Tag Archives: management

David Moyes linked with Schalke manager"s job

Schalke wait to pounce for Moyes at end of season if talks over new deal at Everton falter

By
Chris Wheeler

PUBLISHED:

21:30 GMT, 4 April 2013

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UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 4 April 2013

David Moyes is back at the top of Schalke’s wanted list as the German club prepare to appoint a new manager this summer — with Celtic’s Neil Lennon a strong candidate to replace the Scot if he leaves Everton.

It was thought Moyes had slipped behind Armin Veh in the Schalke running until the Eintracht Frankfurt coach signed a new deal last week.

Moyes, 49, has put off talks over a new deal until the end of the season and is keen to hear what Schalke have to offer.

In the frame: David Moyes is a Schalke target

In the frame: David Moyes is a Schalke target

Contender: Neil Lennon may replace Moyes at Everton

Contender: Neil Lennon may replace Moyes at Everton

The Bundesliga club are looking for a top European coach after installing Jens Keller on a short-term basis when they sacked Huub Stevens in December.

Former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is also in the frame.

Lennon is on the verge of securing his second successive SPL title with Celtic.

But there is a growing sense that he could quit Parkhead for a new challenge this summer.

With Rangers not due to return to
Scotland’s top league until 2015 at the earliest, Lennon knows football
north of the border will not be seriously competitive for his side.

Interim boss: Schalke installed Jens Keller on a short-term basis

Interim boss: Schalke installed Jens Keller on a short-term basis

In the mix: Eintracht Frankfurt manager Armin Veh

In the mix: Eintracht Frankfurt manager Armin Veh

Having the chance to take the next step in his management career at Everton may be too good an opportunity to turn down.

Lennon’s stock has grown considerably this season, despite the lack of competition on the domestic front, thanks to Celtic’s run to the Champions League knock-out stages — which included that euphoric win over Barcelona.

Moyes' 11-year spell in charge at Goodison Park makes him the third longest-serving manager in the Premier League, but he has put off talks over a new deal until the end of the season and will wait to hear what Schalke have to offer.

The Bundesliga club are looking for a top European coach after installing Jens Keller on a short-term basis when they sacked Huub Stevens in December.

Eden Hazard red card: Ball boy was "bent" says Glenn Hoddle

Swansea ball boy was 'bent', claims Sky Sports pundit Hoddle after Hazard red

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

00:14 GMT, 24 January 2013

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UPDATED:

03:41 GMT, 24 January 2013

In the aftermath of Eden Hazard's sending off on Wednesday night Sky Sports pundit Glenn Hoddle remarked on a separate incident which took place ten minutes before the Chelsea player's moment of madness.

The former Blues boss noted how another Swansea ball boy was slow to return to ball into play, but he was quick to condone the Belgian's subsequent actions.

Scroll down to see the incident…

Floored: Demba Ba checks on the ball boy after the incident

Floored: Demba Ba checks on the ball boy after the incident

Chelsea Twitter blunder:

Chelsea's official Twitter account reacted angrily to the incident before apologising…

9.45pm: 'Has football gone mad Hazard is sent off for kicking the ball
under a ballboy attempting to smother the ball rather than return it.
#CFC'

10.30pm: ‘Apologies for earlier ballboy tweet. Hazard has now met with the ballboy and has said sorry. #CFC’

Hoddle said: 'He's very slow, he rolls the ball deliberately slowly back to goalkeeper, he's bent, mark my words.

'He's been told, the ball boy would been told to do that. The Chelsea players were aware of what was going on.

'The ball goes off, the ball boy lets the ball go past, he's taking his time. And the young lad falls on the ball.

'But you can't condone what Hazard then does.'

He added: 'You do that as a management team, I know for a fact in European games, you will tell people who are instructing ball boys that if you're winning game, don't get ball back quickly.

