Keep those thoughts coming to firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerrard was too fast to be a manager
Steven Gerrard’s 36th birthday (happy birthday Stevie) has seen further talk about the possibility of him returning to Liverpool as a coach in the Liverpool Echo. Reading this makes me uneasy, despite/due to the fact that Gerrard is my favourite ever player and a legend at Liverpool. I just have a feeling that Gerrard doesn’t seem the type to be a good manager despite his immense talents as a player.
I was trying to think why it is I doubt his managerial capabilities, perhaps it’s because he doesn’t seem the most intelligent of chaps generally, as for example, recently responding to a parody account on Twitter showed he doesn’t have a great ability to recognise satire. Perhaps it’s because he famously wasn’t the most tactfully disciplined of players himself, which you can’t really blame him for as at any given time in his career he was the lad most likely to be able to blam it in, and the temptation to attempt to do so must have been overwhelming at times.
But I have in fact decided the sole reason Gerrard won’t be a good manager is he, as a player, was too fast. Until the age of about 30 he was a very fast central midfielder, although he obviously slowed down a lot by the end. Since he was physically blessed with pace, he didn’t have to think very much, so won’t be able to start now. My philosophy (I don’t think that is too grandiose of a term for this breakthrough) can be extended to every manager, if you were fast, you won’t be a good manager. Think of all the good managers of recent times who were players. Guardiola, Ancellotti, Simeone, Capello, Conte, Deschamps, Koeman were among those who were holding midfield players all their careers, never lightning fast. Klopp was a target man striker turned centre-back, not too fast either. And managers such as Mourinho, Wenger and Benitez weren’t gifted enough to have a career as players, as they weren’t very fast, and so are good managers.
This obviously flawless piece of logic should be applied by clubs when considering a new manager, so for some current or recent players who have been linked with manager jobs, here’s your answer on whether they’ll be good:
Undoubtedly good managers: Puyol, Carragher, Pirlo, Xavi, Alonso (inevitably the best manager ever as he is also handsome, that correlation needs a separate email though).
Bad (fast) managers: Gerrard, Henry, Giggs.
Any exceptions or examples would be welcomed, to defend my theory I am going to insist that Hyypia and Neville will come good eventually.
Which England player can we ruin this summer?
Thanks to the Champions League final the story died down but the immediate reaction to Eric Dier’s own goal in the friendly was hyperbolic from certain quarters.
Shehzad Ghias, mufc, Karachi
All Steve Bruce aren’t we?
As a dedicated Steve Bruce watcher, it was nice to see Johnny Nic’s salute to his very real accomplishments. Bruce is a classic horses-for-courses manager, a good man if you want promotion from the Championship.
At the same time, Hull City fans – and I listen to their podcasts regularly — will tell you that Bruce didn’t do a great job this past year. With no significant losses from a squad that almost survived in the Premier League, and bolstered by Moses Odubajo and an injury-free Robert Snodgrass, Hull were expected to achieve automatic promotion this year. But they faded badly down the stretch, and in the final weeks were never in the hunt. They also almost let their semi-final against Derby County get away when they should have breezed in the second leg.
The sense is that Bruce has grown a bit stale at Hull, and Johnny is probably right to suggest he pick another Championship team. At the moment, though, he’s looking for more: with a possible club takeover soon, he’s said he wants assurances they’ll splash the cash.
One more thing: while I understand the urge to bash Sam Allardyce at every opportunity, to say Bruce’s four Championship promotions are better than anything Big Sam has ever done gets it exactly backwards. Bruce has two more Championship promotions than Allardyce because Big Sam brought two clubs up and kept them up. Bruce brought two clubs up, took them down, then took them up again. (Although he might be a better dancer.)
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA
Arsenal scouting recommendation
I didn’t catch who was on the end of that Pogba assist, but Arsenal could really use a clinical striker like him. They should sign him, whoever he is, to replace Giroud.
David O, California
Drinkwater > Wilshere
Reading the papers this morning, are we really going to take Wilshere over Drinkwater? The former hasn’t completed a game all season, whereas the latter has just played a vital part in the champion winning team. I just can’t understand the reasoning behind this. If Wilshere goes, of course I’ll cheer him on, I just don’t think he deserves to go over Drinky.
Toby (Champions of England) Mitchell
Somebody is having a tough week
Maybe it’s the Bank Holiday weekends in the UK and the US or maybe it’s me that’s going crazy, but Peter G, Pennsylvania, are you really that naïve? Benitez stayed because the fans wanted him to? So it was absolutely NOTHING to do with him becoming the 10th highest paid manager in the world, correct? (http://www.totalsportek.com/money/highest-paid-football-managers/) You may be right regarding the family and maybe being handed a transfer kitty, but I’d imagine that you’re stretching it when you think that the Newcastle fans had any impact on his decision.
And Mike A, are you serious with your penalties before a game idea? How does taking penalties before a game not have a random/luck element in it compared to penalties taken afterwards?
Gonna keep my rant going….how is it that players can be retroactively disciplined for fouls, but not for diving/simulation? If they were, wouldn’t it reduce the amount of players doing it in the first place? And how are refs duped by the same players time and time again?
Gotta end this on a positive…em…less than 2 weeks to the Euros! Can’t wait!
Even more on bloody penalties
Couldn’t agree more with Mike A’s general sentiment about major finals being decided on penalty shootouts. Do they have a certain thrill about them that puts you at the edge of your seats? Sure, I’m as guilty as anyone…but it’s that terrible-but-expensive-blockbuster-action-film-that-you-later-regret-wasting-seconds-of-your-life-on kind of thrill.
The question is the solution. I like Mike A’s solution, but it would completely change the dynamic of the game – maybe for the better, maybe not – because one team would (assuming penalties end unequally) go into the game being able to play quite different strategically, potentially forcing the other to do the same. I also don’t think it can be overstated how much penalty shootouts do to players’ nerves, all around but especially keepers, so starting one? I don’t know.
Alternately: why must the final be a winner-takes-all absolute? Might be slightly more difficult for the World Cup, but why not make the Champions League final have an optional second leg that is treated as a de facto “away” game, with the team assigned the “home” game determined either by the initial coin toss or a simple random selection mechanism for the first game? If and only if the first game ends in a draw, then the teams must play out the second game, and both teams know beforehand the stakes if that happens. Perfect solution, no, but actually seems to change the strategic dynamic less than the switch to a straight elimination.
Iain (CUFC), Seattle
…Not sure I agree with Mike A’s suggestion.
Penalty shootouts are fine the way they are in my opinion. I don’t mind luck playing a larger role. I always thought it is “fair” because neither teams are able to separate themselves in normal time, so they know full hand what they are risking if they fail to do that.
More importantly, the penalties before the game would just be weird. One of the nicest things about penalty shootouts is the pure suspense. When watching matches a neutral, I will always hope for them just to see all that high tense situations. Taking some penalties before the game would just be weird because it goes into this state of “maybe it would count” or “maybe it won’t”. By contrast, all penalties under the current shootout system are important.
And of course as mentioned, strategy can play some role of it as the Soccernomics chapter of the 2008 Champions League final covered. And like football itself, you can plan and analyze a lot of things but it won’t matter much if your players slip or get tricked by the opposing keeper.
…To the person suggesting the ten penalties – football’s not fair, it’s not meant to be fair, it’s a sport, it’s entertainment.