Author: Edward

Parking The Coach: Rinus Michels

Very few figures from the history of association football are better remembered for something they created than for something they won. Rarer yet are people like Rinus Michels: remembered for their philosophical and aesthetic contribution despite what they won. Michels won leagues in two countries, cups in three, two European trophies and at the 1988 UEFA European Championship finals, the only major title in the history of the Dutch national side. They were a whisker away from winning the World Cup, too, only to fall flat at the final hurdle. For all this, Rinus Michels’ legacy will forever be...

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Parking The Coach: Brian Clough

It is the late summer of 1975 and at Nottingham railway station, a cub sports reporter for Radio Trent called Clive Tyldesley has arrived in good time to make the journey to London to cover Nottingham Forest’s match with Chelsea. Tyldesley, freshly graduated from university and in his first job in journalism, is smartly attired in a crisp shirt, blazer and grey slacks. But nothing gets past the keen eye of Forest’s new manager: “Young man, good morning. You’re very welcome to be with the Nottingham Forest party, but when you travel with Nottingham Forest you always wear a...

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Parking The Coach: Arrigo Sacchi

In the rarefied atmosphere of twenty-first century soccer, job applications from people with no previous managerial experience tend not to be welcome. In some quarters, they are actively discouraged or even specifically prohibited, as though all those tens of thousands of hours playing Football Manager were just a colossal waste of time. Fortunately, in the late 1980s there were no such restrictions to the way that the game thought about recruitment: The last manager to guide their team to the successful defence of the European Cup had never played a single minute of competitive football in his life. Four...

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Parking The Coach: Don Revie

  The English game has never produced a figure quite so divisive, so controversial and so widely reviled as Donald George Revie. If it has, they were never as consistently successful. The Leeds United team that Revie crafted – by turns brutal, immovable and brilliant – proved to be a short-lived dynasty, unable to survive the passing of its leader once Revie was lured away to manage England. This, too, would prove a step too far for Revie. A period of uncharacteristic failure, uncertainty, and eventually a scandal that would permanently taint his legacy (while no doubt delighting all...

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Parking The Coach: Cesar Luis Menotti & Carlos Bilardo

For all of their heritage, there is a very real sense in which Argentina’s World Cup victories in 1978 and 1986 represent an important validation of their style, their method and their passion for the game. But these two victories, won just eight years apart, could not have come about in more different ways. One was the result of a socialist revolutionary, a free-thinker who changed the way that Argentina approached the international game. The other, a triumph for rigorous, systematic preparation. The story of the two coaches who brought about these victories exemplify the two diametrically opposed schools...

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