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September 09, 2007



Great post but just a couple points:
Football has a precise way of measuring success but not the manager's part in that. Chelsea totally dominated for two seasons. How much is that Mourinho's skills and how much is Abramovich's resources? Or even the performances of players who were there before it started?
And people often talk about how one of the most important things a manager can do is instil a winning mentality. Which if it was business you'd call guff about passion and motivation (see Roy Keane at Sunderland and in fact as captain of Man U.
Out of curiosity. There have been a couple reports that in the last two seasons the younger Arsenal players felt under pressure to always look to Henry when they had the ball even at the expense of a better option. Is that an example of managerialism encouraging bad habits?


I do think it was an example of the costs of hierarchy; Cesc et al looked to Thierry in the belief he was senior to them/ better paid/ more of a star or whatever.
Someone - it might have been Bill Shankly - once said that the correct number of stars in a team is either zero or 11, nothing in between.


Um, a lot of managers 9even senior ones) do have detailed technical knowledge. It's key to working out what a company can actually do to respond to the fast-moving changing world, or even the latest marketing fad.

Do you have a previous post which actually defines what you mean by managers, management and managerialism?


Chris, you are surely a gooner. You don't even attempt to hide your preference. Cheers to that from an Indian gooner.

I wonder whether your hypothesis has allowance for different styles of management. Thus Alex Ferguson may not boast Arsene's minute knowledge of footballers everywhere but has managed to bring enormous success to Manchester United. He has achieved it by employing an attacking style (successful co-ordination)and setting the bar high consistently. He has also used a brutal carrot and stick approach to get the best out of his players.

My second exhibit, Mourinho prefers to work with mature players (essentially players out of their teens) and aims to make his players interchangeable cogs of a unified machine. This requires subsuming dressing room egos to the common cause. So in Mourinho's teams he is the star and the players are his tools. Maybe that is why he has had much success with good players (eg: Terry, Lampard) rather than great players(eg: Shevchenko). Remember Mourinho had success with Porto before coming to England and these same principles applied to that team also.

Each approach may have its merits and demerits but it does make for a fascinating study.

Matt Munro

How come he hasn't delivered any European silverware then ?


Matt, that is perhaps because no manager can guard against an employee falling foul of the law as Jens Lehmann did in the final of 2006 Champions League. However it also shows a flaw that Arsene chose to retain the employee subsequently despite a gross error of misjudgement.

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