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Time to Modernise the ''Manager's'' Role

By Steve Ferns  ::  16/05/2013 There has been a lot of talk about who we get in to replace David Moyes and not enough talk about whether all of Moyes’s duties should go to one man. What is the manager’s role? There are three key areas that I can identify:-

1. Team Selection
2. Team Preparation
3. Recruitment

1 and 2 often go hand in hand and without 3 you have the stereotypical foreign “head coach”. On the other hand, our dear own Harry Catterick delegated 2 and just took care of 1 and 3.

My belief is that one man overseeing all 3 areas in a hands on approach is a thing of the past. I believe that Moyes himself, who clearly was hands-on at all three here at Everton, will not have the same level of control at United. My belief is that recruitment in particular will be through some form of committee in which Fergie will have some part to play, though Moyes is likely to have overall say.

If you listen to what managers and players say about Moyes, it was his preparation that was his strongest skillset. Here, Moyes appears to be innovative, studious and extensive in his application. What we are talking about is training the players both physically and mentally, and conducting research and planning into forthcoming opposition. Moyes was said to be innovative in that he often looked around at other sports and tried to combine ideas to try to get the best out of the players in a physical aspect. Moyes is also said to be a frequent speaker and attendee at high-level coaching forums where managers share ideas. Moyes is also said to really put the hours in when analysing the opposition and maybe it was this that led to “negative” tactics when playing perceived superior teams.

Tactically Moyes was not a trailblazer, but he was at the forefront on a few occasions. When we finished 4th, he was using the 4-5-1 midfield with one holding player (Carsley) and a mobile centre-forward (Bent) and narrowing the midfield 5 (Arteta and Osman tucking right in) and allowing sufficient bodies for Cahill to get forward. There was no rocket science with that formation but he was a few years ahead of his rivals in the Premier League and it was his tactics that led to us getting 4th (well, that and no small amount of luck). Without encouraging a debate on how great Moyes was or was not, this was a key area of Moyes’s ability to achieve consistency and secure more than our fair share of top 6 finishes.

Recruitment is somewhere I think even Moyes’s staunchest supporters will consider that he fell down on. Massive fees spent on Beattie, Johnson, Bily the Russian, Krøldrup, et al. Is it now time for Everton to appoint a recruitment specialist (not a Director of Football) who ultimately answers to the “manager” but is tasked with identifying the talent needed to fill the positions the manager has identified as needing strengthening?

Team Selection is obviously the key role that the “manager” performs. Choosing who to play, which players to pick and what tactics to employ. As well as making changes mid-match, both to tactics and to personnel. This is a key area for development in the future as I think we’ll see more of the “coaches watching TV screens” high in the crowd as you do in NFL, and feed information back to the manager with suggestions for changes.

Two of the greatest sporting coaches in recent years are Sir Clive Woodward and Sir Dave Brailsford. Neither of these guys are what you would call a Moyes’s style hands-on kind of guy, they are completely the opposite. Both of them are skilled at identifying other people, coaches, who have the skills to perform duties of the manager. This means they break down the role and get individual coaches in to cover different roles and ultimately head up a team. Clive Woodward was never down on the training pitch giving Johnny Wilkinson advice on how to kick conversions or other specific player coaching. Brailsford is never out in the car with Wiggins on their training runs. Instead he heads up a vast team who all have specialist roles.

I think football still lags behind somewhat in this regard, but this is the future: it’s too big a business for massive coaching teams to not become involved. If we are to have one guy in overall control, then we need to make sure he excels in all departments.

I have grave concerns about Alan Stubbs and Duncan Ferguson being innovative coaches and taking us on in that specific area from where Moyes was. If we do go with someone who is a more of a Harry Redknapp old-fashioned manager type, then ensuring first class preparation is a must. Is Moyes leaving sufficient staff behind to ensure nothing is lost with the new man coming in? I am not confident that Kenwright would select someone who ticks all the right boxes as far as I am concerned. I am also deeply disappointed with the names being suggested.

Surely we can hire an innovative coach who look after selection and preparation and then hire someone else to handle recruitment.

My man for the job? I’ve said it many times now. The most innovative coach of the last 30 years, since Cruyff, Marcelo Bielsa is out of contract in the summer and Bilbao will not be renewing it. Why not get in the guy who taught Guardiola – source: – everything he knows, who inspired Klopp and has more disciples than any other top manager. The guy who basically pioneered the high intensity pressing game that has dominated world football for years now, is available. He does not like big clubs, as they prevent him from having complete control, and he likes to be able to stamp himself all over a club.

