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Parma Ham's gone mouldy

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Parma Ham's gone mouldy last won the day on October 30

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  1. In bocca al lupo ZLF and all PUPs ️ Off to Denmark this week for the Div 1 W clash between: B93 Copenhagen vs FC Damse - Home win As for the generous BTTSanon’s pick, I like the look of the Serie A W game between: Verona vs Empoli Happy Weekend all Parma ️
  2. Parma Ham's gone mouldy

    Is 'The Model' flawed?

    Purple, 2 is very much what I also intended (back in Aug 2017). ‘This is the life we have chosen’ means de-facto accepting that the owners do not have the funds to compete on those terms. Very much the Royal we. It also doubles as ‘The Premier League has lots of rich owners /expensive players /high wages / unforgiving environment’ and that the realpolitik is that ‘we’ have chosen to run a football club and the Premier League is what it is. 1. Agreed of course. Very much a season where ‘ unicorn dreams’ wonderfully succeeded where analysis - including mine - did not. Parma
  3. Parma Ham's gone mouldy

    Is 'The Model' flawed?

    Written August 2017 (‘The Philosophy, the Company and the Future’) to explain the model and predict its strengths and flaws (spoiler: long form content): ‘........ Report post Posted August 30, 2017 The new philosophy has seen a radical overhaul of what went before. Change was overdue, though questions remain as to whether the new philosophy and structure is fundamentally different from the cyclical culling of managers with differing ideas and differing personalities at CEO (or similar) and the subsequent Phoenix-like rise of a new messiah. The restructuring of the club was and is a financial necessity, precipitating the chicken and egg question posed by historians discussing key events and figures ''ideology or economics''?. Economics is nearly always considered the major motivating factor, with figures more often characterised as ''opportunists'' taking advantage of events, regardless whether they flew a philosophical flag in public (proctor or post hoc). The Composition of board does therefore have relevance to direction taken and decisions made. An evangelical belief in any new Messiah is a fan-like approach, with an inherent risk of fervently embracing anything new and then clinging to it with a disciple''s commitment. Belief is unwavering, often - and by extension - beyond the empirical evidence to hand. The current football oversight structure is similar to the multiple European models highlighted in the Masterclasses. The Bayern structure is a good example of how even greater delineation, specialisation and oversight of playing, philosophical, negotiating and recruitment roles are employed elsewhere. Personalities are inevitably formed via experiences and such experiences influence decision- making and the weight afforded to factors used to influence decisions. Near administration may well make one financially risk-averse, very survival may then be considered a valid operational aim and achievement. Success may be viewed via a prism of sustainability, the cavalier methods of others may be dismissed and looked down upon, morals - politically or religiously influenced - may come to the fore and be used to mitigate or validate strategic approaches that are in reality more definitely influenced by finances or the lack thereof. The current structure may well be too late in deployment and may well be hamstrung by the limited finances to effect major changes. The question posed in Masterclasses was '' can you really do better with less?'' and ''if it were so easy, why doesn''t everyone do it?''. Greatly reducing wage budgets, player purchase values, squad size, de-facto pedigree and paper-level of players whilst fundamentally changing how the club functions operationally, the approach to training, fitness and tactical play is a huge amount to restructure in a short space of time. It can be built, though buying such players for limited money is a challenge, training existing players to operate differently is likely to be erratic, whilst breeding such players may take years. This philosophy is not a new manager short-fix panacea, to work it must be programmed to operate five or ten years ahead, to be the route the club is completely committed to take into the future. Arguably it will be more of a challenge to maintain it with success, the tendency will be to quickly parachute high earners in for the top level, which can quickly destabilise years of balanced philosophy and methodology. Alternatively it functions effectively without much top League exposure, maintaining Academic purity though consigning operations to Crewe-like breeding ground for others. Dynamics and personality inevitably influence where we are at and the decisions we make. Webber would only be human to want to prove himself in his own right, to show that Huddersfield''s success was down to him as well as, or as much as, or more than, Wagner. Historically any Sporting Directors have been background figures, kingmakers perhaps, but the Manager or ahead Coach still typically gets the limelight. The footballing autonomy likely to be shown to Webber- in light of the limited football-background of the board outside of NR1- will be intoxicating. Farke and Webber are hard workers, but many are in football. It is often all they know and has been their lives 24 hours a day for ever. Many know nothing else. Doing better is hard, doing (much) better with (much) less is not impossible, though it would as well not to get romantically carried away with lottery-winning possibilities. The odds are (well) against. Long term footballing tactics must always survive short term results. The tactical methodology employed - a good deal of which chimed with many previous Masterclasses - is arguably confronting Europe''s least hospitable testing ground. The Championship remains a loosely-refereed rough-and-tumble League of physical men and spoilers. There are arguably increasing amounts of ball-playing sides, though many have dual personality characteristics that take account of the need ''to earn the right to play''. Mourinho has spent £300m and is still quite happy to throw Fellaini on and hit him from deep let us not forget. The money had gone. In fact we will need to significantly reduce yet further. The change has gone too late, with too little to succeed in the short (to medium) term. The Naismith-Pinto- Klose purchases - and subsequently retaining a large, expensive squad upon relegation (turning down £15m summer money for Brady) - not only failed, it created resentment and a lack of stomach, fight and cohesion. This is where the money went. Paying multiple players £30k+ per week on 3 and 4 year contracts is a frightening Company liability. Masterclass 16 commented that (vid Sunderland to QPR changes in approach) tactically it was ''early for Mummy to take away the spinach and putting the McDonald''s back on the table''. The concern was that what can be dressed as ''flexibility'' quickly transmits to paralysis through analysis to players and a fracturing of the clarity of instruction that players crave. Better management may not be possible in the short term with limited, new, adjusting, inexperienced, homesick, mis-communicating, young, inconsistent players. In such a context Zonal marking (for example) may be an unnecessary complication. Alternatively even poor or flawed tactics