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Swap jobs, Mourinho and Pochettino
If you boil it down, one could argue that there are fundamentally only two types of manager: proactive and reactive. Neither one of these is better than the other in the absolute, but they do both thrive in different contexts, and when you start to analyse current managers in their respective clubs it does make you realise that some might be in the wrong place…
First, to describe the types, proactive managers are those who try and impose themselves on the opposition and dominate the game, almost always playing the same way, whilst reactive managers are far more tactical, adjusting the team and playing style according to the opposition. Examples of the proactive school would include Guardiola, Poch, Rodgers, Wenger and Martinez, whilst examples of the reactive school would include Jose, Big Sam, Benitez, Moyes and Pulis.
As you can see in terms of ‘quality’ they’re a mixed bag – neither group is without its success stories or failures – but that doesn’t mean they should be seen as interchangeable options for clubs. This is because different clubs need different types of managers. Broadly speaking the better the players, the more proactive a manager you want, and the worse they are the more reactive. This stands to reason as an underdog team will need to play smart to beat better opposition, calling for reactive play, whilst a better team simply needs to do their thing and do it well – get out of the players’ way and let them go for it.
Thus we can observe the broad trend that reactive managers are best at saving clubs (Big Sam, Pulis), whilst proactive managers tend to win the biggest prizes (Guardiola, Zidane).
Logically therefore clubs should be choosing their managers accordingly: if you’ve got bags of cash and talent, go proactive, but if your striving to reach a new level go reactive. I genuinely think that Big Sam would do a better job for a relegation fodder team than Guardiola, for instance. However they don’t do this – they go for quality regardless of type. Classic examples currently would be Man Utd and Tottenham.
Man Utd have bags of cash and top players but a reactive manager, meaning that even when they’re better than the opposition (such as at Anfield the other day) they hand to onus to the other team and react. This leads to underperformance in big games (against smaller teams their superior quality will probably mean they win anyway). Jose is obviously very successful, probably the best reactive manager in the world by some distance, but his greatest triumphs have generally been with underdogs (Porto, Inter) who needed reactive play to reach the top. At Madrid and United this approach has hindered him.
Spurs on the other hand are a striving team – clearly a step behind the likes of City, Chelsea, and United in terms of cash and player quality – and thus to realistically overtake them have to be smarter about it However Poch, being a proactive manager, is trying to beat them in a straight shoot-out; a battle they will always lose in the long run, even if they play great football along the way.
One could argue therefore that each of these clubs would be better served with the other’s manager – I would say they would both have bigger chances of winning trophies than they do now due to more appropriate use of their resources. United are particularly culpable in this area, because since Ferguson (a proactive manager) they’ve hired three reactive ones and become frustrated with their lack of dominating football – seemingly oblivious to the fact that these managers do not deliver that even at their best.
Naturally all this doesn’t make the raw quality of a manager redundant – a relegation fodder team would be better off with a great proactive than a bad reactive – but nonetheless it’s a relevant variable to consider that perhaps doesn’t get enough airplay!
Poch > Mourinho via holidays and girls
I’d just like to chime in with this Poch vs Mourinho argument, but firstly I’d like to ask the question…why do you watch football and support the team you do?
Personally I watch football to be entertained, and I support Spurs somewhat arbitrarily on accounts of being born into a family that support Spurs. I’d love the club to win trophies, but mostly for the sake of our players and manager – not so I can go around crowing about it to other fans. Beyond that, I hope to follow a team that play great football and that I can be immensely proud of, on and off the field. With Poch at the helm, we have been that and more.
I’m a firm believer of “it’s the journey, not the destination”. I’m sure to fans of more trophy-rich clubs that sounds like the sort of platitudinous lie that Spurs fans tell ourselves, but quite honestly I’ve enjoyed almost every weekend for years even if ‘I’ have nothing to show for it. Those that defend Mourinho by virtue of his trophy haul is effectively like saying you value the destination over the journey. Which to me is the equivalent of a hotdog-legs selfie on holiday telling everyone of how great a time your having…but we all know that by spending your holiday on Facebook you’re in fact bored off your tits and dreading work next monday.
To put it another way; Supporting Spurs under Poch has been like going out with the girl of your dreams and repeatedly getting to third base. Man Utd under Mourinho is taking a string of plain Janes on expensive dates before splashing out on a lady of the night so you can tell all your mates you got laid.
You’ve got more notches on your bedpost, but no one respects your methods or envies you anymore.
Dan G, THFC
Mourinho = Donald Trump
It’s astonishing how many spoiled Manchester United fans want to do down the achievements of Pochettino and this Tottenham side.
Has decades of Premier League dominance not been enough to satisfy these people? Must they p**s all over my lovely, delicious, Argentinian chimichurri-flavoured chips?
