Sunday, April 28, 2013

OLD TRAFFORD SOCCER STADIUM, MANCHESTER UNITED CLUB’S THEATRE OF DREAMS – CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL


PILGRIMAGE TO THE MECCA OF SOCCER ,  SIR ALEX FERGUSON , TEAM DYNAMICS –  CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL


Last Sunday the TV  was on while I was reading a magazine sipping chilled beer.

The soccer match between Manchester United and Aston Villa had just got over.  Manchester United had won the English Premier League for a record 20th time.

I saw the manager of Manchester United club Sir Alec Ferguson wending his way to the Stretford End  to pay tribute to the noisy die hard supporters of his club as the loudspeakers pumped out The Courteeners, the rock band of Manchester.

He bend down to bow and hail . The hooligans loved it and they hollered their collective heads off .


My wife shouted “ Look out for our eldest son .  He will be somewhere in the Stretford stands sitting right between all those hooligans . ( to soak in the atmosphere )”

My eyes picked out my son in a black coat , on our Ultra HD wide Sony TV..   

My wife said “ No, that cant be him, for he had promised to wear the red Manchester United Jersey”.

I told her off “ Baby, you are now challenging ze trained Captain’s eye , who has navigated his ship through heavy traffic and fog for 30 years “

We could NOT verify who was right immediately as he had left his mobile in USA.   It makes no sense to go on a holiday with a mobile phone you take to your workplace in your pocket .   Computer developer colleagues  keep calling to ask doubts.

So later it so transpired it was indeed him in that black coat, standing with both his hands on the railings in the courseway looking down directly at Ferguson...


See how times have changed.

I remember in my time going to the local beach was a great thing – leave alone a trans-Atlantic flight to see a game of soccer.  

Of course he went and saw some old castles in Wales.  He could feel ghosts inside the dark and dingy rooms.

My elder son is a soccer nut. He supports Manchester United. My wife supports Chelsea and yours truly supports Manchester City.   

My son travelled all the way to City’s stadium too, and sat on the seat of Tevez in the player’s lounge ( I am a Tevez fan ) , just for mE sake.






There is a lot more to soccer than what meets the eye.   A good soccer manager understands “team dynamics”.

In my official email messages from my ship, under my signature would be a subtle “team dynamics” message. Officially I am NOT allowed to do this.  But then who is gonna bell the cat? – nobody tried.

Needless to say, the recipients of my emails used to telephone me and say that they always read my “RE-INVENTING TEAM DYNAMICS “ ( RITD ) agent provocateur punch lines first and then only the read the actual message.  

Some of the Yanks used to save these punch lines in a word document , because their wives and children back home can read it— they thought it was eastern mysticism .   

Punch into Google search TEAM WORK, TEAM DYNAMICS VADAKAYIL.

You can check it out yourself – basically  “Thought for the day” .   

In my case every punch line related to something which happened the previous day—  it alluded to something and somebody, and people in the shore offices used to put 2 and 2 together ,  make it 5 and have a nice laugh.

Have you noticed how Sir Alex Ferguson sits in the stands , furiously chewing gum , watching team dynamics—the natural forces at play and determine is they are acting for good.  He will make interventions to make the effect of those dynamics more positive. 

Coaching will be provided later to make up any skill deficiencies. He quickly determines the teams strength and weaknesses and tailors new approaches. He provides feedback to correct unproductive moves.

A well knit team takes on a life of its own and the managers job is to nurture and maintain it.  Each member of the team is entitled to be interested in all aspects of the operation. This is not cancelled out by the fact that he has special responsibilities in a limited area, like the goal keeper in a soccer team. This creates higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment plus higher levels of trust and support.

Teamwork creates the forum for the common man to attain uncommon results.  A bunch of superstars stars do NOT meake a team. A group in itself does not necessarily constitute a team. Members of a  team must have complementary and diversified skills committed to a common purpose, where they use their strengths in full and can complement for each others weakness..

