The Football League Paper - - GRAHAM WESTLEY -

It only takes one strong minded player to show a lack of be­lief in the man­ager’s way for a dress­ing room to be dis­af­fected. Then the prob­lems be­gin to mount.

I read this week that Brian is com­ing un­der per­sonal pres­sure.

But I won­der whether the per­for­mance sta­tis­tics at Leeds match his re­quire­ments. Are his lads cov­er­ing more ground than the op­po­si­tion? If they are, then per­haps it is a man­age­rial prob­lem. If they aren’t then per­haps the play­ers need to be asked to take the re­spon­si­bil­ity. It is a player’s duty to his club and the club’s fans to IT IS in­cred­i­ble how things are in sport. At Steve­nage on Tues­day night, we en­ter­tained Wolver­hamp­ton Wan­der­ers in a League One top v bot­tom fix­ture.

We are a club with a budget for our en­tire squad that costs less than the fig­ures quoted for a sin­gle Wolves player. The dif­fer- deliver his man­ager’s re­quire­ments. Ev­ery good man­ager lis­tens to his play­ers. But ev­ery suc­cess­ful club have play­ers who make the man­ager’s way work. Too of­ten, I am left won­der­ing whether good man­agers are be­ing hung out to dry in sit­u­a­tions where a player or play­ers will not sup­port their way.

It is too easy for a player to refuse to com­ply. Too easy for the man­ager to be made to shoul­der the blame. If clubs be­lieved in their man­ager’s voice a lit­tle more, and looked more closely at player per­for­mance, I feel sure they would gen­er­ate bet­ter per­for­mance from their play­ers.

More ac­count­abil­ity is needed. ence in wages and trans­fer fees be­tween the top and bot­tom of League One is as­ton­ish­ing. Don't get me wrong; I have no is­sue with a club that at­tracts 20,000 gates pay­ing much much more than a club that at­tracts four fig­ure gates be­gin­ning with a two.

it the busi­ness THEY call is

sea­son; April end of the ev­ery­thing gets

time when cer­tainly the some­where

hav­ing most clubs what de­cided. With still to play for,

of 21 points of all. in the re­gion telling ac­tion

is the most goes on in April will fal­ter.

good. Some When the Some will come doesn't mat­ter.

be­fore re­ally What’s gone can be

fates are de­cided. their team heat is on hop­ing that

fan will be Ev­ery foot­ball sprint.

with the prover­bial time of one that fin­ishes room

at this in a dress­ing So what changes of

out of con­tract the re­al­i­ties well not for starters, they could year? Well, lads re­alise and

home. Some of pro­mo­tion play­ers hit op­por­tu­nity

soon. The re­al­i­ties. Minds have jobs very be­come stark by

rel­e­ga­tion be af fected the price of in a club will

Ev­ery­body for­got­ten and get fo­cused. pol­i­tics get

po­si­tion so is sharp­ened, the fin­ish­ing When fo­cus

to­gether. is height­clubs come re­solve

deep­ens, when when unity The sum­mer

progress en­sues. ened, then place

more op­ti­mistic will feel a much line at

who cross the for those


I was de­lighted that my lads se­cured an eighth game un­beaten in ten, a huge sign of their progress, and matchedWolves blow for blow, in a sur­pris­ingly en­ter­tain­ing 0-0 en­counter.

Once again the boys proved that price tags and wage bills give clubs the op­por­tu­nity to re­cruit ex­actly who they want. But that willpower still has its role to play in de­cid­ing who wins.

Wolves are for­tu­nate to be able to just take Coven­try’s top scorer, Mill­wall’s cre­ator, a Pre­mier League striker and Sh­effield United’s mid­field gen­eral for in­stance. But ‘de­vel­op­ing’ play­ers can be im­proved enough to chal­lenge and over­take those play­ers.

A club and their play­ers are as big or as small as they choose to be.

If you think big enough,on any given day, you can stand toe to toe with whomever you choose.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

PROVEN: Leeds man­ager Brian McDer­mott

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