Football is regarded as the world's most famous and popular sport. One stand-up comedian in South Africa even said: "Football is the main reason why we haven't had another World War. Everyone is watching, talking and dreaming of the sport.".
In all aspects, football is a marvellous sport. However, there is one person who is regarded to be the back-bone of a team's success: the manager.
The manager takes care of the tactics, squad improvement and he takes the lashings when the team fails. Just look at the contrast between Alex Ferguson and David Moyes. Under Sir Alex, Manchester United was a football superpower and feared by many.
Old Trafford was a true fortress. The team won a total of 38 trophies. Manchester United is a true football powerhouse.
But under David Moyes, they have failed to show their golden touch. Why? Well, it might be because of their coach's character. Sir Alex instilled a winners' attitude into his team. They also had a 'never say die' character.
Man Utd would only stop playing, even in the face of defeat, once the final whistle has been blown. Just look at their Champions League final with Bayern Munich in 1999. Sir Alex was very prominent with the Fergie time period, where his team would go into "kill mode" and seal off a game or make a dramatic comeback. That mentality in Sir Alex was shown in the team. They played with heart.
In Chelsea, Jose Mourinho instilled a fearless attribute. The Portuguese is not known to back down from playing big teams by playing a coward game of 'parking the bus'. Jose can take the game to his feared opponents and subdue them with no fear. The Special One even said, 'Fear is not a word in my Football Dictionary'. And that is evident in how the Blues play under him. Or even how Inter and Real played under him. They showed courage, not fear. And a fearless Chelsea won trophies.
Arsenal have had the same coach since 1996. Arsene Wenger is a true football great. But he has now faded in recent years. It may be due to the fact that he isn't spending in the transfer market or that his tactics and style of play are outdated.
But if there is one thing that is holding his team back it's the fire to succeed. Wenger has become accustomed to always complaining and whining. If his player gets a red card, he complains. If his player gets the slightest knock, he cries.
This is also evident in how the team play. Arsenal players fall down and whine for no reason. Even in some instances where they didn't need to fall but stay on their feet. It is no lie that English football is a bit more physical than any other brand in Europe but it's weathering the storms of this physicality that have led Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and a resurgent Liverpool side to succeed.
Arsene needs to overhaul his tactics, game play and personality because the more he becomes a cry baby, the more his team reflects that on the pitch.
Liverpool, after five years out of the Champions League, are coming back and coming back hard.
Their captain has also been quite inspirational to helping them bounce back. But it's their manager Brandon Rodgers ever shifting quality that also helps them.
When Rodgers took charge of Liverpool, he had hoped they would adopt a Swansea type of football. Ironically, it's that type of play that had made Swansea a troublesome team to beat for the Big Four.
After noticing that it wasn't helping Liverpool succeed, he tried a different approach. Direct, fast, and counter attacking football is the approach Liverpool took. And look how it has worked for them.
In some games, they do slip up when they try a different tactic but its that quick thinking change in the game that Brandon Rodgers does that makes them a dangerous team. Quite reminiscent of the Liverpool team that made a dramatic comeback against AC Milan and clinched the Champions League trophy in 2005.
3-0 down the Reds came back fighting and it seems Rodgers is instilling that same attitude again into the squad.
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