In order to be a good team player one has to unselfish, compromise and even sacrifice . Hostility among team members and low participation are symptoms that signal a need for team building. Morale problems do not happen overnight and they cannot be resolved overnight. Conflict resolution is not a stand alone skill. Without this skill the team cannot bond.  The team members must know what is expected of them.

It is the manager’s job to provide a positive and congenial climate . A good team has flexibility and synergy and achieves more than the sum of its parts.  It is the job of the manager to identify issues that inhibit the team. He must address those issues and remove the inhibitors.

The manager must have people skills.  Sir Alex Ferguson does NOT have it, as he treated several players shabbily , keeping his ego in front.

Team members must know how to examine team and individual errors and weaknesses without making personal attacks. The manager must be able to identify jealousy and defensive behavior.  He must build a feeling of solidarity and team spirit.  

He has to look out for the cynical lone ranger who ignores others, and survives by being servile to the manager who can make or break him.   Don’t excuse a badly behaving team member.

Some people are just negative by nature. Don’t hesitate to confront such cynical team destroyers and demand behavior change at once. Some people lack confidence and view attacks on their opinions as a personal attack. A typical statement would be “are you telling that my 20 years of experience does not matter?”

Team building cannot be a short term flavour of the months. Music orchestra bands are a clear example of how a team works. Poor performing bands are inflexible, the musicians have petty differences, compete with each other, stay in their comfort zones and expect the audience to accommodate their jarring music.

Just plain old Harmony is not the goal of cross functional teamwork .  False consensus is undesirable where team members are afraid to express a contrary point of view for fear it will destroy the positive feelings among team members.  An absence of overt conflict is often mistaken for teamwork. 

Conflict is natural and desirable. Issues are attacked –not each other. If conflict is not visible , either the people are thinking alike or they have suppressed conflict. Both situations are not helpful. Teams that suppress conflict lose effectiveness and the conflict erupts into destructive ways. A good leader will not allow endless debates on minor problems.

A good manager knows the importance of understanding another point of view. He knows that progress has been made on this planet only through disobedience and rebellion-- and that people with spirit , passion and courage have always been sinister to the walking dead.   

Strength of character and courage of convictions is NEVER mistaken for poor attitude. He communicates in the language of his people NOT in fuckin' latin.  A good manager will not convert men by silencing them. He knows when he praises everybody he praises nobody.
  
When there is no synergy in the team, the people are passive.  If bonuses and incentives are part of the reward system, they should be given to teams performance—not individual performance. Team culture is destroyed by racism, inappropriate race based pay systems ( which cannot be avoided in soccer ) , and destructive comments from management.  

You must now punch into Google search TEVEZ MANCINI FIGHT ADVISE TO SOCCER MANAGERS VADAKAYIL


Above: Video in which Adolf Hitler gets pissed off with Carlos Tevez.

A cookbook approach cannot be taken to build teams. Team members often tend to want to clone themselves and invite participants “just like me”.

Be sensitive to friction.  Nip it in the bud before it ends in a full scale war with everybody taking sides.  Let it be known that feuding wont be tolerated.  Reason with them.  Don’t take sides—but take swift and resolute action.  Players  must be polite, friendly and kind .  Players are entitled to respect, civilised behaviour and dignity.

If you take sides then you are part of the argument and the disagreement. You as a leader have to remain totally objective and in the middle. Being conciliatory is like mother hen breaking up a fight between 2 of her chicks.. You just want to restore peace. You will not spend inordinate time in finding out who pecked whose ass first.

Your rules say that there can be no bullying, shouting, threatening , intimidation or victimisation in your team. This is abuse. Every player is allowed to refuse abuse . If somebody is not doing his job he should be taken aside and his mistakes pointed out calmly and rationally. 

If the team comes to work looking to enjoy themselves, be stretched and challenged then you can get the best out of them. It is the job of the manager to get them emotionally involved and instill pride . Getting your team to soar takes passion and determination. 

No one can whistle a symphony—it takes an orchestra to play it. Be ready to prune dead wood, straggly growth and tone deaf lousy flute players.

The force of a team like a typhoon takes time to grow—but once it is spinning, it is a formidable thing indeed.



