LEADERS ON PITCH DO ALL THE REAL TALKING
AL PACINO is at his brilliant best in
as he talks to his team and inspires them to victory midway through an American Football match. He talks about ‘healing’ as a team or ‘dying’ as individuals.
Didier Drogba wrote last week about Jose Mourinho and his team talk at Watford when he drew a victory from players who had struggled in a 0-0 first half.
Managerial team talks can undoubtedly make a difference.
Bill Shankly had a subbuteo board at Liverpool on which he would set out his own and his opponent’s 11. Each week he would simply sweep the opposing players off the pitch and onto the floor as he made the point to his lads that there was ‘nothing to beat’.
He was kind enough when they played Manchester United to leave Best and Charlton on the pitch but told his players that if they couldn’t beat two players that they shouldn’t come back on Monday!
Every manager will have moments in which he feels he has made a big difference to his team.
And every manager will recognise the moments when he has got it completely wrong.
What was said when that 4-0 lead was converted into a 5-4 defeat?
Recently, I saw a You Tube clip of John Still at Dagenham in a half time chat. It was brilliant, pure gold, though I’m not sure how it was filmed!
Everybody has their own way, and in the moment, every manager will have produced some great work.
But in the end it is the quality of leadership on the pitch that makes the real difference. The real art of management is not in the team talk but in the men that you recruit to wear your shirts. Because whatever you say, the wrong players simply won’t be able to do with it what the right players can.