Motivation Chapter II

Cast your mind back to last summer, when Fulham were in twenty-way tie for first. We had a new manager bringing in a brand new squad, and I, for one, was fairly optimistic.

I know. I’m a chump.

But now that the dust has cleared, what do we make of our former manager, Mr. Lawrie Sanchez?

He was, wait for it, a motivator.

He promised to give a kick in the pants to the aimless team that finished season 06-07. And a kick he gave it. Unfortunately it was a kick in the wrong direction, straight down the table.

Because, you see, once the players realized that all Mr. Sanchez’s stories about Vinnie Jones and the Crazy Gang weren’t bringing wins, Mr. Sanchez had nothing left to give them. He had no “plan B.” He was a motivator, and while that cup final mentality might work in the international game, it can’t really survive the rigors of a league season where there are always going to be peaks and valleys.

Results have not gone our way in the Hodgson era. But to compare the play of the team that matched possession with Liverpool (the same, well, almost the same, Liverpool that played Chelsea off the park yesterday) with the utter incompetence of the team in the days before Christmas, when three consecutive passes looked to be a bridge too far… I for one know which one I’m happier with.

It’s true that our attack looks anemic, but look at our forwards! There’s just not enough quality there. And true, pinging the ball into the box continuously might result in a few more goals, but we’d probably be conceding twice as many. Our strength, such as it is, is midfield. So under Roy Hodgson we try to keep possession, pass the ball around, and wait for an opening. It hasn’t worked, but at least we are doing something, anything, well.

We’ve tried the motivator, and he was rubbish. Let’s give a football manager a chance.

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