are often rescued by weapons, players who simply do things regularly that are awkward for the opposition and cannot be ignored. Being better is a rare luxury in football and typically reserved for only the very best (and very richest) sides. Possession is a defensive tool as Masterclasses have discussed. Developing a mindset that senses danger a half second later than English defenders typically do, taking a fraction longer on the ball, assessing passing angles in advance and looking to retain possession - particularly in the minds of those who do not have the ball and must act as auxiliary and possibly unused angles repeatedly - requires an education that should start at school. I succeeded in Italy in a way I could not in England because players thought like me, saw the game like me, played fast and slow in a way that was logical to me, pressed together or not at all, shut spaces and spoiled games without needing to be told. I felt at home. I was a different player. We are hoping to achieve something akin to this now. Mentally the players must feel completely ''at home'' with it. They must operate it instinctively and seamlessly on the field. All of them. Always. The cheap ones, the old ones, the young ones, the awkward ones, the resentful ones, the foreign ones, the British ones. Doing more with less? You can instantly buy players who understand, you can change those you have and you can teach the future. I support all of these into the future. The change we are seeing can be change for change''s sake and I would still support it. There is a level of intrinsic, instinctive, ingrained Football Intelligence that is required here though, not street smarts or jumpers for goalposts keenness, there must be an intellectual cohesive on the pitch whereby all operate on the same wavelength at the same time or the system will fail. Then our on-paper inferior players will look precisely that. Such coaching and instruction requires a clarity of communication, a (ironically) religiosity to language, an ability to create visualisation of the picture to all players , the ability to break down the technical into the simple, the visual, its constituent parts and essentials. Not easy with already formed mindsets. Financially and spiritually it would be understandable if the current board intrinsically had no love for the Premier League. In many ways it represents the gargoyle head of society''s capitalist monster and warps and devours decency and long-term structural good behaviour. It cruelly exposes the limits of our model and operational capabilities. We all have sympathy with much of that, but business is business and ''this is the life we have chosen'' as Michael Corleone famously reminded us. There is something also of resenting what you don''t understand, what you can''t compete with. It is not unusual to then demonise it and create parallel universes where you are morally or spiritually victorious. ''Premier League bad, Lower Leagues and financial survival good''. Yes and no. Financial fear can be accentuated through history, though also through circumstance. Administration is disastrous, but not competing can it be considered a moral victory merely because that is the only route remaining or finances insist. If educational, structural, intelligent possession-based play is the future, it must be adhered to for the very long term. It must inform Academy-to-first team, it must withstand no money and great riches, it must accept demotion to lower tiers if that is the consequence. Such a long-term vision will require huge education and communication both without and within to withstand such poor results however. Custodians may be considered superior to rich dictators, though custodians focusing on mere survival may not be enough of a religious parable for many. That the ground was full in League 1 may be a blessing and a curse. Once the television money is all gone, the theatre must still be full and all may keep buying ice creams at full time. There are many theatres in many sectors available however. The reasonable Premier Gamble has been had and it didn''t work. Buying better, attracting better and managing better simply doesn''t work well enough with our parameters at the top level. Lambert''s miracle lead to the Neil pinnacle of short termism and not only are no long term benefits seen, there would be an argument that the accelerated, artificial almost, change that occurs to club is simply beyond our model to adapt to. The new philosophy and structure must avoid multiple previous mistakes identified repeatedly across Masterclasses, though in doing there will be the irony that the mistakes you don''t make are invisible and thus not heralded (or even appreciated). Given the dramatic downturn in recent circumstances, and the contemporary recent high expectations that abounded, even performing ''well'' in our straitened context may still look like unattractive backsliding. There is no guarantee of success with less, though there is the advantage of there being no other meaningful choice. The Philosophy is a consequence of the financial Model and vice versa. The Philosophy needed to be implemented with money and will now be conversely harder, yet possibly more steadfast and designed by necessity. Fans will be forced to accept it. Maybe the modern fan will, maybe they will find something else to do. Maybe new blood will be encouraged. Shorter attention spans, coupled with less success, coupled with the need to educate to a very long-term strategy the fruits of which may take years to come to fruition, does not sound like a recipe for taking social media by storm however. Logic says we will go backwards before (maybe) going forwards. The model - and the nature of other clubs, their strategies and their finances - suggests the (unintentional) possibility of becoming something akin to a breeding ground for top clubs. Such top clubs however will buy ready-made versions of what they need and may in time dismiss the best players in the Championship if it continues to operate tactically in a way increasingly dissimilar to the Premier League. The odds are now against any meaningful top tier success for some time whilst we restructure. Unless cataclysmic implosion occurs at the top level of English football however, it is hard to see how we will not drift further away from such riches. Relegated clubs continue to suffer the turmoil that we know so well following relegation, so perhaps regrowth and regeneration can see a leaner, low-cost model achieve a unity of purpose and vision and counter-act the financial odds. I wouldn''t put my money on it however. Should we emerge as an elegant, intelligent, possession-based, technically and tactically educated and attractive passing side then many Norwich fans will consider that a moral victory and will wear the approach as a (religious) badge of honour. Once shifted expectations have a habit of becoming the norm however and a more secular Norwich society may simply see less Canaries tweeting their love and a little more space in the nest. This is the life we have chosen. Parma ...........’
  4. In bocca al lupo ai tutti PUPetti!......Hope Hammond and Til can add to the pot .... Off to the beautiful architecture of Estonia this week for the Meistriliiga game between: Maardu Linnameeskond vs FC Flora Tallinn - Away win Powerful attack vs weak defence.... Liked the logic behind Wacky’s Norwich predictions...the world looks different if Norwich win tonight ️ Parma
  5. Parma Ham's gone mouldy

