“Why is man-management important? Because players are people. They are not furniture.”
Of all 20 Premier League bosses, the importance Mauricio Pochettino places on human interaction is most apparent. It suits him, and it works.
Football often lags in reflecting society’s progress. But when it comes to wellbeing and mental health, where awareness has risen, the Tottenham manager is among those leading the way for the sport.
Amazingly, Pochettino remembers every conversation he has had with a player, coach, member of staff, the media, the board. Why? Because he is adamant management off the pitch is more important than the coaching on it.
Spurs spent nothing for 18 months and still managed to generate enough team spirit to reach a Champions League final and the top four of the Premier League. Astonishing to some, but when Pochettino talks, it all makes sense.
“On the pitch is less important,” Pochettino tells Sky Sports. “I think it is most important outside the pitch, the man-management. Football is changing, moving forward. Today the kids are different to 20 years ago. I need to understand that.
“[Man management] is so important because players only think about what you’ve talked about to them. I need to be aware of 25 players and what we’ve talked about, remember every single situation. The most important thing for each player is to have a way of talking to us, one way.
“Remembering what you’ve said, it is important for your relationship. With players, staff, the board, the media, everyone. It is a skill we need to have as coaching staff to be successful.”
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