More to the point, kudos to F365 for explaining in helpful italics why Poch’s achievements with Spurs can stand comparison with spending literally hundreds of millions on a couple of trophies.
To these sour grape-mongers, I ask: Are you impressed with Donald Trump for having a hot wife? Do you think he managed that thanks to his flair for romance, sparkling conversation and prowess in the bedroom?
Now go back to enjoying your brilliant start to the season. I’m sure it will continue, at least until you play someone half decent.
Rob Davies, THFC
Silverware is obviously the measure
I am firmly with Kevin, Dublin on Pochettino being nowhere close to Mourinho due to his lack of trophies. So much so that I have an example of two teams:
GK: Gianluigi Buffon
CB: Giorgio Chiellini
CB: Laurent Blanc
CB: Lilian Thuram
LM: Pavel Nedved
CM: Patrick Vieira
CM: Michael Ballack
RM: Robert Pires
CF: Dennis Bergkamp
ST: Ronaldo (the proper one)
Sol Campbell, Hernan Crespo, Zlatan, Baggio, Lewandowski, Aguero
GK: Scott Carson
RB: Jose Bosingwa
CB: David May
CB: Pedro Medes
LB: Ryan Bertrand
CM: Pedro Mendes
CM: Sulley Muntari
RM: Finidi George
LM: Jesper Blomqvist
ST: Carsten Jancker
ST: Jovan Kirovski
Obviously Kevin is with me when I say team two would win 10 times out of 10. Afterall if any of the players in team one were anywhere near the level of those in team two they’d have Champions League medals too…
Mike (Bosingwa even won it twice!!) AFC
Mourinho is yesterday’s man
Oh good, another ‘my team’s better than yours’ has erupted. How about this:
Mourinho is a highly decorated successful manager. Obviously very good at his job. Poch however is in the ascendancy. He is growing stronger and his side are really hitting their stride. Mourinho is becoming a very bitter, odious little man. His comments and love of shifting blame have grown thin but his results cannot be undermined. This does not stop the “he’s won lots in the past and may win some more silverware, therefore he’s better” argument being anything short of lazy guff. He’s one of the greats but his clock is ticking. Poch is growing better with each appointment and with a much smaller budget is absolutely flying.
Right now most sensible fans would take Poch over Jose in a heartbeat. Jose may be remembered as one of the all-time greats but in this very moment Poch is looking a safer, stronger bet.
Loving Sarri and Poch
Despite not winning the UCL matches this week, I believe Sarri and Poch are two of the most underrated managers in Europe right now.
How far both have come (we all know the conditions), is enough proof and the system of play is just mind blowing.
I hope both win a trophy this season for all their efforts.
Amadou Diawara and Harry Winks are a true reflection of their managers.
Ian (I am also very underrated) Nairobi
Did Pochettino miss his big chance?
While not a Spurs fan, though hugely appreciate of Pochettino’s time at Southampton. I wonder how costly Spurs missing out on the title to the Leicester fairy tale could be?
The talent is obviously there and at only 45 with potentially 20-25 years of management to go (at least) he has plenty of time. It’s just that there are a lot of young managers and he hasn’t burst through in terms of success (trophies) in the same way as the current generation of perceived greats. Pep Guardiola is scarily only 46, Mourinho broke through at 41 (ish) and even Jürgen Klopp’s first title at Dortmund came at 43. Let’s not get started on Zinedine Zidane who is also only 45…
All had their fair share of luck at key moments, but fundamentally when the opportunity came they grasped it with both hands and haven’t looked back. The script was written for Pochettino with a bright young team playing superbly only to be overshadowed by the greatest football story in Premier League history.
That’s where I see the divide being between a fantastic manager and a world class. Pochettino is a fantastic manager who I am 100% sure will go on to lead teams to titles and trophies over his career. Had he got that first trophy at 43 in his first tenure at a ‘big’ club then I think his name could be included in the list above. That’s not to say he’s not great, but he’s in an incredibly tough league with perhaps one of two of the stand-out managers of the current generation at the biggest clubs with huge amounts of money.
Any success would be a huge achievement, but when we look back in a few years. Will it be with a sense of a missed opportunity that the first title could have been a springboard to further success as Spurs or the ticket to the biggest clubs and resources to consistently compete at the highest level.
Tom Saints (I’ve resisted until now, but I’m really enjoying Koeman epicly failing)
Thoughts on that wonderful City win
Now that was an enjoyable match! Two teams from the top of their respective leagues, who play a similar level of attacking football slugging it out over 90 minutes. Press and counter press in effect, with both teams attempting and frequently achieving to beat the press with incisive short passes.
