Sunday, April 3, 2011

Winning Championships and the Management Factor: Man U 4-2 West Ham

Coaches are not on the pitch playing the game but they are a huge factor in the final result. A soccer game is two forty-five minute halves and what adjustments are made at half-time can determine the final outcome of the game.

At the end of the first half, West Ham was leading the English Premier League leaders, Manchester United, two goals to zero. Avram Grants’ men had another forty-five minutes to secure three points, an upset victory, and to put them in a more competitive position to avoid relegation. Grant’s team began the second half with no adjustments. They had secured the lead by the referee granting them deserved penalties. But even before the first-half ended, Manchester was already asserting their superior class. West Ham’s best chance of winning was to insert another player who could withstand United’s relentless attacks.

Sir Alex Ferguson, who has to be considered one of the more astute managers in the game, made adjustments in the second half. He inserted “Chicharito” Hernandez and Berbatov to join with Wayne Rooney in the attack. Ferguson not only makes the right moves at the right time but he selects players who are match winners, very much aware that although mid-field play is dominant, having players who are specialized goal scorers is critical to winning matches and winning championships. Rooney scored a hat trick in the second half and “Chicharito” converted the fourth. West Ham went down to defeat 4-2.

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