Football Partnerships: for better or worse

Not everyone agrees players play better on certain grounds, or shirt numbers affect performance, or form and fitness follow a predictable cycle. Everyone does agree a team with good partnerships in cohesive combinations is a team to be reckoned with. Even if we don’t know, and most English coaches don’t know how to put such a team together, we all know one when we see it. We may say: the players fit seamlessly, they have uncanny understanding, telepathic, they just gel! So why is it so hard for the average coach to build a cohesive side? No, it’s not money! Money may buy better players but not cohesion, as we will explore.

One reason is the secret formula isn’t in the coaching manuals, no matter how many FA badges they have, or which School of Excellence they went to, they don’t know. The secret is closely guarded by a few top coaches, a few Recruitment gurus, and a few shadowy figures behind the scenes. They never explain. You won’t find the answer in Sports science. It has nothing to do with formations. The formula combines planetary cycles, age profiles, and frequencies. When players are on the same cosmic wavelength they gel. They have no choice, cohesion happens to them. It is literally Written in the Stars. If you need a scientific explanation, investigate the strange realm of Plasma science. Built on the foundational discoveries of Russian scientist Aleksandr Presman and American exile David Bohm, modern researchers have detected bioplasma fields around individuals which process information and explain remote sensing and telepathy. For our purposes, for optimising team performance it isn’t necessary to understand the physics of plasma, we only need to know the indicators, which happen to correspond with the ancient symbolism of the astrological planets. I should also say there are certain transitory alignments which interfere with connectivity, and a nine year cycle of change affecting individuals. A factor used to inform Retention and Recruitment strategies.

Examples of Cohesion
The best defensive partnership Liverpool had was their 1984 European Cup-winning combination, or maybe it was the one that propelled them to the Champions League title in 2019? The power base of the best Arsenals has been in central defence – the Adams/Bould/Keown combination of the 1990s comes to mind, same for Eidevall’s team and same for Arteta’s sides. Manchester City were the prime example of total cohesion, now they are trying something more rarefied.**Not so rarefied but Eric ten Hag is showing what a few good partnerships can do for Manchester United, although he found that isn’t enough against a team with Cohesion++.

HANSEN Sun Gemini


As Virgil Van Dijk’s form dipped in 2022, Liverpool dipped down the league. By February 2023 they were hovering mid table and just as Jurgen Klopp’s credentials were coming under closer scrutiny they started to click. Van Dijk began to find his feet, and there was a bit more fluency from back to front. On the 13th February 2023, Liverpool won their first Premier league match of the year, beating Everton 2-0. ‘Liverpool prove they are back… by the final whistle there was a gulf between these two sides’ wrote Jason Burt. ‘This was indisputably Cody Gakpo’s best game… whilst there was a standing ovation for Darwin Nunez…’ On the 5th March Liverpool inflicted Manchester United’s worst defeat since the Great Depression with Nunez scoring two, Gakpo scoring two, Salah scoring two, and Firmino netting the seventh.

March 2023
KONATE Mars Libra
NUNEZ Mars Libra
GAKPO Mars Libra Sun Taurus
SALAH Mars Taurus

It is always tempting to tinker and the following week Klopp did, but was forced to review why the ‘minor’ changes he made against then bottom of the table Bournemouth had major, negative consequences.

In the 1990s Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal were the exception that proves the unwritten rule of team building.
ADAMS Mars Leo
BOULD Mars Leo

There are few top teams with Leo combinations in central defence. As Raymond Domenech, the French astrologer-coach who led Les Bleus to the World Cup final in 2006 said, ‘when I have got a Leo in defence, I’ve always got my gun ready, as I know he’s going to want to show-off at one moment or another and cost us’. You will appreciate why he got himself into deep water with the authorities, and it wasn’t just for referencing public executions.

However, football is not always what it appears and coaches don’t always fully explain. Maybe the reason Domenech selected William Gallas as centre back for the World Cup final, and why Arsenal signed him was not primarily for his defensive abilities but for his leadership qualities, his creativity and to complete their favoured pattern of play:
Almost Invincible!

