Trust

Tony Adams was the captain of Arsenal, and one of the best defenders they ever had.
When he controlled their defence it was the best in the Premiership.
A couple of years ago I read his book.
It wasn’t a good book.
Sports biographies hardly ever are.
But there’s usually something you can learn, somewhere in there.
A simple principle.
And there was in Tony Adams’ book.
I don’t remember the exact words, but it was something like this.
“I wouldn’t try to take the ball off the opposing forward.
See, if I went to take the ball I was committed.
And, if I missed, he could just go past me.
Plus there’s the possibility of missing the ball and getting the player.
In which case I’d give away a free kick in a dangerous area.
So I never tried to take the ball off them.
I’d just shut them down.
Stay right on them and let them know they weren’t getting past me.
I’d do this about thirty yards out.
They knew they weren’t getting past me, but they knew I wouldn’t take the ball.
This meant they had a chance to shoot, which is irresistible for most forwards.
Sop that’s what they’d do, shoot from thirty yards.
And I knew I had David Seaman behind me.
And I knew he could handle pretty much anything from thirty yards.”
This is a man speaking who really knows his defence.
He knows his team-mates.
So he knows who he can trust.
He’s not playing like an individual but part of a team.
He knows exactly how the different parts operate.
And what his job in the machine is.
And the machine works if everyone does their job as well as they can.
Instead of watching what someone else is doing.
That’s how I like to work.
With different people each being responsible for different jobs.
Everyone fitting in and doing their specialist part.
Of course, everyone’s got an opinion about everyone else’s job.
And you make that available as input.
But whoever is responsible for their area needs to be responsible.
Not spend half their time worrying about someone else’s area.
You have to find out who you can trust to do what.
Then, when you know that, trust them.
Don’t keep trying to do their job.
Feeling you have to take the ball off an attacker is only necessary when you don’t trust the goalie.
If you trust the goalie to handle long-range shots, make sure that’s what he gets.
I’m the same when I first work with a new account man.
When they’re first presenting work to the client I go along with them.
If they do it better than me I know I don’t need to go again.
I know I can trust them.
It’s the same with art directors.
Gordon has a better visual sense than me.
And like all the best art directors, he’s a fusspot about detail.
I’m not.
So I don’t go on stills shoots, or to retouching, or grading commercials.
I trust him.
Planners, TV producers, media guys, whatever their job.
I like to know what they do.
And if they can do their job better than I could.
Then if it goes wrong, I can’t bitch about it.
Because I couldn’t have done it better.
So I can concentrate on just doing my job 100%.
Generally I like Tony Adams’ approach.
Find out who you’re working with and what they’re good at.
Find out what you can trust them to do.

Then trust them.

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    I trust everyone to do everything which is why I don’t have a job at all.

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    Seaman didn’t handle one particoolar 37-yarder from Ronhaldinho, if memory serves me.

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    Grilla,
    …you shag one sheep……..

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    Isn’t that the way with goalies – wonder what Rob Green will be remembered for…

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    Dave,

    It wasn’t one sheep was it – I present the other sheep, NAYIM from the halfway line. Ergo David Seaman is a sheep shagger… (honorary as he didn’t play for Aberdeen)

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    Mr Seaman – rest assured, we all let the ball slip thru our furry fingers from time to time.

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    Grilla, Chris, Gotnoteef,
    Just ask yourself who you’d rather have in the England goal right now.
    James, Green, and the other bloke, or Seaman.

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    All 4 if it helps stop the ball crossing the line, Dave.

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    I’d go for the other bloke – Hart’s a cracking keeper and just doesn’t seem like the occasion gets to him.
    Apparently Algeria are hoping for Green again on Friday and plan a ‘shoot on sight’ policy – to see how he copes.

    Out of interest – anyone ever seen Cirque du Soleil? We’ve got some tickets but it’s Friday night at the NIA in Brm and I’m kind of swaying towards watching the England game instead.
    Any opinions welcome…

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    Hi gotnoteef – Lots of years ago I spent one of the best afternoons of my life [so far] in a hooge tent in NY’s Battery Park being blown away by those guys – it was dark and stormy outside but that only added to the magic and drama of the experience. I know Birmingham, England isn’t NYNY [Alabama, USA as well] but I’d recommend you do that instead of watching England try to play football because I find that is seldom a magical or entertaining spectacle [or half a pair of glasses].

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    thank you my good friend – the world cup does only come once every four years, but 30 is an increasingly distant memory and I’ve never seen CduS – perhaps you make a good point – England v USA wasn’t even a monocle.

    Dave, any wisdom to offer – you’ve usually got a wise word to share

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    Dave being Dave would probably make a few calls… and suddenly, the CduS Friday eve performance at the NIA Brum would have a hoomungas video screen backdrop showing the England match + He might even arrange for some nubile female acrobats to do interesting things on the England cross bar and uprights to distract the Algerian strikers if he’s feeling benevolent.

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    Come on, we’ve all fluffed a ball playing in goal.
    James, Seaman, Carson, Hart, you, me, have all done some corkers.
    Give the guys a break and get behind them.

    Regarding trust, there was a very interesting article in THE SUN about the ball and the controversy surrounding Adidas and the teams they sponsor who have been practicing with the ball for 6 months (eg: Germany) and the contract that restricts the use of any other ball from Nike in the English Premier league.

    Originally I thought Heskey was a bad choice, but look what happened Friday.
    We’re far from bad, however, when Gerrard scored I became as fearful as Capello when they all went running around like schoolkids who’d won the World Cup.

    Before Capello’s arrival we had a rubbish team. Now we have a real team, and the last game should have settled all their stage nerves. We’ll see exactly what they can deliver on Friday. I’d suggest Capello strikes during “Prayer Time” when the opponents minds are not on the ball.

    It’s a great World Cup.

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    gotnoteef – Hoping very much you went for the CduS option?!

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    hello my hairy friend – hope you’re in rude health

    Yes I did go for the CduS option – and I’m glad for it too.

    It was astonishingly brilliant – made even more so by the fact that my kids sat, mouths open, eyes-wide, from start to finish.

    Someone behind us spilled the final score, so I didn’t watch the game when we got home – then I spoke to my Dad on Sat morning and he said it was so poor he wouldn’t bother watching the recording, so I didn’t.

    So I continue towards Wednesday, blissfully unaware of how ‘utterly p*ss’ (my Dad’s words) the England performance was.

    6 – 0 on Wednesday then – come on England – please.