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A team with no money plan a fightback.

“The vision is, and was, that we were only going to recruit players with the right attitude and mentality,” De Witte says. “Even if other players were better on the technical side, we didn’t take them. Our plan has been to work on fighting spirit, a little bit more of that than innate talent."

Remind you of anyone?


  • It's always amazed me how many clubs still recruit on a best talent basis while forgetting about personality and attitude. When managers talk about recruiting based on attitude and club fit its hailed as a change from the norm in the press but isn't that just standard recruitment policy in most industries.
    Ainsworth seems to have done a decent job building a squad with good attitude and a willingness to work. A group with multiple leaders usually is more successful and we have that. Obviously it doesn't always work but on the whole I think a 1% better attitude beats 1% more talent

    (the percentages are for you DevC)

  • Plus I would suggest it's easier to coach a player with a good attitude and average talent than one with good talent and average attitude. In the former scenario, the player would likely improve quicker than in the latter scenario.

  • I've worked in the youth set up at 3 professional clubs and the number of kids that are let go because of their attitude is very high. At 14 they strut around like they have made it as aprifessional footballer. The kids that want to be there and want to be coached are not always the technically gifted players but they work hard and are more likely to be kept on.

  • On a side note my clan were watching The Jump(?) and one of the coaches said that Superman (the actor not the real person) was doing brilliantly at learning a new skill. Superman then said that it was because as a college footballer he had 11 years of doing exactly as the coach told him. What an interesting comparison to today's 'soccer' players.

  • The ideal footballer is one with great technical skill and a great attitude. But if he is one of them he is probably playing in the premiership and not available to Wycombe. At Wycombe's level you have to compromise, either on talent or attitude or both.

    While I agree attitude is a vital component for clubs at WWFC level, it is not the only driver. It may be sometimes worth taking on a player with a less than ideal attitude in two circumstances
    1) where his talent is so extreme, that the bad attitude is worth the cost. The older amongst us may remember the supreme example of this - Robin Friday. If his like was available today, I would take him like a shot.
    2) you may sometimes take a punt on a player with talent but with attitude issues where you believe you may be able to turn him around. For a while GA succeeded with this with Dean Morgan. He tried it with Jason Banton unsuccessfully this time. He also tried it with PCH who had a reputation at Plymouth as a lazy show pony with great success. Arguably Sheridan is trying something similar with AAH.

    Incidentally you do sometimes have to understand why some players have "attitude issues". They will almost certainly be the best footballer in their school, they will have status and respect, be whispered about as they pass in the corridor, kids (often including attractive young girls) will want to be their friends. They will be repeatedly told that they are going to make it, they are going to have the millionaire lifestyle. Then at 16 or 18, the top club they are with releases them. Suddenly all that hero worship that have had all their lives dries up. If they are lucky a lower level team may give them a last chance but all their dreams and expectations and status has evaporated. Of course the right thing then to do is get your head down work incredibly hard and try to take that opportunity. But given the disappointment and confusion these young human beings are suffering from at the time, not surprising really that some are unable to.

  • Robin Friday. What a player. RIP.

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