Mancini's Peroration

An Italian Job. It’s coming Rome. Three Lions tamed as cubs.

Yes, yes.

It was indeed so painful for this Englishman.

Yet sometimes, you nod your head that the better side won.

Look ahead and roll-up your sleeves to go one better next time.

Now that days have passed, I feel compelled to comment on the above video clip. Prominent in the Italy team’s glow of glory.

What seems like the day before the Final, the coach jots down the starting XI names in age-old fashion.

With strange wink to the right-winger halfway through.

Then, this is the apparent translation of his sign-off;

“So, I have nothing to say.

You know what you are. And we are not here by chance.

We are the masters of our fate. Not the referee, not the opponents, nobody else. Okay?

You know what you have to do.”

Hardly Jim Telfer {see foot].

It is uncanny how in the aftermath of victory, every nuance of what went into it gets pored over to divine how you too can piggyback through wholesale adoption to be champion.

Yet not every piece is equally worthy.

The words above are, in my experience, actually fairly typical.

Once all your prep is done, those final moments before you enter the fray don’t always need the rah-rah trumpets of a gee-up.

A simple reminder that you’re there on merit, have planned well, and know what you’re doing can duly suffice.

How many times have you given or received the ‘power pat’ on the back of the shoulder walking into the big meeting, with words akin to, “you got this”?

Without broader context, this clip is open to questioning.

Why are the (hotel conference room) walls so bare?

Not even a single image, mantra or even flag on view?

Everything looks so, well, grey.

Then there’s the flipchart itself.

What was on the page(s) going before?

Who drew/pre-drew the pitch markings?

Why the same colour pen for player names?

The Azzurri surely deserve a nice blue, hey?

And why same thin-nib width too?

You don’t sit the team down for just forty seconds.

So we are privy to neither set-up nor perhaps full conclusion.

We ought remember, this may well have been the day before’s muted clarion, yet you can bet the day of the match itself there were several, ongoing, specific and crystal clear reminders of what needed to be done. And let’s also not forget, how narrow the margin of victory ended up being.

(I know…)

this is your Everest…

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