Guest Post By Mandy Artin
As a professional strategiser and synergistic executive node for New Zealand Football, I was delighted to be invited to share my view on the upcoming soccer fixtures between New Zealand and the Peruvian football team by ITBOTN. While I have a vast experience in executive management, soccer has been one of the lesser actioned sports in my varied portfolio.
I have broken down the approach required for a successful encounter into the following sections;
1. Foreign Communications
1.1 When dealing with the timezone difference between New Zealand and Peru, it is clear we hold an advantage. By already living in the Peruvian tomorrow, we have time on our side. It is important that we capitalise on this by arranging our first leg fixture in our tomorrow, rather than their yesterday and hope they don’t attempt something similar for the return.
1.2 International football attracts international attention. Given the hyperbolic and committed nature of Peruvian football fans, it is essential that we immediately begin a concentrated media campaign to unsettle them. This should take the following two pronged approach.
1.2.1 Present a respectful if backhanded pleasure at being drawn against them in the play-offs. Hopefully that will get right up their nose, commending them for not qualifying automatically while also puncturing their national pride. By match-day, they will be deflated and beaten.
1.2.2 Do the opposite of this. The pride and passion of South American football supporters is well known, so criticising them for dirty tricks while encouraging similar tricks by our New Zealand supporters is an approach most like mailing their ultras their own dead cat in the post.
Note: It is ESSENTIAL that 1.2.2 does NOT come from an official NZ Football mouthpiece, lest the organisation be made to look hideously over-reaching, disorganised and delusional about the realpolitik of football
1.3 In the weeks prior to the match there will be a growing international/South American media presence, focusing on our game preparation. To handle this media traffic, please ensure the Fax Machine has enough paper and you have bookmarked English to Spanish on Google Translate.
2. Domestic Communications
2.1 With such an important fixture, NZ Football will need to unite the supporter and player base of the country in a manner not seen since the last time NZ Football did something to irritate them.
2.2 Emphasising the need for home support is key to our success in creating a hostile (see 1.2.2) atmosphere at the Westpac Stadium. Engaging with the many supporters groups established as part of the success of the New Zealand Football Championship is vital, as is ensuring the unofficial/official supporters group has access to the most affordable tickets for the match.
2.3 Coach Hudson must focus on the game at hand, emphasising the qualities of the players and the team. There must not be any distractions regarding future contractual/employment opportunities. It must not become a review of successes, percieved or otherwise, over his tenure as coach.
2.4 No, seriously Anthony.
Players & Coaches
3.1 As a result of the long-term vision of Coach Hudson (see Powerpoints, passim) New Zealand Football should be confident that the squads which have been assembled over the past 18 months have, over time, been shaped to ensure that the Confederations Cup and Japan friendly match have brought together the very best players.
3.2 However, following conversations with Coach Hudson, New Zealand Football also accepts that Rory is a good lad and did a lot for the country with that header in 2009. We also view the consistent non-selection of Jeremy Brockie as one of the greatest mind-games in football management, ensuring Peruvian scouts (and his own New Zealand team mates), will have little idea of his playing style
3.3 Moses Dyer
4. Success Criteria
4.1 The aim is for the New Zealand National Football Team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia; through a numerical victory via goals scored; or a tied game where New Zealand has conceded the fewest home goals; or via a tied game where home and away goals are equal and we win via a penalty shootout; the Peruvian team forfeit the game as Air NZ redirects their flight via Scott Base; we find Charlie Dempsey’s diaries all about FIFA executives
4.2 However, it will also be a successful failure if New Zealand Football comes out of it with a significant financial lump sum
4.3 In preparation, soft-focus on the potential financial constraints that not qualifying would place New Zealand Football under. Nothing encourages supporters like the threat of cuts to the current footballing infrastructure. Nothing encourages players like the threat of economy class flights from Europe. Go All Whites.
4.4 Maximise potential revenue streams in both home and away legs.
4.4.1 A significant price rise on the 2013 ticket prices should be absorbed by the supporters who, hopefully, have forgotten about the result. Go All Whites.
4.4.2 A handy formation. Utilise the away ticket allocation to maximum commercial benefit. New Zealand Football understands that football isn’t really a sport people support in New Zealand, so providing general sale tickets to supporters – as we have to Peru – is not commercially viable. This may also mean we receive a larger sum per-ticket in a tour package than we would have otherwise if we’d just sold them to supporters.
4.5 When the inevitable 0 – 3, 3 – 0 result eventuates, present the secure financial future of New Zealand football thanks to 3.4 as almost as good as a win, as it ensures another World Cup cycle – even if it’s now a unicycle.
4.5.1 Our best chance of a clean (balance) sheet.
Go All Whites! Take it to the bank!
John Palethorpe lives in South Auckland which is very far away from Fratton Park and Champion Hill. Having been told there was no football in New Zealand, he was delighted to find that there is.