My top ten tactical tips for winning football matches

October 30, 2006

Since some football managers, especially those of England national football teams, seem a bit lost for tactics and have difficulty in beating opponents classed a hundred or so places below them, I offer my advice on winning matches.
1. Overtalk your opponents before the match, say how scared you are, how they are the best team in Europe etc and what wonderful players they are. They will be so big-headed that they won’t even notice where the ball is.
2. Give them a 2 or 3 goal start. Anybody knows that being a few goals up induces complacency, after that they are yours for the picking.
3. Get one of your own players sent off- it’s well known that ten men play better than 11. Play one or two ‘straw men’ as it is known in espionage parlance. If things get really desperate get another two sent off as well, tactically your opponents won’t know what’s hit them.
4. Study what insults are going to wind your opponents up. Casting aspertions on the virtue of their mothers or sisters might work with Latins but not at all with the Scandinavians or Africans. If it’s another team from the British Isles, even implying that you have enjoyed the favours of their current girl friend or unfavourable comparisons between her and the inhabitants of Chessington zoo might not work. Impugning their sartorial taste, size of their member or capacity to hold alcohol, however, almost certainly will. With players of some nationalities references to livestock seem more successful.
5. Get into bed with the referee (not necessarily literally). Referees are sensitive souls so giving them a few words of encouragement, praising their decisions even when they go against you and behaving with ostentatious stoicism when fouled work wonders.
6. Choose players with exceptional physical characteristics- if possible have one player over 6’9 in height, an obese goalkeeper to narrow the opposing strikers’ field of view, one with a large bottom as most goals are sneaked from parts of the anatomy other than the foot and the head; the odd midget of 3 foot and a bit can also come in useful in running between the legs of tall opponents; somebody exceptionally ugly or with a large nose can also unnerve the opposition. Some of the most successful players are still teenagers- consider fielding the odd five or six year old. They know no mercy.

7. Pay players the national minimum wage and give them a modest bonus if they win. Every football fan knows that players whose minds are on their 150k Aston Martin and their next trip to Armani are not going to be interested in kicking a ball about in a muddiy field.
8. Ban sex except for 24 hours after a match that has been won. Sex is like carrots, not bananas- it should be a shimmering light at the end of a glorious tunnel, not a knickerbocker glory that is available any time. Sex to come stimulates; sex in the past enervates.
9. Train your supporters in choral singing and I don’t mean rubbish like ‘You will never walk alone’ and ‘I will survive’. There’s nothing like a few Buxtehudian counterpoints belted out by 60,000 drink sodden Merseysiders to strike terror into the hearts of any team.
10. Have some players in your team with unrponounceable, or at least unwritable names. No referee is going to wasnt to spend five minutes writing down Szckzymnjzy or Lekmankulphrasittiwatnathithornchandrasekhaphon.

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