Monday, 5 March 2012

Chelsea managers and Junior British Officers

So Chelsea have now employed eight managers in eight years. Even my maths allows me to calculate that the average 'life-expectancy' of such managers is one year. This contrasts with the average true life expectancy of the junior British officer during the First World War. A mere six weeks.

I'm not too sympathetic towards these unbelievably overpaid managers, but I do have enormous respect for the brave young men who lead our soldiers in the chaos of the trenches in the 1914-1918 war.

A fascinating, humbling and truly riveting read is John Lewis-Stempel's account of the 'short and gallant life of the British Officer in the First World War'.. It's called Six Weeks.  I cannot speak too highly of this book. These young officers were ridiculously young and inexperienced and often were in the trenches within weeks of leaving school. Their leadership was exemplary,
The prime reason for the high casualty rate of (young) officers was that in battle officers lead from the front. In the words of Brigadier Frank Crozier an officer needed three seconds lead over the men, so he could say 'come on' instead of 'go on'.
Perhaps that was Andre Villas Boas' downfall. I gather he had never been a professional footballer. So I guess he always had to say 'go on' instead of 'come on'.
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