England football team – why Mourinho is the answer

The brain is a pattern recognising organ. It sees/senses things happen and quickly makes a decision as to what it is; what happens next and what to do next based on past patterns (experience). This is why football managers drill (and drill is the word) patterns and actions over and over again into their players’ brains on the training ground.

The poor England manager doesn’t get this opportunity (which is he wanted to play the game against Austria). He gets the players for a few days a year and has to reprogramme the players out of what they’ve been taught by their clubs into what he wants. This is why the England manager should always play 4-4-2. It’s what the majority of players are used to. It is also why playing people out of position is not a good idea and why one of Gerard and Lampard, can’t play the holding role effectively. They just don’t have the patterns drilled into their brain. Their patterns say “bomb forward”.

Enter Mourinho. Mourinho knows all about driving the right patterns into the brain of players so that they know exactly what to do in every situation. The slightly-robotic, boring, but winning play of his Chelsea team is the evidence. Everyone knows their role and what to do; which is why he gets so angry when Joe Cole doesn’t track back and quickly drops players when they don’t do exactly what they’re supposed to. Pain and reward training just like training a circus animal.

I think this makes him perfect for England. He would develop a simple, effective plan for winning and then spend every waking moment drilling it into the players. He’d scream, shout and dump any player that doesn’t stick to the pattern and everyone, especially the players selected, would know what to expect and what to do. Currently the England pattern isn’t strong and as a result the players partially revert to what they’ve been taught by their clubs, while trying to do what the England manager has told them; it looks chaotic and we lose.

Ideally all the clubs would play the same way in the same formation using the same tactics using the same skills training, then the England manager would have a consistent pattern to work with. This isn’t going to happen so bring on Jose, he knows what to do.


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