As 365 published in the table of starts, City have been given an easy run at the beginning with two of City’s biggest wins having caveats attached. Liverpool lost Mane and played with 10 men for an hour, Chelsea lost Morata. So, each game goes by and a hatful of goals goes in, but there is a slight lingering sense of wait till we have a real test. 2-0 up after 13 minutes, KDB running the show and Sterling and Jesus scoring, what test? It really could have been four easily and game over, but Napoli grew into the game just at the right point, and Ederson’s penalty save was huge. Napoli really took charge of the second half and the crowd was getting a bit nervous with a fair few shouts of ‘typical City are back’. I think the shift in pressure stemmed from Napoli using the ball much better, creating better angles for sharp passing to beat our press, which seemed to grow tired and slightly jaded as the half wore on. City also started mixing in some point a gun at your foot and shoot style passing from the back, the type that gets a sharp intake of breath from 40,000. Walker had a poor game in my opinion, and I understand what Spurs fans say about maybe how good a footballer he is. Is he worth £50 mil? Probably not. Was it worth us spending £50 mil for a first team athlete who was Prem ready? Yes. He may not be too much better of a footballer than Zaba, but he really has a motor. So, where Zaba got caught out as regularly as Walker, he was toast when that happened, whereas Walker has the motor to recover a majority of the time. He isn’t the perfect player, but what he adds to the team helps to create so much space. Virtually all of our players have some pace now, no Yaya/Fernando, no Zaba/Sagna/Kolarov, each player has the pace and/or skill to terrify the player defending against them. It leads to fullbacks pushing deeper back, head spinning trying to follow the runner or fullback, or Silva and KDB floating into the space.
Last line on the game though has to go to Ederson. The baby-faced yeti is so crucial to the way the team plays, and although it is a galling cliché, he sets the tone with calm passing from the back, intelligent fast throws and a howitzer of a boot when he goes long. Maybe there was a bit too much of what I heard being called ‘d*cking around in the box’, but it seems the players want to play this way now, not just that they are terrified about Pep screaming and impersonating a conductor of a mime orchestra reaching its crescendo (bizarre imagery but next time you see him loose it, just bear it in mind).
Nine points from three games, 2nd toughest game of the group won without Aguero, and some more minutes for Gundogan & B Silva, Pep’s starting to get it right. I wrote about City’s cold calmness in their previous Champs League game, which was slightly amiss this game, but the result is huge and should allow for more calm in the rest of the group stage. The real test is can the team cope with Burnley at home; it would seem like a fairly simple task at first glance, but Burnley have impressed and City looked leggy for periods of the second half, so freshening things up would be an idea Maybe bring in B Silva, Gundogan and Danillo to start, and presumably City won’t be tasked with pressing as intensely for extended periods as against Napoli. Obviously though, this isn’t one of the games people should be interested in with a stellar weekend of games approaching.
DBM (Hearing someone compare Silva with a head bandage to Terry Butcher last night made my night) MCFC
LET ME TALK!
Having just seen the wonderful clip of Kevin De Bruyne shouting at David Silva to the point where his voice is overcome with emotion and breaks into falsetto, it’s good to have my theory confirmed that KDB is in fact a 13-year-old boy who has exchanged his soul for eternal youth and being very good at football. Somewhere in Belgium, in the attic of the De Bruyne family home, is a painting slowly turning into Prince Harry.
Dan, (I’d do the same for the ability to do that pass to Sane at the weekend, and I’m a United fan) Brighton
Milner > Henderson right now
This is the kind of game I always expect LFC to lose. The performance against Utd obviously added much needed confidence but I think it was the balance of the midfield three which allowed the team to flourish.
Milner really is a good stand-in for Henderson. I think Jordan is honestly the better player but this season so far he’s been in rotten form for club and country. Milner was very good last night and should keep his place.
Can looked so comfortable in the DM position. I don’t understand why Klopp wants him box to box and Henderson deep but he probably has decent reasons. Either way Can has really stepped up and looked fantastic last night.
Coutinho on the left wing – he looked comfortable and composed. He hasn’t looked as good playing in the centre. This was also the case against Utd. He played so well last season wide left maybe the plan to bring him into the centre disrupts the midfield unit and he should be used as a winger? Mane, Salah, Coutinho and Woodburn fighting over two wide spots is a hell of a nice problem to have. The only way to accommodate Liverpool’s big four attacking players is a change of system possibly playing Coutinho in no.10 behind Firmino. Otherwise it’s time to have big stars fighting each other for a place.
Chamberlain is yet to look like a world beater and definitely doesn’t look like a central midfielder. However he has notably improved. If he continues to flourish under Klopp he could become a very useful player for us.
All in all a win would’ve been ok, a draw or loss a disaster. A statement of intent was needed and we that’s what was delivered. The midfield provided the platform to split Maribor open repeatedly. Hopefully Klopp has stumbled upon the balance which has eluded Liverpool since the Arsenal game.
