This is my favourite kind of Michael Cox article because it’s a kind of subtle two fingers to the “tactics don’t explain everything you know!” crowd who inevitably show up to tell people who’ve thought long and hard about these things for months and years the flippin’ obvious.
Anyway, Cox gets to the hard, tactical core of what Harry Redknapp brings to QPR, and what they desperately need. Haul out your patented AVB tactical notebooks and Texas Instruments programmable calculators children, this is going to be really painful! Here, in full, is Cox’s diagnosis of the Loftus Road disease:
“As any QPR fan will tell you, the problem has been with motivation, determination and belief.”
Those ineffable things that don’t quite make sense on a chalkboard and yet matter deeply all the same. In all seriousness, Cox goes onto explain that while Redknapp is a tactician (though not a technocrat), his approach speaks more to his ability to work with footballers.
And yes, that means something vitally important in improving performance, as the weak-tea Harvard Business School study on Sir Alex Ferguson inadvertently demonstrated. A lot of his genius is knowing how to deal with footballers, who to groom them, how to cushion their disappointment, how to motivate them to play to the best of their ability.
There’s no graph for that, but it matters nevertheless. And I’d introduce you to the serious tactics analyst and statistician who thinks differently, but he’s sadly made of straw.