This is the man who could come in and not sign one player but revolutionise the side and deliver Champions League football. Why do I think that? He did it at Bilbao where they are only allowed to sign Basque players, which in effect means they have to bring through their own players or nick them off teams like Sociedad and other more minor Basque sides. So what if his English is not up to scratch, and we don’t know for sure that it isn’t, he could soon learn, as he is a highly intelligent man after all.

If not Bielsa then we need someone of his mould, Pereira maybe. We don’t need a dinosaur to take us back to the 80s, like all of the other names I have heard mention make me fear we would. The new manager must be intelligent and innovative as this is the only way we will crack the top four on our limited budget as I do believe the kids are there, waiting for a chance, and we have enough quality in our first team for the right man to take us upwards.

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Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
536 Posted 16/05/2013 at 17:55:12
Wow... fantastic post, Stephen!

What worries me is you've put in way more thought to this already than we might reasonably expect from our Chairman....

Robin Cannon
537 Posted 16/05/2013 at 17:59:27
Great post, very thoughtful. As Michael says, very likely you've put in way more thought than the Chairman.

"Recruitment is somewhere I think even Moyes’s staunchest supporters will consider that he fell down on."

...I do have to take issue with that, though. I think by and large Moyes' recruitment was one of his strengths. Cahill, Arteta, Lescott, Baines, Pienaar, Jagielka, Coleman, Mirallas; I think in general his positive and successful purchases reasonably significantly outweigh his mistakes.

Matt Traynor
541 Posted 16/05/2013 at 18:01:20
It's a good idea, and I've often thought along similar lines. Some clubs do have execs dedicated to handling the player recruitment side. As you say in this day and age, with the money involved, (and potential to be tapped) the Prem clubs need a dynamic team off the pitch as well as on it.

Everton has been the pioneer in so many things in the footballing history, it would be nice to think we could be so again.

Matt Traynor
543 Posted 16/05/2013 at 18:18:49
Robin #537, there's a school of thought that suggests that on the big-ticket purchases, he was distinctly lacking. It's arguable (Yakubu injury for example), but I guess we'll find out over the next season or two how he fares.
Sid Logan
547 Posted 16/05/2013 at 18:11:54
Steve, the theory sounds great and it's a bit like communism – why would it not work?

Well unfortunately people get in the way of the thing! Personalities vie for control and often where you see multiple 'managers' for want of a better word they end up despising one another. Ambition, greed and egos prevent the thing working.

With the right people it could work like a dream but the odds are stacked against it.

Sorry to be negative but these days I'm a cynic!

Kev Johnson
548 Posted 16/05/2013 at 18:18:48
Steve - you say: "Without encouraging a debate on how great Moyes was or was not" but then go on to praise his preparation in great depth, admire his "innovation" and give him credit for the 4-5-1 that got us into Europe - all of which is hugely debatable!

Ever the pragmatist, never the tactician, Moyes simply used what he had to make the most effective team. He did that pretty well, too. So, no genuine wide players? Get two central midfielders (Arteta and Osman) to start wide and tuck in. He played Carsley and Cahill in their proper positions and get other people to work around that. Indeed, you might say that his desire to play Cahill 'in the hole' determined the whole shape of the team. Bent was just Bent, he was wasn't picked for his mobility but simply because he was the best we had for a time. Sorry, I don't see that as trailblazing in the slightest. Moyes' make-do-and-mend approach is the polar opposite to Bielsa, who has footballing principles he wants to see carried out.

I don't agree with the idea that Moyes' player purchases were his weak point. I think he did a pretty good job there, give or take a few howlers. As for the idea that transfers should be taken out of the manager's hands? No, I think that's a terrible idea. (Oh, and Woodward and Brailsford were NATIONAL coaches, which makes their jobs very, very different from a club managers.)

Having said that, I enjoyed reading the piece, Steve. Most stimulating!

John Gee
550 Posted 16/05/2013 at 18:12:37
Moyes' recruitment policy was excellent. Not only the players he signed but also most of the ones that he was accused of letting slip through our fingers have proved him to be acshrewd judge of players.

I think you've actually just more or less described how modern football works. Scouting networks quite often get a remit to look for a certain type and are also expected to suggest named beyond that remit. A players recruitment will go through a committee even if that committee is an informal one. Prepareration is done by an army of coaches, analysts and scouts already with the manager popping up in training but not being essential to it.

