Thursday, 1 April 2010
Zola Given Tips On How To Manage The Manchester Way
(Submitted by Kev in Manchester)
Granted, at the dizzy heights of the latter stages of international football competitions, management requires an alchemic mix of tactical nous, man management and communication skills, which only a handful of individuals ever manage to achieve.
Down at the grubby end of the PL and below however, it is rather simpler and can be summed up in a single phrase -‘pick players for positions.’ By observing this simple dictate as closely as possible Brian Clough went very far indeed.
Of course you need to pick players who can pass and tackle at a level commensurate with the average PL player and they need to be fit enough to motor as effectively at the end of 90 or 120 minutes as they do in the first or second minute, but then as a PL manager these attributes are surely second nature in your squad.
You need a keeper who is quick to spot his angles, can come for a ball and stop a shot.
In defence, you need a right back that can tackle, does not get a nose bleed when he moves into the opponents' half, can cross a ball and is right footed; ditto on the left. Your centre-backs need to tackle, concentrate and read an attack sufficiently well to get their head or foot on the ball first.
Play these people in the position that they were born to play; play them out of position only in the event of an emergency.
All the above attributes are apparent and need no special insight to divine. We, the fans, manage to suss it given a game or ten, so any self respecting PL manager should see it in rather less time.
In an ideal midfield you need at least one player capable of hugging the touchline, getting to the bye-line and popping a couple of accurate crosses in each half, another that can read and break up play, one capable of beating an opponent and passing with reasonable accuracy - with your fourth; double up on any of the above.
In all cases play left footed players on the left; and right footed on the right; unless you are lucky enough to have Ryan Giggs or Ronaldo or similar in your squad - and we don’t.
Up front one big target man who can head a bit (at least) and if not, then make sure he is dainty on his feet or lucky with his arse, his shin, in fact any bodily protrusion. Finally, add a nifty and awkward character who, if he has to, can drop into midfield to pick up the ball if it ain’t getting to feet, or drift around and pull the opponents defence around.
Finally, finally this time, look and learn; if you are facing a mustard fast left winger, put the right back on notice; give him some help. If some, oh I dunno, midlands club happens on a player that can hurl the ball to the far post making every throw in a formidable set piece.. take a look at your own squad .. it’s unlikely to be a unique skill.
There is no excuse for not chasing a loose ball, losing a 51-49 ball , or failing to double back if you lose possession.
Don’t let your set piece maestro get in the shower until he has hit a hundred free kicks a day from every likely angle; get your centre forward to strike thunderbolts with both feet until the keeper can’t tell the difference, make sure your wingers suffer a reflex crossing action when they see the opponents' dead ball line - you get the idea; practice, practice, practice.
Be fit. Be football fit. Be diplomatic, by all means, but don’t say black when your paying customers know very well it is white.
Following the above does not guarantee trophies but it should avert humiliation. When will Zola learn I wonder?
Posted by Hammersfan at 16:58