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Scott Davies column: Chelmsford City midfielder on what makes a successful manager

By Scott Davies – @Hovis1988

So, managers come and managers go. And some, let’s face it, are fortunate to be given a job in the light of a sudden departure of a managerial sacking. Not many clubs stick by their manager through rocky patches during a season.

We have to question whether the board at these clubs had real faith in the manager when appointing them in the first place…

As a player, I have always felt that more often than not, the players are more to blame than the manager when things go wrong.

At every level I have played at, I cannot say that I’ve been let down by the management staff with regards to what I need to know about the opposition come 3pm on a Saturday. The attention to detail has always been very thorough and I know that once I cross that white line, it’s all down to me.

I never want to play for another manager in my career that doesn’t motivate me. It’s taken me a few years to work it out, but a manager with the fire in their belly and the hunger to achieve, is the one I want and need to play for.

I’ve said it many a time that playing with fear can sometimes be the fuel I need to fire me up, and get the best out of me. A half-motivated me is no use to anyone, and I’m sure others would agree.

I see fans voicing their opinions towards the management on a regular basis when results aren’t going the way they hoped or expected. Ask yourself, would you have chosen to put out a different team than the management chose on that particular day? It’s not their fault that somebody has misplaced a pass, not tracked a runner or not picked up someone from a set piece that has led to a goal.

That’s all about the desire to keep the ball out of your own net. As a manager you can’t instil that within a player, you’d hope it’s just a given.

So what contributes to a dip in a player’s form?

Internal and external pressures always have their effect on players. Internal pressures being the expectation you put on yourself. I always was, and I still am, really bad when it comes to this.

My Friday nights are spent mentally rehearsing for hours and hours over what I am hoping to achieve come Saturday. It can get quite exhausting at times but it’s something I can’t help as I struggle to switch off from thinking about the game the following day.

External pressures can be awful, there’s no doubting that. Deaths, divorces and financial worry are just a few that crop up when thinking about the everyday troubles that people might have. I’ve seen players go through break-ups and be a shadow of their usual self.

So to then go out and perform on a stage in front of people whilst feeling as low as they do can be hard-hitting. At this stage, certain types of characters would want to hide, but instead they have to put on this brave face and do the business in public. It’s not like any other job where you could possibly go to work and not have to showcase your talent in front of large numbers. Trust me it’s tough.

Footballers are a small cog within a big machine, and if one cog isn’t working correctly you’re more than likely to see it breakdown.

That’s why it’s so important for managers to understand players and their demeanours. If you have the luxury of working alongside a manager for a period of time, and they can learn to spot a difference in someone’s personality, then I believe it’s of huge importance you’re spoken to. Nobody can be successful alone.

You’ll never see a successful manager with a group of unsuccessful players, and vice-versa. Success goes hand-in-hand with having a strong cohesive unit that is willing to pull in the same direction.

If a manager can produce a player that goes home on a Saturday and can look in the mirror knowing full well  he’s given absolutely everything he could that day, whether the result has been positive or negative (or even a player who is out of the squad but wishes his team-mates well before the game and doesn’t show any signs of negativity), then he’s on to something.

All of these factors, I believe, equate to a manager being successful or getting sacked. If he can do the good, often unseen, things well and can eradicate the bad then  the only way is up.

*This article originally featured in The @NonLeaguePaper, which is available every Sunday.

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