Right, that's me done nit picking! It was a great article to read and your enthusiasm for Bielsa seems pretty reasonable to me. I watched some of their games last season and I was very impressed. I didn't know he was soon to be out of contract. You've got me convinced. A much better option than Lennon, Martinez, Pip, Laudrup or Benitez.

No problem if he can't speak English, we can just hire an interpreter. Does anyone know of any interpreters who have an interest in football and are looking for a decent job in the summer?

Ian Bennett
554 Posted 16/05/2013 at 18:53:41
I'd give Bobby a bit more rope......
Steve Ferns
557 Posted 16/05/2013 at 18:52:20
Thanks for the positive feedback guys.

#548 Kev, I'm afraid you are wrong about Dave Brailsford. Whilst he is head coach of UK cycling he is also head coach of team sky who are the cycling equivalent of Man City. Loads of money was pumped in with the brief of taking the most skilled English cyclist Bradley Wiggins to the top within 5 years, and he did it within 3. All the money the world couldn't make Brad suddenly climb mountains, but top level coaching (mostly from outside sports with real thinking outside the box) delivered a result that no European cycling fan thought possible, though I do accept that Contador and Schleck were missing. And yes, cycling is my other sport!

i would ask you one off the point question, Kev, how, if it was not a combination of luck, hunger and ultimately the tactics and the system would you describe that the 4th place finish occurred?

To get back on point, I do not think the there will be many old fashioned hands-on style managers anymore and Britain will slowly go continental. For example, the "manager" does not sign the players at Chelsea, Man City, Tottenham, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Newcastle, to name just a few. In fact, it may just have been Wenger, Moyes and Ferguson at the top 8 sides who combine all three roles.

Mark Frere
561 Posted 16/05/2013 at 19:08:49
John Gee
Jose Mourihno was a interpreter and soon to be free this summer. I'm sure he'd jump at the chance.
Steve Ferns
563 Posted 16/05/2013 at 19:16:48
Mark, was it just wishful thinking or did Mourinho always seem to have a soft spot for us? I remember what Valente said he said, and here's an excert I found whilst trying to find the exact article:

"The Stamford Bridge manager has been an influential presence in Valente's career, taking the full-back from Uniao de Leiria to Porto where both major European honours were claimed before recommending a move to Everton he ensuing travails were clearly something neither Mourinho nor Valente had anticipated. "Mourinho told me that Everton were a good team, a team that challenges for a place in Europe and a team that fights until the end, and that they are a big name in English football," says Valente. "I was in a strange situation in Portugal at the time. I was not playing for Porto and I wanted to leave, and Everton was the best team to come to. It was an easy decision for me to make."

I'd take Mourinho, but all the wishful thinking in the world is unlikely to make it happen, even if we doubled Moyes' contract and offered that to him.

Ross Edwards
567 Posted 16/05/2013 at 19:25:40
Ha Ha, can you imagine BK and Mourinho meeting? Now, there HAS to be a fly in the wall for that. I'd watch that all day.
Mark Frere
571 Posted 16/05/2013 at 19:21:37
Steve Ferns
Its more like delusional then wishful thinking, but we can always dream cant we, I was only suggesting he come as interpreter anyway.

I thought Valente was a good signing though, as I remember, we didn't pay much for him and he did a decent job for us, unlike that dreadful Italian LB who he replaced, Pistone I think his name was. How dreadful was he?

Kev Johnson
573 Posted 16/05/2013 at 19:24:02
Steve - I quite simply bow to your superior knowledge on cycling. I know little of cycling; frankly, I was congratulating myself on knowing who Dave Brailsford was at all! Still, I think it is for you to put forward a cogent argument to support the idea that what's true of cycling and rugby is also true of football, because it is far from being self-evident. As you know, Woodward dipped his toe in the football world at S'oton, but it didn't work out at all. Particular circumstances, no doubt, but it does suggest they are very different worlds.

As regards the question you address directly to me... do you mind if I come back after I've had my tea? I'm bloody starving!

By the way, after I posted before, I thought: I was probably a bit hasty in my criticisms there. As a person who pens the odd piece on TW, I know it's tiresome if someone just goes through what you've written putting red lines through sentences - nah, that's not true; nah, that's not true. Yours is a good article and deserves a considered response. Later...

