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Does playing count for anything?

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Got into yet another heated debate last night when I pointed out to a number football followers in the Freshy (albeit of RS persuasion!) that it now appears that to succeed as a manager you no longer need to have played the game at senior level!

I based that assertion on the fact that no less than FOUR leading managers of recent times certainly `had no medals` to show the boys! Both Mourinho and Chelsea new man, ABV, were Robson apprentices (merely interpreters, some say!) whilst Wenger gave up playing at 20 and Sven was said to be an embarrassment in shorts ? and later without them!

"How could any theorist have the understanding of a Kenny D?" I was asked ? and whilst my reply was a little inflammatory, it`s a difficult one to answer.

So what do my fellow contributors feel on the issue? Could someone who has not played the game at senior level be the surprise successor to Moyes and have any hope of bringing that glory we all crave for?

Richard Dodd, Freshfield     Posted 25/06/2011 at 15:11:57

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Gareth Morgan
1   Posted 25/06/2011 at 15:40:04

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Makes no difference if a person's played the game or not. What does make a difference is the amount of money a team can spend on players. Everton have fuck all money so we're gonna have fuck all success. Simple.
David Barks
2   Posted 25/06/2011 at 15:56:04

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Well said Gareth. Look what Avram Grant did at Chelsea, and compare what he was able to do at West Ham. Did he suddenly go from being a manager able to nearly win the Champions League and nearly win the Premier League to suddenly getting his team relegated? No. He suddenly went from one of the richest clubs to one of the poorest clubs (in the Premier League). It's all about money. If Mourinho managed Blackpool do you think they'd win the league? Not a chance. But give Mourinho United or Chelsea or even Arsenal and he'd be favorite to lead them to the title. Having played the game at the top level means nothing.
Tom Harries
3   Posted 25/06/2011 at 15:57:44

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I think that the rise of non-successful players as managers is because the job of management has changed. Some of the famous managers of yesteryear didn't bother doing that much coaching because everyone played 4-4-2. It was all motivation. How do you motivate millionaires?

The major coaching courses for the qualifications that managers need these days are in the summer, when the best players are either on international duty or having their only break of the year (as they get picked for every game during the season).

In theory, the right person could do better than Moyes with what we've got, but probably not much better. And would we get the right person?
Nick Taylor
4   Posted 25/06/2011 at 17:19:02

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I am afraid I agree with Gareths bleak assessment. There was a time when a manager could build a side capable of winning the top prizes if he was a good coach and had a keen eye for raw talent like Clough, Saunders and Kendall proved. But its ironic that last so called "unfashionable" team to win the title was Howard Wilkinsons Leeds in 1992 exactly the season before the formation of the premier league.

I think it will take something like a massive financial shock resulting in a collapse of tv revenues or something similar to give clubs like Everton more of a level playing field like it was in the 8os.

Assuming no rich benefactor turns up, I am more convinced than ever that EFCs future will revolve around the academy which I think the development of is the single best decision the board have made in the past 20 years.
David Hallwood
5   Posted 25/06/2011 at 17:54:57

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And conversely, just because someone was a great player very rarely translates into being a great manager
Jay Harris
6   Posted 25/06/2011 at 17:42:45

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Doddy fancy talking to RS supporters about this subject.

They cant see past "King" Kenny (until he wins nothing!!).

I myself played at a decent level until a drunk driver demolished any chance of a full time pro career.

From that point I always firmly believed that the higher level you play the more understanding you get of the game and therfore leave it to the professionals.

However I now believe that all sports are getting more detailed and more scientific so it is less important to have played the game versus having the intelligence and character and understanding of the game to organise,manage and motivate a team.

Sometimes that ability manages to overcome not having the best players at your disposal but I have also always and still do maintain that the teams with the best players will usually win the most games.

Boas has yet to prove himself in the premier league and IMO will struggle to match Ancelloti who I do rate very highly and who has played the game at a decent level so it is arguable both ways and mature managers do have the most trophies to show off e.g. Fergie, Shankly, Paisley, Catterick, Kendall, Graham, Venables etc.
Ian Tod
7   Posted 25/06/2011 at 18:26:03

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I'm 17 yrs. old and just finished FA level 2 and 3 badges, I am now going to take the UEFA C badge and, I hope to move on so I can get my pro licence, I know a lot about the game and tried my luck at it and so far it's gone well, so who knows? maybe i'll take over the reins 10 years down the line.
Michael Evans
8   Posted 25/06/2011 at 18:20:06

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" Does playing count for anything ?"

Yet another contender for Everton's new motto perhaps?

Look Richard don't be coy mate, if you fancy the job of replacing DM put forward your CV and best of luck to you.

