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 Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Tue 28 Jun 14:44

There are some exceptionally good managers in football and some very poor ones, too, but there are probably many more in-between. Whenever a club is looking for a new, experienced manager, applicants CVs will be taken into consideration, before deciding who to interview. This is when it must get a bit tricky.

Many experienced managers have quite a mixed CV - they`ve done quite well at some clubs but poorly at others. Why is that? Presumably, their ability remains constant, irrespective of which club they`re working for. Of course, the squad they have may be more or less talented, but sometimes a manager coming in can produce a significant improvement with the same squad, but more often than not, he can`t. The " new manager bounce" is quite a rare occurrence, as we found out last season.

When things don`t work out, the manager invariably gets sacked, but is it always his fault? The %age of managers who go through their entire career without ever being sacked must be quite small. That suggests they usually have a shelf life, even at clubs where they`ve been reasonably successful. Perhaps when a reasonably successful manager fails at a club, the major blame lies elsewhere?

There was a time when players were virtually slaves of clubs and the manager could act as a total tyrant. Jim McLean at Dundee United was probably the last one in Scottish football. Today with agents and freedom of contract, the boot is very much on the other foot. Players with poor attitudes who don`t get a regular game, can quickly become troublemakers and undermine the manager`s authority. Precious few managers have the attributes to deal with rebel players, without prejudicing their club`s results and performances. Sir Alex was a notable exception.



Not your average Sunday League player.
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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: Bandy  
Date:   Tue 28 Jun 15:20

I don`t think Bosman has been universally good for football - it`s been good for some elements of it. It has, indirectly, impacted the role of the manager (first team coach) as you outline above.

I think there are some managers that are bigger than any individual player at the club they manage - i.e a player v club conflict the manager will survive. Pep, Klopp and, to a lesser extent, Arteta, who has seen off a couple of awkward global superstars in Ozil and Aubameyang. Not sure there are any other though.

In Scotland - Jim McLean was definitely one, although Walter Smith in his first era at Rangers came pretty close.

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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Tue 28 Jun 16:33

If I`m being totally honest, the reason for starting this thread is that in recent seasons, I`ve heard from reliable sources that the Pars have had more than their fair share of players with a poor attitude, going back to AJ. Now none of our previous four managers would claim to be among the elite class, but it`s a hard enough job when everyone is pulling in the same direction......



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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: ParfectXI  
Date:   Tue 28 Jun 18:14

GG Riva wrote:

> If I`m being totally honest, the reason for starting this
> thread is that in recent seasons, I`ve heard from reliable
> sources that the Pars have had more than their fair share of
> players with a poor attitude, going back to AJ. Now none of our
> previous four managers would claim to be among the elite class,
> but it`s a hard enough job when everyone is pulling in the same
> direction......
>
>


I’ve heard the same, and have heard it for the last few years and it’s been quite obvious at times on the park that the issues caused by these players have badly affected the on field performance. These things can take hold especially when you have a young squad and it’s a more senior member causing the issues (not saying that that’s what happened with us though)

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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Tue 28 Jun 19:47

Quote:

ParfectXI, Tue 28 Jun 18:14

I’ve heard the same, and have heard it for the last few years and it’s been quite obvious at times on the park that the issues caused by these players have badly affected the on field performance. These things can take hold especially when you have a young squad and it’s a more senior member causing the issues (not saying that that’s what happened with us though)


Yes, I remember Stevie Crawford telling us at a supporters meeting that he`d never known so many players at one club with a poor attitude in his whole career. You have to think they might have done for AJ. We had a few last season as well and neither Grant nor Hughes were able to handle them.

A combination of agents, Bosman and changing social attitudes are mainly to blame.



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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Tue 28 Jun 20:15

It only takes one bad attitude to affect the whole team. I see it all the time in my own work.
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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: Polt  
Date:   Tue 28 Jun 22:26

What we have seen on the park is kinda evidence that there has been some with attitude issues. It does call into question about how a club “manages” such a situation. In the auld days it was fines for most misdemeanour’s such as late for training. Now everything has to go through disciplinary proceedings and seen to be doing too many could be seen as bullying in workplace.

Clubs are in a extremely difficult situation. If only it was as easy as going back to the Norrie and John Watson days. Playing for the shirt and pride of being a professional footballer. Playing for a pittance just because you love the game (JW earned decent money eventually though!!)

