Blogpost, posh

POSH, We Have a Problem And…

It’s the end of an era and I am extremely sad. Each fan is allowed their opinion and this is just mine. This is not just a manager leaving. It is a crossroads for the club that so many of us adore. Although Darren Ferguson was one of many managers over the past two decades, he personifies what the ethos of the club has become. His brand of attacking football that regularly had the POSH near the top of the list for goals scored has become an expectation at the club. Therefore this is truly a monumental problem that the club must face. Bringing in any manager to “right the ship” will not maintain that ethos set during Ferguson’s tenure. Survival, no doubt is the aim but the long term health of the club will depend largely upon the way that things are done moving forward. I have an answer and almost no one is going to like it.

In order to keep the club from getting relegated and maintain a semblance of the club’s forward thinking style with the players that we have will take a particular type of person. Someone with a pedigree that will gain instant respect from the players but a willingness to take on a challenge of these proportions. In addition to these attributes comes the need for someone who recognizes the importance of giving opportunities to young players. Although I’m sure this will be written off as pure Americanism, my belief is that Jesse Marsch would be the best candidate that we could hope to get.

While I’m sure that most POSH fans have not studied Jesse’s career, I’ve gotten to see it develop over the past decade. His progression from my standpoint started at New York Red Bull. At that club, he helped to do a top to bottom overhaul of the club’s persona. The messaging that was used inside and outside of the locker room was consistent with the play on the field. His style of play was a combination of pressing with insurgent attacking that would be akin to what POSH fans would expect. He regularly brought players from the youth academy through to the first team. Several players, including Tyler Adams, were given their big break under Jesse Marsch. Although he could have continued to seek success in MLS, he chose to progress his career by moving to Germany as second in command at RB Leipzig. That opportunity was merely a waiting room for him to move to Red Bull Salzburg where he was very successful developing young talent while winning games along the way. This halftime speech may be mostly in German but the results that he was able to get from his players against Liverpool in the Champion’s League is exactly what we need. Based upon his success in Salzburg, he was given the reins at RB Leipzig. He was unable to find the same winning ways but that is probably the only thing that could give our club a chance at getting him. His last position could be viewed as a failure but having listened to Jesse speak many times, he will have used it as a learning experience. With something to prove and his Red Bull connection possibly severed, the opportunity to build up a small club in the Championship might be the exact type of challenge he wants.

My desire would have been that Darren Ferguson would have stayed. This season is not representative of what he is nor what he has meant to the club. His fate was possibly sealed when we did not sell JCH in the summer. His stock was at its highest and will not go that high again. Selling him for a few million to someone else would have funded many of the pieces that we needed to survive. Unfortunately the past is gone and Darren Ferguson is no longer the POSH manager. A fourth time around is not coming, so it is farewell and I wish nothing but the best for the “gaffer”!

Blogpost, self-reliance

How’s It Going To Be?

It’s one of those moments that I can go back to in an instant. Sitting in an airplane with my best friend next to me. We had just spent a month at the World Cup. Five games and a variety of different adventures gave us memories for a lifetime but we were exhausted. We were close but maybe too close for a bit too long. The return to the States was a dissent from an exciting dream world to an uncertain reality. I was literally and figuratively up in the air. Living arrangements, relationship, school, work, etc. None were on solid ground. With my portable CD player resting on my leg, I kept playing the songs from the Third Eye Blind album. Feeling completely out of control and the question, “How’s it going to be?” blasting into my ears. The events that followed are much less interesting than the moment in time.

We’ve all been there on one level or another. Life tends to throw just enough at us in key moments to check if we are paying attention or possibly in need of a shake up. Most of the time, we spend our lives in a quasi equilibrium of our own creation. Our days tend to look similar. We tend to be similar. But everything is changing, even if it is at an imperceptible rate. It is only during these big upheavals that we become concerned with “How’s it going to be?”

The simple answer to the question is that it will be fine. No matter the circumstance, people have an amazing ability to regain their balance. A more important question is “How can you make it be?” In a period of unrest, when all of the pieces of your life are scattered in some way, is it best to put it back together how it was? Or is that disarray the perfect time to reconfigure, reconstruct and strengthen? No one wishes for hard times but they are exactly what makes us who we are. Whether you’re in one of those uncertain times or not, it’s time to make things better! You’re not going to know “How it’s going to be?” until you get there. So for now, you need to focus on making it all that it can be.

Keep your eyes forward, even the third one!

