One of the things we all love about football is how mysterious it is…no one can quite figure it out, that’s what makes it interesting. Chelsea is a case in point.
Maybe there is a common thread to failure though – ownership. I’m not talking about Mike Ashley – I’m talking about taking ownership of what happens on the pitch. I’m talking about taking responsibility.
In the excellent book ‘Extreme Ownership’, a couple of Navy SEAL bad-asses share how to lead a successful team. The book is based on their combat experiences and how to apply their formula to business – but could also be applied to sport.
The main premise of the book is that leaders should take complete responsibility for their team’s performance. No excuses. No blame. They call it ‘Extreme Ownership’.
Think back to the demise of Mourinho.
From the start of the season he was blaming everyone and everything – singling people out and blaming them for the team’s poor results. Think Terry and Eva Caniero. What Mourinho, and most managers, seem to forget is that he is responsible for the team’s performance. That’s a manager’s job – to get their players performing to an optimal level.
This type of blame is toxic and eventually will percolate down to the people on the front-line, i.e. the players. At that point, no one is taking any responsibility and a culture of blame and defeat is inevitable.
Steve McClaren’s recent comments about Giroud had me boiling with rage. Mitrovic is, what, 21? And he has the expectations of the Geordie nation on his shoulders. All this with possibly the worst service in the league.
Does anyone think that he wanted to miss those chances? The lad is lacking confidence in front of goal. Who is responsible for the players to get into the right mindset, for giving them confidence?
If the guy isn’t good enough, whose fault is that? Steve McClaren has to start taking responsibility if he expects anyone else to do the same.
Just for once, I’d like a Newcastle manager to blame themselves for a poor performance. If that happened there would be room for optimism.
Until then the culture of blame will continue and the defeats will surely follow.
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