Name a manager, any manager, and chances are the first thing you think about is the style of football their teams play. Sir Alex Ferguson was all wings and crosses and attack, attack, attack. Arsene Wenger was possession-based to a fault. Jose Mourinho is... well, we know that song by heart. The technical, detailed side, the stuff of coaching badges, is vital to making a team work.
But. What often doesn’t get mentioned is the other side of the manager’s job. The mental side. He or she is trying to corral a group of talented, egotistical people and get them marching, with purpose, in the same direction.
Arguably, Jose Mourinho’s greatest strength when he first landed at Chelsea was his man-management skill. With a few notable exceptions, those players would have run through the proverbial wall for him. Frank Lampard often talks about how Mourinho gave him the belief that he could be great.
Arguably, Jose Mourinho’s greatest flaw when he came back to Stamford Bridge was that he had somehow, during that tumultuous time in Madrid, misplaced his ability to connect with his players. He did win a title. He also talked about betrayal. His exit was inevitable. He took the same problems to Old Trafford. Now pundits are placing bets on his expiration date in Manchester.
One of the last true leaders leaves the pitch...What a player. What a captain. It was always a pleasure to share the dressing room with you⚽️ Good luck with the next page #johnterry #CaptainLeaderLegend #CFC @ChelseaFC— Michael Ballack (@Ballack) October 8, 2018
2: imago/HochZwei/International pic.twitter.com/nBT3Hk84Tx
Which is a very long-winded way of saying that while John Terry still has work to do on his coaching badges, and he may or may not yet have all the tactical and technical know-how that a more accomplished manager has — he does have a natural-born gift.
John Terry is a leader of men.
Frank Lampard has been a professional manager for all of four months and 14 matches. But he sees it and thinks Terry is ready to move to the dugout.
“Without a doubt, I think he’s said that already. John, in terms of character and personality, yes. I think we all know that. He was a leader on and off the pitch and I think he will be a leader as a coach, as a manager, whatever he chooses to do and he wants to do well.”
That banner in the Shed End doesn’t say Captain, Leader, Legend by happenstance. Terry was Chelsea captain for 12 years, a leader for even longer, and a legend forever. He is revered by the men who played under his leadership, not to mention the youth he went out of his way to help. Or his warm embrace of fans.
Here's a story about John Terry .— Andy Saunders (@mrasaunders) October 8, 2018
In 2005 Chelsea played Bayern Munich in The Champions League at Stamford Bridge .
My son was chosen as the mascot - he was very excited .
We arrived at the East Stand reception at Bridge to be met by the lady who looks after the mascots .
A leader in sports needs talent. But he also needs a work ethic. And that’s another area in which John Terry has excelled throughout his career. He’s talked a lot about how he worked to develop his left foot, for example.
Lampard thinks that dedication will serve his good friend well as a manager.
“It’s one of the greatest careers in English football from an Englishman without a shadow of doubt. When you look at titles, the self-driven nature of him to get the best out of himself and others, world team of the year, year on year, to consistently perform not in a short space of time but to perform at the best for probably 15 years at top-level football is something absolutely special.”
“He is driven, he wants to learn about the game, he’s got so much experience and knowledge inside himself already. For sure he’ll go into coaching and management and John is one of those people I think, and there are so many variables, will make it work because that’s the type of person he is professionally.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Sky
Man manager. Motivated. 717 appearances for the best team in the world.
Frank Lampard thinks John Terry is ready to be a (head) coach.
Who among us would doubt him?