Thanks to White Noise and Simon Peach on Twitter.
Interesting viewing. Talks about how the grass is always greener, which is undoubtedly true. Jol does look a bit defensive here (as is natural I suppose) but is a fairly eloquent speaker and gives decent answers to the questions put to him.
It’s becoming clearish that the Murphy/Zamora/Johnson thing is perhaps undermining Jol slightly, a group of senior English players who have played together for a while and know what they want. The press stories have presumably been slipping out from this general direction and Jol is merely re-stating his position.
His observations about creating a situation, a stimulus, make sense to me. When I played I liked to be in my comfort zone but sometimes played better when pushed out of it (not always though: I think it might vary by position, e.g. defenders need to be focused and calm, scanning their environment all the time, attackers more ‘alive, angry almost, to keep them moving, involved, etc). As long as Jol has picked his players and his approaches carefully then no harm in this at all.
I’m reading Rinus Michels’ book on Team Building and he notes in the foreword that there are two elements: psychological team building and tactical team building. It occurs to me that Jol has to build a team almost by destroying a team, and this is counterintuitive to the extreme and presumably very difficult to achieve. Psychologically he appears to not like what he finds in some areas of the side; tactically he wants to make the team more dynamic (he hints at this by talking about asking forwards to move into space rather than come back to the ball). It’s a big ask.
Jol’s an interesting man with a history of success and I’m intrigued at how his project will work out. The journey has been a little on the bumpy side but I’ve found it considerably more interesting than the Hughes season, and this when we’re only just beginning. If you take Jol’s vision a little further, imagining what he might come up with when the team really is in his image (featuring more Ruiz/Dembele types), well that’s encouraging isn’t it?