Systemic Review: Why every football club or sports team should have a philosophy
I don’t believe Man City would have been *consistently* this good, and recruited this well, if they didn’t hire Pep. They always seemed to follow brilliant seasons with underwhelming seasons until he arrived. That ability to sustain excellence was what they were missing badly.
The lingering impact will be increased expectations and pressure after him. These appointments are pivotal for a club’s history. Johan Cruyff at Barcelona, Ferguson at Man United, Mourinho at Chelsea, Simeone at Atletico Madrid, Klopp at Liverpool, Pep Guardiola at Man City. Course-altering impact for their clubs.
It is my view that a football club should have a philosophy. Let it drive transfer strategy and hires. So, signings and hires revolve around the philosophy. You sign profiles that would still be useful even after firing the manager. You won’t need overhauls with every new hire.
It has to be clear, not some ambiguous buzzwords. You can’t just be hiring managers at random. You have to hire managers with profiles that fall in line with the club’s playing philosophy. If not, you will struggle to progress. New managers will rip up what the previous did.
And you will keep ripping it up and gutting your squad every time you hire a new manager. Or you will force the new manager to place square pegs in round holes, if you have invested too much in the existing players.
Imagine spending 70m on a player for manager A, for whose approach/style he is the right profile. Then you fire him after a year. Then hire manager B who has a completely different approach or style for which 70m player’s profile doesn’t fit. You won’t want to sell that player.
Because that would be wasted investment and you won’t recoup what you spent. So now what? New manager has to find a way to fit that profile into his style which probably has no place for it. Then you give him some big signings, profiles that for his style, to appease him.
Then after a year, you fire him too. Now you have 70m player who was the right profile for the first manager but not the second, and 70m signing who was the right profile for the second but probably not the third. Until you have a squad of players with all sorts of random profiles.