A few fans have brought up an interesting point the last few days. Are we performing better as a team when your biggest egos has either left the squad or been injured? The players branded as egos are of course Greed Malbranque and Luis Boa Morte.I’m not sure that the reason for the “new-found” team spirit is this simple, but I’m sure it play its part.
One thing that strikes me when I see your boys play lately is that they seem to have fun again as well as they that they seem willing to go to great lengths in order to work for each other. Another factor that we should bare in mind is the change of captain. I’ve never thought of Boa as the ultimate leader on the pitch, he rather leads by example than by words. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it seems to me like Zat is more of a verbal leader on the pitch. If this is the case, and I’m sure Coleman/Keane would know by now, I vote for Zat to keep the armband.
One thing that is fairly similar to this is what has happened in the Swedish national team the last few months. The head coaches did suspend Olof Mellberg, Christian Wilhelmsson and Zlatan Ibrahimovich for one game following them breaking the teams rules and going to a night club on an evening they were told not to go out. Speculations followed that this was a way for the coaches to punish these players who have created a group within the group which has lead to friction in the team. After their suspension Zlatan is the only player to have not been willing to come back to the team. The actions taken by the coaches did send a signal to the players –”No individual is greater than the team”. A typical Swedish approach 😉
I feel that the same kind of management would benefit the English team a lot. There’s too much focus on the players wives, pets, jewellery, hair colour etc. If Smiling Steve wants to keep his job he needs to do something about the egos and build a group once again. Englishmen at their best are always performing better as teams than individuals in my humble opinion. I for one hope that Coleman can preserve the team spirit and continue to build a team by being a modern leader and coach.