lunedì 9 luglio 2012

Steve Clarke

Former Scotland international Steve Clarke worked under Ruud Gullit and Josè Mourinho at Chelsea. The influence of the club’s first-team coach have been felt at Anfield too, where he worked under Kenny Dalglish. “He likes to be at the heart of things when it comes to organising sessions. At West Ham, he would be in first thing in the morning planning out his sessions and would know what the team needed to do to improve." Charlton assistant manager Alex Dyer, who worked alongside Clarke at West Ham, told UK. Clark is very organised and his sessions are planned to the tee. Before to come at Anfield, Steve Clarke, which also spent time on the backroom staff at Newcastle, was a Chelsea man since 1987 so he worked under the Josè Mourinho and learned a lot on running the team sessions. Clarke, and Brendan Rodgers, both learned from Moruinho as he learned from Louis Van Gaal. "You can't say 'that's better, that's the reason'," he once said "There's so many different factors, so many combinations of little things that all come together to make the package successful. I think the intensity the Portuguese staff generate in training, before matches...Everything's geared towards that - people performing at their best at all times." Extensive ball-control sessions, aerobic but tactical exercises with the ball to maximised player individual fitness and combativeness to play a high-tempo game are the base of Mourinho and Rui Faria’s methodology. And Mourinho praised Clarke.   
"He knows every player in English football. If I'm before the game and I have the sheet of the opponents and there comes the subs - who is this player? He knows this player is from the academy, he has 179 centimetres, he is fast, he is slow, and he is fat." (Josè Mourinho on Steve Clarke)
So what if Clark will keep Mourinho's philosphy to build West Brom? The skills he developed and the philosophy he had formed during his stint with Mourinho could be the base of his work. The first task could be get the players motivated.
"Motivation is the most important thing. Some of them can and they don't want, some of them want and they can't. We want players who can do it and at the same time want to do it." (Josè Mourinho)
"So I could say for example to one player, 'Hey, last two seasons, 11 matches - why? Why? You play nothing, you don't work, you don't sleep, you are always injured...He don't like you?...Why you don't play?' And the player he has to be open. So in this moment you know you can always get feelings from the players. There are some players that are never responsible for their failure - 'manager's training methodology is bad'. Other players, they go straight to the point and they say, 'I am guilty. I was not committed, I have to change myself.' Other players they can say, 'I don't like this tactical system'....  It is important to start an open relation with them." (Josè Mourinho)
"I told [Adrian] Mutu, you are already a rich boy, you won a lot of money, you are still in a big contract. So no problem with your future about money, no problem about prestige in your home country. When you go back to Romania you will be one of the kings. But five years after you leave football nobody remembers you. Only if you do big things. This is what makes history."(Josè Mourinho)
 And let the group grow.
"I think I could identify because of their style of play. When you are outside and you see players on the pitch you can more or less smell it. I think what I did well with Lampard and Terry was to give them more power than they normally have in a dressing room. I give them the crown, you know? 'You have responsibility.' It was important for the group. And I think was important to have these players on your side - to help you, not to disturb you...I think we have very good players in the team, but these two personalities were very important to help me in my leadership." (Josè Mourinho)
At Liverpool, Clark usually had training sessions with 20 minutes to warm the players up, 20 minutes more technical  with a passing drill or finishing, then the possession element, until the final game with the goalkeepers at the the end. West Brom have been the land of Roy Hodgson’s play style - deep in defence, and quick fast-breaks - and this could be a good news for Clarke, which has a reputation for intensive coaching and solid defense. He should put enphasis on play the ball on the ground and should prioritize defensive organization. It’s a gamble  and there are clear holes in WBA but Steve Clarke to West Bromwich Albion is an intriguing appointment.

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