Where’s the Love?By: Daryl | April 9th, 2009
Why don’t my players love me?
First of all, please don’t tell them I asked. That would make the dressing room a little uncomfortable. But seems that despite three cup final appearances (including one win) and some serious progress up the league table, my players just aren’t that fond of me.
The following players who list me as favoured personnel:
Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Lars Lien
And that’s it. No one else seems to think all that much of me. And only one of the above three is a definite first choice player, so that’s a bit worrying. One theory is that before I started following Dhaw’s excellent advice, my team talks were a bit… mental. So maybe they all think I’m slightly odd. And if they ever found out I was writing a blog about them then I’d have a mutiny on my hands.
Brian’s recent experience with a possible Pro Vercelli takeover suggests player loyalty is massively important for job security, even if you’re doing well on the pitch.
While we’re talking player dispositions, here are the players who list Newcastle as their favourite club:
Shay Given, Andriy Rusol, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Belletti, Jonas, The Pog.
That’s a bit more encouraging. But Georginio Wijnaldum makes me sad. His “favourite clubs” are apparently: Arsenal, Man Utd, Barcelona, Real Madrid. So basically he’s got no proper loyalty. He just likes big clubs.
The case of Maruinhos is interesting too. The following players have good things to say about Marquinhos’ playing ability (eg “thinks Marquinhos is a good player”, “pleased to be playing alongside Marquinhos” etc)
Fabricio Coloccini, Belletti, Lars Lien, Jonas, Andrei Arshavin, Robert Lewandowksi, Diego, The Pog.
Yet none of them list him as favoured personnel. Seems he’s more fun on the pitch than off it. And I can’t help but think of him being everyone’s favourite at training and then going home to an empty flat to play X-Box. Against the computer.
Last but not least we have a budding bromance at St James’. John Fleck lists Federico Laurito as his favoured personell, despite the fact that Fleck speaks only English and Laurito speaks only Spanish and Italian. Aw.
So, I’ll work on keeping the team talks smart and see if that improves my popularity with the lads. And will try getting some of the older players to tutor some of the younger players to see if that builds a few more relationships (eg just asked Camacho to tutor Lien, and both seemed keen).
In the meantime, let’s get on with winning some football matches:
vs Everton (home)
I’m becoming a wily old dog who’s learned the tricks of playing against certain teams. Evertone always go with that damn 4-4-1-1, and Fellaini, Osman and Rodwell always cause trouble. My usual diamonish formation would have been massively out numbered in midfield, and you don’t to give Fellaini too much room.
So, I dropped my AM (Fleck) back to CM and also took a risk with my defenders by playing a high defensive line to squeeze the space in midfield. I had Taylor man-mark their lone striker (Yakubu) but also told Coloccini to push up a bit and man mark their AM (Osman). That left Belletti free to shadow Fellaini and Fleck to keep an eye on Rodwell. And just like that their midfield advantage disappears.
Marquinhos made himself even more popular (on the pitch at least) by banging in a free kick from the edge of the box, and Jonas put a nice curler in the far corner soon after. Neither Pog nor Laurito got on the scoresheet, but Pog had plenty headers (plus an assist on the Jonas goal) and Laurito scared Everton with a few dribbles.
Fellaini pulled one back in the 75th, but a bit of timewasting and three points were mine. Job done.
Result: W 2-1