John Gee
579 Posted 16/05/2013 at 19:39:38
Sky sources are reporting that Gus Poyet has been suspended because a row over next years budget.

My sources are saying that Gus Poyet is as mad as a bag of cats.

Patrick Murphy
585 Posted 16/05/2013 at 19:45:31
John do you mean that his reaction to his suspension made him as mad as a bag of cats or is it Gus's permanent state of mind?
John Crawley
586 Posted 16/05/2013 at 19:46:36
Steve very interesting article and I completely agree with you about Brailsford and his approach to cycling, its something that could be applied to football I'm sure. With regard to Beilsa you've certainly convinced me that he should be seriously considered. Without a doubt I think a high tempo, intense pressing game is the way to go and I hadn't realised that he was the first to really develop this.
John Gee
592 Posted 16/05/2013 at 20:00:05
Patrick, I'm not one to cast doubts on the mental faculties of one the countries up and coming young managers, but... I'm sure I overheard someone say 'El dude est mucho loco permenantio.
John Gee
598 Posted 16/05/2013 at 20:10:59
Hey, I could be the interpreter! I had no idea that I had a natural gift for Spanish!
Derek Thomas
644 Posted 16/05/2013 at 22:11:44
Team selection and recruitment are for the manager ONLY.

You have the 1st 11, the bench, then those who don't even make it to the bench, then the vast pool of unsigned players from other clubs potentially avaliable to work their way through to the 1st11

If the manager picks the team it's no use having a 'director of football' sometimes at the mega rich interfering owner behest foisting a player on a manager in a position that won't improve the team...let the manager manage, you shouldn't keep a dog then do all the barking yourself.

Team prep is seperate; set pieces, fitness, conditioning, diet, recovery, physio etc etc should all be left to the different specialists.

I know that was then and this is now but Catterick only went near the training field to pose for pictures.

Younger(ish) coaches might like to get on the pitch and run around but they are only trying to recapture what has gone; eg kicking a ball and being however breifly 'one of the lads'.

If you get too involved you can get a can't see the wood for the trees senario and end up micro managing to the nth degree... OK so you might have a cunning plan for working a free kick tell the coaches, maybe even say heres one idea come up with others.

But basically you have to back the specialists to do their job and let them get on with it...carry on Sgt.

Derek Thomas
645 Posted 16/05/2013 at 22:36:12
Short version: simplify it, get back to basics
Steve Ferns
672 Posted 16/05/2013 at 23:15:24

"Younger(ish) coaches might like to get on the pitch and run around but they are only trying to recapture what has gone; eg kicking a ball and being however breifly 'one of the lads'."

It's this approach and thought that scares me. Training is not like this at any top side and reportedly nothing like this at Everton, under Moyes. training is not about 5-a-side games and running around. It's about endless drilling. to make certain moves come nautral in games, as well as trying to make every training session different and specitic to each side. A manager like Bielsa, Guardiola and Klopp will have his sides working on fitness but also performing specific drills for specific moves scenarios. working on how to win back the ball as quickly as possibly from certain players and having the training tailored to the next opposition and even a few oppostions after them. "getting back to basics" to me means regressing to the days of the 80s. football has moved on and you need to have a modern coach with modern ideas.

I'm terrified at the prospect of a Neil Lennon, a Duncan Ferguson or someone else who wants to get back to basics and before long they'll be back to following training with a pint, and fish and chips.

Steve Ferns
674 Posted 16/05/2013 at 23:30:24

A little video of the master at work to give you an insight into the modern style of training.

Steve Ferns
676 Posted 16/05/2013 at 23:41:05

The intensity of the great man just in training sessions is mind blowing. there's loads of these on youtube if you click the links

Mike Hughes
677 Posted 16/05/2013 at 23:34:04
Steve - one of the most analytical posts I've seen.

I don't know anything about Bielsa but would be interested to know what you think of Pereira.

By the way, if any of them can get us playing football like that first goal v WHU then bring him in. Not that I'm a total football purist. A few Duncan-style "stitch that y'bastards" finishes will do for me. But that was a fantastic goal on Sunday. If Barcelona had scored it we'd never have heard the last of it.

John Crawley
679 Posted 16/05/2013 at 23:34:37
Steve - spot on. I was reading this article on Thomas Tuchel which makes the same point:

"As an astute student of the game Tuchel is constantly researching and implementing new, dynamic training regimes. With a keen interest in sport science, he has collaborated with Professor Wolfgang Schoellhorn of Mainz University, developing training schedules focusing specifically on speed and agility.

