, DON T BElieve HYPE the
ASHLEY CALVER believes it’s time for us all to get real...
IT SEEMS as though all too frequently players, coaches and managers are given the label ‘great’ or potentially ‘world-class’ before they have even got their teeth into a career in football.
I would like to use Swansea boss Garry Monk as an example; I would not say he is a good manager or a bad manager.
He has not proven himself to be a master tactician nor has he proven himself to be completely out of his depth in his first job as the number one man.
In truth, Monk is coming up to two years at the helm as a Premier League manager with Swansea, and the team has taken shape under his stewardship this season.
He cleared out the players he deemed surplus to requirements and has recruited players he feels fit his style.
With that, Swansea’s style is changing and results aren’t going their way. Perhaps his tactics or game plans are not up to scratch.
But the debate can be made, of course, that he guided the Jack Army to a record high finish in the league last season (8th) earning all the praise and ‘hype’ by beating the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal and being more than competitive against most of the top sides.
The question is: was that because the majority of the squad had been together for a number of years, by and large, and knew what to do by playing the ‘Swansea Way’ as it’s become known or was it because Monk’s ideas and practices were shining through onto the pitch?
Monk has been afforded time at the Liberty, especially in the modern manager merry-goround environment but is his time coming to an end?
Has that success from last season caused the hype in his abilities to turn into pressure? Is too much expected to soon of this young manager?
If Brendan Rodgers had stayed with Swansea would he have increased or decreased his stock as a potentially great manager or would he be, as he is now, jobless?
Instead, he was fast-tracked to one of the his- torically biggest clubs in world football. In fairness, Rodgers did take Liverpool to within touching distance of the Premier League title.
It is a shame that Rodgers was seen as a bit of a laughing stock on social media towards the end of his reign, something fans of his next club will get reminded of no doubt.
In his defence, for any manager to lose the quality and character of players like Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Raheem Sterling in the space of two years is a massive blow.
That’s not to mention the frustration of seeing a goalscorer of the calibre of Daniel Sturridge spending so much time in the treatment room. It’s hardly surprising the team struggled to reach the very upper echelons of the league again.
After his stints with Swansea and Liverpool, it’s no certainty if he is a potential great or just another over-hyped coach. The only thing for sure at the moment is that he is walking alone, for now at least.
Let’s not leave out some of the players over recent years who have yet to live up to their hype. To list a few, you’ve got Federico Macheda, Jose Baxter, Scott Sinclair, Micah Richards, Adnan Januzaj.
These are players who seemingly stormed onto our back pages and into our living rooms to be
instantly labelled the next big thing. Perhaps the hype has affected their game or maybe it’s a case of players developing at different speeds. It could simply be that they are just not as good as some will have you believe.
This over-hyping of players and coaches surely has to come to a halt. A measure of common sense has to be used when talking and analysing these talents.
I am a massive advocate of the saying ‘If you’re good enough, you’re old enough’ but recently it seems to be changing to ‘If you’re young enough, you’re good enough’.
The players mentioned still have the time to fulfil whatever potential ‘this’ or potential ‘that’ label they have been given.
I really hope they do because anyone that can bring excitement and improvements to the game I love should be encouraged.
The one thing on their side is the one thing we all feel we need more of, time. They need, and deserve, the time to develop into the player or coach that is the best they can be – without the hype.