Lisa Fallon: Jim Gavin showed the benefit of empowering your players

Teams must be able to adapt quickly to situations and avoid ‘curse of predictability’

Former Dublin manager Jim Gavin spoke recently about never having a Plan A or B, never mind C, going into a game. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former Dublin manager Jim Gavin spoke recently about never having a Plan A or B, never mind C, going into a game. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Over the years I’ve got to forensically examine a lot of football games. First as an opposition analyst, then as a head coach and nowadays in the day job with Fifa and on the panel for RTÉ, so I’m always on the lookout for patterns that define how teams operate.

What system did each manager play, how did they play it and, more importantly, why? Was it to suit the players they had, or did they recruit players that could carry out, in precise detail, what the coach commanded?

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