In defence of managers
The League Managers' Association respond to criticism, not least from Danny Murphy, that bosses are overly exciting their players...
In response to the extensive coverage in all forms of the media on the much debated subject of unfair, aggressive and violent play, the LMA has issued the following statement.
It is important to note that the modern player is fitter, stronger and quicker than even his recent counterparts. In addition, the ball moves much faster than in the past which makes tackling increasingly more difficult. As a result, the impact of mistimed tackles is far greater than it ever was before.
De Jong's infamous challenge on Ben Arfa
With 20 or more cameras at every match (in the Barclays Premier League) the scrutiny and analysis, especially in slow motion, is now unremitting from both inside and outside the game. More than at any time in the past, defending requires thought, concentration, judgment, patience and perseverance. The game is more and more about pressing the ball, not being lured into early challenges and above all, staying on your feet.
When teams are working during the week the emphasis will be on areas including:
* intercepting wherever possible
* pressurizing the ball
* don't ball-watch
* be patient
* stay on your feet/going to ground is the last resort
All the statistics support these principles.
Football managers want to win matches. Tackles of the sort currently being highlighted usually lead to yellow and red cards. It is not often that you win matches with nine or 10 players.
In the modern game, there are a lot of highly skilled and competent technicians, so it is vitally important that teams don't concede unnecessary free kicks, especially in their own half, which provide goal scoring opportunities to the opposition.
Taking into account the pace of the game, mistimed tackles by fractions of a second will happen and with that will be a potential risk of impact or injury but in no way does it follow that the actions are either deliberate or encouraged.
Wilkinson leaves Dembele in a heap
It is also important to note that managers in the Barclays Premier League have large support staffs which include highly qualified, competent, professional people. The focus for these professionals, when it comes to match preparation, is getting the players fully prepared and ready for play physically, mentally, emotionally and technically. They would not continue to support a manager who encouraged violent or reckless play in any direct or indirect way.
What's more, disenchanted players, those not playing in the first team for example, would almost certainly leak to the public through current media channels Ã¢ÂÂ blogs, Twitter etc Ã¢ÂÂ any suggestion that a manager was encouraging this type of play.
Henry clatters Gomez
In closing, it is inappropriate for individuals to direct criticism at certain managers who are honest, professional and continue to achieve success on the field with their clubs. The accomplishments of the managers mentioned should be applauded rather than publicly judged.
Professional football managers certainly do not incite their players to go out and cause injury to fellow professionals. Two of the three clubs mentioned have yet to receive a red card in the Barclays Premier League this season.
What's your view? Do certain managers get their players too psyched up for games? Let us know...