Above video:  A die hard Arsenal fan gets pissed off with captain of team Robin Van Persie for leaving Arsenal and joining Manchester United ( 24 Million pounds )..  In the Aston Villa match Van Persie ( exulting below ) scored a fine hatrick.




To add insult to injury, today the entire Arsenal team have to stand as guard of honour in the player's tunnel during entry -- in the match against champions of EPL Manchester United.



Old Trafford is in my opinion the greatest and most famous sporting arena on this planet.

Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, and the home of Manchester United. With a capacity of 75,765  Old Trafford is the second-largest football stadium in the United Kingdom after Wembley. 


German bombing raids on 22 December 1940 and another one on 11 March 1941 destroyed much of the stadium. 

Old Trafford celebrated its 100th anniversary on 19 February 2010.  The rise of hooliganism in the 1970s saw the erection of the country’s first perimeter fence. There are lots of loud drunk guys cursing at every call they disagree with by the referee or even at players who aren't putting in their 100%  in their expert estimation.


They make a lot of money by conducted tours .  Probably more than 350,000 people visit every year.  Today the tour charge is 16 pounds.  Since my son is a member he was charged only 8 pounds. Tour includes the dugouts, players tunnel, and the Manchester United Museum and lasts about 70 minutes.


Manchester United members receive priority when applying for tickets for high-profile matches. Ticket prices range from £30.00 for a lower-tier seat behind one of the goals to £52.00 for a central seat at the Alex Ferguson or South Stand.

The souvenir shops do roaring trade The ground was given the nickname “Theatre of Dreams” by Bobby Charlton, who survived the Munich aircrash.  The museum was opened on 11 April 1998 by Pelé.  There is a  chapel, where hard core Manchester United fans get married.
  


On 6 February 1958, the British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Riem Airport in Munich, West Germany, with the entire Manchester United team inside. 


The team was returning from a European Cup match in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia), against Red Star Belgrade, and had stopped in Munich for refueling.  It was snowing heavily , causing a layer of slush to build up at the far end of the runway.  


When the aircraft hit the slush, it lost velocity, making take-off impossible.  It ploughed through a fence past the end of the runway, before the port wing hit a nearby house with a fuel tank inside causing an explosion . 


22 people of the 44 people in the plane were killed, of which 8 were Manchester United players. Some of the survivors never played again. There is also a clock and plaque in remembrance of the Munich disaster.



Sir Alexander Chapman "Alex" Ferguson, CBE has been the manager of Manchester United since 1986. After this Aston Villa EPL game , Ferguson had secured the 49th trophy of his managerial career . His tenure has seen the club go through an era of success and dominance both in England and in Europe, giving Ferguson a reputation as one of the most admired and respected managers in the history of the game. 

With 26 years as manager of Manchester United, he is the longest serving manager in soccer. Ferguson has won many awards and holds many records including winning Manager of the Year most times in British football history.

He was knighted in 1999 for his services to the game.  His statue was installed at Old Trafford on 23 November 2012. The North Stand was renamed as the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand on 5 November 2011, in honour of Alex Ferguson's 25 years as manager of the club.

Fergusoncould spot talent.


Ferguson bought Nemanja Vidic for just £7m from Spartak Moscow . He is worth his weight in gold as he can anticipate the flight of the ball, position himself and is tough as nails. The hooligans chant  that ring around the ground: "He comes from Serbia, he'll fuckin” murder ya."


He had bought Cristiano Ronaldo for  £12.25m from Sporting Lisbon, arguably the world’s most complete player at the moment with both brawn and brains. 


Ferguson is famous for playing "mind games" with fellow Premiership managers.  He makes snide comments at a pre-match press conference about the opposition Manager or their team. This has led to several spats in the past with managers such as Kevin Keegan, Arsène Wenger, Rafael Benítez and Mark Hughes. 


Ferguson has received numerous punishments for abusing and publicly criticising match officials and generally behaving like an a$$hole. .

He is a strict disciplinarian, and can get cranky . His players nicknamed him Furious Fergie.  He had fined one of his players, John Hewitt, for overtaking him on a public road. I think this takes the cake.

