First published in The Pink on Saturday, October 27, 2012.
FASHION. It’s not really my thing.
Jeans, t-shirt and perhaps a suit for work, is the limit of my couture ambitions.
If it fits, feels right and I don’t feel like an eejit, then I’m fairly happy.
You can swagger along in your skinny jeans and tell me I’m out of date, but I’m really not that bothered.
Which is why I look on with despair about some of the comments I’ve read over the last week or so about Saints.
“Who plays 4-4-2 these days? It’s all about 4-3-3,” was one that caught my eye, mainly as I didn’t realise formations were dependent on the latest styles.
I was under the impression that were more like screwdrivers than dresses – if they work, use them, rather than worry about looking out of date.
As we all know, Saints have ditched 4-4-2 after what I consider to be two successful years of using it.
I’m not overly attached to it, but it worked and everyone seemed to know what they were doing. Happy days.
Now, the first team has changed over to 4-3-3. In itself, not a bad thing – plenty of sides use it.
The fact that the senior side had to change to bring it into line with the youth teams seemed odd, but then I’m not a coach. I would have thought the whole point of the youth structure would be to provide new talent for the first XI and, as such, should be tailored to suit the first team’s needs over the long term.
What does bother me, is that it doesn’t seem to be working.
The defence is looking too exposed without adequate cover in front of it.
The formation is only part of the system, but the system now seems set in stone and as a result is too inflexible to change – although no one really seems to know why other than pure bloody mindedness.
Now, an interview with Les Reed on the website 2nd Yellow from September seems to have given a bit more of a clue into how this works. In it, Reed, says the manager is only directly responsible for three first team coaches, suggesting that the influence he has is limited.
It also goes on to say that as a consequence any managerial change would have little impact, as everything else in terms of strategy and culture would stay the same.
Now, exactly what that means is open to interpretation, so I’ll let you come to your own conclusions.
What I will say, is that if everything at the club will remain the same, what benefit can there be from changing the manager?
Some things Adkins has done this season have baffled me – mainly how Rickie Lambert is being used and the use of substitutes.
Also, why spend £7m striker and play him mainly out on the left wing?
It’s almost as if he’s trying to make square pegs fit into round holes.
More than anything, I fail to understand why we have ditched a formula that was working for something else which clearly isn’t. Moreover, there’s a refusal to try anything else The adage goes, that to expect different results by doing the same thing is a symptom of insanity.
Someone is being stubborn and refusing to admit a mistake.
I don’t care if it works for Barcelona – I only want what’s best for Saints.
Be it, 4-4-2 or 8-1-1, tikka-taka or hoof ball, I don’t care.
What I do care about is that the team is able to settle on something that works for them.
Enough of the skinny jeans, let’s try something a bit more comfortable.