So, Pep's left Barcelona, eh? I've long admired him. Humble in victory, gracious in defeat and incredibly successful to boot. Anyone who says that with managing the likes of Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta his was an easy job knows nothing of football. I heard an incredible stat this morning; that of the seventeen trophies that Barcelona could have won under Guardiola, they actually won thirteen! No matter how skilled the players, to maintain the level and consistency of form and performance over a four year period to win over 72% of your matches is a phenomenal achievement.
I know all about Pep's problems. You see, there are an awful lot of similarities between the two of us and from my experience of managing Alderley Edge U9s this season, I am only too aware that conducting your work in a dazzling glare of publicity, having what you say and do analysed forensically by a rabid local media and demanding parents, well, it's not easy I can tell you. What you lot don't see are the man-management skills necessary. My star player (who happens to be my lad) is prone to strops and getting the best out of him out on the pitch every week can be a nightmare. Only the other night he stomped off, just because I wouldn't let him watch the second half of Madrid/Bayern as it was a school night. Let me tell you, dealing with big players with big egos is a thankless task. Pep would back me up on that I'm sure, because he knows. He knows what's involved with managaing a big club. He knows, and I know. We're peas in a pod, I tell you.
I mentioned the other day that there was a lot of work going at the moment in terms of planning for next season. It seems I'm not the only one beavering away, reviewing and planning.
Skeeve sent through the season's review of his main picks this week. Now as far as I'm concerned, Skeeve has to be regarded as the Grandaddy of football tipping services. Over the course of six seasons and over 1,000 bets, to maintain an roi of 14% is a heck of an achievement. What has really impressed me though, is that Skeeve is obviously not resting on any laurels. He continues to analyse his performance, to hone his methodologies, and whilst being careful not to mess about with something that isn't broken, he is not afraid of making changes that he feels will have a positive affect on his performance long term. I know from the review that there are some changes afoot in the set up of his service, geared towards meeting the demands of his clients. I don't know if Skeeve would be prepared to do this, but if anyone who is not a member would like an example of an established and proven service looking at how it can improve itself and conducting some incisive self-analysis, then I'd email him and ask for a copy of his end of season review.
Another deep thinker is Graeme, The Football Analyst. I know last summer Graeme conducted some serious analysis into his system methodolgies, made some tweaks, and reaped the rewards this season with outstanding results. I also know that this summer he is going to be busy exploring new angles and scrutinising new markets (plus launch a spanking new website). Stewboss at Football Investor is also looking at how he can help members maximise their returns and I'm looking forward to hearing from him what plans he has in the pipeline.
We've already seen On The Oche reinvent themselves. Looking at the more recent selections from Football Elite, it seems that Matt too is working on subtle changes that will allow followers to benefit further from his expertise.
All this activity and self-analysis amongst the tipsters is great to see. I don't know about you, but it gives me great confidence. Can't wait for next season now!
One last thing. I've had a few people ask me if I could get back to giving a more or less daily update on performance of the services followed. Now I think you all know by now that I'm an obliging sort, so yes. Why not? Doesn't take too long to write a few sentences. Can't promise every day, but most should be doable. I'll try to to simplify the way of recording the results too - no more 0.15pts for The Sportsman, for example. Give me a couple of days to sort that out and I'll stick up the daily results again. Perhaps 1st May would be a good starting point.
Now, where's Pep's number? Thought I might ask him if he fancies a job swap. Me at Barca, him at Alderley Edge U9s - everyone's a winner!