In order to keep his team mentally stimulated during training, there is no repetition of drills. Players’ are encouraged to focus on the positive aspects of the session and not to reflect on any mistakes made. One interesting method Professor Schoellhorn has encouraged the Mainz coach to use, as part of his “differential learning” technique, is the discussion and working of tactics using videos as opposed to practicing on the training pitch.

It’s this alternative approach that has garnered Thomas Tuchel such praise from the footballing fraternity. As the science of sport evolves, he is heading the pack of next generation coaches. Most of his spare time is spent pouring over match statistics while tinkering with the team formation, taking into account the upcoming opposition and variable conditions.

Employing a prolonged pressing game that requires a considerable amount of stamina as well as discipline, Tuchel likes his team to play a high tempo style. This type of tactic, if sustained throughout a match, can be energy sapping if incorrectly executed but as a strong believer in work ethic and teamwork, player support is his focused attribute.

In front of a tactics board, the man referred to as ‘Double T’ is nothing if not adaptable. Throughout last season he tinkered with an assortment of formations, utilising a total of six variations. The most successful used by Mainz was 4-2-3-1, which balances nicely between defence and attack."

Interestingly the article goes on to compare Tuchel's period in charge of Mainz with Klopp and Tuchel's is better. I really do think this guy should be on the shortlist of candidates that the Board interview. Here are the two records

Klopp, 2004-07, played 102, W 29, D 28, L45 (% won 28.4), Tuchel 2009 -12, played 102, W 39, D 27, L 36 (% won 38.2) We all know what Klopp has gone onto achieve at Borussia Dortmund.

Steve Ferns
681 Posted 16/05/2013 at 23:47:02
I don't know enough about Pereira to pass comment. I had read a few good things about him, and jumped to conclusions, but on the Pereira thread there was a blue who lives in Portugal who didn't think that highly of him, and so I'll defer to his better judgement.

It was a truly great goal. it's a shame that there's only that open, very much staged, open training session per year for Everton. It's hard to get a real insight into what Moyes was like on the training pitch and so you have to try to read between the lines from a mixture of other people's opinions. The conclusion I get to is that he's the one of, if not the, most innovative British coach there is. I'm frankly scared of the possible replacements who seem to lack the dynamism and innovation that I believe is needed on the training pitch. Would someone like Lennon really come in to Everton minus Moyes with every one else still there and say, as you were, just carry on as before. I'll let you lot get on with it and I'll just watch then pick the side. frankly I believe the new man will change everything to his way of doing things and I fear that on the training pitch at least, we'll be going backwards unless we bring in a top foreign coach.

Mike Hughes
683 Posted 16/05/2013 at 23:57:03
Totally agree on the foreign coach.
I don't study the game as much as I suspect you do but the UK candidates don't inspire me at all. Hence, by default, our first foreign manager.
Steve Ferns
685 Posted 16/05/2013 at 23:54:56
yeah, I am aware of Tuchel from watching the German leagues in recent seasons and there's a few great young coaches there:

frieberg's Striech

hannover's Slomka
and Nuremburg's young Weisinger

Again, though, I don't know in depth as much about them as I would like, only being exposed to the limited German coverage we get here. However, I do like what I read.

John Crawley
689 Posted 17/05/2013 at 00:02:34
Agreed Steve, whoever we end up choosing I think this type of coach and style of play is essential if we are to move forward as a club. For that reason I favour a foreign coach. Although I do like Lambert and think he is a progressive coach with a good tactical approach, no surprise that he has played abroad at the highest level I suppose.
Steve Ferns
691 Posted 17/05/2013 at 00:07:06
I agree with you John, on Lambert. he looks a class coach in the making. I really admire his ballsy approach to the job at Villa and the way he put his complete trust in those kids. Few if any managers would have done that, and whilst he came close to the drop, I think villa will pick up quickly in the next 3 seasons and then they will reap the dividends. With that in mind, I can't see Lambert leaving that project any time soon. No doubt he picked up a trick or two in his time in Germany too.

I really do not understand why more British players do not go abroad. Surely, by the time they are 25 or so, they would have earnt enough to be comfortable for life, and if they then need to leave their home town club why not go abroad. I know I wouldn't have wanted to play for a manchester club or a london club if I was a pro and for whatever reason had to leave Everton, but I would have looked abroad first. training in the sunshine in Spain or Italy has to be better than a rainy day in carrington?

