Congratulations, Spain

Jun 30, 2008

Congratulations to Spain for winning the Euro 2008 Championships.

I’ve got to admit, I had my doubts about Spain. They’ve got great talent and ability in the squad, but I had my doubts whether they could triumph over the mental strength of Italy and Germany. But they did, and I’m glad they’ve proven me wrong.

Spain’s vicotry is a triumph for more than just the country. It’s a triumph for beautiful football, the way the game is meant to be played, in my opinion at least. There were of course, other teams who played great football along the way – the likes of Russia and Holland spring to mind. Spain went all the way doing so, and proved that you can triumph by being adventurous.

They were brave throughout, and the bravery paid off. Even in managerial decisions, dropping Raul (Spain’s all time top scorer) was a brave choice, but one that has ultimately been proven right. It’s shown that sometimes, the best thing to do is to leave the past behind, and move forward with the new generation. Spain have done that, and they’ve got a really young talented generation now that could go far.

If you look at the team and what they’ve done – throughout the tournament and even in preparation for it – I’m sure there’s a lot of lessons you can learn from them. The teamwork, constant movement, workrate, bravery, willingness to ditch the old and go with the new. These are all lessons that are useful even outside football.

So, congratulations Spain. I’m glad you proved me wrong.

Strategy above Tools

Jun 26, 2008

Slightly over a week ago, France were knocked out of the Euro 2008 Championships. Personally, I’m not really surprised, but there are some who were, and understandably so.

On paper, the French have a great team. They should be good enough to match any other squad. They’ve got the likes of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Karim Benzema, Frank Ribery , Saloman Kalou, the list goes on. On paper, they’ve got really talented players.

So why am I not surprised that they failed? Because of their manager, Domenech. Yes, I don’t have his experience, and it’s a lot easier to criticize from here. But that said, he does not seem to know his best team. He doesn’t seem to have been able to build a good atmosphere within the team. And his tactics have been criticized by both past and present players.

I’m not really sad to have seen France go out of the tournament, but it does serve as a lesson for us. It’s not just about the talent you have at your disposal. It’s about how you manage it, and how you plan and make use of what you have – people, tools, anything.

Your strategy is just as, if not more, important than the tools.

How are you using the things you have?