Category Archives: Football Psychology

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 »

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 »