Barry Roberts
693 Posted 17/05/2013 at 00:08:10
I'm concerned. I work for a major bookmaker's and today I took six quite lumpy bets, from non regular customers, on Kenny Jackett as next Everton manager, at 33/1. I don't know if they all stem from some chancer (who thinks he knows something) or whether someone really does know something. Can anyone shed light on this?
Steve Ferns
694 Posted 17/05/2013 at 00:15:37
Barry, Jackett is all but announced as the new Wolves manager. Maybe they got the team wrong?
Patrick Murphy
695 Posted 17/05/2013 at 00:13:31
Like Steve I've been impressed by him and I thought he expressed genuine warmth to his younger players, it was I think during or after the Sunderalnd game, I think they will be a team to watch next season, depending on whether they manage to keep hold of Benteke.
Barry Roberts
698 Posted 17/05/2013 at 00:17:53
Steve 694,

I hope that you are right because I was worried from an Everton fan's point of view, not whether it pays out.

Kev Johnson
699 Posted 17/05/2013 at 00:01:13
Steve - in answer to your question to me @ 557: "how, if it was not a combination of luck, hunger and ultimately the tactics and the system would you describe that the 4th place finish occurred?" To repeat myself somewhat, my answer is that DM came up with a way of playing that maximised the skills of the available players. It was a question of 'What can these players do? OK, let's make that work'. Bielsa, if I grasp his approach correctly, starts from the other end: 'This is the style I want us to play. I will train you to play in accordance with my tactical grand design'. Bielsa is tactical; DM was practical.

We finished 4th by grinding out a lot of 1-0 results, as I recall. For me, it was a very good version of what was fundamentally pretty ordinary football. Hence the many comments about us over-achieving. The first goal against West Ham was on another level entirely. Two levels up, I'd say. Let's compare that to Wigan: on a bad day, they seem to play a very bad version of what is fundamentally very good football. DM would never have done that, which is a strength and a weakness. He was sensible, he never over-reached. But then, what is ambition if not, in a sense, over-reaching?

OK, enough DM. I don't want to keep talking about him.

Derek Thomas
700 Posted 16/05/2013 at 23:45:38
Steve back to basics was maybe not the best way to finish. My point is it doesn't get any more basic than play decent football. Thus, the manager looks after 1 & 3 leaving the specialists of all discription to get on with the endless drills as you put it.

The manager manages...all the others below him with their specific skills and tasks.

He sets the direction those skills head towards be it Dutch total football or uber KITAP1.

It all depends what you are refining to managers job from and where do you want to get to. I don't think the manager should define his own goals, that is the job for the Custodians of the Club. The Board might think thay are and well they might be in a transient hands on capacity.

The true custodians of the Club are the fans that carry the collective history of the Club in our racial memory... put simply WE ARE EVERTON and yes, old hat or whatever NSNO is where we want to get to.

the new managers remit;

Play Decent Fooball ! the rest will sort it's self out.

If it's good enough you will win things.

If it's good enough you won't get relegated.

If it's good enough the crowd will fill the place up and buy stuff.

If it's good enough the sponsors will come, sky will show us more.

etc etc etc

So yeah the managers role does need redefining, no fancy theories, head sets clip boards.

Football is kids game played by men for a kings ransom...It's a simple game made complicated by bullshitters

It's all about the ball, keep it, score goals, thats why a goal is called a goal it's what you are after...your goal, in both senses of the word.

Not trying not to lose. ( went a bit rant-esque there for a min )

Redefine the managers role in the manner of K.I.S.S.

John Crawley
701 Posted 17/05/2013 at 00:15:14
Unfortunately I think you are right about Lambert, I can't seem him leaving either and I agree with you about Villa improving a lot over the next few years. British footballers, bye and large seem pretty insular, if it was up to me I would definitely want to go and experience other types of coaching, tactics and types of play, plus as you say better weather in Spain and Italy!

Interesting video's of Bielsa coaching. It would certainly be exciting to see him over here managing Everton.

Steve Ferns
702 Posted 17/05/2013 at 00:21:51
But Derek, all the best managers in the game are highly complex. Go to youtube and you can see all the spanish based coaches conducting training. Watch the likes of Bielsa and Guardiola and Villanueva. You cannot ignore preparation.

When Bielsa accepted the Bilbao job he got tapes of every game from the previous season. He watched every game, in full, twice. Benitez has no room in his house due to having endless tapes of football games. It's all about clipboards and headsets now Derek. Dinosuar's like Harry Redknapp have had their day.

