The Football League Paper - - GRAHAM WESTLEY -

THERE was a won­der­ful ar­ti­cle that looked at the job that football man­agers did.

The con­clu­sion was that most man­agers do de­liver what they ought to de­liver. In other words, the big­gest bud­get nor­mally comes top and the small­est bud­get nor­mally comes bot­tom.

The cal­cu­la­tion was that just 10 per cent of man­agers over­achieve against their bud­get. So the ques­tion has to be, what do these man­agers do that oth­ers don’t? How does the man with the 12th big­gest bud­get win pro­mo­tion??

The an­swers will lie in seven key ar­eas; he will in­stil prac­tices at tech­ni­cal, tac­ti­cal, teamship, per­sonal, pro­fes­sional, phys­i­cal and men­tal lev­els that en­able his team to suc­ceed. So, for in­stance, Chelsea’s well­re­hearsed block to en­able John Terry to score at a cor­ner is one of hun­dreds of tac­ti­cal de­tails in their ar­moury. And the lin­guis­tic skills of Manuel Pel­le­grini are a fac­tor that en­ables a team to form in a multi-lin­gual en­vi­ron­ment at Man City.

As the fu­ture un­folds, it seems cer­tain that a man­ager will have an in­creas­ing so­cial media bur­den to con­trol or har­ness, an on­go­ing lan­guage sit­u­a­tion to master and a con­tin­u­ing re­quire­ment to only play a pure form of football.

The chal­lenge that the best must ad­dress to en­able them to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves from the rest is vast. The science be­hind the en­tire man­age­ment agenda is be­com­ing more and more ex­ten­sive, whether in phys­i­cal mat­ters or in data an­a­lyt­ics.

Find­ing the edges that en­able you to be one of the 10 per cent ap­pears to be an in­creas­ingly com­plex task, although the bril­liant Brian Clough made it seem easy with his view that you just need a good goal­keeper, cen­tre-half and cen­tre­for­ward. And eight oth­ers who will run!

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