The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

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.

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