    £34 million loss

    One issue with selling playing assets when in the championship to fund annual second tier losses would be that there is typically a ceiling on the value of any playing asset without experience of the top tier. However if upon promotion you are brave enough to give your young assets - ideally initially accounted for at low value - top level experience and exposure, then you are enshrining future book profits. Strategically I would suggest this is designed to maximise club strength in year one of a Championship return. The stated aim - from both Webber and Farke - is to ‘establish Norwich City in the top 25’. I suggest that this aim and these words were carefully chosen. The flaw would be that the conveyor belt of talent needs to be continuous, that is where the model hinges and pivots. It is backing itself to achieve that. Critics who argue it de-facto mitigates against top level success and - as a corollary - risks prolonged exposure to the Championship where all clubs make a loss, are entitled to advertise the limits of the sustainable model which cannot by self-definition take any risks that expose potential losses. The cost of a wealthy owner who can fund such losses in the search for success potentially comes in the loss of soul, meaning and connection at having fans in charge, people who care and love the club and who believe in a trustee model that places survival ahead of success. It also might not work even with more money. The counterpoint to that is of course that ‘this is the life we have chosen’ and if you choose to sit at a poker game with an expensive buy in, you should not complain if your opponents bet you out of the pot. Your choice is to be proud of a Club doing things caringly, with pride, love and decency - a very rare thing in football - or wish for a significant new owner fortune that would see us - despite significant injection - maybe not win maybe 20 games a season in the top tier rather than not win 28 or so. Real trophy success is pretty rare and treading water in the Premier League just isn’t that exciting for anyone after a while is it? Is it possible that the highs and lows of promotion and relegation is as good as it realistically gets? Parma
  6. In bocca al Lupo Cosmic...top quality this week...good hands Denmark Elitedivisionen looks nice for the potent attack vs weak defence of the W League game: Brondby vs BSF - Home win As for MMMK’s Norwich bet, like a trifecta of BTTS, Norwich to win and Pukki to score. Parma ️
  7. Parma Ham's gone mouldy