Marching orders: Hazard (right) is sent off by referee Chris Foy

Marching orders: Hazard (right) is sent off by referee Chris Foy

Foolish: Hazard will be banned for at least three games by the FA
Owen hits out:

Former England international Michael Owen wrote on Twitter:

'I'm not saying Hazard isn't in the wrong but I hate to see a person who instigates a situation then cry foul for next to nothing.

'My oh my. What am I reading People mentioning assault He shouldn't kick the ball out of his hands but has this world gone mad

'Both the kid and Hazard were in the wrong. Not having Hazard tried to hurt him though. He just tried to toe poke it out of his grip.'

'If you're losing the game, you want the
ball boy on the ball, that's your home advantage. It's like the old
towel one when the home team uses one to wipe the ball.

'But they don't let the away team do the same.'

Co-pundit Chris Coleman added: 'You can't do what the ball boy does for starters, that's wrong, but Hazard cannot give that reaction.

He kicks the ball boy, that's just frustration and you can't do that.

The ball boy is lying on the ball, I can't say I've seen that before, but that reaction from Hazard is not the right one. The ref had no option in the end.'

No quarter: England rugby star Danny Care defended Hazard

No quarter: England rugby star Danny Care defended Hazard

VIDEO: Hazard's moment of madness…

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Dereck Chisora to return to the ring on March 16 – as long as he is granted license

Chisora hopes for ring return in March – as long as he receives licence from British board

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

12:50 GMT, 14 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:52 GMT, 14 January 2013

Heavyweight bad boy Dereck Chisora will return to the ring at Wembley Arena on March 16 – if he is cleared to fight by the British Boxing Board of Control.

The Londoner was stripped of his licence last year after a shameful brawl with David Haye at a post-fight press conference in Munich in February following his defeat by WBC world champion Vitali Klitschko.

The two protagonists settled their differences in the ring at Upton Park in July under the auspices of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation when Haye stopped the 29-year-old in the fifth round.

Back in the ring: Dereck Chisora hopes to be fighting again in March

Back in the ring: Dereck Chisora hopes to be fighting again in March

Chisora, who has taken anger management classes in a bid to convince the Board he is fit to hold a licence, expects to hear shortly whether he will be cleared to fight on the same card as world champions Ricky Burns and Nathan Cleverly and Commonwealth champion George Groves.

'I've been keeping quite busy,' he said. 'I've been in the gym and I've been running.'

Chisora will hope that victory over 10 rounds in March – against an opponent yet to be named – will propel him back among the contenders for a world title or set him up to challenge David Price for his British and Commonwealth belts.

The undefeated Liverpudlian is open to the idea of fighting Chisora but must first face American Tony Thompson on home soil on February 23 at the Echo Arena.

Ryan Nelsen thinks QPR can win crucial Christmas games

QPR skipper Nelsen believes his side can kickstart escape from relegation over Christmas

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UPDATED:

12:14 GMT, 25 December 2012

QPR captain Ryan Nelsen believes the team can 'sneak' some wins over the festive season as they bid to escape relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

Harry Redknapp's side are six points from safety, ahead of home games against West Brom and Liverpool and an away match with Chelsea.

New Zealander Nelsen realises the severity of the situation – but believes the congested programme at this time of the year can work in their favour.

Belief: Ryan Nelsen (right) says QPR can sneak some wins at Christmas

Belief: Ryan Nelsen (right) says QPR can sneak some wins at Christmas

He said: 'We've got to start producing some points, hopefully starting tomorrow (against West Brom).

'We've been almost there in a lot of games but it's not good enough – we need some 90-minute performances.

'We've got to dig deep and play every game like it's our last and claw our way back.

'Over Christmas you can sneak wins because the games come thick and fast.'

Redknapp believes keeping the west London side in the top flight would rank as one of his biggest achievements in the game and Nelsen thinks the 65-year-old is the man for the job.

He added on Sky Sports News: 'If anyone can help you it's him. The players have the motivation but he's already made an impact through his man-management.

