Category Archives: Football Psychology

Football Psychology: Derby County – Another Failure Of Leadership!

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It’s Sky’s pre-match analysis ahead of rugby’s European Final in Lyon. Jonny Wilkinson is discussing his part in Toulon’s 2013 success. The former England number ten, commanding the respect of his team-mates, acted not as a superstar, but drew on his vast experience to glue the French team together. He was the ‘go to player’ when problems needed solving. He’d… Read more »

Football Psychology: Claudio Ranieri: Calmness!

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So…four games remaining in this dramatic Premier League campaign. Tottenham purposefully chasing down leaders Leicester City. Last Sunday’s dramatic West Ham draw exposed some of the pressure that has been quietly building in The Foxes title challenge. The strong arm penalty box tactics. Vardy’s expertise in winning penalties.  Referee Jon Moss was having none of it. In return he got… Read more »

Football Psychology: Leicester City – The Unknown!

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It’s five minutes from time at the King Power Stadium. Leicester City are holding a slender lead against Newcastle United. And the tension is palpable. On the touchline, Claudio Ranieri is rousing players and fans for one final effort. It’s a scenario we may well see played out again before the curtain is drawn on this unusual Premier League season…. Read more »

Football Psychology: Steve McClaren – Frustration!

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It was a so called must win game for Newcastle United. Taking points from the teams around them, vital in the quest for sustained Premier League football. So their limp home defeat to Bournemouth, does not augur well for the rest of the campaign. Manager Steve McClaren came out afterwards to say that this was the most frustrating group of… Read more »

Football Psychology: Willy Caballero – Instinct!

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A few years ago, Sky made a TV documentary called ‘The Science Of Ronaldo’. One of the experiments conducted with the Real Madrid superstar, involved a player taking corners in a room containing a small set of goal posts. In front of the goals was Christiano Ronaldo. All he had to do was put the corner into the empty net…. Read more »

Football Psychology: Aston Villa – The Indifference Virus!

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Jamie Carragher called them the worst team in Premier League history. Experienced defender Jolean Lescott apologised for his team’s lack of commitment.  Aston Villa are bottom of the league. And their 6-0 home defeat to Liverpool was akin to waving the white flag. Teams don’t deliberately set out to be uncommited. There is rarely a plan to under-perform. Or to… Read more »

Football Psychology: Derby County – The Power Vacuum!

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And so after only eight months into his first managerial adventure, Paul Clement is sacked by Derby County. Touted as one of the brightest and the best coaches in Europe, Clement appeared to have everything in his favour at The Ipro. A squad blessed with talent. An owner prepared to put his hand in his pocket to spend. A Premier… Read more »

Football Psychology: Lee Johnson – The Perfect Fit!

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A lot of managerial appointments in football seem to be little more than an exercise in fingers-crossed hope . Good networking; a strong well-practised interview; a reputation forged on past success. All these things can land you a decent job. But it doesn’t make you the right fit for a football club. However, sometimes the appointment just looks and feels… Read more »

Football Psychology: Teddy Sheringham – Sacked!

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So Teddy Sheringham is sacked as manager of Stevenage.  With only three points taken from the last eight games and the club hovering above the League Two trap-door, the former England striker was relieved of his duties, in this his first managerial post. One of the negative patterns that Sheringham wasn’t able to resolve, was that of his team conceding… Read more »

Football Psychology: Ashley Young – Penalty!

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‘If Ashley Young is a Manchester United player then I’m a Chinaman’. It’s Roy Keane speaking bluntly on ITV’s Champions League coverage after United’s narrow Old Trafford win over CSKA Moscow. With the score at nil-nil. Young has sought to con the referee with an obvious dive in the box. It’s only brought him stinging criticism from ex-professionals, instead of… Read more »