I am very anti any club, team or manager who deliberately picks an under strength team in any competition. I think they owe the fans who pay good money the opportunity to see the most competitive team and the best players.
I am not talking about one or two changes due to form or injury, however in my opinion it is just wrong when a team makes ten changes just because they have a big game the following week. You owe it to everyone to do the best you can to win every single game you play in.
This was the subject of much pontificating after the Huddersfield manager David Wagner made ten changes for the game against Blues last Saturday. Other managers etc. were upset because Blues were battling against relegation while Huddersfield had already clinched their place in the championship playoffs.
I am old school and believe that you should pick your best eleven so had some sympathy with the other teams in the relegation zone.
However what has really got to me over the last few weeks is the constant bleating and hypocrisy from managers and pundits about the integrity of the game being damaged by Huddersfield’s actions. Are you sure?
Let’s be serious here, the game has been morally bankrupt for a long time from top to bottom. Where would you like me to start? FIFA, Drugs, Bribery, match-fixing, third party ownership, Racism on and off the pitch, tax evasion, corruption, cheating, diving, child sex abuse, bullying, just to name a few. So please all those holier than thou integrity protesters tell me where the hell the integrity is in this greatest of all sports. The ninety minutes are one of the greatest pleasures known to man. It’s all the nonsense around it that drives me barmy.
So before any football manager, owner or chairman starts spouting off about the integrity of the game I suggest he or she takes a long look in the mirror and asks himself or herself if he or she has done enough to keep the values of “integrity” alive in the professional game?