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football forum

What is success?

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Bit of a strange thread this but I think it's quite an open question which can be viewed from many different angles. In your opinion, what would you consider as success? For example would you consider Tottenham finishing 2nd yet failing to lift a trophy as a success? Would you consider Arsenal failing to hit the Top 4 but lifting a trophy a success? Would you consider Burnley staying up after being promoted last season as a success? 

What do you think? 

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I would class success as relative to the sense of reward and achievement attached to it by its recipients. In terms of accolades in a footballing sense, it's true that finishing as a runner up is never or rarely considered a 'success' in football unless of course it's the classic underdog story. 

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Hard to determine because success is achieving a target and we're on the outside so don't know what they are. 

 

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Getting knocked out of the cups early but challenging for the title.

That seems to be Man Utd and Arsenals judgment of what is needed anyway and they should know what success is if anyone.

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differs for some teams. In the Premier League for example:

Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, Man City, Utd, Liverpool - all expect to win silverware due to size of the club and amount of money they spend as well as the talent in their squad.

newly promoted clubs - avoiding relegation, mid-table finish, decent cup run - it'd be unrealistic for them to finish top half/top 7 or 8. If that did happen, it's more of a bonus on top of given success of staying in the league.

Success isn't just one generic thing across all clubs. Different clubs have different expectations so it's hard to label exactly what it is without specifying what club you're talking about. 

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For me success should be measured differently at each individual club where resources are taken into account.  For example, if you're in the top 10 making money in the world of football, then you should be competing in that bracket.

Success is ultimately winning a trophy but as I said, it obviously depends on the status of your club and in this day and age, the financial clout you have.  Finishing a league season below clubs you dwarf financially is embarrassing and actually gives you a lot of info on certain things.

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Yeah as many others have said, it depends on a club's financial resources of what they done in the preceding years. 

Generally I think that a club's wage bill is the important factor behind determining success in modern day football. So just looking at the league and ignoring the cup competitions for now, if a club's final league position is higher than their position in the 'wage bill ranking list', then that would generally constitute a successful league campaign. 

So Spurs's wage bill is the 6th highest in the Premier League, and is nowhere near as high as that of the 5 clubs ahead of them. So for them to finish 2nd with 86 points, playing attractive football, and securing their highest league finish for 54 years, is a big success. They were in genuine title contention, when many people thought they wouldn't finish in the top 4 given the spending power and superstar managers of the two Manchester clubs. 

Of course that's just the league and there are cup competitions to consider which can offset and make up for league results

Chelsea finishing 6th in the Premier League (behind Newcastle) in 2011/2012 but not winning anything would be a huge failure. However Chelsea finishing 6th that season but winning the Champions League (beating Barcelona and Bayern) and FA Cup made it a very successful season. 

Even if Leicester had finished 17th in the Premier League this season, their historical Champions League quarter-final run made it successful season for them regardless. 

 

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Stoke under Pulis is an interesting case to explore here. He got them promoted in 2008, and then in 5 seasons under him in the Premier League from 2009-2013, they finished 12th, 11th, 13th, 14th and then 13th. 

Now their 12th place finish in 2008/2009, their first season back in the top flight, was a big success for them of course. But their 13th place finish in 2012/2013, wasn't a success, particularly if you consider that they were only 3 points above relegation zone with 5 games left, and that their style of play was no better to watch than it had been back in 2008/2009.

Some journalists were calling Stoke fans ungrateful to Pulis for wanting a managerial change in 2012/2013. But they were understandably fed up watching their team playing boring football every year, and still not being able to break into the top 10. They got to watch Pulis showing absolutely no ambition in away matches, with ultra-defensive line-ups away to the likes of Fulham and Sunderland. Doing that away to Man Utd or Chelsea is fine, but not away to Fulham and Sunderland, and they would usually lose those games anyway. And they got to watch him playing 4 centre backs across their defence. 

Their football did improve noticeably in 2010/2011 when they reached the FA Cup final and had a purple patch in the Premier League around that period, with Etherington and Pennant tearing down the wings. But after evolving the team's style of play, Pulis then dismantled that and went back to square one. And it wasn't like he had a shoestring budget at Stoke, he was backed generously by Peter Coates and spent a lot of money. 

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Success, by and large for me, is winning trophies.

This doesn't mean that you have to have success to have done well. Tottenham are the best example this year. I wouldn't call it a successful year as they ultimately didn't win anything, but they still had a very good year that would give you hope that they can go on to win things in future. There needs to be something to show for it, and so far, they have shown potential but not actually delivered - though you could argue that Tottenham being in a title race is a very good effort either way given their wage budget and what they've spent in relation to the rest of the top six.

Leicester didn't have a successful season. We didn't win anything. We came 12th in the league, which is hard to really judge - it's not bad, but as previous champions it's piss poor, yet from around 3 months ago it's actually very good. The Champions League campaign, again, was impressive, but successful? No. We didn't win it. Coming in the last eight for a club like Leicester is astonishing, but we didn't actually win anything for it.

I think a lot of these kinds of debates are arguing semantics. Being a big club is another similar kind of debate.

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I think it depends, people say United had a successful season after winning three trophies, but since when did we start counting the Community Shield as an actual trophy?

And then you look at the fact they won a knock off competition that to qualify for you have to do badly in the league or finish third in your Champions League group...so is winning that being more successful than a side who wins nothing but competed in the Champions League?

Arsenal didn't qualify for the Champions League but they won the FA Cup, a competition more prestigious than the League Cup and Europa.

Is qualifying for the Champions League now a "trophy" in its own right? I mean at the beginning of the season if you say what would you prefer, win the League Cup and Europa or win the FA Cup what would you pick? I'd pick the FA Cup. But factor in that the side who won the former qualified for the CL and the side that won the latter didn't and people's opinions change.

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It's subjective on a case by case basis. Every team has their own definition of success every season, for some in the Premier League that means trophies and/or a finish in a European place and for others it means survival at all costs. 

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