I have been wanting to write this post for a while now, but decided to hold on until the 2018/2019 Champions League winner is confirmed.
Football is evolving at a very fast pace and you must evolve with it if you want to be a challenging team who wishes to play in the top flight year-in-year-out.
What about if you want to be a successful club in this era. Being successful means you win the trophies, you are there with the best every season, you are the first or second club mentioned when they call success. The ingredients that makes a football club is successful one in this era will be explained below.
You will now know why Manchester City is getting it right, why Chelsea are breaking records, and most recently why Liverpool are the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League winners.
The right coach
Win or lose, the coach gets the applause or the stick. Go on an unbeaten run or do the Invincible or win the UEFA Champions League trophy three times consecutively, the Club coach gets the accolades. This is the first thing that must be set right if you think your club will be successful in this era. The right coach will have a playing style that has been proven to win matches and cups. Look at Jose Mourinho with his counter-attacking football, Pep Guardiola with his tiki-taka, Jürgen Klopp with his gegenpressing, and Maurizio Sarri with his Sarriball. They are coaches that have a style that is working for them and that is why they are at the top. The right coach will turn an average football player into a world beater and then you say 'Wow look at Sterling under Guardiola, look at Trent Arnold and Robertson. They have evolved into one of the best in their position and that is the work of a good coach.
I smile when people say any coach can accomplish what Guardiola achieved this season with Manchester City. The truth is many coaches won't win a thing if they were at the helm of affairs at Manchester City . It's always about the coach and not importantly the players. The right coach knows the style he wants to play and will sign players that fit in.
This is the case of Thomas Tuchel PSG. Despite having some of the best players in the world, they could only win the ligue 1 this season. You don't perform wonders with a half-baked coach thinking the players will do the magic. They Lost shamelessly to a reserve Manchester United side in the Champions League. Imagine a Klopp as a manager of PSG. It is going to be a clean sweep for them. The right coach is needed and is the most important thing a club need to be successful in this era.
This will bring us to the AC Milan case and of course the next ingredient on the list which is the right players.
Huge transfer budget and the right players
I already explained the influence of a good coach to the success of a football club in this era. When you lose or win a match the coach is praise for his tactics or berated for his selections, next up are the players that get the stick or applause. You need the right players to play your style. The players with the winning mentality, passion, and determination to succeed, without these you will just be a regular club with no trophy to show for it. A good example of this is Tottenham. The right coach and the right players go hand-in-hand.
Pep Guardiola brought in the likes of John Stones, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, Ilkay Gundogan, Claudio Bravo, Nolito, and Zinchenko in his first season at Mancity. Still not satisfied with the results, he brought in Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Ederson, and Danilo in his second season. Can you see the results? He spent more than £450m to get the success he is enjoying now. That is the effect of a huge transfer budget.
Money brings success so they say. It should be money spent wisely brings success.
Let's look at AC Milan case. AC Milan spent more than £350m between 2017-18 and 2018/19 season. Players like Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Andre Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Lucas Biglia, Ricardo Rodriguez, Laxalt, Mattia Caldara, Lucas Paqueta, Nikola Kalinic, and Krzysztof Piatek bought. What is the end result? Huge transfer budget is not sufficient enough. With the wrong coach l, the club will only get the wrong players. Vincenzo Montella and Gennaro Gattuso managed AC Milan during this timeframe.
Never underestimate the influence of the football club fans. This is the reason why many clubs failed to get a result at Camp Nou, this is the reason why Barcelona failed to get a goal at Anfield, this is the reason Dortmund scored twice in the last 5 minutes of their quarterfinal match against Malaga in the Champions League. The fans light the atmosphere with their chants turning the atmosphere into a hostile one for the opponent.
Liverpool with their YNWA anthem are almost assured of victory before the match is played.
There's also the Signal Iduna park home to Borussia Dortmund football club. They also have huge fans backing. You are always assured of getting a good result at home when you have the funds passionately backing you.
It's an important thing most teams crave for.
Chelsea were lucky to win the Champions League in 2012 as all Odds were against them. They did the comeback against Napoli, survived Barcelona, and beat Bayern Munich on penalties after Robben extra-time penalty was saved buy Cech.
Leicester needed a bit of luck to claim their first ever Premier League trophy just two years after promotion from the championship.
When you get everything right, luck naturally comes in.
The right coach, huge transfer budget and the right players, fans backing, and luck are the required ingredients to become a successful club in this era.
All pictures sourced from Google