In 2000 Ipswich finally reached the EPL via the playoffs after several years heartbreak. They did this under the guidance of George Burley who’d been in charge at Portman Road for over five years and a squad of players who reminded fairly much the same season-to-season by selling only a couple of players to bigger clubs (like Keiron Dyer to Newcastle) to insure the bills get paid. Their first season back in the EPL Ipswich finished fifth and qualified for the UEFA Cup. This again was done with much the same core of players on the squad. That summer everyone in the media (and those the media asked) said there’s no way they can do anything without spending money….that the previous season had been a fluke. So, Burley and co went out and spent money….and were promply relegated.
I’ve always said, soccer isn’t like other sports where you can just plug a new player in a slot. The eleven on the pitch need to know each other and how to work with each other. It takes time for a team to jell. You can have the best eleven players in the world on a team, but if they don’t know the other ten very well, they won’t be as successful as a team of players who work together as a unit.
I’ve said all MLS season that the reason LA weren’t preforming well wasn’t because they were bad or that Yallop didn’t know how to coach. It was because there were far too many player movements. Too many trades. Yeah, the finger gets pointed at Lalas but I’m pretty sure he’s just a fall guy for the AEG brain trust.
So now it seems someone else is “getting it.” Well, Duh!!! I’ve been saying it all summer.
We’ll see what happens in the expansion draft–my bet is that we lose Martino. But after that, I’m hoping there isn’t too much player movement this off-season. LA have a good squad of players. They still just need more time together and more time with Gullit (though I wish AEG hadn’t run off Yallop)
The good news is that AEG has scheduled all kinds of money making friendlies. I’ll be shocked if we don’t hear more scheduled for after the Christmas break. But in the long run, if these matches are in the off-season, all it does if give the guys more time together which will hopefully prove beneficial once the season starts.