Time to shine: Harry Redknapp needs his players to get going

Time to shine: Harry Redknapp needs his players to get going

Steve McClaren wants FA coaching role once club management career ends

Are you sure, Steve 'Wally with the brolly' McClaren eyes FA coaching role

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UPDATED:

11:07 GMT, 23 December 2012


Home run McClaren wants an FA coaching role after his club management days have finally ended

Home run McClaren wants an FA coaching role after his club management days have finally ended

Former England manager Steve McClaren is keen to work for the Football Association again and would like to take on a role where he would coach the coaches.

McClaren, sacked as England manager for failing to qualify for Euro 2008, wants to work in England when his club management career is over.

Currently managing Dutch side Twente for a second time McClaren, who has also managed at Wolfsburg in Germany, wants to work at St George's Park on what he terms a 'coach education Programme'.

McClaren told The Observer: 'When I'm
past being able to run around the field, I've got a lot of experiences,
good and bad, which I think I can pass on.

'Ultimately, I'm teacher, I'm a coach, and I like to coach players and I like to coach coaches.

'We have to coach the coaches better and that will improve the English game and the English player.'

McClaren believes he can coach in England against despite Aston Villa cancelling an interview in 2011 and then only lasting three months at Nottingham Forest before resigning.

'My next job was going to be overseas after that, for sure,' said McClaren.

Brolly bad show: McClaren led England's dismal Euro 2008 qualification campaign

Brolly bad show: McClaren led England's dismal Euro 2008 qualification campaign

'I just felt the feeling within England, time had not healed enough. I thought it was the right time to go back to England (after leaving Wolfsburg at the start of 2011) but it was too soon because of the reaction obviously from supporters.

'It was about an acceptance of myself in England after the England job, so I think that will take time.'

Sir Alex Ferguson says he travelled to Harvard to help young people succeed

I want to pass on my expertise to the next generation of bosses, explains Fergie on decision to reveal all to Harvard professors

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UPDATED:

10:51 GMT, 19 December 2012

Read the full Fergie study

You can purchase the Sir Alex Ferguson case study from Harvard Business School HERE

Sir Alex Ferguson says although he was sceptical, he imparted some of his management secrets to Harvard Business School students to help young people to succeed in their careers.

Ferguson, whose managerial methods and philosophies are the subject of a case study at the prestigious American university, has led United to unparalleled on-pitch success and has been instrumental in making them one of the world's biggest sporting brands over the past 26 years.

In 2011, HBS professor Anita Elberse and co-author Tom Dye travelled to Old Trafford to conduct meetings and interviews with Ferguson, past and present players, and staff at the club.

Business secrets of United: Sir Alex Ferguson spoke at Harvard Business School this year

Business secrets of United: Sir Alex Ferguson spoke at Harvard Business School this year

The Manchester United boss travelled to Boston earlier this year to assist in teaching some of the brightest young things in America. But why did he decide to open up

Ferguson said: 'When you’re approached by an institution like Harvard, you know you are dealing with top quality.

'I had to consider that I was opening myself up to something I’ve never done before.

'But at this stage of my life, I felt that if I’m helping young people progress through their own routes to management, then ultimately that was an important and compelling factor for me.'

Ferguson also praised the students he spoke to for their diligence.

Fergie time: The United manager travelled to Boston to spill some of his secrets

Fergie time: The United manager travelled to Boston to spill some of his secrets

He added in the Harvard Gazette: 'The whole atmosphere was professional,' said Ferguson.

'It was clear that they had done their homework. That was the important thing.

'They had properly read the case study and supplemented that with their own opinions and research. … That gave me a certain assurance that I had made the right decision to go ahead with the case.

'At this stage of my life, I felt that if
I’m helping young people progress through their own routes to
management, then ultimately that was an important and compelling factor
for me.'

– Sir Alex Ferguson

'The process was excellent, enjoyable, and comfortable,'

'I never felt intimidated in any way, and I never felt reluctant to be anything other than completely open.'

Elberse said that it was a dream come true to compile the Ferguson report, which focuses on his leadership skills, his body of work and the secrets to his success.

She said: 'It’s just a dream to be able to understand the drivers of his success'

Harvard logo

She was also delighted to have welcomed him in Boston.