Pete

Blogpost, self-reliance

The Fear to Dream

There is an actual condition called Oneirophobia which is the fear of dreams, specifically nightmares or nigh terrors. That’s not what I’m talking about at all. I am worried that people are afraid of today are the more common place aspirations. Those things that we had when we were kids! We were all astronauts, cowboys or both! That’s not to say that we need to be fool-hearty or dimwitted. Reality is a factor that needs to be considered. However, there seems to be a space between jumping and flying that we are leaving largely undiscovered or even ignored. Not due to a lack of propulsion potential but a fear of not reaching the desired height.

As a former high jumper, I understand the mental blocks that exist with achieving certain heights. For well over a year, I tried and failed to clear 6 feet 0 inches. Incremental improvement on certain tasks can be time consuming and frustrating. However, I never stopped jumping. In fact, I probably had more attempts at 6’0″ in that year than any prior or since. The problem that I am so concerned with is the concept that if I can’t clear my goal, then I shouldn’t bother to jump. The desire for the result should be a form of fuel but the possibility of failure should not inherently be a brake or an anchor. Guarantees of success are hard to come by in this world and becoming dependent upon them is a strategy wrought with more disappointment than failure could ever offer. The simple and mundane are the only things that are guaranteed.

So be willing to risk failure, possibly even spectacular failure! That risk is the price that one must pay for anything worth having. Don’t fear to dream! Dare to dream! We are not the ancestors of idle dreamers. It is only because they did, that we get to continue to do. Change your dreams, sure! Adjust your plans, fine! But do not fear to dream! Otherwise you won’t have to dream about your tomorrow. It will look exactly like today or maybe a little worse.

We belong
In a world that must be strong
Oh, that’s what dreams are made of
And in the end
On dreams we will depend
‘Cause that’s what love is made of! – Dreams by Van Halen

Pete

Blogpost, self-reliance

A Case for Valentine’s Day

It’s a sore subject! I get it! For many people, Valentine’s Day is the absolute WORST! A reminder from seemingly all of the world about an unwanted status or a commercialism that seems to come with everything nowadays. If you’re steadfast in your hatred of February 14th, have at it! All of your complaints and thoughts about the quasi-holiday are completely accurate! My hope here is not to convince the unconvinceable (real word?). It is merely to offer an alternative to those people who encounter flowers, candy or hearts and automatically SEE RED!

Imagine if there was an International Water Day (actually there is! It’s March 22nd). A day that was intended to celebrate water and how wonderful it is. People going into pools, playing in fountains, drinking that clear sparkly stuff to their heart’s content. The people without any water whatsoever would have every right to get pissed about their lack as others splurge. However I have no doubt that some company named after an Eastern European Company and a season would create commemorative bottles or something to make a few extra bucks off of the holiday. People who didn’t get their “extra special” Water Day present would feel like they had missed out on something. Even if they had plenty of “normal” water to quench their thirst. Somehow the regular water doesn’t seem special enough (hey wait, we’ve kind of done this anyway). You see my point though. It not a real lack! It’s a manufactured lack or a perceived lack. At bare minimum that thirsty person on water day can most likely count on the fact that they’ll find themselves quenched at some point soon.

Just like water, love is a human need. We don’t need it on the same level or consistency as water but nonetheless, it’s there. Unlike water, love is something that we can create on our own without digging a hole or waiting for a storm. It’s a moment away from us and the most important person to give that to is yourself. Obviously, many of us have been sold on that “extra special” version of love that Valentine’s Day is supposed to represent. The fact that you thirst for it is a good thing! Even if you don’t have it at the moment, doesn’t mean that you won’t. This day is not life thumbing its nose at you. As it is said in one of my favorite movies “Love Actually is all around.” Whether you have someone “special” in your life or not, there’s plenty of love to go around.

You’re pretty awesome regardless of your relationship status!

Pete

Blogpost, self-reliance

The Conquering King or Queen

It’s a romantic concept isn’t it? Being a monarch presiding over an area that you can call your own. People hold you in high esteem because of your dominion. At certain point though, you might have decided that it’s not enough. You need more land, more subjects and more whatever. That requires your army to go out into the new territory and take it for your own. Depending on the inhabitants and owner, this could be extremely easy or difficult. Regardless, it requires some form of effort. The world is not going to just surrender to you! Since none of us is a monarch or at least it’s unlikely that one is reading my blog, how does this relate to you?

