Premier League bootroom: Forget style, winning bosses can do what they like
00:02 GMT, 15 December 2012
Would you rather be shouted at in front of your team-mates or be quietly told how to improve
I know which I prefer, but it seems there is still room for both the nice, arm-round-the-shoulder approach and the nasty 'hairdryer' treatment in the Premier League.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, for instance, doesn’t seem very loving towards his players.
The players will see their manager kicking every ball on the sideline and flailing his hands at every missed opportunity, and it will sink in. Last weekend’s defeat by United was the first time I’ve heard Mancini praise his side for a while.
Do it your way: Mancini and Ferguson have very different management styles
City’s strikers seem to be suffering a goal drought, but they’re not short of talent. I just think they need to be reminded how good they are. They seem so desperate to win, it’s almost stopping them.
If you are uptight, it’s a lot harder as the tension strangles your desire, which is why I don’t think I’ve seen them play like champions until they were 2-0 down against United. Then, suddenly, there was an element of freedom about their football.
Two of the managers I worked under, George Graham and Arsene Wenger, were chalk and cheese. I remember coming in at half-time 2-0 up and George said we had been embarrassing. He went mad. I thought he was crazy, but he just wanted to make sure that we didn’t ease up.
Arsene, meanwhile, was always completely calm. When he first arrived, I thought: ‘Do nice guys win things We can’t be having this much fun and still win things.’
George always thought that we were too nice! I appreciated George’s will to win, but Arsene helped me become the best I could possibly be.
Liverpool against Aston Villa showcases two managers with very contrasting styles. Brendan Rodgers and Paul Lambert enjoyed great success with Swansea and Norwich last season but, while Brendan is very accommodating, Paul can be unapologetic.
I hear Brendan’s very hands-on on the training ground, but Paul comes alive on a match day. Paul also has a very young squad at Villa and he can manipulate them to play how he wants.
You would think a manager like Harry Redknapp, who is known for motivating players, would have sparked an upturn in fortunes at QPR, but he has not been able to do much, with three draws in his first three games. Maybe Mark Hughes was not such a bad manager, after all!
But then Mark did bring most of those players to the club – and maybe those players are just not good enough.
The Premier League incorporates managers with a whole range of different styles, but it only seems to matter when you’re not winning matches.
If you’re winning you can do what you like, although it helps if you’re a lucky manager, too.
Under the microscope: Wenger is coming in for huge amounts of flak this season
Cup full of cheer
Spare a thought for Chelsea this weekend, who could kick off against Aston Villa a week tomorrow 16 points behind Manchester United — but as Club World Cup champions.
What a massive title that is to have to your name. I know where I would rather be. The tournament deserves respect because it brings the whole of world club football together, but we seem to disregard it in this country. It hasn’t got a memorable theme tune as the Champions League does, and it’s not a massive commercial success, but there is still real merit in winning it.
Just look at Corinthians. They went out early to acclimatise, have taken 20,000 fans and are talking about nothing else. When did it stop becoming a big deal for English football supporters
Up for the cup: Chelsea could become world champions if they beat Corinthians on Sunday
You read about him here first. So how much for Michu now
Don't say I didn’t warn you! Back in August, Michu made an instant impact for Swansea with two goals in their 5-0 win at QPR.
As I predicted, he is the bargain of the season at 2million. A player can start well but, after you’ve scored 10 goals, usually people find a way to stop you.
Not this guy — he’s the top scorer in the Premier League and still an unknown quantity, with 12 goals to his name already.
I was particularly impressed with the way he took responsibility for trying to get his team back in the game when they were 3-0 down against Norwich City last weekend. You could see how much he wanted it, and that he is a winner.
Other Premier League clubs will be after Michu in the summer, definitely. It will also be interesting to see if anyone tests Swansea’s resolve next month.
He cost only 2m, after all…
Pleased to Michu: The Swansea striker has illuminated the Premeir League this season