One of my all-time favorite books is titled ‘The Hover Car Racer’ by Matthew Reilly, who incidentally happens to be my favorite author too. I have read this book around 15 odd times and I am sure I will read it a lot more in the future. The fast paced novel had its fair share of speed, thrills, drama, action and very importantly, some excellent lines. The title itself happens to be one of them and something I think about every single day.
At this point of time of what is now being seen as a ‘deflated’ season, I actually see the relevance of this line even more.
At the beginning, let us just accept that the club has got things wrong. Few or many is a point of debate, but having got it wrong is not. The key is what next from this?
“To err is human, to make the same mistake twice is stupid”
Liverpool FC as a club should not be too unfamiliar with the quote above (again taken from the book). We seem to make the same basic mistakes over and over again to the extent that we are not even surprised. Each of the three times the club has finished second, the following seasons respectively have been a disappointment vis-a-vis expectations and most of it is due to a mix of carelessness, lack of foresight and improper prioritization.
I am sure many of us have read the fascinating and insightful piece written by Paul Tomkins, a week ago, titled ‘We’re All Gonna Die’ . The article hit home a lot of truths and found agreement at a high level with most of the audience. The question is what you can do about it, the ‘you’ here, of course, referring to our beloved club.
“A hero is not a person who doesn’t get afraid. A hero is a person who takes action even when they are afraid”
What Paul Tomkins’ piece does is set up a baseline, a sort of ‘target before season’. The question is what do you target? Do you target based on what you have achieved before and what the statistics say is realistically achievable? If yes, then there is a possibility that we end up in this cycle of meeting the targets of plucking the low hanging fruits.
Or we decide to do something different? But let us also consider the fact, before we attempt something different, that we cannot afford to make glaring mistakes. At least, not more than the clubs against whom you are trying to compete.
But how do you learn if you do not try? Some choices, that.
“It’s not how we win that defines us, it’s how we lose. Winners come and go, but the racer who goes down fighting will live forever in people’s hearts”.
So what does LFC do? Do they improve 2 or 3 major problems they have or do they attempt to improve the countless basic things they do on a daily basis. Therein lies the question of prioritization. What you fix depends on what is most important to the club in that time frame. But there is no doubting that, whatever path the club takes, they can do better.
- Can LFC look wider for players?
- Can LFC act faster on decisions?
- Can LFC be swifter with Player contract decisions?
Of course the answer is Yes to the above questions. However, you can also be sure that all clubs are looking to improving the above mentioned points. So ultimately the club might end up doing what others are doing, and thus, end up gaining very little.
So the choices seem to be simple/straightforward
- Do what others are doing, but do it better, faster, simpler.
- Do something out of the box, but be prepared to fail
“Don’t resist your mistakes, Mr Chaser. Learn from them”
Liverpool FC cannot control how other teams would perform, and hence cannot guarantee whether they will finish in Top 4 or not. What they can control is how they perform each week (or each midweek). What they can control is being better than yesterday in whatever they do.
“You don’t have to be the best, you just have to do your best.”
Because winning and coming first are not the same thing.