“The Art of War”

Haukur Gudnason

::President Scouser::
For those of you not familiar with Sun Tzu and his book 'The Art of War' Sun Tzu was a great Chinese military general around the period of 512BC. His greatest contribution to the Chinese Military as well as the world was the writing of his book 'The Art of War'. The original purpose of the book was to provide other generals in the Chinese Military with a plan of action for how to prepare, fight, and win a War. The book was kept secret within the Chinese ranks for hundreds of years. Not until the book surfaced in Japan did the ideology and theories outlined in the book fully take off around the world.
Although many of the more detailed aspects of war preparation outlined in "The Art of War" are out of date, the ideology of the book remains sound. Today many CEOs, business managers, lawyers, sport managers, and coaches follow the teachings outlined by Sun Tzu.

It is this ideology that leads me to Liverpool Football Club, our manager Gerard Houllier, and our current plight. One of the great teachings within Sun Tzu's book is the aspect of managing a group of people and the structure of responsibility within that management chain. The below teaching and story illustrate a key concept that Liverpool football club will need to take note of and make judgment on in order to save this season and progress forward.

Concept:
If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers.

Story:
Sun Tzu Wu (=Sun Tzu) was a native of the Ch`i State. His ART OF WAR brought him to the notice of Ho Lu, [2] King of Wu. Ho Lu said to him: "I have carefully perused your 13 chapters. May I submit your theory of managing soldiers to a slight test?" Sun Tzu replied: "You may." Ho Lu asked: "May the test be applied to women?" The answer was again in the affirmative, so arrangements were made to bring 180 ladies out of the Palace.

Sun Tzu divided them into two companies, and placed one of the King's favorite concubines at the head of each. He then bade them all take spears in their hands, and addressed them thus: "I presume you know the difference between front and back, right hand and and left hand?" The girls replied: Yes.

Sun Tzu went on: "When I say "Eyes front," you must look straight ahead. When I say "Left turn," you must face towards your left hand. When I say "Right turn," you must face towards your right hand. When I say "About turn," you must face right round towards your back." Again the girls assented. The words of command having been thus explained, he set up the halberds and battle-axes in order to begin the drill. Then, to the sound of drums, he gave the order "Right turn." But the girls only burst out laughing. Sun Tzu said: "If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame."

So he started drilling them again, and this time gave the order "Left turn," whereupon the girls once more burst into fits of laughter. Sun Tzu: "If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers."

So saying, he ordered the leaders of the two companies to be beheaded. Now the king of Wu was watching the scene from the top of a raised pavilion; and when he saw that his favorite concubines were about to be executed, he was greatly alarmed and hurriedly sent down the following message: "We are now quite satisfied as to our general's ability to handle troops. If we are bereft of these two concubines, our meat and drink will lose their savor. It is our wish that they shall not be beheaded."

Sun Tzu replied: "Having once received His Majesty's commission to be the general of his forces, there are certain commands of His Majesty which, acting in that capacity, I am unable to accept." Accordingly, he had the two leaders beheaded, and straightway installed the pair next in order as leaders in their place. When this had been done, the drum was sounded for the drill once more; and the girls went through all the evolution, turning to the right or to the left, marching ahead or wheeling back, kneeling or standing, with perfect accuracy and precision, not venturing to utter a sound.

Then Sun Tzu sent a messenger to the King saying: "Your soldiers, Sire, are now properly drilled and disciplined, and ready for your majesty's inspection. They can be put to any use that their sovereign may desire; bid them go through fire and water, and they will not disobey."

But the King replied: "Let our general cease drilling and return to camp. As for us, We have no wish to come down and inspect the troops." Thereupon Sun Tzu said: "The King is only fond of words, and cannot translate them into deeds." After that, Ho Lu saw that Sun Tzu was one who knew how to handle an army, and finally appointed him general. In the west, he defeated the Ch`u State and forced his way into Ying, the capital; to the north he put fear into the States of Ch`i and Chin, and spread his fame abroad amongst the feudal princes. And Sun Tzu shared in the might of the King.


