I don’t want to toot my own horn over here, but I basically learned to mix sound like Jimmy Lovine yesterday.
Yes, I apologise, I made a hash of the volume in the podcast yesterday… but I have just learned how to fix it and combat white noise at the same time.
Go on, listen to the podcast right now and sue me for blowing your ears off because it’s so damn loud and pristine.
It’s nice to learn, but maybe not nice to have to listen to a podcast for the second time in a row… but please, do your job today and listen to it for a second time.
One of the sections of the podcast we talk about modern managers and why some of the older legends of the game are struggling to cut it in 2020. There was a great piece in The Times at the weekend that basically eviscerated the idea that young players care about the history of the club they are at, citing OGS constantly harking back to the 90s to spark something in his United players. It said he takes them to weekly quizzes… it’s so pathetically disconnected, it makes me a little sad.
‘Come on boys, I’ve got a terrific quiz for you today’
‘Don’t tut Pogba, I brought some of that rap music you like.
*OGS performs BIG dab*
‘I’ll see you at 5, bring the Wotsits’
The long and short is basically what I’ve been saying on here for a long time. The idea that a reputation for winning trophies in the past as marker for future success is fatally flawed. Players aren’t interested in reputation these days, that’s for fans and journos that think a bollocking fixes terminal decline in football teams.
The currency of modern football is ideas and vision. These young players coming through now want to know how to improve on the pitch and in the mind. You have to engage them with far softer kid gloves than you did in the past, and you have to be able to speak modern football.
The cultural reference is modern technology and what it has allowed these players to experience from their bedrooms.
Growing up was FIFA and Championship manager for me. It wasn’t to the level of complexity it is now, but I distinctly remember wasting disgusting amounts of my time waiting for the PC to load a season of Champ Man. I knew every player in the world, I knew the formations, I knew how transfer windows worked, I knew ballpark wages, I knew dates of birth by memory, I knew every player that was worth knowing in Europe because Champ Man has a legit scouting network. I was hooked, like a Champ Man smackhead. It literally fucked my education.
The thing that was missing through my era of gamification was the ability to watch the players. I knew Saviola, Bobby Pires, Henry and Bakircioglu (if you know, you know) were going to be big, but I had to wait for a World Cup to see them. Or be around for live tune-in on TransWorld Sport.
Fast forward to now, the kids can play FIFA and Champ Man, and actually watch the players they’re scouting in the games. These footballers are growing up experiencing tactical systems in games. They’re keeping abreast of the best footballers in the world because anyone they like has a highlights comp some nerd 14-year-old has made for them. Players have never been so educated.
The same is true of the kid fans. The obsessives can watch 2nd Division Brazilian football with 3 clicks of a mouse if they so choose. The entire world of football is available on Youtube.
So when Jose Mourinho comes into training and asks these players to play a cynical version of the game because he knows what’s going on, they don’t believe him. They don’t want to shithouse like they used to. They want to get better as players and Jose can’t offer that in 2020. The only way he can deliver a Premier League winning side is to buy it, but no one wants to invest in his methodology because it’s horrible.
Now, Arteta might turn out to be a duffer. But he’s getting more out of the Arsenal players than Carlo or Jose would have had out of them. He’s bringing them another level we straight up didn’t know existed. He knows each individual as a person, he knows their strengths and weaknesses, and he knows how to make them better in the context of the modern game. That’s what players buy into in 2020. Nerds.
The casual mocking of ‘this isn’t <insert game>” in 2020 starts to look increasingly ridiculous. Those games are driving up the knowledge of the players, sparking different sorts of conversations on the training ground, and requiring a different type of coach to manage the lust for improvement.
It’s very exciting and it makes me very happy to know we have a manager that probably dabbled in FIFA and Champ Man… because, you know, it basically means I could be a manager, right?
Ok, maybe not, but it’s interesting to see how gaming culture is impacting football in 2020.
Check out Drew. No fucking around. Cease and desist letter in the post from Adidas. Elite wedding attire stealthiness regardless!
— Drew (@DrewW13) January 13, 2020
Right, listen to the fucking podcast, leave me a 5* review praising the volume and get to work, there are bills to pay.