    "We were not physical enough" - Farke

    I’ve played in Italy, coached in Italy and been coached in the Ajax system and took my badges under an International Manager. As WCorkCanary notes from his experiences with the Auxerre Coach, other countries just don’t have the obsession with size. They will of course embrace high physicality gratefully if it comes as part of the tactical-intelligence-technical-speed package, but those things will always be the primary drivers. I have literally never met a quality player that thought ‘oh my God, I’ve got no chance today, he’s taller than me’. Parma
  8. Parma Ham's gone mouldy

    "We were not physical enough" - Farke

    Barcelona, the $Billion team who didn’t buy big players. Barcelona, the $Billion team who nurtured players from their Academy. Who were small. If you’d said ‘we’re losing because they’re better than us’ that would be fine, but you didn’t you said ‘we’re losing because they’re bigger than us’. For real personal context, I should add that I was selected for my first trial at Parma by the Club Doctor because I was ‘physically the ideal size’. 5’11 strong and fast. That’s great, but Barcelona and others came along and smashed the theory out of the park. Paul Scholes was 5’7 alongside Roy Keane at 5’10, similar (slightly shorter actually) than Emi Buendia 5’7 and Kenny Maclean 5’11 (Todd Cantwell is 5’9). They appeared to have overcome their ‘absence of physicality’. Fred is 5’7, Andreas Pereira is 5’10, Dan James is 5’7, Martial 5’11, Rashford 5’11.... It’s a simplistic solution that ‘sounds like it must be right’ though simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Results determine reaction from fans, quite understandably. When the Team you love loses all sorts of single, silver bullets appear to solve the problem. The prosaic truth is that any meaningful solutions for those with restricted funds are typically process-led, longer-term and must be guided by principles that extend beyond results. Parma
  9. Parma Ham's gone mouldy

    "We were not physical enough" - Farke

    Physical as Farke means it has nothing to do with replacing the young players with big units. It refers to balance, how you use your body and not being intimidated by mere size, name, profile or stature (as Barcelona are not). He was well aware of the height, weight and dimensions of Buendia, Cantwell et al before the season started. Physical as he meant it was actually a psychological call-to-arms to his players. Parma
  10. Parma Ham's gone mouldy

    "We were not physical enough" - Farke

    The point is that Barcelona do have the money. They could buy technically brilliant and overtly physical if they wished. They were nevertheless better than everyone else, without overt physicality. Therefore quality is the determining factor. As we proved in the Championship. A typically physical league. Parma
  11. Parma Ham's gone mouldy

