Coaches just As Good As their Players?


As we sat and watched the relatively modest Luis Enrique, coach Barcelona to eliminate the great Bayern Munich side, of world renowned Pep Guardiola, people may have asked (after such a dreadful stint with Roma and better fortune with Celta Vigo) has Enriqué all of a sudden become a Genius of a Coach?

Bayern Munich were outclassed by the three musketeers led Barcelona (Messi, Neymar and Suarez) and though had more ball possession seemed relatively toothless offensively and porous defensively.

To be a successful World class coach, I feel you need to be a great tactician, analyst, psychologist and a game reader. But after having this qualities installed on your hard disc (your person) you need the right tools to put your ideas to life and win titles.

With a full strength Barcelona taking on an injury diminished Bayern Munich side, missing David Alba, Frank Ribery, Arjen Robben etc. all to injuries) this was way too evident.

This game felt like two teams from the same club wearing different jerseys, as the playing philosophy was identical(passing game) but with the team in yellow(Barcelona) playing with the three 1st team strikers in Messi, Neymar and Suarez.

Both teams were good at passing the ball, building up coupled with movements up to the attacking third but only one team had the players with that extra prowess to individually make the difference at will.

This is even worse when one of the three musketeers just happens to be a genius called Lionel Messi.

When people talk about team Tactics, they are actually talking about a team’s game plan to win the game or get results out of it. How well this game plan works depends immensely on the ability of the players to pit it to work. That’s where the quality of the players becomes desperately important.

Could you just please close your eyes and imagine this same Barcelona team,that has so ruthlessly demolished teams this season with over 106 goals,without Messi,Suarez and Neymar?

This does not mean that anyone can achieve the phenomenal feats made by star coaches: Johan Cruijff,jose Mourinho, pep Guardiola, Sir Alex Fergusson, Carlo Ancelloti,Arrigo Sacchi but imagine them without their star players and they might just be mid table achieving coaches ,after all.

However, these coaches are great because these same players when coached by average coaches will in no way get as far as they do with these coaches. We have seen this happen!

Our point today is ,great coaches win titles everywhere, but to be great since they are not the practical ones playing, they need quality players who can put to life and reality their great visions and ideas of the game. It’s a combined effort.

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Maybe now you understand why top coaches are always active in the transfer market and always seek to go to top clubs with money to buy the best players. E.g. Jose Mourinho after Porto, Guardiola with Barcelona and Bayern Munich,Cruijff with Barcelona and Ajax Amsterdam, Fergusson with Manchester United,Ancelloti with Ac Milan,Juventus,Chelsea,Paris Saint Germain and now Real Madrid.

A great coach will always map out schemes and combine players in a way that gets them in front of goal to score.If they score or not boils down to the players ability not the coach.This is why some players actually cost or earn more than the others by the way

A Coach, though great, is as great as his players!


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May 12, 2015 10:02 pm Published by

1 Comment

  • Idiki Ogbanga says:

    In football, you need 3 things to be ontop..a good coach,a good system and the right players.these 3 recipes when properly combined brings out the “greatness” in each other. The system is only as good as the personnel. The coach has to be able to find that balance..4-4-2,4-3-2-1,4-3-3 is nothing without the right personnel. Of these 3 “ingredients “, I believe the personnel requires more attention.raw talent without guidance is nonsense this is why European clubs invest heavily in youth football. All the greatest names in world football in recent times are all products of a dedicated youth system. I daresay the understanding of this concept has been the archilles heels of Nigerian football. Regardless,your opinion is spot on Sir. I concur!! Thank you.

    Sir, would you like to sponsor a budding coach who like you, is passionate about changing the status quo of Nigerian football??

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