Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:39 am

Trouble is when you put all the onus on one manager, what happens when panic fannies want him sacked? :grin: (Happened to Rioch early on, pre Chester, when we were recording results like home losses to Hartlepool.)

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by BWFC_Insane » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:58 am

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:39 am
Trouble is when you put all the onus on one manager, what happens when panic fannies want him sacked? :grin: (Happened to Rioch early on, pre Chester, when we were recording results like home losses to Hartlepool.)
Yeah but that's why good owners make the right call. As another example when PG appointed Big Sam over Roy Evans. I suspect for many Roy was the known name as a manager but PG went with a different view.

It works the other way. The decision not to terminate Owen Coyle in 2011 is probably the worst the club has ever taken in my lifetime. So whatever way you look at it good owners make good decisions and pick good managers.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by GhostoftheBok » Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:04 pm

Having a core structure at a club doesn't make you immune to terrible managers, financial blips, awful transfer windows etc. What it does is gives you a long term platform for stability at a certain level and make it less likely that any single cock up with wreck the whole show.

We can say Sam took us up and it was due to him we stayed there. 100% true. It's also true we had to put so much money into his way of doing things that we failed to create a structure at the club to account for when he threw his toys out of the pram and buggered off - at which point we were a total basketcase with no identity.

If we are saying the Big Sam era is an argument against having a core identity and structure at the club I think that is, ironically enough, insane. The Big Sam era is the biggest point in favour of long termism, because we've not yet recovered from the lack of it.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by BWFC_Insane » Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:15 pm

GhostoftheBok wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:04 pm
Having a core structure at a club doesn't make you immune to terrible managers, financial blips, awful transfer windows etc. What it does is gives you a long term platform for stability at a certain level and make it less likely that any single cock up with wreck the whole show.

We can say Sam took us up and it was due to him we stayed there. 100% true. It's also true we had to put so much money into his way of doing things that we failed to create a structure at the club to account for when he threw his toys out of the pram and buggered off - at which point we were a total basketcase with no identity.

If we are saying the Big Sam era is an argument against having a core identity and structure at the club I think that is, ironically enough, insane. The Big Sam era is the biggest point in favour of long termism, because we've not yet recovered from the lack of it.
I've thought long and hard about this conundrum and come to the conclusion that its just virtually impossible to avoid. There are clubs who have successfully put into place a system whereby they have a succession of short term managers. But I think the main reason they don't collapse is because everyone knows the manager won't last long. So players out of favour bide their time, fans don't become fed up and the clubs owners tend to be more exuberant than not. But of course not many clubs manage this and those that do tend to have lower expectations generally.

The point is that Bolton tried to create a 'beyond a manager' structure with Phoenix and it failed. It failed because you need critical components to be right in such a plan with a DoF who is not only brilliant at his job but also never has any designs on other roles in the club. I think its harder to achieve than just finding a good manager.

Big Sam and our decline was complex and I'm not entirely sure it was avoidable in many ways. Like Man Utd have found, when you lose a figure head you struggle. The difference with say, Evatt is I'd guess there are more managers around who'd give a go at continuing what he's doing than there were people who could replicate even 10% of what Sam achieved at Bolton. The whole thing at Bolton revolved around Sam - his enormous backroom team for example, many only here because of him. So it was a nightmare. Evatt I suspect is a different beast.

But I don't think you can avoid this problem - good managers make clubs. When they go you will always find it harder. And anything you implement that mitigates that potentially simply holds your progress back.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by GhostoftheBok » Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:37 pm

I agree that appointing good mangers is vital to success, but the differences between success and failure - the peaks and troughs - rely on more factors than whether you've got Harry Redknapp or Gary Megson in charge. We nearly got into the Champions League under Sam and now we've just escaped League Two after nearly becoming insolvent due to the debt from that Premier League period. That's probably too much trough. That wasn't all Sam's fault by any stretch, because after Sam left the lack of club structure had us flinging cash around trying to bail out bad managers. Sam was great....the structure was crap. Had we had a functioning development structure when Sam arrived, he'd arguably not have had to throw quite so much money at aging stars who were sometimes amazing and sometimes god awful.

What we need is a sustainable model that can have us at a certain level, even if the brown stuff hits the spinning wind machine. If we have that then an exceptional manager might be able to get us back up there in the Prem, but the loss of that manager won't see the club so buggered that we implode.

Do we need good staff members in key positions? Yes. Does needing good staff members make a system a bad system? By your own standards, no - because you're arguing in favour of a system where the entire thing crumbles if one man (the manager) isn't good enough. Arguing against a club structure because TP was a joke is like arguing against managers because Steve Kean exists.

