‘Football is not about players, or at least not just about players, it is about shape and about space, about the intelligent deployment of players and their movement within that deployment’ wrote Jonathan Wilson, going on to say in Inverting the Pyramid ‘…the English have, on the whole, proved themselves unwilling to grapple with the abstract….If there is one thing that distinguishes the coaches who have had success over a prolonged period – Alex Ferguson, Shankly, Valeriy Lobanovskyi (Dynamo Kiev: 1970s, 80s, 90s)…- it is that they have been able to evolve. Lobanovskyi was an engineer interested in maths and cybernetics; his aim as a football coach was to ‘synchronise the actions and thoughts of the players…’We strove for sharp combinations and the creation of unexpected chances.’ Cryptically he added ‘All life is a number’.
Mark Eys and Jeemin Kim’s research paper Team Building and Group Cohesion concluded that ‘cohesion improves team performance’. Defining it is an ’emergent multi-dimensional condition that bonds a group together… resulting from 4 variables’. One of which is the psychological connection (link) between players. The most popular method for determining the psychological profile of a player and thereby identifying compatibility with team mates is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The psychometric questionnaire used is extrapolated from the typological theories proposed by CG Jung in the 1920s – based on the 4 Elements and zodiac signs of classical cosmology. As Dr Nicholas Campion (University of Wales Saint Davids) comments ‘this is a fascinating example of ‘disguised astrology’ masquerading as science in order to claim respectability.’
In the lead up to Euro 2016 World Soccer covered the emergence of the smaller nations – ‘Iceland (population 350,000): since Lars Lagerback took charge the emphasis has been very much on cohesion and team spirit…’ Iceland went on to knock England out of the tournament with the following core ‘psychometric’ profile:-
Gudmundsson mars Gemini R Sigurdsson sun Gemini Skulason mars Gemini
Bjarnasson sun Gemini Gunnarsson mars Gemini Bodvarsson sun Gemini
As you will see, when teams display significant compatible Sun/Mars zodiac combinations – the basis of ‘psychometric’ profiling – there is a high probability that that team will over-perform because there is cohesion between key players (telepathy) or as Lobanovskyi said – the actions and thoughts of the players were synchronised.