As you can see from this story and concept the management chain is as follows: General, Officer, Soldier. In footballing terms this would be Manager, Coaching Staff, Captain, Squad. Under the current Liverpool Team one thing is clear: The team are not playing with any sense of consistency. The reasons for this can be many and only Liverpool Football Club can truly understand them and correct them.

However, for the fans and supporters, Liverpool will need to ask the following questions:

Has Gerard Houllier developed a proper plan of action?

Has that plan of action been clearly explained to his coaching staff?

Does the coaching staff understand the plan enough to train the squad?

Has the plan been explained clearly to the squad and do they fully understand it?

Is the squad prepared to execute the plan?

If any of the responses for these questions is no than the organization will need to react to correct those that are out-of-line, as stated in the example of Sun Tzu.

Looking at the questions, below are my responses:

Has Gerard Houllier developed a proper plan of action? - At the end of last year most would say no, however, looking at the gameplan for this year many would agree that Gerard is looking towards a more fluid style of play.


The response to the following four questions is the same: As a fan these are questions we can not directly answer. There are times during games where the team is unclear on how to proceed with the plan. Should they defend or should they attack. What is clear is that the balance has not been achieved. Who is at fault is something only the organization can decide

Has that plan of action been clearly explained to his coaching staff?
Does the coaching staff understand the plan enough to train the squad?
Has the plan been explained clearly to the squad and do they fully understand it?
Is the squad prepared to execute the plan?

Sun Tzu's teaching have proved affective in most walks of life. Hopefully the team can sort through their current situation and resolve any issues.

What is your take on this situation?
 

footballhell77

Red Card - Life [Multiple Accounts]
Life Ban
im at school chilling in the library about to get back to class and that wasnt no fun reading whatsover now im all tired and sleepy for reading that crap. Man im skipping class now so i can go watch real madrid play in the champions league something i wouldnt do if liverfools were playing:crazyboy: :p BYE! time to go watch this so called magnificent team money can buy play Beautiful great football unlike liverpool we have to score penalties to win a game;)
 

shokz

The Red Devil
Originally posted by footballhell77
dude you talk too much man liverpool sucks now:kader:

:sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep:

Why did you bother read it then?...

Originally posted by Haukur Gudnason
For those of you not familiar with Sun Tzu and his book 'The Art of War' Sun Tzu was a great Chinese military general around the period of 512BC. His greatest contribution to the Chinese Military as well as the world was the writing of his book 'The Art of War'. The original purpose of the book was to provide other generals in the Chinese Military with a plan of action for how to prepare, fight, and win a War. The book was kept secret within the Chinese ranks for hundreds of years. Not until the book surfaced in Japan did the ideology and theories outlined in the book fully take off around the world.
Although many of the more detailed aspects of war preparation outlined in "The Art of War" are out of date, the ideology of the book remains sound. Today many CEOs, business managers, lawyers, sport managers, and coaches follow the teachings outlined by Sun Tzu.

It is this ideology that leads me to Liverpool Football Club, our manager Gerard Houllier, and our current plight. One of the great teachings within Sun Tzu's book is the aspect of managing a group of people and the structure of responsibility within that management chain. The below teaching and story illustrate a key concept that Liverpool football club will need to take note of and make judgment on in order to save this season and progress forward.

Concept:
If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers.

Story:
Sun Tzu Wu (=Sun Tzu) was a native of the Ch`i State. His ART OF WAR brought him to the notice of Ho Lu, [2] King of Wu. Ho Lu said to him: "I have carefully perused your 13 chapters. May I submit your theory of managing soldiers to a slight test?" Sun Tzu replied: "You may." Ho Lu asked: "May the test be applied to women?" The answer was again in the affirmative, so arrangements were made to bring 180 ladies out of the Palace.

Sun Tzu divided them into two companies, and placed one of the King's favorite concubines at the head of each. He then bade them all take spears in their hands, and addressed them thus: "I presume you know the difference between front and back, right hand and and left hand?" The girls replied: Yes.

