Category Archives: Football Psychology

Football Psychology: Jose Mourinho – Beyond Us v Them!

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It’s been his go-to strategy for most of his illustrious managerial career. Whenever he needed to sharpen his teams focus, or guard against success-inducing complacency, then Jose Mourinho would manufacture an enemy. Familiar targets – Biased Referees; The Media; The FA; Arsene Wenger…all served their purpose as acting as a false enemy (The THEM). Opposing forces who wanted to stop… Read more »

Football Psychology: Louis Van Gaal – Roulette!

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Lucky!’ That was Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal’s assessment of Middlesboro’s Old Trafford shoot-out win last night. ‘It was more like the casino. Red or black’. It’s an old argument that you don’t hear trotted out too often in the modern era. The notion that what happens from twelve yards after extra-time, is seemingly in the lap of the… Read more »

Football Psychology: Blackpool – A Club Without Will!

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One of the compelling features about Saturday nights England/Wales World Cup encounter was the total commitment the Welsh team gave in their desire to find a way to win. Commitment that could be seen in their energy, hunger, desire, collective spirit. Each player appeared to be giving his all for the cause.  Digging deep into their well of resources. It’s… Read more »

Football Psychology: Sunderland – Who Runs The Team?

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It’s mid-way through the first half at the Stadium of Light. And Sunderland manager Gus Poyet is watching his team crumble without any sort of fight in a big relegation match. Aston Villa are running through Sunderland at will. You would expect him to be raging on the touchline. Demanding a response from his players. But no. His face is… Read more »

Football Psychology: Ian Holloway – Re-Imagine!

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Where now for Ian Holloway? It was only four seasons ago that he was leading Blackpool in their ‘we will score more than you’, populist Premier League campaign. Now sacked at relegation threatened Millwall. the Bristolian appears to have lost his mojo. Holloway is a man of strong emotions. Thus when things go well he can create a feeling of… Read more »

Football Psychology: Jose Mourinho – Injustice!

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It’s Sky Sports weekly football show Goals On Sunday. Former Blackburn and Southampton striker James Beattie is due to be the morning guest. But at the last minute he is bumped off. On the sofa is Jose Mourinho. It’s not the Mourinho way to open himself up for a cosy chat, whilst blandly discussing the relevant issues from the weekends… Read more »

Football Psychology: Stuart Pearce – Whatever Happened To Psycho?

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He was a club legend. A man who defined his career as a player with character, tenacity and a fighting spirit, that endeared him to fans of all clubs. But as a manager he is falling well short. Stuart Pearce’s sacking as Forest manager came as no surprise. A home defeat to struggling Millwall put an end to his brief… Read more »

Football Psychology: Jose Mourinho – The Campaign!

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It’s the post match interviews at St Mary’s and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is not happy. Referee Anthony Taylor has not only denied Cesc Fabregas a penalty, but then booked the Spaniard for diving. Mourinho claims that the media, rival managers, coaches and referees are waging a campaign against his team. A campaign based on the notion that his team… Read more »

Football Psychology: Neil Warnock – Luck!

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‘I thought Palace had a lot of luck last year in staying up. I don’t see us getting a lot of luck this year’. The words of Neil Warnock after his team had fallen to a bad home defeat to Southampton. So it’s comes as no surprise to hear that Warnock has been relieved of his duties this morning. His… Read more »

Football Psychology: Brazil – Blackout!

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In the Copa America of 2007, the triumphant Brazilian team, led by Dunga had a mission and a cause. It was this: ‘’We came to rescue the self esteem of the Brazilian worker. Who wakes up in the morning and returns home at night. Whose only satisfaction in life, is seeing Brazil win a football match.’’ According to Dunga this… Read more »