On the 19th October 2022 Arsenal Women beat the defending European champions 5-1. It is significant because Arsenal’s Swedish coach Jonas Eidevall’s side dismantled Domenech’s home town team, Lyon – the club with a decidedly astro-logical approach – that has dominated women’s football for over a decade:

centre backs
WUBBER-MOY Sun Capricorn
CATLEY Mars Capricorn
MAANUM Sun Cancer
WALTI Mars Cancer
LITTLE Sun Cancer

In the January 2023 transfer window Spaniard Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal took two more steps on their path to total cohesion, signing Leandro Trossard and Jorginho:
TROSSARD Sun Sagittarius
JORGINHO Sun Sagittarius

As if they didn’t have enough Sagittarians already
GABRIEL Sun Sagittarius
SALIBA Mars Sagittarius
ZINCHENKO Sun Sagittarius
WHITE Mars Sagittarius
ODEGAARD Sun Sagittarius
SAKA Mars Sagittarius
MARTINELLI Mars Sagittarius
NELSON Sun Sagittarius
Is it always a good strategy to field so many? Is it the right path? Not always, as Arsenal’s defeat by Manchester City on the 26th April 2023 confirmed. The partnership of Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne made the difference:**

HAALAND Sun Cancer Mars Cancer
De BRUYNE Sun Cancer

Is it tactical know-how or something other-worldly that prompted United coach, Netherlander Eric ten Hag to put Luke Shaw, Varane, Fred, and Casemiro together at the heart of defence v Barcelona at Camp Nou on 16th February 2023? It worked so well the Reds were unlucky to come away with only a draw.
SHAW Sun Cancer
VARANE Mars Cancer
FRED Mars Cancer Sun Pisces

It’s always tempting to tinker and Eric did, but was forced to review why the ‘minor’ changes he made against Liverpool and then against Sevilla, on the 20th April had such catastrophic consequences.**

There was a gulf between the Lionesses’ performance at the 2021 Olympics and the Euro final euphoria of 2022. With more or less the same squad that disappointed less than 12 months before England fulfilled her potential for the first time since 1966. Was it something other-worldly that helped the new England coach, Netherlander Sarina Weigman to put a few good partnerships together?
WILLIAMSON Sun Aries Mars Virgo
WALSH Sun Aries Mars Virgo
TOONE Sun Virgo

When more substitutes were required, in the final v Germany on came a cohesive trio with Chloe Kelly the match winner:
SCOTT Sun Aquarius
KELLY Mars Aquarius
RUSSO Sun Aquarius

On the 11th April 2023, their bubble of invincibility burst as they lost for the first time in 30 matches: 0-2 vs Australia. After the game Weigman said ‘…in possession we were slow… we needed runs and dynamic movement but we didn’t do that well enough,’ then Sarina disappeared into the Changing Rooms to ponder the Whys and Wherefores.**

No Cohesion
All the above sides are performing well, some better than others with varying levels of astro-logical cohesion. On the flip-side teams with little or no cohesion invariably under perform. We are spoilt for choice, let’s choose Everton:

It would be an understatement to say ex-England super-star Frank Lampard’s last game in charge of the Toffees, defeat at West Ham on the 21st January 2023 was a disappointment. Hard work, technical excellence, tactical acumen, and motivational mantras were all well and good but without cohesion it was very difficult to win football matches. No one can say they lacked good players. However, together they were less than they could have and should have been:
No cohesion in central midfield:
ONANA Sun Leo Mars Sagittarius
GUEYE Sun Libra Mars Libra
No cohesion in attack:
IWOBI Sun Taurus Mars Taurus
GRAY Sun Cancer Mars Gemini
CALVERT-LEWIN Sun Pisces Mars Virgo
And no connection between the two.

Lampard was sacked shortly after the West Ham loss, ironic as he is a graduate of the West Ham Academy of Football. The silver lining? Frank is eager to learn and we learn more from our mistakes than successes. He could read, research, reflect and think the unthinkable. Maybe actively wonder why the continental coaches march to a different drummer and also find out why football gurus have an ephemeris on their smart, plasma phones.

On the 6th April, following the sacking of Graham Potter, Frank answered the call from his former club and took charge at Chelsea again, this time with better players. However, 5 defeats in his first 5 games suggested Lampard rushed back to management not having made the most of his Time Out? Nevertheless, it’s never too late to change for the better. No doubt he will soon have another opportunity to read, research, think the unthinkable, etc…

**Why have Arsenal stumbled? Why were Manchester United demoralised by Liverpool and then humiliated by Sevilla? What caused the Lionesses loss against Australia? What is Manchester City’s secret formula? What do their Recruitment gurus know that you don’t? To find out apply for our on-line lessons, tutorials, or workshops.


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