Sun Tzu went on: "When I say "Eyes front," you must look straight ahead. When I say "Left turn," you must face towards your left hand. When I say "Right turn," you must face towards your right hand. When I say "About turn," you must face right round towards your back." Again the girls assented. The words of command having been thus explained, he set up the halberds and battle-axes in order to begin the drill. Then, to the sound of drums, he gave the order "Right turn." But the girls only burst out laughing. Sun Tzu said: "If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame."

So he started drilling them again, and this time gave the order "Left turn," whereupon the girls once more burst into fits of laughter. Sun Tzu: "If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers."

So saying, he ordered the leaders of the two companies to be beheaded. Now the king of Wu was watching the scene from the top of a raised pavilion; and when he saw that his favorite concubines were about to be executed, he was greatly alarmed and hurriedly sent down the following message: "We are now quite satisfied as to our general's ability to handle troops. If we are bereft of these two concubines, our meat and drink will lose their savor. It is our wish that they shall not be beheaded."

Sun Tzu replied: "Having once received His Majesty's commission to be the general of his forces, there are certain commands of His Majesty which, acting in that capacity, I am unable to accept." Accordingly, he had the two leaders beheaded, and straightway installed the pair next in order as leaders in their place. When this had been done, the drum was sounded for the drill once more; and the girls went through all the evolution, turning to the right or to the left, marching ahead or wheeling back, kneeling or standing, with perfect accuracy and precision, not venturing to utter a sound.

Then Sun Tzu sent a messenger to the King saying: "Your soldiers, Sire, are now properly drilled and disciplined, and ready for your majesty's inspection. They can be put to any use that their sovereign may desire; bid them go through fire and water, and they will not disobey."

But the King replied: "Let our general cease drilling and return to camp. As for us, We have no wish to come down and inspect the troops." Thereupon Sun Tzu said: "The King is only fond of words, and cannot translate them into deeds." After that, Ho Lu saw that Sun Tzu was one who knew how to handle an army, and finally appointed him general. In the west, he defeated the Ch`u State and forced his way into Ying, the capital; to the north he put fear into the States of Ch`i and Chin, and spread his fame abroad amongst the feudal princes. And Sun Tzu shared in the might of the King.


As you can see from this story and concept the management chain is as follows: General, Officer, Soldier. In footballing terms this would be Manager, Coaching Staff, Captain, Squad. Under the current Liverpool Team one thing is clear: The team are not playing with any sense of consistency. The reasons for this can be many and only Liverpool Football Club can truly understand them and correct them.

However, for the fans and supporters, Liverpool will need to ask the following questions:

Has Gerard Houllier developed a proper plan of action?

Has that plan of action been clearly explained to his coaching staff?

Does the coaching staff understand the plan enough to train the squad?

Has the plan been explained clearly to the squad and do they fully understand it?

Is the squad prepared to execute the plan?

If any of the responses for these questions is no than the organization will need to react to correct those that are out-of-line, as stated in the example of Sun Tzu.

Looking at the questions, below are my responses:

Has Gerard Houllier developed a proper plan of action? - At the end of last year most would say no, however, looking at the gameplan for this year many would agree that Gerard is looking towards a more fluid style of play.


The response to the following four questions is the same: As a fan these are questions we can not directly answer. There are times during games where the team is unclear on how to proceed with the plan. Should they defend or should they attack. What is clear is that the balance has not been achieved. Who is at fault is something only the organization can decide

Has that plan of action been clearly explained to his coaching staff?
Does the coaching staff understand the plan enough to train the squad?
Has the plan been explained clearly to the squad and do they fully understand it?
Is the squad prepared to execute the plan?

Sun Tzu's teaching have proved affective in most walks of life. Hopefully the team can sort through their current situation and resolve any issues.

What is your take on this situation?

Good stuff by the way Ewan.
 

footballhell77

Red Card - Life [Multiple Accounts]
Life Ban
yes shokz i read it to see why it was so long and if it was interesting in anyway but it certainly wasnt:kader:
 


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