'To have him there, and for students to be able to see him in action, see how he addresses a group, and see snippets of his personality, there’s no replacement for that live experience.'

Ferguson praised Elberse for her own style of management.

He said: 'The key element for me was Anita, and how she controlled the room. I am always talking about “control”.

'She controlled that room. She was the boss. I thought that was very impressive.'

The Fergie report: Harvard professors travelled to Old Trafford to interview the United manager

The Fergie report: Harvard professors travelled to Old Trafford to interview the United manager

No stranger: Sir Alex Ferguson at the University of St Andrews, where he was awarded an honorary degree in 2002

No stranger: Sir Alex Ferguson at the University of St Andrews, where he was awarded an honorary degree in 2002

FERGIE RUBBING SHOULDERS WITH THE STARS

Harvard drop-out: Matt Damon

Sir Alex joined a prestigious list of people to have wandered through the hallowed halls of Harvard when he made his visit.

Among the array of great political minds to have been moulded there are Barack Obama, Theodore Roosevelt, John F Kennedy and Benazir Bhutto, as well as Al Gore and Henry Kissinger to name only a few.

The Ivy League university was also attended by some of the world’s most famous actors, such as Natalie Portman and Tommy Lee Jones.

Matt Damon (right) was an undergraduate there, though he never graduated, having pursued acting instead.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates are among the best-known alumni, along with Fox News’ Bill O-Reilly.

The institution offers nearly 3,500 courses, with a average class size of 12, and has a 97 per cent graduation rate.

The great education comes at a price though. The university estimates that the total cost of one year of an undergraduate degree, including room, board and other expenses would amount to around $60,000 (nearly 40,000).

Financial aid is offered to around 70 per cent of undergraduates according to the university, with families on an income of under $65,000 not expected to contribute to college costs.

But getting a place is hard enough, with an acceptance rate of less than six per cent. Most of those admitted ranked in the top 10-15 per cent of their high school class and have taken the most rigorous course of education available.
LIV LEE

Winning managers can do what they like – Martin Keown"s Premier League bootroom

Premier League bootroom: Forget style, winning bosses can do what they like

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UPDATED:

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

Do it your way: Mancini and Ferguson have very different management styles

What's the score With Alejandro Faurlin

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

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

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

Pleased to Michu: The Swansea striker has illuminated the Premeir League this season

Bootroom

Bootroom

Charles van Commenee bemoans stars who reveal all in "boring books"

Britain's head coach quits and hits out at stars who reveal all in 'boring books'

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UPDATED:

20:24 GMT, 8 December 2012

The man whose ruthless leadership as Britain's head athletics coach helped Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah to Olympic glory has promised to resist spilling the beans on the controversies of his four-year reign.

Charles van Commenee, who will move back to Holland later this month after resigning his post as UK Athletics head coach because his team failed to meet their London 2012 medals target, roared with laughter as he said: 'I will take my secrets to the grave.'

Keeping mum: Van Commenee has turned down five book offers

Keeping mum: Van Commenee has turned down five book offers

The provocative 54-year-old Dutchman also delivered a parting swipe at athletes, including Ennis, who cash in on their fame by publishing what Van Commenee claims are 'boring' books.

And he has revealed the tough management decisions he took to give his stars their best chance of striking gold.

'I've had five offers to write a book,' said Van Commenee.

'But I promise you won't see one. They either become boring, a big ego document, or you reveal things and you look cheap. I can't see the point other than financial benefits.

'Who wants to read a book by an athlete You see pictures of them when they were babies or when they were 12. You read what their headteachers or their parents said to them or how important their coaches were and how hard they've worked. It's all the same.'

Asked if he had read Unbelievable, Ennis's autobiography, or recently published books by gold medal cyclists Victoria Pendleton and Bradley Wiggins, Van Commenee replied: 'I know what to expect, I don't need to.

