[highlight]How did Nottingham Forest football club go from being Champions League winners to where they are today?[/highlight] I was old enough to watch Leeds United in the Champions League semi-final in a season, only for them to be relegated few seasons after. Liverpool used to win the league until a period when the winnings seized; some young people that had not been born the last time Liverpool won the league are now married…. interesting.
All decisions have their reciprocal consequences. Do you remember Arsenal and the unbeaten run? “The invincibles” is the term that was used for them. Okay, fast forward that moment by circa 12 years; kids that were born in the year of “the invincibles” are now getting into their teens but Arsenal have not won the league since then. The purpose of the article is not to point at the failings but to provoke discussions on the consequences of the decisions people take. “Hindsight is a great teacher” is a statement that holds true at all time.
Some people decide to spend big and they go bankrupt; others decide to stick with a coach and he gets them relegated. Roman Abramovich decided to set a benchmark for success at Chelsea by firing underperforming coaches, the fullness of the trophy cabinet at Stanford Bridge is the consequence. A coach (Antonio Conte) decided to change from four defenders at the back to three and he won the league; I also remember a coach who decided to play with high line at the back (AVB) and he got fired. One coach (Arsene Wenger) waited for far too long before changing to back-three and he almost made top-4; decisions and consequences. Some teams decided to go with zonal marking when defending corner kicks and it turned out badly for them.
The board, coaches and players take decisions every season and the consequences of those decisions may be immediate or for generations to come. I read that the only reason the board at Manchester United decided against firing Sir Alex Ferguson in 1990 was because he won the League Cup after going four years without winning a trophy. The consequence of that singular decision was another 20 plus years of extra-ordinary successes at Man United. Decisions and more decisions. In 1992, some people came together to create a new football league format for the English league. They wanted more and decided not to keep the status quo; the consequence was the creation of the best league in the world.
There are times people make strong decisions and they turn bad; some people sink with their decisions while others make amends very early; Swansea comes to mind. This season (2016/2017) saw them fire the second coach when they realised that the experiment was not working; the consequence is that they survived while Sunderland got relegated for persisting with David Moyes.
Footballers take decisions too. Some move to other clubs or leagues and their careers hit the rock while other stay too long in a club and never achieved their full potentials. Ramadel Falcao looked like a spent force at Man United; at Chelsea, he was even more pathetic. Then he took a decision to return to Monaco, the consequence is a revived career. The same can be said of Fernando Torres, his decision to return to Atletico Madrid revived his career. Then there was Kaka; he never recovered from the Real Madrid move. There have been times when a club decides to reward a young star with a more befitting contract (more pay) and the player’s ambition goes down because he feels that he has achieved everything in life.
One thing is clear; most people make these decisions with good intentions. The board at Leeds and Nottingham Forest wanted the best for their clubs but their decisions caused a burst and not a boom. The same can be said of clubs that have gone 12 plus years without winning the premier league trophy. Take note of the following:
- Good intentions do not mean you cannot destroy your fortune.
- “No decision” is sometimes better than bad decisions.
- Take your time, labour on your decisions; they can make or mar you.
- Over-ambitiousness is not good; consider your own unique case, stop copying others.
- Tomorrow’s success is not guaranteed; you must work for it.
- Never forget that other people are also moving up relative to your position.