Football Psychology: Paul Ince – Losing Sequences

It was an ugly crowd scene. As Blackpool players trooped off after a dismal away defeat at Oakwell, a group of disgruntled fans gathered to register their disgust at manager Paul Ince. They have witnessed their club, top of the league earlier in the season, plummet headlong towards the lower end of the table. Many expected Ince to be relieved of his duties after a sequence of only one point in nine games. But no, despite emergency weekend crisis talks with the Chairman, he remains in his post. It’s a surprising decision by Karl Oyston to maintain faith and trust […]

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Football Psychology: Andre Villas Boas – The Code For Tottenham Hotspur…

For the second time Andre Villas Boas has been fired from a high profile Premier League job. A shocking home drubbing to a rampant Liverpool proved the final straw for Daniel Levy. With unseemly televised personal spats with the media, and his grumblings about the home support, Villas Boas was looking increasingly uncomfortable at the helm at White Hart Lane. But after his failure at Chelsea, his appointment was surely a high risk strategy. Levy assumed that the Portugese must have learnt from his challenging time at Stamford Bridge. But it’s a big assumption. And an incorrect one it appears. […]

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Football Psychology: David Moyes – Beyond Everton

It was always going to be one of the most difficult jobs in football. How do you follow someone who has achieved managerial mastership? For David Moyes, the Manchester United job was hardly one he could say no to. But, at what stage in his steady career progression from Preston North End to Everton, did he begin preparing in his mind to take over the mantle from Sir Alex? Perhaps he never did. In other words, that he never projected into the possibility of being manager of Manchester United. And thus since he took the job, an huge internal alignment […]

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Football Psychology: Artur Boruc – Pictures!

It’s the first half of the Premier League encounter between Arsenal and Southampton. The Saints are keeping their hosts at bay, when keeper Artur Boruc receives a innocuous back-pass. Under instruction from his manager to control possesison and play the ball out, Borus tries to bring the ball under control, looking for a pass to a team-mate. But he can’t find an easy ball to play, so dithers. Under pressure from Olivier Giroud, the keeper tries to dribble to ball away from the striker, but he panics and loses possesion to concede the ultimate in soft goals. It’s a mistake […]

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Football Psychology: Paolo Di Canio – Sacked!

It’s just after the final whistle at The Hawthorns. Sunderland have suffered a defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion. And manager Paolo Di Canio is on the pitch. He stands in front of the away end, offering an array of hand gestures. It turns out that he is fielding the fans wrath and anger. Which is a laudable position for a leader to take. But it looks strange and altogether out of place. So it’s no surprise that Di Canio is sacked twenty-four hours later, with Sunderland bottom of the Premier League. Stories of senior players telling him […]

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Football Psychology: Roy Hodgson – Us v Them!

It’s the aftermath of the World Cup Qualifier in the Ukraine, and England boss Roy Hodgson is responding to crticism from Gary Lineker amongst others. The former England striker pronounced the display awful, and Roy Hodgson is disappointed by Lineker’s comments. With FA Head Greg Dyke declaring that no one seriously expects England to win the World Cup in Brazil, it’s been a good week for Hodgson to begin to build a siege mentality. The siege mentality is a leadership strategy employed by most top managers. It’s about creating an US V Them dynamic that ensures the US have an […]

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Football Psychology: Giovanni Trapatonni – The Reputation!

So finally Giovanni Trapatonni’s tenure as the Republic Of Ireland manager is brought to a close. Failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup was enough to bring Dr Reality into town. Whilst this is the right decision, it is one that has come too late. Trapatonni’s reign should have ended after a poor display at Euro 2012, that showed his team lacking in ideas and imagination. Trap’s legendary status in the game, ensured he had extra credit amongst his employers, but really this was a campaign too far for the Italian, and the Republic have missed an opportunity. Being […]

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Football Psychology: Luis Suarez – Agitation!

He represents their best hope of making the progression into a top four team. His goals, work-rate and general ability to get under the oppositions skin, make him Liverpool’s prize asset. But Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez is currently training alone. He is loved by the fans, and respected by his team-mates. His club has stood by him, when he has incurred the wrath of the games governing body. Yet, throughout the summer Suarez has been agitating for a move away from Anfield. It can’t have been easy for Brendan Rodgers to ask Suarez to train alone. Yet it’s his only […]

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Football Psychology: Ian Holloway – Shell Shocked!

It’s post-match after Crystal Palace’s heavy home defeat to Fulham. And manager Ian Holloway looks shell-shocked. Famous for his ebullience and unbridled enthusiasm, the Bristolian looks as if he is running on empty. So it’s no surprise, a few days later that he leaves his job at Selhurst Park. His last words to the press, make interesting viewing. Ollie admits that he could no longer motivate the team. That, his team were no longer playing for him. Or even each other. It’s a frank admission. He took Palace into the Premier League on the back of a strong team-spirit. But […]

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Football Psychology: Michael Appleton – Sacked!

Under the knowing leadership of Sam Allardyce, Blackburn Rovers were a settled and stable Premier League club. Never likely to repeat their title-winning feats under Kenny Dalglish, Rovers could be pretty much guaranteed regular top flight football. Then everything changed. New owners came in. The Venkys. Owners not steeped in the history of the game. Owners seeing their investment as a high profile marketing campaign for their international chicken based business. And with new ownership came unsettlement. A mismatch of values occured. A community based football club steeped in the traditions of the English game. Owners with no understanding of […]

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