Martin (ever optimistic) Jackson
On Shay Given’s autof***ography
Having somewhat enjoyed the serialisation of Any Given Saturday (great title by the way) I’ve started to notice that every story revolves around:
a) fighting / tension / general dickheadedness; and
b) Copious amounts of swearing.
Seriously, it looks like Shay is trying to rival Roy Keane and Goodfellas for most times “f**k” is used in a sentence. Given that Shay is probably one of the best keepers’ to have graced the Premier League it would be good if he talked about something more interesting like…what it’s like to be a keeper in the Premier League. Goalkeeper training for example has been completely revolutionised during Shay’s career. From being the chump who had to stand and get shots belted at them from 20 yards so the strikers could practice to studying footage of penalties to try and gain an advantage over a certain striker. He must have some great insight in to which managers were at the forefront, what it was like to see those changes, how the old heads reacted to it etc.
Instead it just seems to be “Here’s a list of PFM stuff that happened at all my clubs – weren’t we all idiots (except for me as I don’t actually seem to be involved in any of the incidents at all other than being in the ground)”. It’s hardly sensational stuff to reveal what Roy Keane said to Mick McCarthy since, you know, Roy and Mick have both done it to death to varying degrees.
I hope that the Daily Mirror, and by proxy F365, have just picked out the sweary bits to get the attention of their more click-happy readership and that there’s more to Shay dun dis.
I’ve seen a lot of talk about the Leicester Owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, wanting a big name…hasn’t he already got one?
FR (ctrl+v) BRFC
F365’s unofficial weekly awards
Here are some Unofficial Weekly Awards. Don’t take them seriously, or pay too much attention to the fact that if I don’t raise the subject no one else does.
Premier League Player of the Week – Wilfried Zaha.
No player on his own makes more of a positive difference to his team.
Football League Player of the Week – Luke Berry.
Luton Town’s hat-trick hero against Stevenage Borough, and even more incredibly, he’s a midfielder, as everyone used to say about Frank Lampard, as though he spent his entire career in the centre circle and not making late runs into scoring positions. The Hatters have been among the goals this season, and are currently in the automatic promotion picture. Nathan Jones, remarkably in his first managerial appointment, won admirers when he took Luton to the playoffs in his first full season in charge, and looks set to achieve at least that this season.
European Player of the Week – Lars Stindl
He opened the scoring for my favourite German team, Borussia Mönchengladbach, in their 2-0 win over Werder Bremen, on the way to compiling a Whoscored rating of 8.97.
Premier League Loanee of the Week – Andreas Pereira
Pereira featured for Valencia in their 6-3 victory over Real Betis, getting himself on the scoresheet.
Best Goal – Manolo Gabbiadiani
Partly for the opportunity to hypocritically point out the novelty of Soton actually scoring, but also because it felt like a modern twist on old-fashioned centre-forward play.
Best Pass – Kevin de Bruyne to Leroy Sane
Or any number of passes made by de Bruyne.
Best Tactical Move – Roy Hodgson
Only one team has beaten Chelsea twice in 2017, and that’s Crystal Palace. Both times, the team had nominally wide players lined up very narrow, to expose the position discipline and pace issues of Chelsea’s defenders, and in doing so, provided both the most unlikely result of the season so far, and a blueprint for how everyone else can succeed against Chelsea.
Worst Tactical Move – Jose Mourinho
Liverpool were missing one of their best attacker, and playing their best defenders, so for a team in Manchester United’s form, were there for the taking. Instead Manchester United registered an xG of 0.24. This is the second lowest for any team in a 0-0, and the fifth lowest of any Premier League team in any fixture this season. Not scoring is unfortunate (even after seven games in a row), but not generating chances is unforgivable. Even Duncan Castles probably secretly thinks this was an opportunity missed, even if he’d never dare say it out loud.
Dick Move – Greg Clarke
An explanation, in 14 words: If he doesn’t know why this is a problem, he needs to f### off.
Parent of the Week – Ben Foster
The WBA goalkeeper injured himself playing with his son in his garden. As someone who was dogpiled and beaten to a pulp by two dozen kids at my son’s birthday party the other week, he has my sympathies.
Book of the Week – Frankie’s Mammoth Adventure
I’m currently reading this to my son. He is 28 years old. Frankie and his friends travel back to prehistoric times, where they discover the origins of Richard Keys’ banter.
Mailboxer of the Week – Tom, NY
Tom gets the nod for taking the joy out of the mailbox, football and perhaps life itself on Wednesday morning.
Dembele of the Week – Siriki Dembele
The Grimsby Town ace hit his first career brace against Cheltenham Town.
Compiler of the Week – Ed Quoththeraven