In football there is a fine line between being confident and complacent and being on the wrong side of this line can be disastrous for a player and team overall. Confidence is vital to being able to perform at your best and try things that nerves may restrict you from normally doing. Complacency, however, means you are not playing at your best, as you feel your opponent is not worthy of you performing at your peak.
One of the prime examples of this battle came in the UEFA Champions League last 16 match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea went into the game with the advantage, having scored an away goal in the 1 – 1 draw from the first leg and their cause was helped further as PSG’s star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off after just 31 minutes.
Rather than sense blood and go in for the kill, Chelsea played the game with the handbrake on and seemed to assume the game was over; they had already done enough to advance to the next round. PSG responded with a sense of injustice, after every Chelsea player bar the goalkeeper and injured Oscar surrounded the referee to encourage him to send of Ibrahimovic.
The ten men of PSG would respond by fighting back twice and claim a memorable 2 -2 draw which would see them advance to the quarter finals of the competition. No one could argue with the fight and determination that they displayed and even Jose Mourinho acknowledged that the better side won.
Chelsea were complacent, they did not feel it was necessary to play with maximum effort against a Paris side reduced to ten men. Complacency breeds disrespect and it is an immediate turn off for anyone involved in the game. If a scout senses a young player exhibiting complacency I very much doubt he will go near that player.
The difference between confidence and complacency is simple; a player who always gives their best can never be accused of being complacent. It goes without saying that a Young Pro must be confident in their own ability, but they will always give their all on the pitch too!
Mike Walsh – Follow @ThisIsMikeWalsh on Twitter