway. The reason you give will only determine what type of annoyed you make him. If you piss him off too much there is always the risk he could walk too.

It’s a nightmare scenario for all of us unless your ruthless and just play your best team no matter what happens. I couldn’t do that though, the morale of your starting team would be great but your squad morale would be terrible. Plus, who would want to sign for a Manager who was only going to pick his favourite players anyway. To keep a squad happy you have to be as fair as you can to everyone. It’s a tightrope!

 

Stay balanced and don’t fall over.

 

The Gaffer