Ferguson is infamous for throwing crockery in the dressing room if players do not meet his exacting standards. Many former players have recounted his infamous "hairdrying treatment" in which he leans his face inches away from the player's and launches into a tirade, often lasting several minutes.

In 2003, Ferguson was involved in a dressing room showdown with star United player David Beckham, resulting in a eyebrow injury to Beckham, caused by Ferguson kicking a football boot in anger. 


As a shocked Beckham reeled after being struck above the left eyebrow by the boot, he is reported to have shouted: "Fuc#in’ hell, my head is covered in blood."  Instantly Ferguson snapped at a club physio: "Just fuc#kin’ patch him up."  Beckham was grabbed by Giggs first, then by Gary Neville and Ruud van Nistelrooy to restrain him.


Above:  Wayne Rooney gives it back to his Hitler boss.  If Rooney is treated shabbily and thrown out , then this planet can call SIR Alex , TURD Alex Ferguson.

He has consistently taken a "my way or the highway" approach in his dealings with players and the pressure of this management tactic has forced many fine players like Gordon Strachan, Paul McGrath, Paul Ince, Jaap Stam, Dwight Yorke, David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy , Gabriel Heinze , Carlos Tevez etc to cock a snook at him and leave.

Former Aberdeen player, Millwall manager Mark McGhee, recalled a dressing-room eruption when Sir Alex kicked a laundry basket and some underpants flew through the air and landed on a player's head.

'He (the player) didn't move. Just sat there rigid.

'Fergie didn't even notice until he stopped raging. Then he looked up at the boy and said: 'And you can take those ****ing pants off your head.

'What the hell do you think you are playing at?


He is also well known for his vitriol.


Samples--

'Inzaghi was born in a bloody offside position.'
A withering assessment of Italian striker Filippo

'He's a fuc#in’ novice—he should keep his opinions to Japanese football.'
On Arsene Wenger, shortly after his appointment as Arsenal manager in 1996.

'If he was an inch taller he'd be the best centre half in Britain. His father is 6ft 2in - I'd check the milkman.'
On the now retired United right-back Gary Neville.


'They say he's an intelligent man, right? Speaks five languages. I've got a 15-year-old boy from the Ivory Coast who speaks five languages!' ( SHOWS A RACIST MINDSET )


On Arsene Wenger, shortly after his appointment as Arsenal manager in 1996 

“They are a small club, with a small mentality"
Sir Alex on big-spending Manchester City.

'My greatest challenge is not what's happening at the moment, my greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their fuc#in’ perch. And you can print that.'
Reacting to remarks by former Liverpool player Alan Hansen that he was past it in 2002

'Sometimes you have a noisy neighbor and have to live with it. You can't do anything about them...”
After Manchester City was taken over by billionaire new owners

"I’m not like Newcastle — a wee club in the North East”.
Sir Alex  hissing back at being criticised by New Castle boss Alan Pardew.

The WEE club comment made mE day.

My son said, that right from the time he landed at Manchester airport to the time he flew back to USA, he noticed that everybody talked - nay  breathed soccer.  

This is why this place is called the Mecca of soccer.




Here is a Manchester United joke

Q. How many Manchester United fans does it take to change a light bulb?

A. Seven, one to change it, five to moan about it and Sir Alex Ferguson to bitch that  if the referee had done his job in the first place,  the light bulb would have never gone out!

Below video : Manchester United hooligans are pissed off with Carlos Tevez after he left the club for City.


Who's that tw*t from Argentina?

Who's that money grabbing whore?

Carlos Tevez is his name and he hasn't got a brain

And he won't be winning trophies anymore. ?






CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL
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13 comments:

  1. Hello sir,

    I have worked as an engineer in one plant where I was managing workers and reporting to my managers. When we are new to work fresh from collage. I was of very soft nature and people used to make use of it. Then I was forced to use a more carrot and stick policy to survive in the game and a bit of cockiness. This worked surprisingly well. Then I went on to join some high tech company where the working level was engineer. In plant the working level is till supervisor. Engineer is in middle management position. But in a high tech company where all are in same education level, it is very much harder to go up in the corporate ladder. Cockiness is considered totally undesirable. Is it bad being cocky?how can we be cocky in our work and look natural?any advise.....?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi aravind,

      if usain bolt or mohammed ali is cocky --everybody loves it.

      if you are NOT worth it and you try to be cocky, people call you an a&&hole behind your back.

      capt ajit vadakayil
      ..