You can have a core structure in a club and still have a manager with a huge degree of autonomy and influence. You absolutely need good appointments everywhere in the club for long term success and yes, the top of the pile in terms of most important is the manager.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by BWFC_Insane » Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:48 pm

GhostoftheBok wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:37 pm
I agree that appointing good mangers is vital to success, but the differences between success and failure - the peaks and troughs - rely on more factors than whether you've got Harry Redknapp or Gary Megson in charge. We nearly got into the Champions League under Sam and now we've just escaped League Two after nearly becoming insolvent due to the debt from that Premier League period. That's probably too much trough. That wasn't all Sam's fault by any stretch, because after Sam left the lack of club structure had us flinging cash around trying to bail out bad managers. Sam was great....the structure was crap. Had we had a functioning development structure when Sam arrived, he'd arguably not have had to throw quite so much money at aging stars who were sometimes amazing and sometimes god awful.

What we need is a sustainable model that can have us at a certain level, even if the brown stuff hits the spinning wind machine. If we have that then an exceptional manager might be able to get us back up there in the Prem, but the loss of that manager won't see the club so buggered that we implode.

Do we need good staff members in key positions? Yes. Does needing good staff members make a system a bad system? By your own standards, no - because you're arguing in favour of a system where the entire thing crumbles if one man (the manager) isn't good enough. Arguing against a club structure because TP was a joke is like arguing against managers because Steve Kean exists.

You can have a core structure in a club and still have a manager with a huge degree of autonomy and influence. You absolutely need good appointments everywhere in the club for long term success and yes, the top of the pile in terms of most important is the manager.
Ferguson left Man Utd and same criticism was levelled at him - what's he left us with?

I don't entirely buy it because Allardyce left us 8th or whatever. The lack of players coming through wasn't because we hadn't invested in the academy its because we weren't able to produce premiership level players because the best talent was attracted to other academies. Allardyce's poaching of older stars was playing the transfer system at the time and the primary reason we started to go backwards is because other clubs started doing it, alongside a new investment and higher levels of spending. I'm not as you put it arguing for a system that crumbles when your manager leaves I'm saying its almost impossible to avoid it. Especially in the top flight for clubs like ourselves. Its not inevitable but I think irrespective of your squad and the situation it seems to happen to just about every club. They have a good period but when the manager leaves the maintenance of that comes down to the next appointment. I've seen football a long time and there is a cycle of clubs like Bolton doing well, then not so well, then a disaster, then better again.

Sustainability I suspect for us means financially rather than any magic model that keeps you afloat in the premiership without key ingredients. Regardless of your competitive advantage, whether its manager, development or just great players at some point the big boys will either copy it, take it or simply render it irrelevant. And that's the reality of football.

Lets say Ian Evatt turns out to be a great manager - he will go and should he have taken us on a long way no doubt so will much of his entourage, players and backroom staff. You can't really stop it.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by GhostoftheBok » Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:16 pm

Ferguson is a prime example of a manager who benefitted from a long term system at Utd. Fans initially wanted him sacked, if you remember. Ferguson was a managerial genius, but he built his success on the fact that he was handed top class talent by Utd's academy system and one of the reasons Utd appointed him was because he told them he wanted to take the progression system seriously. Utd would be nowhere close to the club they are now without Ferguson, but Ferguson wouldn't have been as successful without the club's structure. Ferguson was actually a very modern manager by the standards to the time. He delegated massively to staff he trusted and he relied upon their expertise in his decision making.

I agree totally that we see cycles in football, sometimes major. I'd argue that one of the reasons for that is the traditional English way of having a manager who gets do do everything on the football side and then when he goes appointing another guy who wants to rip that out and do his own thing. There's essentially no successful clubs left anywhere in Europe that follow that model. The way we have traditionally done things in England has been shown to be inferior to more sustainable models. That's not to say we need to go down the head coach route, where all they do is train and pick the team they are given. I'd argue that's also a poor model in terms of success in football over the past 20 years. Modern football clubs appoint managers who fit into an overall structure, because it has been demonstrated to be the most efficient system over the long term.

On staff leaving, yes, coaching staff leave clubs all the time. Development staff members tend not to. That's because most top clubs, again, set up their development teams for the long term. It is rare that a big club comes poaching development teams, because they only transition very rarely. If you look at Liverpool's current academy manager, he started off as a youth team coach and worked his way up. That's fairly standard. Academies work on player development rather than results, so the model of recruitment is vastly different.

The fact every manager will one day leave, whether by being head-hunted or sacked, is exactly why you can't rely on any single manager for the long term health of the club.

Do we need good financing? Yes, money is supremely important. Will we have enough money to buy two ready made players for every position as and when we need them, at a level to get us success? Doubt it. Is the failure rate of expensive transfers very high? Yes. Am I answering too many of my own questions in a manner that is getting really tedious? Also yes. I am sorry for that? Probably.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:31 pm

GhostoftheBok wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:16 pm
Am I answering too many of my own questions in a manner that is getting really tedious? Also yes. I am sorry for that? Probably.
A rhetorical device called hypophora. Does Evatt love it? Yes he does. :D

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by GhostoftheBok » Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:18 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:31 pm
A rhetorical device called hypophora. Does Evatt love it? Yes he does. :D

Did he read about it in a book on leadership he found in the discount bin at Waterstones? Yes he did. Do we care that he occasionally sounds like the fox from the children's film Zooptopia? No, we bloody well don't.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by Worthy4England » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:45 pm

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