Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Time, Team and Trust

Good. Those 24 hours were necessary to get a better grip on what I was going to rant on yesterday. I love football. I’m not ashamed to say that. It has been a glorious expression of many of the better qualities of life to me and has not been so much of an escape as an affirmation of some of my better capacities. As a result sometimes football informs my faith and nowadays my faith tends to inform my football. Often I would refer to Manchester United in derogatory terms for they are the foresworn enemies of Liverpool Football Club. Now I’m a lot more comfortable having a rapport with people and using the enemy lines to affirm our shared interest in the beautiful game. Facts don’t get in the way of enjoying things and now I don’t have to get involved in bitter rivalry, rather I can have fun and actually not take things so seriously.


On Monday, however, that fun aspect went right out of the window. Tony Adams and Felipe Scolari were summarily dismissed from their managerial positions at Portsmouth and Chelsea respectively. These were managers who were not given a full season to establish their credentials at their clubs. These are managers who have suffered because of the frightening and unrealistic demands of the clubs in question. I can tell such was my rage at such ludicrous decisions that I went on a five page bender of text spilling my guts on how it upset me.

Now 24 hours later processing this through the lens of faith, here is really my issue. To do anything right and for success in anything in life calls for three T’s – Time, Team and Trust. All three are necessary and work together to produce the goods. Without one of these ingredients the cake deflates. What is apparently the case in these situations is that the managers have been denied one or more of these assets. The most important one though is trust. You’ll notice how much easier it is to say you love someone than it is to say you trust someone.

Trust is not an empty sentiment. Trust is the intentional whole-hearted investment of something of worth into someone to produce something. I trust you, therefore I invest myself in your heart and expect you to produce confidentiality where necessary. I trust you and prove it by giving something of worth, something useful for the task at hand. Now what happens when I don’t get what is necessary, when it can be given, is that I’m disabled from the task at hand. That trust that is necessary if something is going to be productive. The time then follows because of the understanding in the relationship – what can anyone do in six months? What can anyone do in three months? In a football club where it’s taken people years to be successful. These decisions are so counter-productive and if you know your best people are against you that breaks up the whole thing about team. So you don’t trust, there’s no team and there’s little surprise that there’s no time. This however breeds a dangerous environment for anyone coming in there.

With the reports about the players not being supportive either, this is not the type of condition that you would want to expect people to thrive in. So for both Chelsea and Portsmouth the developments are retrogressive steps which they will live to regret. I feel for the fans especially of Portsmouth – the Chelsea ones have been spoilt by Mourinho and are now deluded. I especially feel it for Tony Adams who has appeared to be such a decent guy and if you really want to trust the guy you’ve got to give him time to set his business his way and if you don’t have the time – don’t hire the guy!! As for Scolari – that poor brother is just another victim in the quest of the new Jesus Gil – Roman Abramovic – to conquer all. He will learn eventually that successful teams are not made that way by which time the club will be seriously ruined. This is all because he doesn’t take time to build team based on trust.

May we learn from these experiences and thank God who trusts us with life and His Son and His Spirit to produce in due season.

(For the full splurge of writing that I had on yesterday see what I put
over here.)

For His Name's Sake

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