11 March 2011

Patrick Barclay : Football - Bloody Hell!

After Porto had prevailed at Old Trafford, there was pandemonium in their dressing room. ‘You would have thought we had won the World Cup,’ said Mourinho. ‘And then there was a knock on the door. It was Alex, with Gary Neville. As they came in, everybody fell silent, respectful. The party stopped. The party was over. And, as Gary Neville went round shaking hands with my players, Alex shook hands with me and said that, after the press conference, I was invited to come to his office for a drink.

 ‘What a special person it was, I thought, who would do anything to win but, if he lost, still do that. At that moment I made a decision. It was that, if I ever came to England, I would follow this example.

‘I remembered something Bobby (Robson) once said to me when we were at Barcelona. We had lost a game we should have won – it was against Hercules of Alicante – and I was devastated. “Don’t be like that,” he said. “Just think of the happiness in the Hercules dressing room. If you think of that, you won’t be too sad. You’ll share a little bit of the happiness of the others.” And I wanted to come to that culture.’

- What a classy man (Sir Bobby) he was.

My Rating : 3.5/5


Taichiseal said...

He (Thierry Henry) agreed that Ferguson and Wenger were, in many ways, from the same mould. Indeed, later that evening he told a story that illustrated it. Wenger, in training at London Colney, had introduced to the Arsenal first-team squad a young defender from the Ivory Coast called Kolo Touré who was on trial with a view to signing. The idea was that he would start by playing in a small-sided practice match, with Wenger watching. Henry took the ball up to Touré and, not expecting the visitor to know his tricks, tried one. Touré was taking no chances. His tackle hit Henry like a blast from a scattergun. ‘He took ball, man, everything. The ball soared into the air and was falling just out of play when Arsène trotted after it and snaked out a leg to control it. But Kolo was still running furiously and, as the boss trapped the ball, hit him as hard as he’d hit me. Arsène went head over heels. We all stopped and gaped. Then Arsène got up. He had this great big grin on his face.

‘“Yes,” he said. “I think we can go to war with this one.” And Kolo joined us.’ It could just as well have been a former United player talking about Ferguson.

Taichiseal said...

SAF :=

Asked to name the three most important qualities required for leadership, he replied: ‘Control. Managing change. And observation.’

And what was the key to a winning mentality? ‘There’s two for me. A will to win. And attention to detail.’

The infinite capacity for taking pains was always there.