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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: pars4life1  
Date:   Tue 28 Jun 23:39

So yer da is longing for the good old days when players were held to ransom. Were quite frankly bullied by senior staff and told they weren’t allowed a voice or opinion.

**** that!

Players are employees, just your day to day bloke who wants largely to do the best for themselves and their families.

Job of a manager is to bring everyone on board. Show players that following your methods will work for them and they’ll give you everything. It benefits them after all!

But if they don’t trust you. if they think you slavor *****, if they feel you’re going to throw them under the bus after a bad game etc. Then what do you expect? You’ve got 6 months to go, another job to go too and the manager doesn’t back you, tell me anyone who gives you 100% in that situation?

You’ll always get the odd one or two who can’t be managed, the best in the game couldn’t keep baloltelli on the straight and narrow for example, but mainly bad attitudes come from bad management.



Post Edited (Tue 28 Jun 23:40)
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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: Gadgie59  
Date:   Wed 29 Jun 01:27

My own experience inside football is that merit and ability are not always the determining factors in terms of selection, preference and even appointments. But I guess that is not actually a feature unique to football, it is pretty much just how life is. But my own recollections are of certain cliques and biases …. if your face didn’t fit then your opportunities were generally going to be dependent on injuries and sickness creating your chances, often resulting in opportunities that were not best suited to your own strengths and abilities …. an absolute classic example of this would be Jock Stein as a player at Celtic, he was like a 5th choice central defender; while he was not a particularly outstanding player as such, circumstances did result in him being played and he eventually became a regular first team player and even captain …. injury ultimately bringing his playing days to a premature end.
Even in management at Celtic, his decision to leave Celtic to come to EEP was highly influenced by the fact that it was fairly evident that he would never rise through the ranks there to manage the first team (basically he was the wrong religion). His ultimate return to Celtic only achieved after spectacular results with us and, to a lesser extent, with Hibs.

I think football managers are a very mixed breed. Some of the successful ones have been very clever, some just simply inspirational; some are master tacticians while others have been tyrants. Brian Clough achieved the most amazing success, without really requiring mega-bucks …. but his greatest successes were achieved when he had Peter Taylor to help him. Taylor found the types of player that Clough was able to get the best from. I don’t think it is possible to bottle the combination of skills and knowledge that that particular partnership had, and then sell it as a formula for footballing success.
For me, the manager’s roll is to create ‘a team’; ultimately any good team is greater than the sun of it’s parts….how much greater is determined by the alchemy that the manager can achieve.

I do think that Scottish Football has a major problem, possibly summed up by one word - mediocrity. The revolving door that seems to be on a lot (most?) of dressing room doors, I don’t think is helping clubs nor indeed the players. When the 4th best team in Luxemburg can dump Rangers out of European competition, then that kinda suggests that Luxemburg probably has a handful of teams that would be capable of wiping the floor with most of the Scottish Championship. Or is it that Luxemburg have a proliferation of managers capable of inspiring part-time footballers to greatness?….. a funny old game indeed.


“Football is a beautiful game,
It should be played beautifully.”
Brian Clough.
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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: Tenruh  
Date:   Wed 29 Jun 06:16

Well one player with a bad attitude would have been the holiday taker. Don`t even remember his name. What about Dom Thomas ? When he was needed he was warming the subs bench.
Apparently all the trouble makers are away now.
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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: oapar  
Date:   Wed 29 Jun 06:38

`Apparently all the trouble makers are away now` Lets hope so and we can all enjoy good football this season.

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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Wed 29 Jun 07:36

Quote:

Tenruh, Wed 29 Jun 06:16

Well one player with a bad attitude would have been the holiday taker. Don`t even remember his name. What about Dom Thomas ? When he was needed he was warming the subs bench.
Apparently all the trouble makers are away now.


The player who called in sick and went on holiday was Paul Watson. I don`t know if he was a trouble maker, but it was certainly unprofessional and incredibly stupid. I mean, he reported back for training with a very nice tan. Dom Thomas has bags of talent, but let`s say he didn`t help dressing room harmony.