    "We were not physical enough" - Farke

    Or people are presenting horribly simplistic solutions as self-certified pub wisdom. We can attract young, unproven, technical talent because we play such players. We don’t have a lot of money. Quality technical and big physical players are very expensive and everyone chases them. We have no money so we go after players with chequered careers, injury risks or those who have travelled without settling or - excellently - quality young players starved of opportunity (that de-facto others have rejected or not opened the door to). Whatever we choose we want players who can play a fluid, expansive, possession-oriented game. To bring in physical players therefore either means the binary of bringing in players who are big and physical (and perhaps not so technical, thus undermining the model) or bringing in players who are big and physical and technical (which every half-baked analyst from a 3rd tier side can identify. They cost a fortune and everybody chases them, thus undermining the model - again). We are on a model on the Auxerre-Ajax-Barcelona spectrum of long term methodology and philosophy. We will prefer players we have bred and talent we have schooled. If we can have all the assets plus physicality of course we will welcome it with open arms. Of course equal brilliant and superior physical beats just equal brilliant most times. To change means so much more than trite pub landlord solutions and simplicities. We were incredible last year. It was a wonderful unexpected miracle. We didn’t then spend any money. Other Premier teams already had lots of money and lots of great players. Our methodology is refreshing and will maximise our chances and improve our players based on our available parameters. Repeatedly upsetting the odds against teams and players that are better is unlikely however. You must believe it and you will sometimes achieve it, though let us not stake our houses on rainbows and unicorns, rather let us enjoy victories against Man City and the wonderful memories of a beautiful and - let’s not forget - the already against the odds and unexpected success of last year. We are pocketing the cash to develop the model. A pragmatic choice and one that has momentum behind it, though is borne as much out of necessity as choice. We either go into a gunfight with a knife or we try some innovative guerilla tactics that may not work, though which do not see Steven Naismith in the reserves, but rather see Godfrey, Aarons, Lewis, Cantwell et al receive an unbuyable education, likely enhancing their values (perhaps exponentially) and ‘proving’ to the world that we meant it when we said ‘come here (excellent young, underused player) and you’ll be given a fair chance and a great education.  This way the next Maddison comes to us too. And slightly better young players are attracted than even before. And so it continues.  Or you could spend a load of cash on big lads that are a bit worse than everybody else’s big lads, with money we don’t have and putting off all the young gifted players that we haven’t yet signed that are crucial to our sustainability under the current model.  Parma
  12. Parma Ham's gone mouldy

    "We were not physical enough" - Farke

    Or people are presenting horribly simplistic solutions as self-certified pub wisdom. We can attract young, unproven, technical talent because we play such players. We don’t have a lot of money. Quality technical and big physical players are very expensive and everyone chases them. We have no money so we go after players with chequered careers, injury risks or those who have travelled without settling or - excellently - quality young players starved of opportunity (that de-facto others have rejected or not opened the door to). Whatever we choose we want players who can play a fluid, expansive, possession-oriented game. To bring in physical players therefore either means the binary of bringing in players who are big and physical (and perhaps not so technical, thus undermining the model) or bringing in players who are big and physical and technical (which every half-baked analyst from a 3rd tier side can identify. They cost a fortune and everybody chases them, thus undermining the model - again). We are on a model on the Auxerre-Ajax-Barcelona spectrum of long term methodology and philosophy. We will prefer players we have bred and talent we have schooled. If we can have all the assets plus physicality of course we will welcome it with open arms. Of course equal brilliant and superior physical beats just equal brilliant most times. To change means so much more than trite pub landlord solutions and simplicities. We were incredible last year. It was a wonderful unexpected miracle. We didn’t then spend any money. Other Premier teams already had lots of money and lots of great players. Our methodology is refreshing and will maximise our chances and improve our players based on our available parameters. Repeatedly upsetting the odds against teams and players that are better is unlikely however. You must believe it and you will sometimes achieve it, though let us not stake our houses on rainbows and unicorns, rather let us enjoy victories against Man City and the wonderful memories of a beautiful and - let’s not forget - the already against the odds and unexpected success of last year. We are pocketing the cash to develop the model. A pragmatic choice and one that has momentum behind it, though is borne as much out of necessity as choice. We either go into a gunfight with a knife or we try some innovative guerilla tactics that may not work, though which do not see Steven Naismith in the reserves, but rather see Godfrey, Aarons, Lewis, Cantwell et al receive an unbuyable education, likely enhancing their values (perhaps exponentially) and ‘proving’ to the world that we meant it when we said ‘come here (excellent young, underused player) and you’ll be given a fair chance and a great education. This way the next Maddison comes to us too. And slightly better young players are attracted than even before. And so it continues. Or you could spend a load of cash on big lads that are a bit worse than everybody else’s big lads, with money we don’t have and putting off all the young gifted players that we haven’t yet signed that are crucial to our sustainability under the current model. Parma
  13. Parma Ham's gone mouldy

    "We were not physical enough" - Farke

    Barcelona. Parma
  14. Parma Ham's gone mouldy

    A bit of perspective

    Well done Petriix You could also add the utterly priceless education that our young players are receiving as they play regularly at the highest level. Whatever now happens, they vastly improve as players and assets. The weekly level is well beyond anything in even single games at lower levels and little can prepare you for the dynamic intensity and scrutiny. We cannot compete financially, but we can compete by offering pathways and opportunities. Players ultimately want to play. For too long fine talent has been hoarded and hidden. We can be proud that we are in the vanguard of the movement away from that. Parma
  15. Be proud to do 23rd Nutella ️ Thank you for asking Parma
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