I've no idea who first coined the phrase.
Every decent football saying tends to be attributed to Bill Shankly; perhaps it was one of his.
But if there are any lasting lessons to be had from City's first two games of the new season then it might be the line that runs along the lines of: 'Your best starting XI might not always be made up of your best XI players?'
That it is not always about deciding who your best 11 players are; rather which are the 11 players that best 'fit' together.
And as Colchester United (h) and Yeovil (a) may well have proved, there is a huge difference.
In one sense, Canary chief Bryan Gunn deserves some credit here.
Because he has emerged from this summer's frantic spin on the transfer merry-go-round with options; that he has that all-too rare luxury of being able to mix and match; tweak and twiddle until he gets it right.
And whether by accident or design, it would be churlish to deny that just as much as he might have got it horribly wrong at Carrow Road on Saturday, so he got it very much right at Huish Park on Tuesday night.
The trick is to look at a team in terms of pairs.
And you need three of them to work.
Football being the simple game that it is, you get three pairs to function in the manner that the footballing gods intended and you're pretty much there.
Find yourself a decent keeper and that's probably 85% of the job done. Two, solid full-backs and two wingers who are happy to slam themselves into reverse once in a while and you've got a winning formula.
Like Shankly always said, football isn't rocket science. And given it tends not to be played by rocket scientists ? though, you suspect, Master Adeyemi could turn his hand to inter-planetry travel if all else failed ? it needs to be played in a simple fashion.
Cue the Master of Anfield.
“Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and of making yourself available to receive a pass. It is terribly simple.”
Now, go back to playing games of pairs.
Because, for me, the best pairs don't stand in a straight line; side by side with eachother.
One tends to play five or ten yards in advance of the other.
Thataway, you open up little angles; you make yourself more available to receive a positive pass, as Shankly would have it.
And you make the opposition work harder; suddenly they have different angles to cover and mark.
So, the argument would run, Gary Doherty and Michael Nelson are peas from the same pod; both big hearts, leaders of men, etc? but as a defensive 'pair', they would tend to be flat; neither has that extra yard of pace to afford themselves the luxury of pushing on; making an angle.
Jens Berthel Askou has an extra gear. He can step up five yards knowing that he has the pace to turn and recover; that, in turn, allows Doherty to play and command the space in front of him.
Here Gunn gets lucky. Wales call Owain Tudur Jones up. He has to make a change.
Now he puts Adeyemi in alongside Matty Gill. Now he has a Holt-Francis combo.
A sitter and a runner. Together they get angles; Adeyemi is getting beyond the Glovers' back four; that's where Grant Holt's third and final goal came from; the 17-year-old bursting into the box; creating new angles compared to the flat-line that a Tudur Jones and a Gill might offer.
And then, of course, there's Holt and a now fully-fit Cody McDonald up front.
One's a classic target man; the other runs all day and all night.
The perfect pair. By all accounts, McDonald could have helped himself to a hat-trick; let alone playing his part in Holt's flying start to the new season.
Compare and contrast to Chrissy Martin; flat; too Holt-like in his own game to offer the kind of angles and runs that Shankly dreams of.
Three pairs. And a world of difference.
In fairness to the City boss, Martin's two-goal haul against Wigan Athletic and McDonald's niggle-hit summer probably forced his hand for Game One.
Likewise at right-back. Jon Otsemobor had a ball against the Latics. That's one of them. That position is now Michael Spillane's to lose. You take what he offers going backwards to what you might miss going forwards.
The hapless Michael Theoklitos found an all-too ready-made substitute in Ben Alnwick.
That was a big call; but it was made.
The Australian may now find himself with the rest of the autumn to lick his wounds as the Spurs No3 makes that No1 spot his own.
As for wide right and wide left; Simon Whaley is a shoe-in; Wes Hoolahan the wild card.
Best player? One of, certainly.
Best fit? Not sure.
Better player than Simon Lappin? Yes.
Better fit than Simon Lappin? Not sure.
And that's where Gunn's next challenge lies ? certainly when it comes to games at Carrow Road; that having sorted out his pairs, he gets the singles sorted.
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