On trend Management
A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing the new Derbyshire CC bookshop and saw a couple of copies of the League Managers Association magazine for 10p. I duly handed over 50p and after a brief awkward ‘over charged in a charity shop’ moment, I headed off, without change, to read the mag in the drizzling rain.
One of the articles that caught my eye was about the merits of having squad depth. After a complicated explanation, the conclusion was that depth wasn’t that important, it was the strength of your first team that mattered. In brief, all teams have one or two injuries at any given point and that will more or less even itself up. However, if you’re team isn’t that great in the first place, bringing in someone of a similar standard won’t make much difference, compared to having a good team and average back-up. Obviously with unlimited budget you’d have quality and depth but usually, especially outside the upper Premier League, it’s a trade-off between the two. Having too much depth can also be a problem if you’ve got a lot of unhappy players, although this was more of an assumption.
Interesting, I thought, that fits with Clough’s plan at the start of last season – a small compact quality squad as opposed to Jagger’s quantity not quality. Lo behold, a few days later I read the preview to the League 2 play-off final. Phil
Parkinson: “We decided that we wanted to run with a smaller squad, but with better quality players”. Aidy Boothroyd: “I made a decision with the chairman that we would go for a tighter squad with quality rather than depth”. Now when Aidy Boothroyd starts quoting it, you know its straight out a theory handbook.
Eye’s peeled for the next manager to quote this radical new approach that he’s just stormed a job interview with!