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Ok, I admit that I've failed somewhere before. But anyway welcome. Just a brief intro on what you should expect here:
1. Football. Not gonna post much of that any soon since season is over. :S
2. Anime, Games, etc. Just abt anything conceivable under the Japanese radar barring anything and everything Rule 34. Now that's illegal. Period. -.-;
3. Music. Everything to do with it is listed under the tab.
5. Unacceptable humour: Anything and everything is fair game here. As long as I don't get rounded up by the ISA. -.-'

6.
The Known World=Fantasy world building in process. I: Used to be glossary, now devoted to random rambling; II: Character Concepts; III: Lore.
7. der Wolf=my Fictionpress account under the moniker Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu. A Ranger's Tale is hosted under this page. :)
8. New section now upped. Maybe I should also gun for upping A Ranger's Tale here since I do have this funny feeling that traffic coming to here is way more than whatever I'll get in FP.

Statement of intent: Everything said here is a figment of personal opinion, be it me or anybody commenting. I try to be responsible, but my parents=/=parents of the world.

@Druid of Luhn: Crap. Should have remembered far earlier to give you the credit for your CSS text box code. :(

A/N: But sadly, it seems that your CSS text box code has now been halved efficiency wise. :(

That most important note I should have added: Any images posted in this blog are NOT my own stuff. I got them from Google image search, I don't earn any shit by being a thief and liar. Those responsible for the pictures, rest assured that you all are great artists in your own regards. Sadly, we all know what limited space means in terms of posting.

Latest Note: Changed alignment for my page widgets due to my worry that I can't centre align the thing.

Note on A Ranger's Tale: In case any complaining fella wants to have a legal case with me, let this be known that A Ranger's Tale is rated M by default. I've upped the swearing and somewhat a bit on the dark/gritty factor. You all have been warned, let no little boy and girl enter the forbidden realm.

Latest on ART: A Ranger's Tale now starting to kick back in gear. But I really hate the insanely fluctuating climate here in S'pore.

P.S: Oh, and one more thing. Vid below is yet another ideal OP for A Ranger's Tale.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Genius of Yingchuan (Part 6) 《颍川之鬼才》

Xun Yu vs Guo Jia
4 VS 10

A/N: So apparently, FaceBook has come up with a certain funny policy on mass sharing of posts. Whatever the **** this means to super hyper people like me anyway. At least I can try devoting my righteous anger onto this post.

Foreword: So what does it have to do with football? Very simple. Because I feel like doing it, because I did say in one of my FB status that I'm gonna do a Boro+4-4-2.

[嘉窃料之,绍有十败,公有十胜,虽兵强,无能为也。]

[By my own perception, Shao has ten factors leading to defeat while O'Duke has ten factors leading to victory. Hence no matter how strong his forces are, all is for naught.]

Note: I will start this off first with Guo Jia's version. And yes, the above excerpt is from Guo Jia' account.

[绍繁礼多仪,公体任自然,此道胜一也。]

[Shao is way too obsessed with needless formalities, you O'Duke have always been comfortable with yourself. This is a victory in personal ways.]

Footie-note: Press conference is a good thing. Something for the media to chomp on and something for the publicity, but something not for every gaffer. Yet, this is something unavoidable. Giving the press hounds too much respect will mean you as a gaffer are way to obsessed with the superficial. On the other hand, you should know how to deal with the press without acceding to whatever ridiculous demand tabled forth. Sure there will be far more for the press box warriors to rant about, but it's only part and parcel of press media warfare.

Just look at Ser A.Fergie. He's a certified asshole in the eyes of the media, that's why the media enjoy writing about Man Utd in general. Ditto for Jose Mourinho as well. Which now comes to how you manage the balance between being PR savvy and creating a PR Chernobyl.

Remember Rafa Benitez? I don't have any beef with his tactics thus far, but seriously he can't cope with the media. And the media can easily troll one entire dressing room. Good luck to that new Southampton gaffer, you'll need tons of that, Señor. I suspect the St Mary's faithful would rather have Matt Le Tissier even if he may turn out to be another Gareth Southgate (read: exceptional player=shit manager).

[绍以逆动,公奉顺以率天下,此义胜二也。]

[Shao wages war recklessly, you O'Duke led the masses through going with the flow. This is a victory scored for righteousness.]

