Managers use the term false position to try and gain the position of underdogs ahead of a match or to downplay a crisis period at their club.
Traditional Uses Of ‘False Position’
- When a side are clear favourites to win their next game against a side near well below them in the table, a manager may warn that the opponents are in a false position in order to save face in the event of defeat.
- If a club have struggled early in the season and the pressure is mounting on a manager, he may claim that his side are in a false position. This, obviously, is bollocks because the League table is merely a calculation of the points earned by each side. (For exceptions – See Genuine Cases Of A ‘False Position’ below)
Advanced Use Of ‘False Position’
- These days, the wiliest of managers may refer to their own team as being in a ‘false position’ when they have enjoyed an unexpectedly good start to the season.
This technique reaffirms a smaller club’s position as the underdog, even if they are in much better form than the supposedly bigger side they are about to play.
Hull boss Phil Brown is a pioneer in this revolutionary usage and has managed to ensure that his side are hopeless underdogs in every game of the 2008-09 campaign even though they are always drawing with teams like Liverpool.
Genuine Cases Of A ‘False Position’
- In 1995-96, Everton cried foul when they won 13 of their first 14 games but still found themselves in 10th place.
After a costly FA inquest, a statement was issued declaring that: ‘Although Everton clearly have more points than the teams above them, they always finish somewhere in the middle so it doesn’t really matter.”
Everton were presented with their rightful 39 points but struggled for form in the second half of the season and finished 11th.