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The rise and fall of early booming coaches

Paul Clement began to help soccer players as a Physical education teacher at the age of twenty-three. He was so effective in the job that he was asked to coach Fulham youth team. Chelsea snapped him up to work in their academy and finally promoted him as an assistant manager under Carlos Ancelotti. The duo did well together that the Italian manager took him to be his assistant at Paris St Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. The duo won the UEFA champion league as well as other trophy.

Trouble began to kick in when derby and Swansea appointed him manager. Clement performed woefely that one began to doubt his coaching ability. What would make a wonderful assistant manager perform poorly as a manager?

Peters principle gives us a clue. A person is promoted due to their success in previous job until he is no longer competent in their new job as a result of lacking the skill needed . Many exceptional teachers perform very well as vice principal but when they are made the principal of the school, their performance drops. He begins to spend more time in the office appending signatures to files as well as attending to meetings upon meeting and less time in the classroom

The role of a youth coach differs from that of a club manager. The former is responsible for the Athlete whereas the later is responsible for the club managment. A youth coach is successful when he transforms a mediocre player into a super star. He instill the needed skill to the player to improve his performance. A team manager is successful when he wins matches and take home the trophy. To promote an assistant manager to a main manager comes with extra responsibility for which the individual may not possess The youth team coach enjoys bringing out the hidden potential of young athlete.The fact that he did well there was because he loves the work more than he loves to win. Not everyone loves competition . Not everyone is well suited to the fame and power that comes with taking the lead role. Some individuals are better off helping from the background.

Both positions come with different skills. Unless the coach has the new ability needed, he is destined for failure. This begs the question. If a youth coach is offered an opportunity to manage a club which he knows he lacks the ability to perform at that time, should he reject the offer?

The first factor is the individual perception and reaction to failure. Employee who perceive failure as a terrible thing hate being sacked.One who dreads to fail is better off in his comfort zone . Job security is Paramount to such individual. When a team fails, the fans blame the team chief manager . . The chief responsibility of facing the media falls on the head.The backroom staff are overlooked. Such person should first change his mindset on failure before he can accept such offer. Failing to step up counts as failure. Real failure comes from inability to learn from ones mistakes. He should see the offer as an opportunity to gain new experiences and meet more people in the sport sector. He should understand that all great coaches failed one time or another but learnt in the process. Every failed match is an opportunity to reflect on the likely reason and improve his knowledge.

The second factor depends on the individual ability to embrace the change that comes with learning . Slow learners are better off rejecting that offer as they are unable to deal with the immediate complexity that comes with the new role. Fast learners should take the job while asking for help from experienced persons outside the organization. For instance, he may choose a more experienced assistant manager. He should not hesitate to engage in additional training in that new skill which he lacks.

Club owners are unreasonably optimistic. A club legend does not necessarily make a great coach . Diego Maradona is a typical example . A good sergent may make a bad captain or a worse general. One may be good at obeying order but terrible at knowing the best circumstance to give such order

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Lampard and the Law of Karma

Ten years ago, AVB was appointed coach of Chelsea football club . His era was marked with early success until poor result started flowing in. First, he replaced John Mikel  Obi with teenager Romeo . He dropped drogba for Fernando Torres. Ashley Cole was sad for not playing regularly. Frank Lampard watched from the bench a few times.  The locker room was divided  . The senior  players  felt their position in the squad was threatened . Coach AVB was relieved off his duties after series of poor performance and his assistant Dimatteo took over. Dimatteo saw the unspoken grudges the senior players buried deep within.Dimatteo simply recalled the senior players

back to the starting line up. The players became fired up. They gave in their best that season.The team finally won the champion league trophy for the first time ever. Didier Drogba ,Solomon Kalou and a host of others  finally agreed to leave the club s hero.

When interviewed after the exit of the Portuguese Manager, Lampard simply stated that the former Porto coach got the job too early.” No one at the club was. Even Ash [Cole], who I know wasn’t happy not playing week-in week-out, would never have run off and said, ‘Please sack the manager, we’ve had enough of him’. That’s plain ridiculous. We are professionals.” Those were the exact words of the legend. A .  Fans were wandering why Lampard did not hold the same opinion of Jose Mourinho who left Porto FC to coach Chelsea like Villa-boas did

When Lampard uttered those words, he was speaking as player. He had no intention of getting into management at that time let alone coaching a the same team.

On July 2019, Chelsea announced the appointment of the Chelsea legend as team coach. Before then, he had only coached derby county- a championship side he  failed to take to  the the premier  league. pundits felt
he shoe was too big to fit in.

Few months to his reign, David Luiz announced his intention to leave the team. David Luiz was fond of making rash decision on the pitch so he received the backlash from fans . That would have been a sign that Lampard was too young to manage players thirty years and above. At the end of the season, William and Pedro announced their decision to leave the club .Sure It was not Lampard fault but one thing was clear. The experienced players were leaving.

At the beginning of his second season, fans were surprised to see Tammy Abraham having more playing time than Giroud . Last season, Giroud had a greater goal per minutes ratio. This season he surpasses the English man in that criteria once again. The French international always delivers when It matters most. His consistency in finding the back of the net ensure Chelsea champion league qualification. His four goals against Sevilla was vital for Chelsea to move beyond the group stage. Nevertheless,he has seen only.   Minutes of game play ahead of the English  . On what basics does Lampard select his starting line up? Youth or performance?

Jorginho has been functioning as the team deputy captain until the arrival of newly signed Thiago Silva. The decision to allow the Brazilian put on the captain arm band on his debut did not go down with the Italian. He may not speak up so as not to get the Luiz Treatment. His morale has gone down ever since. To worsen situation, newly promoted Abraham tried taking the penalty kick in his presence. The newly promoted dude must have lost respect for his vice captain. No way, Captain Azcipuelta would not take that. He stood up for his deputy, dragged the ball from the England International and handed the ball to his deputy.

Things were getting stable until Caesar Azcipuelta began to loose his place in the starting line up to another young lad Reece James. Truth be told, Reece James excellent crosses and his involvement in attack earned him that spot. But when Lampard opted to start a not- too – fit James and injured Chilwel for the match against Arsenal, Fans raised their eyebrow. Caesar could play at either flanks and was expected to start . Perhaps, Lampard is trying so hard to displace Azcipuelta from the first team as he has succeeded in axing Jorginho so Thiago Silva would take the captain armed ban? Perhaps he is trying to promote the English lads at all cost. Is he trying to face out the senior players and build a new team among young and newly signed players who would remain loyal to him.

Remember he is a professional, he would not tell one in the face to leave. He would first build a replacement for the player he wants to axe and make him irrelevant in the team before axing him . But the senior players are human, they are reading meaning to his unspoken words. Action speaks louder than words . They know their days are numbered and are no longer giving their best to the team. They see the new signing and young boys as threat and are not helping them settle down. Kante is a shadow of his former self. Kovacic looses possession easily. New players adapt fasterbin a stable environment. The new players unwelcome off pitch which is affecting their performance. Lampard has caused a rift in the team.

English+ German against rest of the world

Senior players against new signing

. Youth agsinst old

Lampard is the architecture of his misfortune. To sack him will not solve the problem. H should realise errors this and undo his actions. Like Dimatteo, Senior players should be reintegrated into starting line up. Thiago Silva should stop wearing the captain armed ban on his debut season. Werner and havertz should operate from the bench.