Unbelievable: Jessica Ennis

Unbelievable: Jessica Ennis

'If I wrote a book, I'd have to break confidentiality because I can't help myself in that respect. I'd want to deliver quality. I can't write a book about having a nice coffee and pleasant conversation on the river bank on a rainy Monday morning.'

Two days before Christmas, Van Commenee will pack his belongings into the back of a friend's van and set sail on the final ferry to leave Harwich for the Hook of Holland that evening.

He arrived from Amsterdam to transform a flabby, disparate organisation after Britain won just four athletics medals in Beijing.

He leaves having overseen Super Saturday, the finest evening of British sport for almost half a century.

He helped to turn 25million of funding into six medals – including four golds and some historic moments – but half came from outside the traditional UK Athletics training centres of Loughborough and Lee Valley.

Van Commenee insists, however, that important decisions were taken to support Farah, who trained in Portland in the United States, and Ennis, who trained at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

'Sometimes you read, “Jess and Mo are not part of the system”, but that's incorrect,' insisted Van Comenee.

'In Jessica's case, I'm the line manager of her coach, Toni Minichiello. We direct medical support, UKA pay for the facility and I allocate the biomechanist and her massage therapist. For Mo, he had one exercise physiologist, a brilliant man there for 80 athletes.

'I sent him for almost half a year to Mo in the run-up to the Olympics, ordering him not to leave his shadow. That meant 79 athletes couldn't use him at the time. That's a management decision to increase the chance of Mo winning medals.

'We employ Toni full time to work with one athlete and it paid off, but it's quite exceptional. It was a calculated risk but it's proved to be the best decision and they both did a wonderful job.'

The head coach set a team target of eight Olympic medals, including one gold, and never considered staying in his reported 250,000-a-year role after that was not achieved.

'I'm a strong believer of having clear targets, and when one is not hit it should have consequences,' added Van Commenee.

'To remain in the job when other coaches are losing theirs would have betrayed the philosophy. It wouldn't have been right.'

QPR players cancel Christmas party as they battle to beat the drop

QPR players cancel Christmas party as they battle to beat the drop

PUBLISHED:

14:10 GMT, 5 December 2012

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UPDATED:

14:10 GMT, 5 December 2012

Queens Park Rangers have cancelled Christmas in a bid to safeguard their Premier League status.

The players decided not to hold a festive bash after a 15-game winless run left them bottom of the table.

Festive fear: QPR players have cancelled Christmas party

Festive fear: QPR players have cancelled Christmas party

Manager Harry Redknapp banned players' Christmas parties when he was in charge of London rivals Tottenham.

But a QPR spokesman insisted it was the players' decision to abandon the long-held festive tradition as they were concerned it would give the wrong impression to fans.

A club spokesman said: 'We won't be holding a Christmas party this year.'

When asked why this was the case, added: 'Have you seen the league table'

It followed West Ham issuing a statement denying Andy Carroll had been involved in a physical confrontation with a photographer during the team's Christmas party in Dublin.

The Hammers were adamant that neither Carroll nor any of his team-mates, who had dressed up in all-white outfits, had broken any club rules during their authorised 'social trip' to Dublin from Saturday to Monday.

Relegation battle: Manager Harry Redknapp

Relegation battle: Manager Harry Redknapp

A club spokesman said: 'Andy Carroll was in Dublin as part of a social trip with full permission of the management team.

'Andy agreed to have a number of pictures taken at the request of a photographer who was waiting on the street.

'Despite this, the photographer then carried on taking photos in the proximity of Andy and was politely asked to stop by the private security team working on the trip.

'When he then continued taking more photos he was restrained by the security team for Andy's safety. Eyewitnesses state at no point was there any physical contact between Andy and the photographer.'

Players' Christmas parties are a
long-held tradition for English clubs but have generally become more
discreet in recent years following some high profile misbehaviour.

Swansea told the Telegraph their players had held a Christmas party in London following last weekend's victory over Arsenal while several other Premier League clubs said they were not willing to disclose whether their players would hold parties.

Rafa Benitez: Will appliance of science help him rise again?

