When trying to find a football betting strategy that works, it's worth looking at the practitioners of the beautiful game, to take examples of their best practice. Of course, football coaches have a specific job to do, guiding a team to victory, but we can still take lessons from the best coaches in the business and apply them to our betting strategy.
Pep Guardiola: Stick to your methods, ignore criticism
Pep Guardiola won everything it was possible to win in his time at Barcelona, patenting the style of football known as "tiki-taka", where his team keeps most of the possession of the ball and patiently passes it around until there is an opening.
Guardiola has taken that style to Bayern Munich, where, although he has been very successful in the German Bundesliga, his teams have been criticized for not playing in the traditional Bayern manner, and for using players out of position. Moreover, Guardiola is seen as aloof and unfriendly towards the media.
The point to be taken from Pep is that things get tough for everyone at times, and even a hugely-successful coach like Guardiola occasionally loses a match. The Catalan believes totally in his methods, even when things get tough, and does not throw his ideas out of the window as soon as his winning streak is at an end. You should do the same when betting.
Jose Mourinho: Make changes where needed; don't have favorites
Players who play for Jose Mourinho love the experience, provided they listen to him and work hard for his teams. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who played for the Portuguese at Inter, said just that in his autobiography.
Mourinho is a master psychologist, encouraging his players to believe in him totally, while telling those outside his club that he, and his players, are the best. He struts confidently along the touchline, showing everyone that he thinks he is the best in the world at what he does.
When a player looks like he is getting tired of playing for his club, or is not giving 100% to the cause, Mourinho is ruthless at moving him on, regardless of whether he is a great name, or someone who was friendly with the coach. Ashley Cole, who was part of Mourinho's original successful Chelsea side, knows this - he was sold when he could not keep his place in the team.
Mourinho is also one of the best coaches in the world when it comes to changing players mid-match. He uses his substitutes' bench to the maximum extent allowed, changing his formation to ensure victory at all costs.
As a bettor trying to find a winning football betting strategy, you should do as Jose does. If a player or team you bet on regularly is not delivering for you, find one that does. Don't have a favorite in football betting - favoritism isn't going to win you money.
Louis van Gaal: Sniff out strengths and weaknesses
Dutchman Louis van Gaal is the master of setting up his team to beat the opposition in front of him. At the 2014 World Cup, Holland were not the strongest group of individuals, but they had the best team ethic of any side bar, perhaps, Germany. Van Gaal made odd tactical calls, like putting attacker Dirk Kuyt at right back, and bringing goalkeeper Tim Krul on for a penalty shoot-out against Costa Rica, but most of the coach's decisions paid off.
The key to van Gaal's success in his long career has been preparation. He puts his system of play together based on the principle of beating the opposition, not anything to do with style, or playing pretty football. He keeps huge dossiers on each team, which he gives to his players. When betting on football, you should prepare like van Gaal if you want to earn money.
Carlo Ancelotti: Stay calm under pressure
Former Parma, Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti has experienced his fair share of pressure over the years, from fans, or from trigger-happy club presidents who give him money to spend in the transfer market, and demand instant success.
Ancelotti stays cool through everything. The most you will see from this Italian coach is a raised eyebrow when he sees something he doesn't like. He's so relaxed, the only interesting thing anyone knows about his personality is that he picks cities in which he would like to work based on how good the restaurants are there.
You're in betting to win - and if you don't overreact to everything that goes wrong from time to time, and if you treat success and failure as minor bumps on the road, you'll eventually become a winner like Ancelotti.
picture courtesy of standard.co.uk