I`m not convinced that "all the trouble makers are away now", but if some are still here, they may well change their ways under James McPake. I was told by someone close to Watson that he only went on holiday because he didn`t get on with Peter Grant. He wouldn`t have done that under any other manager, allegedly. I`m sure all Pars fans will be comforted by that..... 🙁

Of course, players do react differently to different managers. Whatever the make up of a squad, it`s the manager`s job to get them all pulling in the same direction. That`s often easier said than done. When a new manager comes in and inherits a squad of players all under contract, his options are fairly limited, but I wonder how many do "due diligence" on players they`re hoping to bring in? Why would any manager want to sign a player who is more likely to cause him problems than solve them?



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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: usurpar  
Date:   Wed 29 Jun 15:44

Some very interesting and thought provoking points on this thread, highlighting,I think, that a successful football team (or any team really) is made up of many individual and inter-related aspects. Prioritising the bits that you need and the bits that you want will always be trial and error, which means that any manager is going to need time to observe, test and adjust the mixture to get the balance that he wants.

IMO:
One bad apple may not spoil the whole barrel, but it can contaminate those around it and should be removed as a priority, regardless of talent.
Stability is also key therefore loan signings should be avoided if at all possible. They can only ever destabilise a team when they arrive, and again when they depart
Integrity is vital. Only with mutual trust will the team members develop the team spirit and desire to go the extra mile which is always needed at some point or points of the season. The manager is the focal point for this and will really struggle without it.
Communication is also crucial so that all parties know exactly where they stand.

Given all the above, I can understand how previous managers may have failed and I truly wish James the very best of luck for this coming season. Oh, and I agree with all the previous contributors who have called out the negative and abusive posters on here - that will never help anyone to succeed.

PS. Apologies for all the cliches..

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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: McCaig`s Tower  
Date:   Thu 30 Jun 13:38

To pick up on a couple of points for now, GG stated that a manager’s ability remains constant. This is an interesting contention – one might have thought that (as in other industries) a manager would, through experience, improve existing skills and develop new ones. There may be dinosaurs who fail to adapt – but identifying the difference between a fad and a paradigm shift, or a sporting fundamental and outdated theory might be difficult.

In fact, one might expect a manager to have some sort of role profile including a large number of “competencies” (ugh) – with perhaps “winning games of football” near the top, “writing poems” in the middle somewhere, and “developing coaching staff”… possibly not making the final cut. If a manager were weak in a particular area you would seek to help them improve, or reallocate some responsibilities to those better suited - it’s a team game after all…

However, it seems to me that a lot of football managers have a rather limited box of tricks – they try one method (shout a lot) and if that doesn’t work they try something else (shout more loudly) and that’s about it. The main help they get is new players. I wonder how much of a manager’s apparent success is down to other factors than ability.

GG’s key point is the taming of wayward geniuses who otherwise bring disharmony to the dressing room. Personally, my instinct would be to punt them but I imagine most football managers would trust their own ability to handle them and bring out the best in them. I guess a football dressing room is full of competing egos, who all want to be the star – perhaps more so the higher up the ladder you go.

I do remember Stevie Crawford complaining of having to deal with things he’d never seen before which struck me as odd – I didn’t interpret that as there being troublesome influences. Looking back over the last few years I can see a few players that I could believe would have been “difficult” but not that many.

I’m sure Jock Stein thought one of his greatest achievements was keeping Jimmy Johnstone on the straight and narrow for an extra couple of years; I think Matt Busby probably regretted he couldn’t say the same about George Best.

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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: aaaaaaaaaargh  
Date:   Thu 30 Jun 14:29

The number of players on loan also needs to be taken into account.

Although some on-loan players can over-perform to try to make a point to their parent club, some can bring a bad attitude with them and not be particularly invested in the team.

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 Re: Sack the Manager.....
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Thu 30 Jun 14:41

Two excellent posts from usurpar and MT above.

"One bad apple may not spoil the whole barrel, but it can contaminate those around it and should be removed as a priority, regardless of talent."

Incredibly difficult to do if the bad apple has a contract. Some clubs have had to pay players who refuse to play because they`re "not in the right frame of mind." (Legal advice has been to keep paying their wages.) Paul Watson is the only Pars player I know whose contract was ripped up for gross misconduct.

" GG stated that a manager’s ability remains constant."

I did use the rider, presumably, but still didn`t express myself very well. I meant that a decent manager doesn`t suddenly become a poor one, but of course you are correct - an intelligent manager will constantly evaluate his performance, learn from his mistakes and improve. It would appear that our previous manager didn`t fall into that category - rather less smart than the average bear, in fact. ☹️



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