We all have dominion over certain things. The territory that you own is your comfort zone. It could include anything from your job, relationship or any other manner of thing. Living within that space could be a completely fulfilling life. That’s not for me or anyone other than you to decide. The odd thing about humans is that comfort is antithetical to our survival. As a species, we tend to do poorly with too much comfort. Finding the right amount of pressure and progress is key to keeping us in balance.

This week, you need to go out and be a conquering queen or king. You don’t need to take over the world or even someone else’s territory. It is merely time to bump up against your edges and see if there is someplace new to discover. The reason to find those edges is because it isn’t new land, it’s new you. Finding your own limits is what life is about. Define it for you. Expanding yourself in the directions that matter most to you.

Go conquer you!

Pete

Blogpost, self-reliance

Right Now!

It’s 9:09pm! That’s similar to something that my teenage self wrote in every yearbook that I signed. The first page of our annual had the title to the popular Van Halen song at the top. As a wise-cracking teenager, I took the opportunity to point out only the time that I signed, not realizing that the moment for me to make a true mark was possibly passing me by. It’s part of being a teenager in so many ways. The desire for the next step while discounting the one that you are on in the moment. Most likely it is inherent to that time in life because a lack of experience and loss lends itself toward being frivolous without regret.

Right now! is a different time. The years have built up so much in the rearview mirror that I’ve been forced to know that 5 years in the future is tomorrow. So grasping onto the moment is a skill that needs to be developed. A white knuckle grip on the things that really matter becomes the order of the day. Like catching river water with your bare hands, it’s futile to expect that you’re going to be able to hang onto anything but enjoying the feeling as it flows past is probably the point. I’m definitely not very skilled at it. Often I lose myself in the trivial but also try to make the mundane magical. None of this is a superpower or cause for special attention. It is merely the state of being an older human who has made the realization.

The realization is that RIGHT NOW is all that you get. There is nothing else. Your past is an accumulation of old right nows that you’ve distorted. While the future is an infinite field of possible right nows that won’t turn into anything until the moment that you get there. So do what you can with it because you’re not going to get another one just like this. Even if your days seem like they are repeat, that’s your opportunity to pull yourself back into the moment. It’s all you get.

What are you waiting for?

Pete

RIGHT NOW!

Don’t want to wait ’til tomorrow
Why put it off another day?
One more walk through problems
Built-up and stands in our way, ahOne step ahead, one step behind me
Now you gotta run to get even
Make future plans or dream about yesterday, hey
C’mon turn, turn this thing around, hey
It’s your tomorrow
(Right now),
C’mon, it’s everything
(Right now),
Catch a magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everythingMiss the beat, you lose the rhythm
And nothing falls into place, no
Only missed by a fraction
Slipped a little off your pace, ohThe more things you get, the more you want
Just trade in one for the other
Workin’ so hard, to make it easier, whoa
Got to turn, c’mon turn this thing around, hey
It’s your tomorrow
(Right now)
C’mon, it’s everything
(Right now)
Catch that magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everything
It’s enlightened me, right now
What are you waitin’ for?
Oh, yeah, right now, hey
It’s your tomorrow
(Right now)
C’mon, it’s everything
(Right now)
Catch that magic moment, and do it right, right now
Oh, right now
It’s what’s happening
Right here and now
Right now
It’s right now
Oh
Tell me, what are you waiting for?
Turn this thing around

Blogpost, self-reliance, SoccerLifeBalance

True to Form

It’s a pretty typical thing in soccer to describe a player as “in form.” Consistent performance is something that people value from players regardless of the level. The markers for form vary from position to position and league to league. Despite the fact there is variation, people know when a player is in form.

Most of us are never going to play professionally, so the idea of being in form is largely irrelevant. The more important factor in most of our lives would be the concept of being “true to form.” In my mind; this is the idea of showing up the same way over and over again. People know what to expect from you before you get there. This may fly in the face of being your “authentic self”. However, the idea of being whomever you want at any given moment is unrealistic anyway. It is far more powerful to be a person that people know and understand. Be true to form.

It may look foolish now but at the time, we LOVED these jerseys!

The final piece to this that I’d like to add is keep improving your form. Incrementally get better over time in whatever matters to you. Consistency is a valuable characteristic but who you are today should never be the goal. People love you exactly as you are but sometimes that’s problematic. You are not a finished article! Keep developing the person that you are into better and better versions. Use the years of your life like the codes to a computer program. Excel 2.1 should be better than 2.0. Different to say the least but hopefully better in many ways.

Stay true to form but keep that form improving!

Pete