The tendency in the modern game is to spend money to solve a problem.
Are you short of a central defender?
Go out and buy one.
Too many managers, too many clubs, believe that’s how it has to work. Bosses are judged based on their signings … how else are you meant to judge some of those bosses down south who’s whole reputation has been built on it?
But great managers don’t buy success; they craft it. Alex Ferguson was able to spend as much as any boss in Europe but he built teams, he didn’t go on a transfer splurge every season. When he had to fill a hole in a squad he looked to the youth ranks.
Other managers are creative in strange ways; when Pepe Guardiola saw that Barcelona had a problem with playing the ball out from the back he didn’t go and spend mega-money on a central defender … he spent it on a midfield battler, Javier Mascherano.
And he made him a ball playing defender.
Brendan has dabbled in those approaches, and it has made good players better players.
It also gives us a versatility in the squad which has made us very formidable.
Here are some of the players who Brendan has helped to reinvent.