The final week. Whoever you chose at the beginning of the race, soon you will know if you were right. The nation waits, with baited breath.
The 4-horse race that became a 3-horse that became a 2-horse race. Liverpool’s campaign disastrous; Arsenal’s another ‘almost’; United and Chelsea another display of the power of the substitutes bench. The question is, was it a battle between Ancelotti, Ferguson, Wenger and Benitez, or was it something bigger than that?
The 2-horse race that became a 3-horse race. Labour’s campaign disastrous, Conservatives’ another ‘almost’, Lib Dem’s a display of the power of disenfranchised voters..? The question is, is it a battle between Brown, Cameron and Clegg, or is it something bigger than that?
The power of personality can sometimes dominate. The football season is often characterised as individual battles between the managers competing for the Premier League, rather than whole teams. These personalities can have huge influence, but if they are not backed up by results, the personalities must be irrelevant. Flamboyant managers are interesting, but not popular with everyone. Just ask Mourinho. At the end of the day, good results under an unpopular manager are better than bad results under a popular one. Rafa is a case in point (I speak as a Liverpool fan…).
The power of personality can sometimes dominate. The General Election is often characterised as individual battles between the party leaders campaigning for the Premiership. These personalities can have huge influence, but if they are not backed up by policies, the personalities must be irrelevant. Flamboyant politicians are interesting, but not popular with everyone. Just ask Blair. At the end of the day, good policies under an unpopular Prime Minister are better than bad policies under a popular one. Which of them is a case in point I am not at liberty to say…
Jesus chose an unexceptional group of personalities to be the leaders of his movement. They were not all eloquent or intelligent; some had dodgy skeletons in their closet. How they would get on in a leaders debate or a post-match interview who can say. What they did have was genuine passion and commitment to their cause; they were prepared to be mocked and beaten for Jesus’ message of revolution and resurrection, liberation and redemption, of good news for the poor and freedom for the oppressed. They were not out to win votes, a popularity contest or an annual competition. And they were in for the long haul.
The Premier League will not be won on the personality of the manager, but the quality of the squad over the 38 games. The Premiership should not be won on the personality of the party leaders, but the quality of the policies over the parliamentary term. As we prepare to vote, we would do well to bear that in mind.
And may next year be Liverpool’s year. Maybe with the flamboyant Mourinho at the helm…?