Inside the mind and machines of Rafa Benitez: will the appliance of science help him rise again

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UPDATED:

23:36 GMT, 3 December 2012

Rafa Benitez has had an underwhelming start as Chelsea’s interim manager. But he has an unshakeable faith in his ability to succeed at the highest level.

In an interview given to France Football before his Stamford Bridge appointment, Benitez provided a fascinating insight into his methods, explaining:

Why he believes he can get the best out of players like Fernando Torres.How he blends cutting-edge technology and science with old-fashioned man- management.And why he laughs off mind games with Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho.

Come at me: Chelsea's interim boss Rafa Benitez has tried to pioneer new management methods

Come at me: Chelsea's interim boss Rafa Benitez has tried to pioneer new management methods

You have won the Spanish title and UEFA Cup with Valencia and the Champions League at Liverpool. What is your definition of a successful manager

A successful manager not only wins trophies but also gives stability to his club and helps them progress. If you do not have a plan, you can win but only in the short term.

You also need to consider financial fair play and how clubs operate economically. What is a successful season It depends on the plan. You can finish mid-table and be a success. Success for me is the realisation of that plan.

To succeed, though, managers need to have a good working relationship with players. What approach do you favour

My way of coaching, especially with players who can analyse a game, is not to give orders but to teach them. If we do not agree, we can discuss.

When players enter the dressing room at half-time, they must know you have a plan. You never win trophies if your players do not trust you.

You must spend time explaining difficult things. It can be an hour or five minutes, it depends on the player, but it is so he can improve, and trust is essential. Look at Torres. When he has confidence he is a top-class player, when he does not…

Steven Gerrard, when I arrived in Liverpool, played in the hole. He scored 10 goals a season. We made him play support striker, on the right, he scored 20.

Strong bonds: Benitez is a big believer in managing the man as well as the team and tactics

Strong bonds: Benitez is a big believer in managing the man as well as the team and tactics

You have a reputation for using technology. How important is that

We do not win with technology. It is a question of balance between data and team spirit. We have tons of information.

People tell me: ‘You won the Champions League because you got lucky.’

Well, I have a database for penalties since 1990, with all players and matches. We won the Under 19 Spanish Cup with Real Madrid against Barcelona on penalties. Why Perhaps because we worked on penalties

Technology can help. I saw a Japanese player during training. The coach was trying to explain an exercise through an interpreter. I use software to illustrate it with images. You don’t need an interpreter.

Every little helps: Benitez has been using technology since his early days in youth team management

Every little helps: Benitez has been using technology since his early days in youth team management

When did you start using technology

When I was the coach of Real Madrid Under 18s, I used to have a computer, and I was the only manager to do so. I had my own database, I created my own software on a Commodore 64.

I did my physical and technical test on players at the beginning of a season, and, by the end, they had increased by 30 per cent. We were at the top of the table, we had scored 114 goals and conceded only 14.

The director of the academy called me in and asked: ‘Why do you use the computer’ I replied: ‘We have scored 114 goals and conceded 14 and you’re wondering why I use a computer’

But, if you do not have people to analyse information, you’re wasting your time. We do not train with numbers or statistics but players. I have spent all my life in football, and I know that it is a strange sport. You can be incredibly precise in your shots and lose 1-0.

So, how do you use technology and science during training

We have settings for each player. It means we can explain that he has played too much, it would be better he remained on the bench. Sometimes they do not understand but they accept it a little better.

Training begins with consultation with medical staff. After that there is 60 to 90 minutes of exercises with the ball prepared according to the strategy of the upcoming match, the nature of the opponent.

Seventy per cent of the exercises are planned, the rest will depend on what you observe.

What are the biggest changes in your job since you started

For 10, 20 years, many people had no idea of financial fair play, the use of GPS systems in training, Opta, ProZone, marketing or training camps in Asia and the United States. The financial crisis will also play a role.

Are mind games important

The psychological battle is not that important. When you have many foreign players, they do not read the British press. These mind games do not mean anything to them!