Footie-note: The backdrop of this scenario was down to how Yuan Shao waged a campaign against Dong Zhuo. Although the intention was justified in terms of integrity, in name it's truly not. Simply put, when you have to find ways and means to depose any despot, one like Yuan Shao can only be seen as reckless, i.e. the other ****er could easily declare you as a rebel without cause. In fact, the entire coalition of warlords hellbent on upending Dong Zhuo were a bunch of selfish bastards. Unless we're talking about Sun Jian and Cao Cao. Liu Bei wasn't really counted in since he didn't have a stable base back then. Now that's the kind of glorious bastards who will never play their own game of hypocrisy.

Case in point: Sun Jian was the only one reaching Luoyang successfully while Cao Cao was the only one proposing a pursuit against a fleeing Dong Zhuo. And what about the unnamed inglorious bastards? A mass implosion that will make the SDA, SPP, and RP go roflcopter pilot mode.

So what does this have to do with football? Talent is one thing, understanding any said player's temperament is quite another. Just go ask Robbie Manc and his merry band of City slackers. Or rather let's just point a finger or two at Mario "Ba-lol-telli" Balotelli.

[汉末政失于宽,绍以宽济宽,故不摄,公纠之以猛而上下知制,此治胜三也。]

[The end of Han was down to lax laws, yet Shao chooses to rule a lax system with lax laws, hence my refusal to serve him. You, O'Duke on the other hand, chooses to deal with infighting through ruthless aggression, hence subjecting all under you from the least to greatest in their rightful places. This is a victory rooted in discipline.]

Footie-note: Command the dressing room with authority. This is especially true when you end up having more than one inflated ego. It's one thing to understand their needs and quite another to indulge them without using your brain. One should never fear to make hard decisions if it's for the better good of the team.

Remember the old adage "No one should be bigger than the team" and that includes the gaffer as well.

Simply put, if you have a rebellious player, deal with him appropriately. If you're running the boardroom, please use your brain first. We already have a laughing stock(ing) in the form of Blackburn Rovers, England can do without another comedy.

[绍见人饥寒,恤念之形于颜色,其所不见,虑或不及也,所谓妇人之仁耳,公于目前小事,时有所忽,至于大事,与四海接,恩之所加,皆过其望,虽所不见,虑之所周,无不济也,此仁胜七也。]

[Shao will always show compassion upon sight of those in hunger and cold, yet he will never feel that much upon happenings beyond whatever he sees. This is nothing more than a foolish benevolence from a foolish woman. You, O'Duke on the other hand, will miss out trivial incidents at times, yet kindness shown on the bigger picture will ensure everyone's respect. Considering and helping the truly needy beyond sight, this is a victory in benevolence.]

Footie-note: It's somewhat linked to the previous rule, I suppose. But anyway, everything is about foresight. In the olden days of feudal China, benevolence was the number one rule in running a faction/dynasty. This was especially so after Liu Bang managed to unify a chaotic China.

Back during the Qin Emperor's (秦始皇。赢政) rule, benevolence was the political enemy Numero Uno. So is it any wonder to see a change in direction where Confucianism became the social core whilst still retaining the incumbent's concept of law and order (儒教法制)?

In a very weird way, this has something to do with transfer dealings. You do NOT sign players based on what you see alone. Signing players without any foresight is a folly. If you can sign a world class playmaker, fine then and good for you. But if your backline is horrendously out of depth just to quote an example, then you have no one to blame but yourself. In fact, what are you gonna do once your star player gets neutered on the pitch?
Guess what will be Derek Llambias' answer by end of season?

[绍大臣争权,谗言惑乱,公御下以道,浸润不行,此明胜八也。]

[Shao's major vassals are vying for power with false advice being the root of turmoil. You, O'Duke on the other hand, manages those below you properly, hence making it utterly impossible for any to toe beyond the line. This is a victory in terms of wisdom.]

Footie-note: This is called man management. Jose Mourinho once stated that football management is all about man management and it's nothing more than a form of human science. I keechiu and agree with the Cocky One here.

You see, as a football manager, you're dealing with footballers and footballers are human beings just like the manager in question (plus all of us as well of course). In short, a capable manager is one who will never be afraid to make tough decisions. The jersey should be up for grabs. How the players spend their weekly wages however, is not my problem. And more than thankfully enough, we didn't end up signing Joey Barton back during Steve "local calamity" McClaren's reign despite the British media going customary mode during that period of time.

P.S: I'd rather we're being linked with Dietmar Hamann back then, but unfortunately, we at the good ol'Teesside itself can never promise a Champion's League title.

