We all like winning but here at Cupello we advise that player development should be a priority over results. In our experience player development creates a better squad of players and therefore has much more chance of being successful over the course of a season.
Playing your strongest team every week at the expense of the same players sitting on the bench will probably mean you have a great start to the season – but once injuries kick in and the players who have spent weeks on the bench have to play when they are not up to speed your team will suffer.
Pep Guardiola said: " What makes you grow is defeat, making mistakes. It is what keeps you alert. When you win you think 'great we've won'. And we'd surely have done some things wrong but you're relaxed. The only thing that winning is useful for is a good nights sleep".
You will find that the parents of the players who are always on the pitch and not on the subs bench will give you their full backing – but you will get comments from parents whose child is always starting on the bench. All parents have to pay the same for each youth player so they should all be getting their money's worth during matches – it is only fair.
I also want all my players experiencing coming onto the pitch when it is in full flow because it is a different proposition to starting a match. There is no chance to get up to speed they have to be 100% ready when they come on.
So at the beginning of the season you may struggle but that soon goes and players you thought should be on the bench will be flying and the first name on your team sheet.
Finally, make sure the same players do not start on the bench every week even if they are getting the same game time. Starting on the bench is disappointing and something everyone should share around.