Coping In The Dugout – Part Two

Welcome back, and welcome to part two. In part one we looked at the culture of a club, the treatment of its staff and the ambition and hunger of the manager. As was the case in part one, any quotes, unless otherwise noted, come from The 90-Minute Manager. The clock is ticking, let’s get back to the action.

FOCUS ON STRENGTHS
Unless you are at a very talented club, or have hundreds of millions of pounds in the transfer kitty, it is very unlikely that you will have world class talent covering every position on the pitch. The best managers are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their team and they set up the team to maximise the strengths and minimize its weakness.

Continue reading “Coping In The Dugout – Part Two”

Coping In The Dugout – Part One

Continuing with my football related posts I have now turned my attention to the figure in the dug out. Arguably the most important, and the most difficult role in modern football, the football manager needs to be inspirational, tactically astute and calm under pressure.

A book I have recently finished reading, named the 90-Minute Manager, looked to compare the running of a business to the management of a football team, and although the book has its flaws and is a little dated, it is a pretty decent read. It has provided me with the inspiration for these articles where I focus on the role the manager plays, outside of the implementation of tactics and beyond the lone figure we see on match day.

Continue reading “Coping In The Dugout – Part One”

Why Liverpool Can Dare To Dream

The dust is only just settling at Anfield after the incredible 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal, but I imagine rumours are already being whispered around Liverpool of an end to the title drought. The victory today sent a very real message to the rest of the league and was a strong signal of intent from Brendan Rodgers’ side.

As a lifelong Liverpool fan I am undoubtedly biased towards the reds, but even an outsider can see that a Premier League title is within reach. The first twenty minutes today was scintillating. Quick pressing, high tempo, passing and moving, not letting the opposition settle, and in truth Liverpool could have scored two or three more than what they did. They were that good.

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How The Analysis of Chess Highlights Key Concepts Within Football – Part Two

Following on from part one, which can be found here, I will continue to look at the key footballing concepts that became apparent to me whilst I was reading Adam Wells’ Football and Chess. In part one I have already looked at Connectivity, The Battle for the Midfield, Mobility, Space and Overloading and Stretching.
Let’s kick off (pardon the pun) part two with a look at Defence.

DEFENCE
From reading the book I really got a sense that defending was less about talent and individual skill, and more about system and organisation. Though this seems to down-play the abilities of defensive players, it is quite clear that defensive minded players do not require tremendous amounts of skill and ability.

Continue reading “How The Analysis of Chess Highlights Key Concepts Within Football – Part Two”

How The Analysis of Chess Highlights Key Concepts Within Football – Part One

At Christmas I received a wonderful book entitled Football and Chess. It is written by Adam Wells and looks to analyse and compare the two games. It may seem like a bit of a mismatch, but in all honesty Wells couldn’t be more correct in what he says. The book is very well written and each point he makes is explained with examples from real football games, and real chess matches. Within two days I had read the book three times, making notes as I went through. My chess skills, and knowledge, are quite a bit below that of my football skills and knowledge, but I believe that this book has improved my understanding in both of these games. It really is a fascinating book and I encourage anyone interested in either chess or football to pick up a copy.

Continue reading “How The Analysis of Chess Highlights Key Concepts Within Football – Part One”