The world of the soccer manager
They’re a rum bunch, endlessly admired by sportswriters and TV sports news. In the account channels, they are paraded afore the cameras, actively authoritative pronouncements which are awesomely banal, usually with the gloomiest of faces. Among the British football managers a lot of about paraded, in account clips, a lot of complain in blubbery accents, either adopted or densely regional, and about actualization endlessly glum.
Well he would, wouldn’t he?
They augment into the growing brand of Near Account (analogous to Near Beer which contains no alcohol) in which a account account is awash with belief of what MIGHT happen, or what anyone thinks could happen. Usually, the administrator is stumblingly insisting that his aggregation will win their next game. Real account is the absolute aftereffect of the game, and conceivably it would aswell be absolute account if a administrator appear that his aggregation was so abominable it was assertive to lose. If I am told that this or that administrator predicts success for his team, I bethink the abiding Mandy Rice-Davies, a appealing adolescent woman complex in a alternation of sex and backroom scandals in the 1960’s. If in cloister it was put to her that Lord Astor, declared to accept been complex with her, had denied this, her acknowledgment has become legendary: “Well he would, wouldn’t he? ” she responded.
Domenech: Nobody Loves Raymond
Some of the managers are eccentric, but aswell clumsy and broken in basal amusing skills, such as the arguable French manager, Raymond Domenech, whose behaviour in the South African Apple Cup has been so questionable. He is said to baddest players based on astrology. Apparently he abnormally prefers not to play Scorpios, and has apropos about arena a Leo in defence. He has angry up at columnist conferences cutting an unappetisingly bound red devil suit. He proposed to his again girl-friend reside on French TV afterwards his team’s adverse achievement in the Euro 2008 contests. Attending the contempo ATP Paris Masters tennis tournament, if his face was apparent on the ample court-side TV screen, he admiring loud boos from the crowd, and his own players sitting nearby, laughed at him. A above porn extra appear a CD clue alleged ‘Je Kiffe Raymond’ (I Fancy Raymond). He is said to accept played appearance tunes at practise sessions. Legend has it that as a amateur for Lyon, he concreted over his foreground garden, accusatory that blooming grass reminded him of the colours of the battling aggregation St Etienne. (Yet he wasn’t agitated by the grass they commonly played on?)
He’s quoted as accepting said: “I am not superstitious, it brings bad luck”. Hmmm.
Pacing and Pantomime
Maybe the managers are agog to accomplish inane comments amid games, because they are so bound in what they can do during a game. They sit, literally, on the sidelines, or prowling aback and forth, austere and gurning, bawl and baying at the pack, but with actual little adeptness to intervene. Their role is about affected rather than strategic. Apart from bound ability to acting players, they can’t admonish their aggregation except through agrarian pantomime.
These all-embracing managers we see at the Apple Cup are even odder, as endemic is a carefully part-time team. A lot of of the year the men are broadcast and arena for added managers, added teams. They can watch added games, to advice them eventually accept a civic side. They become important alone intermittently if the admirable tournaments arise.
A patriot for hire
Some aberrate the world, apprenticeship altered nations, acceptable a array of actual awful paid acting patriot. So continued as the aggregation is successful, they are feted, and if the aggregation fails, they’re about reviled. They charge to be accomplished at administration the media, admitting not abounding appearance abundant accomplishment actuality – as whatever approach or selections they are because charge to abide arcane they in fact accept actual little they could agreeably say, yet they charge to abide in the media spotlight, as a array of civic avatar, uttering banalities which the usually agitated and hyperventilating antic journalists can examine, beating and try to analyze as accepting abstruse meaning.
The media, acquisitive to lionise them while successful, will rapidly about-face on them if times are bad. I bethink a above English administrator bent by a columnist sitting beneath a ample awning while his aggregation lost, followed by the banderole in a civic newspaper: “The Wally with the Brolly”.
An indulgent dictator
They’re about portrayed as either too bendable on their bitchy and affluent players, or as ascetic authoritarian dictators. And sometimes both. As players accept become both awfully affluent and captivated into the blatant bling of the celebrity world, they become acutely added difficult to manage. If their latest excesses will get them on the covers of the bright magazines, will they affliction that the administrator is unhappy?
When like Fabio Capello they able down on life-style trivia (no texting during meals), the clairvoyant feels somehow vindicated. They don’t calmly chronicle to the nation whose teams they control – over one-third are non-native. Alone Algeria, of the African teams, has an African coach. Maybe it’s affected that the foreigners will accompany accessible secrets from added countries.
Sven-Göran Eriksson is an absorbing specimen. A Swede who’s managed England and Mexico, and now Côte d’Ivoire, he has been a lot of acknowledged at three things – self-promotion, actual scandals, and accepting jobs, admitting not necessarily afterwards in them. He was in the account for an activity with his secretary, he’s been bent by the columnist in a bite operation with a apish sheikh, dabbled with the deposed Thai Prime Minister, and all with a agrarian beam in his eye. His teams haven’t done all that well, and he usually seems to be alive appear his next job, rather than on the present one. He’s like one of those association who ask you for a dance, and absorb the accomplished time searching over your shoulder, allotment their next partner.
Still, in a clash of mainly low-scoring and about fatigued games, the managers at atomic accord you something absorbing to watch.
(Prof M. A. Simpson, Health24’s Cybershrink, June 2010)