In wake of reports that Michael Laudrup is facing a minor revolt at Swansea, isn’t it time the footballers treated their managers with more respect?
The Dane is one of the most iconic footballers of the past 30 years and his playing career alone should command respect in a squad full of unknowns and journeymen. Yet The Daily Mail reports secret meetings have taken place behind the manager’s back, criticising his training methods.
From the outside looking in it’s hard to know exactly why Swansea players have lashed out, other than inverted wingers and some recruits from Spain, Swansea don’t look all that different from the outstanding outfit from last season. Steven Caulker’s return to Tottenham Hotspur appears to have weakened them defensively but this Swansea appears very similar to last year’s team under Brendan Rodgers.
Whenever things are going wrong in football there always stories always reach the surface of discontent among the players. Reports of similar outbursts against management appeared last year with some outlets reporting unrest at Tottenham and Aston Villa as their season’s crumbled.
The main question is why are footballer’s egos so big that they cannot accept the methods of management, Roy Hodgson also reportedly upset Liverpool players with his training methods. In the case of Harry Redknapp the man should have been able to walk into the White Hart Lane dressing room and command respect. The 65 year old managed to change the mentality at Spurs and also lead the club to an unlikely fourth place finish. Yet if Goal.com’s reports are to be believed the footballers were so disillusioned with the former Portsmouth boss’s tactics they were making their feelings known through their agents. Similarly McLeish came under fire at Villa Park when the year prior to his tumultuous season with the Villa. He won a major trophy with Birmingham. When so few British managers have won major trophies in the past decade, a achievement even greater when you consider Birmingham’s modest resources, players should be committed and sensible enough to listen to the man.
Football appears to be one of the only jobs where dealing with egos appears as important as what you do on the training ground or at the work place. The difference in how responsive Frank Lampard appeared when dropped against Arsenal when managed by Roberto Di Matteo. Contrasted the storm caused by his occasional omission under Andre Villas Boas. Lampard is considered one of the more intelligent, likeable footballers in 2012, where inflated egos and wage bills, make footballers more unlikeable than ever. Yet even he seemed reluctant to accept a new managers system and ways. Although perhaps this says more about the Portuguese who in my opinion was very naive in trying to take on senior players at Stamford Bridge.
At the top level of the game, which undoubtedly the Premier League is, I struggle to accept that footballers can take an attitude where they believe they know better than their managers. Who in almost all circumstances will have had a long and arduous journey to get to top flight management, in a job with an extremely short-shelf life.
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