Many clubs feel compelled to do something, even if that thing will not bring permanent solution to their problems. For instance, during the January transfer window, most clubs try to purchase new players or change their coach without considering critically if this is what they need. Statistics reveal that since 2009/10, 54% of the players bought in January, in the Premier League, do not play more than half of the league minutes available. It is intriguing to know that this is the same proportion that the players who were in the team before January will play. It is thus necessary to ask the question ‘do we really need a new player or the solution to our challenges is in the room already?’
It is often difficult to do nothing when the norm is to do something. It takes courage and strong determination to do that, but it is the right thing to do. You need to step back and examine the underlying cause of the challenges you are experiencing in your club before attempting to make a change. So, you don’t make changes just for the fun of it. Many times, doing nothing can bring the desired result. For instance, many goalkeepers dive to one side or the other of the post during a shootout; this is the norm. However, comparing the number of kicks that were played to the middle to the number of saves keepers make by diving, it is evident that most times, the best thing is for the keeper to do nothing.
On the other hand, some clubs want to practice the principle of ‘do nothing,’ but wind up slipping into complacency. There is a world of difference between doing nothing and being complacent. To be complacent is to do nothing when all objective evidence point to the fact that something needs to be done. As much as organisational stability improves performance, so also, alterations improve performance. It is therefore, essential for clubs to find a balance between doing nothing and being complacent. This balance can be achieved through critical objective analysis of situations before making decisions, and a resolute determination to take the best course of action, whether it is the popular, expected course of action or not.
There can be no straight-jacket formula for achieving stability and avoiding complacency in football; however, each club must focus on steadiness and perpetual succession as they decide about the optimal squad for each season.