Football mirrors business, business mirrors football. Those who don’t innovate and evolve are more likely to fail in the long term. Fact.
That is why I’m in despair about Scotland’s recent football results. Just when I thought performances couldn’t get any worse, along come Wales and Belgium to sink our hearts.
Qualification was always going to be a big ask, but undermined by our lack of quality and poor final product when most needed, it became an inevitability. Of course, it’s still mathematically possible and as long as it is then I can’t envisage Levein relinquishing his role.
This was all compounded not only by lack of flair and finishing – but crucially, managerial tactics that were totally risk averse.
As I walked to my train this morning I spotted a poster with Dundee’s 2020 vision, showcasing a redeveloped waterfront: I imagine to get these plans from a pipe-dream to actual construction took vision, creativity, investment, dedication and some calculated risks.
For me it is this latter point alone that has been Craig Levein’s downfall.
No matter the field of work you are in I guarantee that, at best, innovation combined with at times calculated, educated or informed risks will be pivotal to your business decisions. Tell me I’m wrong?
I see absolutely no indication that on the pitch Levein is willing to make decisions that challenge the norm. Let’s face it, given our history, it’s easy to understand why: with a leaky defence and lack of goals the logical solution is to keep it tight at the back, starting from the front. Sounds so simple really doesn’t it?
It’s an easy trap to fall into. Sure, we may not have the type of player we did when we last qualified for a major tournament, France ’98, and that is why Craig Gordon has been quick to defend the good work Levein has been doing behind the scenes. But that’s no excuse: this time there was no glorious failure, only dejection and misery.
Even if we had failed to qualify but performances had improved and there was noticeable progression then fans would be onside.
I’m going to learn from this experience: no matter your field, the value of innovation, creativity and appopriate risk-taking should never be underestimated.
Infact, the Scottish Football Association could do a lot worse than taking their own risk: take a chance on me.
MarCommsKenny, national football team manager. Has a certain ring to it…