…as referenced above, my lack of awareness of the wider footballing world is in evidence at more complete lack of forethought for transfers next season. At the same time though, I have to be careful not to allow what my brain tells me I should be doing to influence me. My signings this season have been fantastic and I feel a pressure to go and strengthen again. At the same time, I have Solanke, Brewster, Sturridge, Wilson, Ojo, Grujic, Allan, Markovic, Origi, Ejaria and others either out on loan or in reserve. I may not need to dip into the market and indeed it may be more fun to try and develop the youngsters, rather than splashing the cash.
…Again, my lack of confidence comes into play. What if they’re no good? What if we slip from the high standards we have maintained this year? What if some of them are no good? Do I back myself to sort the wheat from the chaff?
…I’ve often struggled with understanding which of my responsibilities to entrust to my staff and which to look after myself. It is a similar dilemma I have faced in real life, whereby I tend to err on the side of hoarding tasks through a fear of ceding control to others. It’s not that I think I can do it better, it’s simply the comfort of being in the driver’s seat. If I fail, the failure is mine alone. In FM terms, this anxiety is slightly different. By ceding control, I feel as if I am not really playing. Is it really my success if my Assistant is taking team talks and running training or my Director of Football negotiating contracts? I have gone back and forth on it this term, initially controlling everything, then ceding virtually all responsibility and now, by season’s end, finding a balance that works for me. I have let my assistant look after team training, purely on the basis that I don’t know what I’m doing. Similarly I have asked Steven Gerrard, my under-18s coach, to renew contracts for youth players. On the other hand, I ditched my original plan to let my assistant control opposition instructions and individual player training. These are things tied directly match tactics, something I have, over the course of the season, learned to trust my own judgement on.