[绍是非不可知,公所是进之以礼,所不是正之以法,此文胜九也。]

[Shao is unable to differentiate right from wrong. You, O'Duke other hand, treats worthy counsel with respect while using the law against all that is wrong. This is a victory in terms of learning.]

Footie-note: The English fans have a very famous stadium anthem. In fact, it's actually a hate anthem going like "~~~You don't know what you're doing!~~~"and it's something reserved for a shit gaffer (at least in the first person view of the fans).

Now if we end up seeing this happening for more than 5 matches straight, it means something majorly disastrous afoot. Decision making pertaining to the players is very important.

Just like how Shao was unable to rule his roost back then, likewise worthy advice should not be treated with contempt behind closed doors. If you can't even deal with your players shooting off in front of the press, then you can be very sure that you have gained an unwanted enemy in the form of all things hot-off-the-press.

Saving the best for the last: Final Thesis 4 vs 4

Note: For the sake of convenience, Xun Yu's thesis will take the first turn, after which will be followed by Guo Jia.

彧: 绍貌外宽而内忌,任人而疑其心,公明达不拘,唯才所宜,此度胜也。

Yu: Shao may be magnanimous on the outside, but he's full of distrust on the inside by appointing people without trusting their loyalty. Milord on other hand, is understanding while not caring about pointless formalities as you will only use those truly talented and worthy. Hence a victory for being magnanimous.

嘉: 绍外宽内忌,用人而疑之,所任唯亲戚子弟,公外易简而内机明,用人无疑,唯才所宜,不间远近,此度胜四也。

Jia: Shao is outwardly magnanimous, yet inwardly distrustful. He entrusts duties to others without trusting them while those fully trusted are merely those from his relatives and friends. O'Duke you on the other hand, is far more simplistic, yet far shrewder in accomplishing tasks. Never distrusting your own judgment in using anyone, you only use the truly talented while maintaining an absolute impartiality. Hence a victory for being magnanimous.

Footie-note: We first start off on who's more magnanimous. Now there's nothing much separating Xun Yu's version with Guo Jia's version. However, while Xun Yu was merely summarising the comparisons, Guo Jia actually went a mile further.

Both said Yuan Shao was a petty fatso who cannot use any true blue talent, both said Cao Cao was a good boss who will never fake his ass off while knowing what is a real talent. However, Guo Jia actually did some additions.

Firstly, he elaborated on Yuan Shao's way of dealing with people.

Secondly, he lauded Cao Cao for his confidence, impartiality, and faith shown towards those serving under him.

If you're forced to try deciding between form and tactical needs, my advise is this: **** it, bro. Just say "**** it" and leave.

If anyone doesn't get what I'm trying to say, it means my priority vote goes to form. In fact, can you imagine what one single weak link can do to your lads? Sometimes, you'll really need to bench the poor fellow in order to manage him properly especially if he's someone performing based on confidence.

彧: 绍迟重少决,失在后机,公能断大事,应变无方,此谋胜也。

Yu: Shao is slow in judgment and indecisive, hence unable to grab the most vital chance. Milord can perceive things that truly matter most, your ability to adapt is unpredictable to your foes. Hence a victory based on strategy.

嘉: 绍多谋少决,失在后事,公策得辄行,应变无穷,此谋胜五也。

Jia: Shao may be clever, but he is also indecisive. Hence he will stumble at the most crucial moment. You, O'Duke, can execute your tactics promptly with unlimited options in adapting. Hence a victory based on strategy.

Footie-note: Again, there's nothing much separating the two. Xun Yu's take on Cao Cao was all about adapting to situations based on perception while Guo Jia was all about the same logic based on actual measures. Perception and measures go hand in hand together in all matters of war, but Guo Jia actually commented that Yuan Shao was a clever person.

Simply put, his take on the decisive difference lies in Yuan Shao's character flaw, i.e. when it comes to flattering to deceive, it's not hundred percent about the brains. Indeed, strength in character is that one factor mattering the most.

Which now comes to the bench system. Who will you send onto the pitch once you need to make a difference in any situations make or break? You can be a very clever person, but even Gareth Southgate has already earned his UEFA coaching licence. I have licence, you have licence, everybody also has a licence. Now we're not talking about a hundred percent winning streak. That particular season of Les Invincbles was truly a one-off, so no one should be feeling a bit green all over the body. Unless you're the latest Green Lantern that is.

