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Over the past few years, the profile of a football has drastically changed, amongst others because of the impact of the Bosman-case. Just as with teachers, the total authority of a manager is not as evident as it used to be. So my thought in this thread is: what type of qualities should a modern day coach have?

Here are a few of my thoughts:

- football knowledge: this may seem obvious, but when seeing where some managers place their players, they seem to have no clue of what this one players can and cannot do. Don't go for the "I'm the manager, so I alone know what's best"-attitude, but calmly show your players your arguments. IMO, there are hardly any real flexible players and most of the time, they're used to fill gaps so much they hardly develop their skills on their best spot. A good manager can build up his team that way he can always put each player on his best spot.

- psychological skills: know which player needs protection and who you can be frank with. Not every player needs the same approach a bit of fingerspitzengefuhl is a necessity IMO. Now I know all this "they're professionals, so they don't need motivation"-bla bla, but taht's not entirely true. Some players are mentally not nearly as strng as they are physically and can only perform well under a manager who they knwo they can rely on, who trusts them and gives them a fair chance. And a cool manager who always keeps calm is good, but I also appreciate a manager that lives with his team and shows himself to be a real 12th man (like Martin O'Neill does at Celtic Glasgow)

- media skills: dealing with the media and knowing the impact of your words. A good manager always defends his players at all times (like Martin O'Neill, IMO the best manager of this generation, does) and does not let a certain part of the media (in other words, tabloids), put words in his mouth.

So, there you have it? What are your views on this topic? What qualities should a good manager have nowadays?
 

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First of all- I agree that all the qualities you mentioned are very much in demand.

Secondly I think it's very difficult to say if a manager actually possess these qualities, because most of the time we will be looking at the results; compare them to the players available, and we will base our conclusion on that. The human faculties are tougher to estimate. It's not always possible. There can be many factors we don't know about.

The much debatted serie A crisis goes to that. Installing a continuously working modus operandis in a serie A team is impossible as long as the starting criteria for continuum is gone- which is the case as coaches are sacked right, left and center.

Then there's the concept of management structure.
In England- it seems the manager is given control of the operation to a much larger extend than in Italy and Spain for instance. Ferguson, Wenger, Houllier, O'Leary whoever- they get to make a plan, buy players for it and develop a side. That demands another level of awareness from the coach, but also insures that he is confident with the abilities of the players he has.

A man like Wenger for instance has used both ability and contacts SUPREMELY well in getting/creating French superstars for what should be referred to as bargains. Without him/them- Arsenal would be a far cry from what they are today.

Noone really belives that Del Bosque, Serra Ferrer, Lippi, Zaccheroni, Ancelotti etc. have that kind of influence at their clubs right ?
Capello (reputation), Cuper (apparently installed hands on control as a criteria for taking over Inter in the first place) and Irrueta seems like anomalies in their leagues.

Another thing though- it's very difficult to make an "ultimate" guide to management skills. Some times a coach simply cannot adapt to the culture of another country, or the country to him. I cannot imagine Ottmar Hitzfeld's "ordnung muss sein" attitude succeeding everywhere, or what about Lobanovski :) ? Van Gaal created results at Barca, but the players disliked him, and the people hated his guts. It's tricky.


Last of all, I will take the opportunity to deliver a blow to the coach of "my" team, with saying that a GOOD manager should be able to realize that he's wrong. A good manager should not consistently play a player out of position to tell the world that this player is no good. I suppose he wouldn't "have to" if he had been in control of getting him to Turin in the first place... sorry Enzo :( .

Ciao.
 

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Other than the things mentioned above i have 3 things i would like to add.

In a club like my favorite Inter the players need a coach who they respect and who is capable of getting 11 stars to work as 1 TEAM. This respect should not just come because they like the manager as a person. The respect should come because they know that if they fail to produce the goods on the field it will have consequences.
When Tardeli was manager in Inter a few bad performances didn't always result in a seat on the bench, this caused, imo, that the players played with less desire to win. Now under Cuper the players know they have to give all and if they don't it will have consequences and i believe that that is a part of the explanation of inters changes from last season.

Another importent thing for a manager is that he has to posses curage!
Its hard to do something that a player or the crowd dislikes. An example of this could be that a manager desides to play offensive even though he knows the best would be to play defensive. Such a desicion could be pushed through be the crowd who does not like their team to play defensive. This must not happen! The same goes for a teams starplayer. If this player has a bad day he has to be substituted. This might sound easy, but if the star is iltempered the coach might deside not to, because of fear of this player. I don't mean that the player might hit the coach, im thinking more of the fact that such a desition could cause unrest in the crowd or internal problems in the squad.

Finally a good coach need to always be calm. He must NEVER panic. I have seen coaches who seem to panic plenty of times. This results in hopeless substitutions, no substitutions or no tactical changes. Even though a situation seem hopeless things can always turn around and a manager needs to believe in this until the final wistle. If he doesn't the team might miss out on a chance for a late equaliser.
 
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