The only way you could conceivably have a manager ignore the training and preperation is if you had some class double act, a kind of Clough and Taylor in reverse. Whereby the manager could entrust all the coaching and preparation to his assistant who would prepare his team perfectly for the game and the tactics he intended to play.

NFL style coaching will be rife in football and you'll see all these guys talking to the manager from lofty perches and banks of monitors. we're already embarking down that route. As for the recruitment side of it, there's barely one English style manager away from these shores with absolute control, and with the influx of money and foreign ownership, one by one the big clubs are reducing the manager's control. Just look at City, Chelsea, Spurs and them across the park.

James Stewart
709 Posted 17/05/2013 at 02:06:28
Bielsa is the best we could possibly hope for but never in a million years would bk go for him
Derek Thomas
719 Posted 17/05/2013 at 03:01:12
Steve Re the headsets, clip boards, NFL etc I do know this and dinosaur that I am I feel you maybe missing the fact due to having your gaze firmly fixed on a vision of your own New Jerusalem that I more or less agree with you.

You your self say that one man having his hand in all 3 is a thing of the past

Not only could they not do it, in fact do it to any really effective dergree without neglecting other equally important facets of the 3 fold task...The Should not do it.

I feel that Moyes was and is too wrapped up in the No. 2 preparation phase and should've been letting the Rounds et al measure the tenths of seconds and % stats, like 2IC's should do.

He was good at phases 2 ( and 3 ) which is good for 6th place but the lack of an exciting attacking overall ethos could mean that he is one of lifes sergeants good at whipping the troops into shape and thus the perfect No.2

We need some one with vision a David Stirling if you will...who dares wins.. to set the Club in a new direction. Good sergeants ( back bone of any unit ) have their uses and it is not in the phase 1 of your 3 phase job discription

So like we both seerm to say the job needs modernising. Not all old stuff is bad and new stuff good, take the good bits from both and redefine it

To keep with the military anology all generals are fighting the last war.

Moyes and all like him are still repaying 2004-05 ( well it worked then )

Our new General must be able to fight the next war

If we get the right man he will define the role himself.

Kevin Tully
894 Posted 17/05/2013 at 15:18:49
I was listening to Shankly on talkshite yesterday, and he summed up tika-taka, and the pressing game 40 years ago - he could have been talking about Barca today.

He had a very simple approach, there were no stat's in those days, and he had players who would walk over hot coals for him. No matter what the tactical approach is, if you can get that extra 10% from your players, you are nearly there. All great coaches have a great charisma about them. It really struck me when Mourinho left Milan, the players were in tears.

Eric Myles
895 Posted 17/05/2013 at 15:46:50
Kevin, but Shankly's approach to the game was nearer Pulis's approach than Barca's.
Eugene Ruane
911 Posted 17/05/2013 at 15:53:16
Kevin (894) - Absolutely re Shankly.

As a kid, I remember looking at their side individually against ours.

Putting aside my bias, I could not for the life of me see how they could match us.

The answer (which worked for us in 84-87 and worked for Clough) is to have everyone buy into the collective.

Not just SAY they do (because they all would) but to ACTUALLY believe in it.

Any manager who can achieve this, can be successful without the 'best' players.

It's funny, when I watch Ronaldo, I see an absolutely fantastic player, but one who imo is (still) playing for himself.

Watching him, I wonder if there would be any change in Madrid's position in La Liga or in the CL, if on occasion he'd passed to a better placed team-mate rather than trying to improve his 'stats'.

Maybe not but...maybe.

Andy Hegan
036 Posted 17/05/2013 at 19:57:22
Steve ,I don't suppose you could forward your op to Bill is there?
Personally , I'm starting to lose any optimism I had regarding a new manager.
Gavin Ramejkis
049 Posted 17/05/2013 at 20:28:24
A well thought out and penned article. I like Bielsa especially how he doesn't turn away post match interview questions which can go on and on and on.

The Bundesliga is turning out quite a few new ideas and coaches with initiative and guile, sadly the FA seems to churn out moulded replicas.

I worry that the modus operandi of BK is stumbling from one disaster and missed opportunity after another and doubt he has the guile or savoir faire to look beyond one of his yes men or the names that the newspapers and television churn out as the prime candidates for the job, plus he is a cheapskate so will be looking for a bargain bin deal.

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