MIKE CARSON, THE MANAGER, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc., 2013
Book addressed to football managers, people at managerial positions and football fans.
It includes advice for those at managerial positions in sports, business and also for teachers or educators. In many cases the key skills are communication, social skills and coping with pressure. Here are my notes and comments on this book:
Manager does everything intuitively but the journalist must be able to explain this work to the other people.
1. LEADER = FOLLOWERS
Winning on the pitch is not enough
ROY HOGSON said that a manager with a strong personality can change the philosophy of the whole team. This is how LEADERS are made.
– respect & pragmatic thinking
– communication = making quick decisions
– fans charge you up with energy
New type of investors emerged, who want to earn fame & money by buying football clubs (Chelsea, Manchester City). But money destabilizes the team (why he earns more?)
Player’s agents are the intermediate that brings intrigues into the relationship player – manager.
2. BACKSTAGE BUSINESS
NEIL WARNOCK (Leeds, Crystal P., Sheffield United, now Cardiff)
School cannot prepare for the business that needs to be done in the backstage.
3. CONNECT WITH PEOPLE
The fact that you show openness and the people can come to you often helps more than any great advice you give them.
– leader must have inner peace – it is often rooted in family upbringing
– St. Francis: Try to understand first and only after that seek being understood.
– listen carefully and read in between the lines
– when listening, be a person – not a leader
– be loyal and do not promise what you cannot fulfill
– Ancelotti swears in mother tongue, which better for expressing emotions.
ANCELOTTI on different ways how to approach the players:
You can beat the horse from behind or lure him from the front with a carrot stick. But when you come from behind, the horse can kick you.
INTEGRITY – You tell your friend that he is doing wrong instead of tolerating behaviour that you do not agree with.
Believe in yourself – not the friend. (Ancelotti took over AC Milan in the 90s, after he ended active career. Many of his former teammates became his players. He had to face the dilemma of nominating or not nominating a former teammate, once you become a manager)
4. SHARE EMOTIONS
ARSENE WENGER stresses the ability to share emotions, like with a partner when dancing.
KEVIN KEEGAN says: Spend time with your players. It is a 100 percent job.
– There are players who are the best friends on the pitch but never meet in private.
GÉRARD HOULLIER (2x League champion with Lyon)
A player must be a professional on the pitch but also off the pitch. He lives his work, it isn’t an ordinary job.
– problem in Slovak football, some players are professional only on the pitch
People must accept you as a real expert in your trade. Otherwise you cannot be a leader.
Personality faults can have tragic consequences on the life of a genius.
ANCELOTTI & MOURINHO
Never betray your philosophy.
If a player tells the journalists that he should have player because of whatever reason, it signals that he does not respect the team or the manager who makes the team.
7, TELL IT DIRECTLY
GLENN HODDLE told Paul Gascoigne in 1998 directly: you did not follow the advise – you are not on the team for the World Cup.
A manager must know what he wants & also how to do it.
– “roll up the sleeves & clean the floor in a minute”
8, IN BETWEEN 4 EYES
DARIO GRADI (MBA, 1,62 m high defender, Wimbledon, Crystal Palace, Crewe Alexandra)
After a face-to-face talk the players should feel better – but not you.
– manager should share views with the captain, so that they both communicate the same to the team
– choose a captain with whom you can talk and share opinions
– face-to-face works when dealing with an arrogant talent – just find a common topic; find out what they like
9,UNDER THE SURFACE
– try to figure out the cause before you tackle the behaviour itself
MIKE CARSON writes: Basic problems with leading a team are the same in each sphere of business…
SAM ALLARDYCE managed smaller teams (Bolton) and was at the national team for 67 days only.
He says: Working non-stop means taking care about everyone and forgetting about you.
– find personal enrichment in the care of the others
NFL teams always had special coach on everything, including nutrition, and all strategy was written down in the playbook.
ALEX FERGUSON: A player cannot play 50 matches a year at 100 percent. They key is team play.
He told of the player that made a mistake voraciously but also praised his good job in the second half – and also praised the fact that he did not break down after the head-wash.
Dressing room is great for confrontation.
– evaluate the immediate result in long term context
In football, you immediately see the results of the leader – the manager in the results of the team.
11, NATURAL LEADER
ROBERTO MANCINI is a natural (born) leader
If you work hard, you can achieve success even with a small team.
12, CONFRNTATIONAL LEADERSHIP
JOSE MOURINHO puts high demands on the players to help them fully realise their potential.
– compare yourself with others
Victor’s mentality borders with arrogance but builds on extraordinary abilities.
Performance of the team should be assessed in a long-term horizon but manager’s fate often depends on a single match.
13, FOOTBALL is a COMMUNITY
BRENDAN RODGERS N. Irish, defender, managed Swansea, Liverpool and Celtic.
I. Play nice football with lot of passes – combination British + continental style
II. Play not only for yourself.
Long term goal but immediate pressure.
RODGERS: A man is driven by the fear of failure, fear of disappointing the collective…
You can make mistakes but be always honest with yourself.
14, LIFE STORY
I. LIFE PHILOSOPHY II. WILL TO LEARN
– strong leaders know who inspired them and talk openly about it
– careful with whom you talk!
– choose the team by the president
Mourinho and Villas-Boas learnt from Bobby Robson, Kevin Keegan from Bill Shankly.
SELF-CONFIDENCE is the objective perception of own capabilities towards the required performance.
– start from yourself, your own actions
– beware of the temptation to enter the job with a little knowledge
DAVIS MOYES: Any experience can be useful.
Transform life experience into life wisdom.
“The personality you are should be above the managed you wanna be,” prof. Manuel Sergio from the University of Lisbon told Villas-Boas.
– know your life
HARRY REDKNAPP: You never know what kind of problems life brings: they might seem distant but tackling them helps your business.
Love of football causes that Redknapp goes through a loss too emotionally.
– find the source of the fear
– work on the single thing& after that eat and get ready for the match/meeting/task
MICK MCCARTHY: “I will never end on the street because I believe in myself and already have some experience and achievements under my cap.”
Think positively but do not build sand castles.
GLENN HODDLE It is easy to be thankful when things go well…
Tips to HINDSIGHT:
FAMILY & FRIENDS
RELAX @ WORK
BILL SHANKLY found something in common with each player (miner’s family) and could tell the important things in riddles (slow down with chocolate).
– Give feedback!
WALTER SMITH, Glasgow Rangers
Always keep the winner’s mentality.
- Communicate but do not talk too much or too often.
- Know the ‘medicine’.
- Act decisively.
- Cool head
17, UP and DOWN
Players and public can make the picture about the manager also based on how he reacts jn case of victory and how he copes with the loss.
See the warning signs even when the people are clapping.
– there are always people who do not clap, just hidden behind the hands
By blaming the others we deprive ourselves of their support.