Pastor Postecoglou shows significance of journey even if you never get heaven

Pastor Postecoglou shows significance of journey even if you never get heaven

A few years ago, around the same time that net spends and expected goals became extremely popular, a school of thought emerged that challenged the traditional narrative of footballing performance by arguing, in essence, that the influence of a manager was grossly exaggerated.

The hypothesis stated that matches are won by the best players, and since the best players cost money, a club’s wage bill was a far more accurate predictor of success than whoever happened to be seated on the dugout’s padded car seat.

According to this interpretation, the era of the all-powerful manager – the patriarchal visionary who supervised everything from tactics to contract negotiations to the temperature of the away showers – had passed, if it ever existed at all.

The center of gravity of football had migrated from the manager’s office to the sporting director, medical department, board of directors, and fund markets.

Consequently, the game’s enduring fixation on managers – discussing them, listening to them, employing and dismissing them – was an outmoded fad and a fundamental misunderstanding of how the game itself worked. On the subject, rigorous and exhaustive academic articles were commissioned.

Long, dull data-heavy books were written and occasionally even purchased.
As an empirical analysis, the powerless manager theory made a great deal of logic.

It explained why managers frequently experienced a “bounce” after joining a new club, followed by a reversion to the mean.

It explained why a manager’s success at one club could be followed by spectacular failure at another: because none of this actually signifies anything, right? Primarily, it appeared to explain how Zinedine Zidane led one of the world’s wealthiest organizations to three Champions League titles without ever appearing to do anything.

As with many theories, however, there was a gaping hole in the center. Perhaps the term “blind spot” is more appropriate.

Because it ultimately boils down to your perception of football’s ultimate significance, it is worth your attention.

Is it the pursuit of performance or a ritual? Is it predominantly a journey or a destination?

Is it defined by its successes and failures, or by the emotions it evokes along the way?

The rationale for posing these questions is because Ange Postecoglou is a brilliant manager in only one of these realities.

Pastor Postecoglou shows significance of journey even if you never get heaven

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