However, your constant vitriolic attacks on the stewardship of BK may go against you.

Tom Bowers
9   Posted 25/06/2011 at 18:11:33

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You just have to get lucky sometimes.
Does anyone think that maybe Ferguson would never have had the success at Manure over the years without the big money backing and the stature of the club attracting every capable player in the world. If he were so to speak suddenly find himself at the helm of West Ham could he get them back to the Prem.and into the top six with what little they have. I don't think so. Yes he managed to turn Manure's fortunes around all those years ago but he had a lot to draw on. Moyes on the other hand has won nothing but done a lot of good things over ten years at Goodison and the question is will we accept the lack of success much longer. I suggest that he will move on soon and possibly to Manure. Regarding being a good manager without having played at a high level well I think it is only necessary to be a good coach and having the respect of the players around you rather than having been a good player but once again available money is a big plus.
Chris Bannantyne
10   Posted 25/06/2011 at 18:47:34

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Obviously experience playing the game at a high level is more often than not beneficial to being a good manager, but theoretically not necessary. I can see one being a great tactician and having a great understanding of the game even if they weren't so good at playing it themselves.

Different sport, but a decent example none the less, in Australia the best rugby league (NRL) coach by far is Wayne Bennett. He played a bit of league in an inferior Queensland league when he was young, but has gone on to be the most successful coach in Australia. He has done this at multiple clubs, and as the NRL has salary caps, with very comparitive resources.

If the premier league had financial equality, it would be interesting to see if any "non players" gained success as managers.

But this is all conjecture anyway, money buys trophies these days, obviously you can tell the better managers from the crap ones, but shit managers at rich clubs have an obvious advantage.
Trevor Lynes
11   Posted 25/06/2011 at 22:00:10

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Nathan # 6....I saw Catterick play and he was a manager he never went training with the players he was strictly a suit and tie manager.
Yet he was a success in the 60's....
Trevor Lynes
12   Posted 25/06/2011 at 22:05:26

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Sorry...that should have been JAY # 6.
Dick Fearon
13   Posted 25/06/2011 at 21:36:48

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A player with wide experience, not necessarily at the very top
plus a deep interest in the game could, all things being equal, be a successful manager/coach.
Having loads of cash would certainly be helpful yet there must be an enormous dollar value on a well paid manager who has been in the job for ten years.
Over that time span from chilhood to manhood he is a major influence over the development of young players

What we see on the field for better or worse is the creation of such a manager.
SAF and the 'special one' had they a similar time span even with severe financial constraints would have more to show in the way of trophy's than our current incumbent.
Karl Meighan
14   Posted 25/06/2011 at 22:00:44

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I dont think it matters if they played at the top level, all managers will have played some football and its the passion and awareness of new ideas and being able to spot talent and mould a team that are more important than having great vision or amazing ball control.

Some top quality players become top managers but imo its a completely different skill in managing a team and building a club.

There has always been top clubs in England with better resources than the rest, this just leads to bigger expectation at these clubs were the manager also has to be able to handle pressure if things are not going well.

I also believe that rarely the most successfull clubs rely on one man to run everything. The manager will have the final say on team selection and most things but other coaches who have a good understanding of football and bring qualities in other areas are not far behind forming a partneship.
Karl Meighan
15   Posted 25/06/2011 at 22:35:21

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Jay@6 They cant see past king Kenny until he walks out again, what short memories the RS have.
Derek Thomas
16   Posted 26/06/2011 at 06:09:11

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Karl #15 spot on. How many runners has he done? is it 2 or 3.

Dave #5 and Trevor #12 I agree, Bertie Mee any one.

Most of the successful managers I have seen from the late 50's were Halfbacks, Stein, Docherty, Busby, Shankly, Paisley, Kendall. Fullbacks, Ramsey, Nicholson (?). Or rip shit and bust run through brickwall centre forwards Catterick, Clough, Ferguson.

Fancy Dan inside forwards were and are very thin on the ground.

The only 2 I can think of would be Revie, who was a deep-lying centre forward, but not quite a fancy dan more of a deep thinker; And George Graham. Who both turned out teams of Prussian efficiency and nasty to boot.

