It’s no longer enough to be a great trainer, tactician or transfer dealer. Clubs are seeking more from their managers than ever and the modern game demands polymaths who can do it all. Greg Johnson looks at how managers have risen to the top of the wish list…
Football’s answer to the “artisan” bread loaf has arrived: the “holistic approach” football manager. Once regarded as mere assistants and chaperones to the playing staff, to be undermined and ignored as required, the football manager has risen to become the game’s most iconic figure.
When speaking of Real Madrid’s early successes, their managers are treated almost as an irrelevance, and it took pioneers such as Herbert Chapman and Helenio Herrera to upgrade the status of the profession, leading to managers becoming protagonists in their own right on the sidelines. It would be unthinkable for a team to win major honours today without their coach being recognised as the key driving force, yet while the likes of George Best and Matt Busby enjoy a sort of parity in the annals of the football canon, the balance has recently shifted towards the boss.
In an age where tactical theories are spoken of as game-changers, and the individual is subjugated into the collective, the architects behind these systems have become the stars. The growing distance between fans and players has also helped to shift their focus towards the dugout in search for a more stable, appropriate figurehead for their cause. Continue reading