When a team is looking for improvements, either financially or on the field, logic says transfer for a better player is the right move to go.
And in most cases this works out OK but there are some that went horribly wrong
Sol Campbell on his move to Notts County in 2009 and making only one appearance said “The only thing I’m guilty of is taking people at their word” even though he had big dreams
Manchester United paid £10 million to Crystal Palace for Wilfried Zaha with an extra £5 million to be paid if the move was successful! It wasn’t!
These players were good, if not great at their former clubs but that doesn’t always equate to success in another place so I’d like to suggest the following, before a decision is made.
When anyone moves to a new situation, there is a period of figuring things out. Each player has their personalities, beliefs, values and expectations and if any of these aren’t being met in the new environment, their performance on the pitch is going to suffer.
Imagine an introverted player coming to a new team. A quiet player but with plenty of skill and ability. Should this player be exposed to situations against his personality, there is a strong likelihood his performance will drop and the transfer be a bust.
The value of the transfer will only be judged on the performance on the field, which is influenced by the player’s life off the field.
Think about it – 90 minutes a game, perhaps two games per week and up to five hours training a day over three days – that’s around 18 hours playing football a week. What will they be doing for the other 150 hours?
There’s a lot of time to fill and if that time isn’t filled with supportive, nurturing and relaxing times, the player can be distracted by negativity and thoughts that are detrimental to their performance and mental health. The player may think the worse.
I’m sure you’ve heard the quote by Einstein that goes
“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish in its ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life believing it is stupid”
Some players get put in the wrong environment for them to thrive.
Perhaps clubs and players can spend more time forming a strategy to figure out the player’s expectations, beliefs and values, rather than just focus on the business side of the game?
Do you know a player that was a bust?
I welcome your thoughts and ideas and invite coaches to get in touch