Those who can, do ( or did ) those who can't, teach ( or coach )

So Doddy you may well be right
Rob Keys
17   Posted 26/06/2011 at 09:05:35

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Kendall was a skilled midfielder while venables and clough were profilic goalscorers. I once read a telling article about how its often more challenging for gifted players to succeed as coaches. This is because their playing ability comes naturally to them. Likewise, those with tactical nous or vision. Thus, it frustrates and stumps them when they have to break it down step by step to "lesser mortals" than them. Ironically, it becomes hard for them to see the science behind tactics because they play by instincts.
Trevor Lynes
18   Posted 26/06/2011 at 09:53:43

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DEREK number 16...did you see Catterick play ???? I did and he was nothing like your description....he played with our relegated team and was ousted by Dave Hickson..
He was awful and played in an awful side.....
Johnny Carey who was a brilliant fullback and twice won footballer of the year actually signed most of the EFC greats and Catterick added Tony Kay and brought in Royle to oust Young (he got a kicking for it)....
As I said before Catterick was not a players manager....he was a suit and tie manager..
Richard Dodd
19   Posted 26/06/2011 at 10:32:34

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Type or paste your comment here. No txt-speak, please try to use proper grammar, all-lowercase posts are likely to be deleted
Brendan McLaughlin
20   Posted 26/06/2011 at 11:01:54

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Moyes Out: Ian Tod #7 in!
Tom Bowers
21   Posted 26/06/2011 at 15:55:14

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Rob, slight exaggeration? Venables a prolific goalscorer ? no way.
Jay Harris
22   Posted 26/06/2011 at 16:04:00

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Jimmy Gabriel's sister once told me most of the players hated Catterick because he was such a hard nut but you can't argue with the style of football and the trophies he won as manager.

A lot of supporters gave credence to John Carey for building the early 60's team but you can't argue that the '66 and '70 teams were Catterick's.
David Thomas
23   Posted 26/06/2011 at 16:34:06

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Venables was never a prolific goal socrer by any stretch of the imagination. I agree about HK and Clough.
Marc Williams
24   Posted 26/06/2011 at 17:40:31

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Doddy.... I reckon' you are a 'shoe in' for the job after DM.

You've got all the qualities our chairman, who you hold in such regard, looks for .......Yes Mr K , No Mr K, whatever you say Mr K !

Why doesn't it surprise me that you hang around with 'redshites' ?
Derek Thomas
25   Posted 27/06/2011 at 10:25:10

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Trevor , my point exactly, No one could call Harry Catterick the player a fancy dan, much less even a 'cultured Centre forward, or as you say even a semi decent one.

IMO Rob Keys has the right of it. You can't teach instinct eg the instinct that Cahill has and Latchford Had of being in the right place in the right time, nor being brave enough to put your head or into that right place, which maybe 6 inches and a fraction of a second infront of some ones boot ( top man Osman Vs City ).

The rest of it is just God given, the reflexes and the co-ordination, the skill.

Some have the skill of actually doing it and don't even know how they do it, they just do it and some can't even understand why others can't, just chip the ball over the keeper and into the top corner, simple.

Some of us mere mortals learn over time what you do do and what you don't do, this is the percentages game and then you hope that some player(s) on an instinctive level conjour up that something extra to increase your percentage and if they are in Royal Blue we call it School of Science, aka in new money (credit to Mr Buckley ) joined up footy

Being able to do it in your twenties means nothing, if you don't know just what and how to put it accross when your playing days are over or, as you say for Harry, never really arrived.

So the day of the never played at any meaningful, say semi pro, or even lower could be on it's way.

Woo Hoo, thats me that is, giz a job. I can do that job
Mike Allison
26   Posted 27/06/2011 at 13:00:09

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Whether or not you were a player isn't really relevant. Playing should count for nothing.

Some excellent players turn out to be excellent managers as well, but a more common story is that a manager is appointed based on his playing reputation, and isn't actually any good.

I don't really understand why people think a manager had to have been a good player. Its a fairly simple point that those for whom things come easily can't necessarily explain why, whereas those who struggled or even failed have had to analyse the reasons, so will have far more of an insight. (I've just scanned up and seen this point made by Rob, well I second it.)
Daniel A Johnson
27   Posted 28/06/2011 at 12:17:25

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Get a yes man coach to take the training

Pick the best playeras available for each position.


Tell them to score 1 more than the opposition

Piss easy this manager lark
Jason Lam
28   Posted 29/06/2011 at 03:52:35

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Let's get Maradona in then.

IMHO management is exactly what it says on the tin: to manage people, to get the job done through people. So management is all about creating an environment and motivating the people (here your overrated overpaid mercs) to pull in the same direction, which should be winning something for the club.

It is also some ways akin to Project Management, where each season can be regarded as a project, you have a definate start date and end date, and hope to achieve as much deliverables within the time frame. You have resources (in Everton's case lack of) and need to manage them accordingly.

But having some experience in actually playing the game is required otherwise the manager cannot relate to the plight of the players, and the players will not respect the manager. It allows the manager to play the empathy card with the players.


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