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What The Managers Say


The self development industry is one of the main industries in terms of sales, but the amount of research that has been done into team sport psychology is pretty poor and  in football, hardly any has been done.

Football remains in it's own little bubble almost pretending mental self development doesn't exist.

Football uses antiquated methods that are not very effective because nobody has got the balls to take the bull by the horn and say, we are going to employ self development at this Club, if you don't want to be a part of it, find yourself another club.

The benefits are huge, astronomical, they could give you an edge other would have to hurriedly catch up with.

The downside is, minimal to non-existent.

It is OK to work on tactical, technical and physiological aspects, so why not psychological?

Why does improving yourself have such a stigma for those who don't understand it, for those who simply dismiss something they are ignorant about?

I applaud the fact we have brought in two winners with a Winning mentality in Joe Hart and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, but with a more professional approach and embracing mental development we could be making giant strides,not baby steps.

I wrote in a recent piece that our 90 minute fans with an agenda against the club "draw on the past to condemn the future", which is exactly what the club are doing, indeed football is doing, when it comes to psychological training, mentality.

A new Manager comes into a club, the first thing he has to do is assess the scale of the task ahead.

In this article today we will hear from the people who know better than the fans, the managers.

Let's hear what they have to say.

"The manager’s philosophy, if sufficiently clear and powerful, will filter down not only to his team, but also to other teams at all levels within his club’s structure – and it might actually impregnate the whole club for a long, long period."
Roy Hodgson

This is so so important.

Think about it.

When you have a winning mentality at the helm, he will set the club up to have a winning mentality.

That permeates into every aspect of the club and youngsters start to develop the better mental approach this brings.

Not all managers are equal, just as all players are not equal.

So, is your philosophy and club culture put in place by a winning mentality or a mentality trying to win?

The two are vastly different.

You can't have a manager in for a couple of years and expect his philosophy to stretch like an octopus and have lasting effect, a new manager will bring a new approach.

Changing manager is shooting yourself in the foot  really.

Spurs have José Mourinho on board, a serial winner who is bringing in winning mentalities to help change the culture of Tottenham.

He has a massive job on his hands to develop the mentality of this club off the field, in the training ground, in the boardroom, in the scouting, in the commercial department, everywhere.

A club culture isn't just a statement to look impressive, it is something you must embody, it dictates your behaviour, it dictates how you do your job.

It is central to success, but it has to be the right culture, it has to be a winning mentality culture or you'll continue to get mediocre result.

This is why Mourinho is key, his message, his philosophy, his culture.

Daniel Levy has constantly demanded it of employees, of coaches and now he has paid a lot of money to bring in the right mindset in Mourinho.

Mourinho first has to win the trust of Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis, which, with the pragmatic and detailed approach he has brought to our transfer business, I would suggest is happening.

We have issues to address and we are addressing them, with two, soon to be three, players coming in early.

"There was a time when clubs thought that winning on the pitch was enough. Now times have changed and you need to win off the pitch as well – by which I mean commercially. 

"If the commercial aspect works, the club generates good revenues, and from that flow better facilities, better staff, better players and then again better revenues for the club. 

"Then it’s important that the technical part is there too – and this is also based upon very good human relationships. 

"I think that a good club is a club that looks after its players, looks after its people, looks after its employees, its staff and everything. 

"Its human atmosphere is to me the foundation for success. And it is the manager who is at the centre of that.’
Gérard Houllier

A successful manager not so long ago telling you that commercial success of the field is as important as success on the pitch because it drives it.

Not Sugar Daddy owners, commercial success, the club as a business.

Commercial success generates revenue,not Sugar Daddy owners, commercial success, which generates better players.

It is basic common sense that you build your business to have SUSTAINED increased income to enable planning ahead, to enable the purchase of better players on higher wages.

The income has to be there to do it.

We have to weather COVID-19, weather the effects of an empty brand new stadium, that none of our rivals have to pay for.

We clearly saw it made a difference to revenue and we clearly saw the purchase of players with increased revenue, £180m spent on players and managers in a year.

With Matt Doherty, 8 new players in 14 months.

"The owner recently bought the club and they are changing everything. They changed 12 players. They have good ambition. 
"We have to build a team, and the club want to be competitive in Europe. This is a very good challenge. 
"The owner is young, very ambitious, very calm, not afraid or worried if you don’t win a game; he is looking forwards. They are very focused on their objective – to be competitive in the future. 
"This is difficult to explain to the media, because the media are thinking if we don’t win there is no future. 
"The first season’s objective was to play in the Champions League, then, in the summer, to buy some players to increase the quality of the team, to invest money for the next five years and to build the new training ground. 
"The objective is very, very clear. If we win or don’t win it doesn’t matter."
Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti describes his time at PSG under new ownership and the difference between how a football club is actually run and how yhe media and fand perceive it as being run.

Clubs have a long-term goal, not a season to season goal.

That shorter-term goal must fit with the longer-term, it doesn't dictate to the long-term what the long-term is.

Our long term goal is to build the business to rival Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United off the pitch, as that will mean we rival them on the pitch too.

Everything we do must fit into that long-term plan.

We have grown over the last 20 years from a broke club to one with a magnificent new stadium and nobody can deny challenging for honours.

No, we haven't crossed the winning line but we have been knocking on the door.

We will continue that upward trajectory and trophies will come our way.

It is a part of the process and bringing in a manager with the knowhow of winning is another step up the ladder.

I have always maintained that a coach should be able to improve a side, turn it into winners without buying success.

Bayern Munich have just won the UEFA Champions League without losing a game with a side that cost around £80m to assemble.

Mauricio Pochettino was a manager who took us to a Champions League final in similar vein and provided Daniel Levy with clarity and trust that he was on the right path with hsi financially responsible (some would say frugal) approach.

