“Wenger, you haddock, you should’ve put Wilshire on in the last 10 minutes! I’ve told you a million times! Admittedly, you can’t hear me because I’m shouting at a telly, but you should’ve known anyway! You’re not managing under-11s! This is the Premier League, so stop Arsene around and do your job properly!”
After you’ve shouted this at the telly, the manager of the pub asks you to leave. But it was worth it. These managers don’t seem to know their Ronaldinho from their elbow. Don’t you think you could do better?
Admittedly a thousand games of Pro Evo won’t convince the FA that you’re a managerial god. It took Wenger years of football experience, several degrees in a broad range of subjects and a ton of goodwill from boards of directors before he could manage at the top of his game.
Wenger has even recommended that Thierry Henry undergo a “mental transformation” to become a decent manager. This is one of the finest footballers of a generation, forced to learn an entirely new skillset if he wants to take a shot at the throne of managerial success.
Does that put you – a beer-guzzling, football-shouting football expert – on the same rung of the ladder as Henry? Not quite. But it does illustrate the breadth of skills you need to become a manager.
Duties of a manager
Here’s a breathless, and by no means exhaustive, list of the tasks a manager does day-to-day:
- Appease board members.
- Set training regimes.
- Liaise with coaches.
- Headhunt for the latest footballing talent.
- Configure strategies for the next match.
- Deal with the press.
- Keep players motivated.
And that’s just in one busy day! Imagine the people skills and technical knowhow required to stay calm in such an environment. Your bellicose ramblings at the telly look simple by comparison.
None of this, however, makes managing a team an impossible task. It’s even become possible to gain a football degree for distance learning providers. With a qualification from one of these providers you’ll have a specifically vocational course that’ll teach you everything you need to know about the beautiful game.
Success off the pitch
You don’t even really have to head to the big leagues to enjoy a fulfilling career off the pitch. Youth teams always need enthusiastic managers to develop fresh talent, while other positions – physiotherapist, coach, steward – are invaluable to creating a great game for fans.
The managerial path is, however, still attainable in some form, no matter what your age or background. So put down your game controller and your pint, and get yourself educated in your footballing passion.