Part of successful team-building is ensuring that your squad comes together in the right way, developing inter-personal relationships and having the right characters to pick the team up when they’re doing badly and to keep things going when doing well.
How important is it to maintain a happy squad?
It cannot be stated strongly enough that the morale and happiness of your players is one of the biggest factors in whether or not you succeed as a manager. You can have the most talented players at your disposal, playing in a rock-solid tactic, but if they’re unhappy and/or have lost trust in you, they simply will not perform to their full abilities. There are few things more important to work on than the morale of your players; it really is that simple.
How do I turn around an unhappy squad?
This, on the other hand, is far from simple. If you suffer through a few negative results in succession, players may begin to question your judgment, and the morale of the team sinks deeper and deeper with every disappointment. Before you know it, you’re left with an unhappy squad and seemingly no way out of the hole you collectively find yourselves in.
It isn’t easy to turn things around, but there are a few ways for you to get started. Changing your starting eleven to include players who aren’t quite as unhappy as others in the squad can have a tangible effect; that isn’t to say that a happy youth team player is a better choice than an unhappy first-team key player, but a finer balance of players who have better morale can help move the needle in your favour, and it’s often the case that small changes are the catalyst for long-term improvement.
If one player in particular is the cause for team-wide unhappiness, selling him is often the best course of action, as the team will mostly be stronger than any one individual.