What he has done now, is revert to that financially responsible approach after a £180m spend in last year because of COVID-19 with the added element of a proven winner buying into that approach.

I talk about players buying into a central goal, but the manager has to buy into the clubs, the owners vision and approach, not the club change the way they operate for a manager.

Levy will now feel he can trust his vision and pursue his philosophy with confidence which will give stability and a sense of purpose to the club.

A few years back Roy Hodgson revealed that players used to go to see the manager and ask why they weren't playing, what am I doing wrong etc?

Now though, that happens less and less he reveals, now the agent rings up the chairman and complains, very very few he says, knock on your door now.

That is, of course, in complete contrast to what a journalist will write, which demonstrates how little journalists today actually know about the working inside a football club.

Martin O'Neill describes the relationship between the manager and chairman as of "paramount importance."

With agents talking to chairmen, not managers, it is vital that the chairman or board are not undermining the manager.

If that bond is strong then winning is easier, anxiety does not have to raise it's ugly head.

When that bond breaks you won't get the trust back and it's time to part ways.

"I always work better when I work for one person who I trust totally. I have fallen out with a few chairmen in my career, but I only fell out with them when they lied to me."
Neil Warnock

A chairman, through their governance of finance, the club and personal relationships, can create either stability or instability for the manager and the club.

While the two are on the same page a club will blossom but it isn't easy to stay on the same page over time unless the manager has almost total control as Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger did.

Today, a chairman has a long-term vision and a manager a short-term vision, harmony exists while the latter helps the former, when it challenges it, perhaps through the requirement of increased transfer spend, then the relationship can start to break.

"I have been privileged to always work at the top end (where people know how to play superb football), so my work has been making sure that the skills and abilities the players have are blended together and are used purely and solely for the benefit of the team.

"And that’s where you come to the major leadership challenges: some of your players whose abilities are important to the club and the team are going to be ego-driven and insufficiently team orientated to bring those skills to the team itself. 

"They might even destroy the team ethos because they are only interested in their own personal gain – they are in effect using the team. 

"There are two types of players: the players who bring what they have to the team to make the team good, and players who use the team to make themselves look good.
Roy Hodgson

Does that remind you of Tanguy Ndombélé?

It shouts it to me, more interested in himself than the team so the sooner we get shot of him the better.

"At Porto, I had one massive, massive advantage, which Pep Guardiola also had at Barcelona: we were both coaching teams we supported as fans. 

"When that happens, you know exactly how your fans behave, you know how to touch people, you know how to move people, you know the channels. 

"It’s almost like every single word that comes out of your mouth touches people in a different way and moves your dressing room closer to what you want to achieve. 

"The greatest managers are able to replicate these things at different clubs and in different leagues. 

"José [Mourinho] is the greatest example of this kind of adaptability with maximum success. It is something that is not achievable for all other managers."
André Villas-Boas

Encouraging words about our boss.

"When we got promoted in 2008 we were favourites to get relegated again. We used this to get the supporters on board with us. 

"We said, “Listen, the whole country is against us, nobody gives us a chance – but we have got a chance if we stick together.” 

"The fans bought into that and they have remained very solid: we spent five consecutive seasons in the Barclays Premier League. 

"We created history by being the only team in Stoke’s 150-year existence to remain outside of the bottom six in top-flight football for five consecutive seasons. 

"We featured in four major cup quarter-finals, an FA Cup semi-final and an FA Cup final. 

"Furthermore we reached the latter stages of a major European cup competition only to lose out to Spanish giants Valencia."
Tony Pulis

Our fans could learn a thing or two from the Stoke fans, get behind the team and support the club properly instead of moaning about something you profess to support.

Fans provide pressure, moaning fans create greater pressure and in the Internet world moaning fans on social media create greater pressure than ever before, so much so that they can have a profound effect on the fortunes of a club.

The behaviour of fans creates a label for a club and once tainted with a label it is very hard to change it.

To spend the whole time complaining about Spurs creates a negative connotation, which the press pick up on and it creates a whole negative environment surrounding the club.

That's the opposite of what attracts success, there needs to be a positive environment but that is lost on today's woke generation.

"You might go to a player and have an argument – we had training sessions that could be quite feisty – but no one ever knew it outside the group. 

"It was much easier to keep it in the group in those days. There was no Twitter or Facebook; the media was much easier to handle. 

"I remember they used to travel with us from Scunthorpe on the bus! 
"That changed incredibly, mainly because of the way the journalists were being pressured by their editors and other people penning the headlines, I guess, to get stories at any cost. 

"That led to a breakdown of trust between players and the press. Even if the stories weren’t that bad, the headlines could be bad, and the players would be saying, “Don’t give me that – it’s your piece, you wrote it.” 

"We moved to a siege mentality of, “We don’t want to talk to them, we don’t want these people around us.”’
Kevin Keegan

That's why you can't trust what is written in the press anymore, they don't have the connections within a club they used to have.

The journalists couldn't be trusted so that relationship broke down.

Now they write their opinion and guesses that people believe are from club sources, but they aren't.

Sky Sources for instance is the Internet.

Neil Warnock says the same thing and feels for young managers now as a reporter will back you to your face, but stitch you up behind your back.

It is a profession that can't be trusted anymore.

Carlo Ancelotti though, says he prefers the English press because they are not as tactically aware as the Italian or French press.

Now that is a revealing statement from him, yet our journalists still think they know better than a qualified manager!


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Spurs Must Adopt The Keys To Sir Alex Ferguson's Success

Arek Milik and Transfers

Tavares loan with option to buy at £13.51m

Latest developments in Spurs pursuit of Pizzi

The Stats You Haven't Seen Yet

This post first appeared on Tottenham Hotspur Blog News - THBN, please read the originial post: here

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What The Managers Say


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