      Delete
  2. Hello Captain,
    Was a die hard fan of Van Persie right from his early days after Wenger brought him in from Feyenoord. Always maintained that RVP minus injuries is the best Striker in the premier league. He has been proving that point from the time he returned from injury mid way through the 2010-11 season. Still have no doubts about his class, but simply lost all respect for him for the way he choose to leave Arsenal considering how we kept his back year after year when he spent months on the treatment bed year after year, not playing more that 10-12 games on a stretch any season. I seriously doubt if Sir Alex had a second objective behind getting Van Persie, which would be to put Rooney's ego in place especially after he dictated the terms of contract extension the previous year. He is one manager who shows your ego up your ass no matter how big a superstar you may be.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi rl,

      you van take your wife for a honeymoon to MUNNAR.

      make reservations well in advance.

      from there go to Ooty , which is in TamilNadu. I had my honeymoon there. after 25 years of marriage we went again and stayed with my sons in the same cottage at SAVOY Ooty. the movie sadma ( kamalahasan / sri devi ) was shot in this cottage.

      be in the lap of nature.

      capt ajit vadakayil
      ..



      Delete
  4. Thanks Sir.. :-) it is a done deal..

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi sp,

      i do NOT give advise on how to get into an ivy league university-- which is entirely on merit.

      maxing in GRE does NOT ensure you an admission into a top ivy league university like cornell--while it may improve your chances.

      the 3 recommendation ( testimonials ) letter matter.

      make sure you get good sleep and REM sleep when you prepare for exams.

      punch into google search-

      THE DREAMER AND REM SLEEP, THE WITNESS AND TURIYA AJIT VADAKAYIL

      capt ajit vadakayil
      ..

      Delete
    2. sorry sir i meant to get into ivy league colleges, here in Oceania we just call them unis, but thanks anyways

      appreciate the time you spent replying

      Delete
  6. sir ji, if you can help it would be great. i have a problem when ever i yawn not breathe this only happens when i yawn, u feel the air rush inside my pecs' and it leaves it sore afterwards, is this something i need to be worried about? im only sixteen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi sp,
      maybe you have already strained your pecs from some physical activity..

      sudden jerks, may lead to the stretching of muscles beyond their normal capacity. this results in small tears in the muscle fibers and/or the associated tendons

      doctors usually use X-ray, CT scan, Ultrasound or MRI may be required to assist diagnosis , if you have money to spend you can do that.

      pectoralis major and pectoralis minor are two important muscles present in the pectoral girdle.
      pectoralis major is a thick, large muscle that forms a major portion of the chest wall, and is associated with flexion, medial rotation and adduction of the arm. the pectoralis major brings the humerus across the chest.

      pectoralis minor serves to move the shoulder area forward. pectoralis minor is a smaller muscle present beneath pectoralis major, and is mainly involved in shoulder movements.

      strain in these muscles, causes chest pain and difficulty while performing regular activities—including a nice full blooded yawn..

      you are young. it will heal if you allow that portion muscle to rest for 2 full months.

      eat magnesium (spinach, beans, youghurt, banana foods) and protein (eggs, lean meat, fish, legumes, leafy greens) to accelerate muscle repair.

      capt ajit vadakayil
      ..

      Delete
  7. Dear Captain

    Dont you think even English Football is full of propoganda. A League where only 30 or 40 % are locals as compared to 60 or 70 % in Spain Italy or Germany. Even their National Team England Football team sucks

    Regards
    Ajesh

    ReplyDelete
  8. Capt,

    I realised I had many black onyx stones lying in the cupboard bought at fairs here and there but had no idea what they were until I read your post.
    I guess it's their power. My mother is much better now. Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete