TYPES OF FOOTBALL MANAGER

Leeds Manager Marcelo Bielsa

When the journalist asked Pep Guardiola about Ole Gunnar Solksjaer struggle with Manchester United, he uttered a prophetic word when as a football manager, when you win, you are a genius, and if you lose, you sacked.

For these high-pressure jobs where every decision can be scrutinized by the footballing world, especially in social media, they are many types of football managers who have different ideas, principles, and philosophies when managing a team. The team is a reflection of the manager principle and style of play in the field.

Philosophical manager

A manager like Johan Cyruff and Guardiola can be considered the philosophy manager as they want their team to play entertaining football. For them, football is a spectacle, and the fans should also revere the football style that the team plays. The manager who falls under these categories would mould their team based on their attacking principles. The player will be allowed to express themselves in the field, translated to entertaining the footballing fans.

Pragmatic manager

The manager that falls under this categories is the manager who can win trophies but with a football style that is defensive and pragmatic. Jose Mourinho, Fabio Capello and Helenio Herrera is the manager that can be categorized as defensive managers. For them, football is about winning; as for them, the footballing world only remembers the winners regardless of their style of play.

Laying the foundation manager

This type of manager will give chances to the youth players if they are good regardless of their age. They will train the youth player to be one of the team’s best players or be an essential foundation for the team success in coming years. Louis Van Gaal is the manager that falls under these categories. He may not have won the UEFA Champion League with Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Still, the player he had given debut like Victor Valdes, Andreas Iniesta, Xavi with Barcelona, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger had been a staple in the team for the ultimate success in future.

Adaptive manager

This type of manager can play entertaining football and, when needed, can play defensive football too. They can adapt according to their opponent playing style or depend on the situation. For example, the Red Star Belgrade manager in 1989, Ljupko Petrovic, had played attacking football until the UCL final 1990. In the final against Marseille, he had abandoned his attacking principles and played defensive football as the occasion is once in a lifetime for the Red Star Belgrade players. The transition of attacking style to defensive style in the final did bear fruits as they had become the first Yugoslavian team to won the UCL.

Short Term Manager.

The manager that falls under these will not stay with a team for more than three years but can deliver success in the short term. The manager who falls under these types is Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho, Fabio Capello, and others who can deliver success for their respected team. Another quick team manager is Bella Gutman, the man that made Benfica the European Champion twice where; he believed that a team could only sustain its success for three years.

Long Term Manager.

This type of manager can stay with a team for more than three years and may not succeed in the first 2 or 3 years, but later their team can morph into a fantastic team that can win trophies after trophies and changing the team fortune. Jurgen Klopp is one of the best long term managers. Before his arrival to Liverpool, Liverpool was an underachieving club. During his 2 or 3 years, Liverpool does not win anything. However, during his four and year preceded to it, he transformed Liverpool into one of the best team in the world and laid the foundation for Liverpool to finally land their first league title in 30 years in 2019.

Although these managers had their unique way of managing, their style did bring a successful season for the club they managed. Although he is pragmatic and defence-minded, Jose Mourinho did steer Chelsea to be a dominant force in Premier League and make Inter Milan the first Italian team to win the treble. Bill Shankly is another manager who had not won many trophies like his successor Bob Paisley. Still, he laid the foundation for Liverpool to transform them from a Division 2 team to European Champion.  

Similarly, a short term manager can also deliver long-awaited success for the team in the case of Antonio Conte. Antonio Conte had managed  Inter Milan to become the Serie A champion, breaking Juventus domination for the previous nine consecutive seasons. Each manager can handle the criticism thrown at them for their managerial style as these managers have high self-confidence in themselves. Their successive season with their respective club is evidence that their management style works and creates uniqueness for each manager.

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