Simply put, everybody makes mistakes and tactical substitution is part and parcel of the game. When you have to throw in a 50-50 call, the logic of probability is valid for a very good reason. If you cocked up in one match, you can't turn back the clock.

But can you try analysing what went wrong at where, post match and postmortem? Yes, quite obviously so. If it's truly a 50-50 lottery, then you should be excused from yourself. No point banging your head over a gamble. And please go Google search if you think you can win a gamble seven out of ten times. Even a twelve year old can easily out spell S-O-C-I-A-L V-I-C-E-S

彧: 绍御军宽缓,法令不立,士卒虽寡,其实难用,公法令既明,赏罚必行,士卒虽寡,皆争致死,此武胜也。

Yu: Shao is lax in commanding his forces, hence unable to enforce proper discipline. Should they be lesser in numbers, it will be hard to lead them. My lord is clear and proper in exacting the law, rewards and punishments will always be meted out accordingly. Should they be lesser in numbers, they will still fight to the bitter end. This is a victory in military.

嘉: 绍好为虚势,不知兵要,公以少克众,用兵如神,军人恃之,敌人畏之,此武胜十也。

Jia: Shao enjoyed being flamboyant, yet not understanding deployment. You, O'Duke on the other hand, is able to achieve victory even when outnumbered. Peerless in using your army, your men can rely on you while your enemies will be wary of you. This is a victory in military.

Footie-note: The difference can never be anywhere bigger. Xun Yu was all about commanding respect and authority, Guo Jia was basically all about actual hands-on. Now as a strategist with an expertise in consolidation tactics, this was a no brainer coming from Xun Yu. Yet, Guo Jia actually stated the reason why Cao Cao can command a certain fear from his enemies. This is something Xun Yu failed to mention.

Which now comes to a very interesting tactical talking cock here from yours truly. You see, Guo Jia's take can only be valid under a given prerequisite. It's called strategy and it's been covered above. Now perception before deployment is a commonsense logic on the pitch. If you can use video replay, use it. But how are you gonna use your own lads first?

Maybe I should give forth an extremely hare-brained example, 4-4-2 Boro style. Simply put, it's called playing the midfield. Take for example a middle four of Josh "Lil' Josh" McEachran, Richard "not Xabi Alonso" Smallwood, Grant "Lead Biter" Leadbitter, and Faris "let's sing his name" Haroun.

If I am to put McEachran on the left, Smallwood on the right, and together with Haroun and Leadbitter plonked at dead centre, is it really workable? If the entire middle row stays untouched, that will mean one entire zone of ball possession stretching across the entire width.

If Smallwood ends up drifting from the flank, Haroun can easily go out wide. Effectively speaking, we will have options going forward both from the right and centre due to Haroun's nature of play while defensively speaking, Leadbitter and Smallwood will be anchoring the midfield with McEachran moving upfront as the true blue offensive link up. This is the most up-in-your-face variation.

Of course if McEachran is the one drifting from the left, then Leadbitter can pretty much go left. Haroun and McEachran at dead centre with Smallwood and Leadbitter at either end of the side, this is a legit call of creating a counter-offensive midfield quite different from what we've seen from Ser A.Fergie himself. A defensive lockdown at both flanks should be in order since our entire back 4 is gonna surge upwards to compact the middle park while Haroun and McEachran adopting a potential axis in a flat 4 style can only mean one thing: the opponent's options in going forward will be limited severely, we can easily launch our cavalry across the midfield.

And what if both Smallwood and McEachran ended up going dead centre? Haroun and Leadbitter will quite obviously be moved out wide respectively, both will be equally capable of surging to and fro. This is due to an anchoring axis where either McEachran's vision and control or Smallwood's tenacity and ability to hold the ball up can be used further upfront.

彧: 绍凭世资,从容饰智,以收名誉,故士之寡能好问者多归之,公以至仁待人,推诚心不为虚美,行己谨俭,而与有功者无所吝惜,故天下忠正效实之士咸原为用,此德胜也。

Yu: Shao created a facade of wisdom for himself via ancestral riches in order to reap repute. Hence attracting those with little ability and those merely asking questions.  My lord on the other hand, treats all with kindness without any show of hypocrisy. Setting the highest standard of discipline for yourself while willing to share every credit with those truly deserving, therefore all with integrity and talent are used fully. This is a victory in terms of credibility.

