Legendary American Football coach Vince Lombardi once said:
‘Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence’.
The same statement can be used in all sports across the World. So often we hear that confidence can change a player completely. Strikers who are ‘on form’ seemingly score all the time and with considerable ease. However, they can also experience goal droughts and struggle to score even the most simple of chances. This is the same for all footballers and, recently, there have been a couple of prime examples in the Premier League.
Nani and David Bentley have been top performers for Manchester United and Tottenham in their previous matches. Both players have, in fact, come under considerable pressure at their respective clubs since their multi-million pound transfers.
After the departure of Ronaldo this summer, it was widely believed that Nani would step up to fill the void left by the sale of United’s star man. Nani had a mixed start to his season and his future at United was in considerable doubt after comments the Portuguese winger made in a newspaper interview.
Speaking to the newspaper, Nani was quoted as saying “I could be doing better, scoring more, but just think, I make a huge game today, but the next one, I’m not even sure that I will play. Such a situation breaks the confidence”
Having escaped the wrath of Fergie, Nani has recently proved his worth with a number of very impressive performances, including a starring role in the 3-0 win over Arsenal. It seems that with a little bit of belief, consistent playing time and an increase of confidence, the once ridiculed Nani, is finally showing his true colours.
The same could be said about Bentley. Fans have praised his performances and he has been a vital player in the past 2 games for Spurs. With a Beckham-esque free-kick and a fantastic ability to cross, Bentley has always been a player to watch out for. In his time at Tottenham he has also failed to gain any real consistency in terms of performances and playing time. With Peter Crouch in the team, it can only benefit the pair of them to have a player with a fantastic cross on the pitch and the results are beginning to show.
The examples of Bentley and Nani just go to show how much a little bit of confidence and belief can change a player. It could simply be a coming of age but these are just two examples of players who have suddenly started to turn their seasons around. Could it be something to do with a tournament this summer?