BUILDING winning teams in any sport requires a number of things quite apart from a very big bank account.
Manchester City come top of the pile when it comes to access to vast amounts of cash, but they are now learning that you cannot buy success on a sustainable basis and you cannot buy a team and try and invent a tradition. It looks tawdry and it does not work.
After their inept performance against Southampton, the City manager, Roberto Mancini, pondered on the failure of the club to spend more money on bringing in new players.
It is an interesting insight into Mancini's thinking that his first response to a significant setback was to lament the failure to disperse more cash to more players, at levels of reward that would make an investment banker jealous.
One of his other observations was to suggest that only two of the City players put a decent shift in, while everyone one of Southampton's 11 worked hard throughout the game. "We played with maybe two players,” complained Mancini. “When it is 11 against two it is difficult to win.”
I think that someone at City needs to have a word in Mancini's ear and remind him that the art of good management is to get the very best out of the considerable resources he already has at his command. Resources that other teams, such as Southampton, can only dream of.
If things have reached such a low ebb in a team's attitude to their work that only two of them are bothered to do their best, then the solution to that problem is not to spend more money but to make the overpaid prima donnas earn their corn. That is the very minimum that should be expected from this group of very lucky young men.