嘉: 绍因累世之资,高议揖让以收名誉,士之好言饰外者多归之,公以至心待人,推诚而行,不为虚美,以俭率下,与有功者无所吝,士之忠正远见而有实者皆原为用,此德胜六也。

Jia: Shao is able to use high words and courtesy to reap repute via his ancestral riches stored, hence attracting those with talk and show, but without substance. You, O'Duke on the other hand, treats everyone sincerely with no hypocrisy. Leading by example and free from such a flaw, you share your glory with every person deserving of credit, thus those with integrity, foresight, and ability are used wisely. This is a victory in terms of credibility

Footie-note: This is basically about how Yuan Shao's riches will amount to nothing because they tend to say whatever kind of bird will produce whatever kind of egg (什么样的鸟就生什么样的蛋). In short, it means that whatever people around you will reflect your character. The key point of difference between Guo Jia and Xun Yu is down to how they phrased their words differently.

Xun Yu's case was rather straight to the point, but Guo Jia actually utilised a far better choice of words. Why? Because there's such a thing called dramatic effect. It's not used to stoke the enemy's ego, but rather to build up Cao Cao's confidence.

In short, we can easily call this a motivation strategy for idiots. Idiots not as in any specified targets, but rather this being something that even an idiot can understand/use.

Read: If your lad is experiencing a certain crisis non-physical in nature, then you'll have to haul him down and have a nice little chat complete with tea and scones. Or maybe even over a nice hot meal of fish and chips since it's now getting terribly cold across the English Channel.

Final Conclusion to this post (NOT the actual deal though, mind you)

[“夫以四胜辅天子,扶义征伐,谁敢不从?绍之强其何能为!”

太祖悦。彧曰:“不先取吕布,河北亦未易图也。”]
《三国志:荀彧传》

Trans:
["By my help through the four victories listed, who can resist upon my lord declaring arms in the name of justice? Shao will not be able to stand strong!"

Taizu was glad. Yu then added: "If we don't first get rid of Lu Bu, it will not be easy to turn our sights towards Hebei."]
《Record of Three Kingdoms: Account of Xun Yu》

Analysis: Xun Yu's words are basically 100% motivational. By using firstly encouragement timing wise, it would be easier for him to advise Cao Cao to target Lu Bu first. In fact, Lu Bu's military strength towards the east wasn't that much powerful compared to Yuan Shao. After all, one entire Hebei region is far bigger than a Xu province (徐州) commanded by this traitorous mofo.

And on a major hindsight, Lu Bu only managed to gain that major piece of land through backstabbing Liu Bei. Is it any major brainer for Liu Bei to backstab him back upon Lu Bu's capture? Serves that ****er right. And no, I never imagine Steve Kean to be Lu Bu's reincarnation, so let's just stop at there.

[太祖笑曰:“如卿所言,孤何德以堪之也!”

嘉又曰:“绍方北击公孙瓒,可因其远征,东取吕布。不先取布,若绍为寇,布为之援,此深害也。”

太祖曰:“然。”]
《三国志:郭嘉传》

Trans:
[Taizu smiled, saying: "You have given me answers, I should not have forced myself to needless woes right from the start!"

Jia continued: "Shao is now attacking Gongsun Zan towards the north, hence we can take advantage of his distraction in order to defeat Lu Bu. Failure to do so will ensure him linking up with Shao, thus a dire threat formed."

Taizu answered: "Rightfully so."]
《Record of Three Kingdoms: Account of Guo Jia》

Analysis: Guo Jia didn't need to talk any more cock at this point of time, Cao Cao's expression proved it all, i.e. he did seem far happier in front of Guo Jia compared to before Xun Yu himself. Short, sharp, sweet, and simple, he just went straight for the kill so as to speak.

While he never made any assumptions on who would win the battle up north, he did say that this is the best moment for Cao Cao to attack Lu Bu.

If Xun Yu's advice was built upon the concept of conquer and consolidate, Guo Jia's advice was far more immediate in nature, i.e. he's telling the cold hard truth when he pointed out the actual danger hidden beneath.

Footie-note: In short, the logic is very simple. If you want to prioritize the depth of your squad, you must take into consideration which are your immediate rivals' matches.

Say if Leicester is to play Hull City at the KC Stadium while Crystal Palace is to host Cardiff, that's when we can take extra motivation coming into our match, i.e. if we win, we will stand to gain one way or another, no matter which is the other team cocking up.
Yes, rejoice all you SMB and SGB.
Because once this SSB start opening his mouth, Boro sure will hit a blip again.