No Team Wants To Be the Stepping Stone In The Coach’s Career

No team, no athlete wants to be just the stepping stone in the coach’s career.  You may be an incredibly sincere coach, but this perception is hard to overcome. It’s especially hard to overcome if player management is your strength.

Adam Bate has taken a thoughtful look at soccer coach Marco Silva over at Sky Sports site.  He unpacks the reasons for his success and how those very strengths led to his firing.


His success is grounded in sophisticated and knowledgeable training methods, and importantly in his capacity to manage players.


“The first thing about Marco Silva is that he is a good person,” adds Taylor. “He is very fair. Everyone wants to fight for him because he respects each guy on the team. The second thing is that he has also got a strong character. I think that is very important if you want to be a good manager because players need to respect you.”

So why was he fired?

Perhaps this is the ingredient that went missing in Silva’s recipe for success. Once clear that Everton’s advances were not unwelcome, it became harder to buy what he was selling. This is the era of the big idea, where every coach needs a philosophy and every team must be on a journey. When it was obvious Silva wanted to get off the bus, that idea was lost.

Watford have conceded more goals in the final 15 minutes than any other Premier League team this season. Asked to delve deep for their manager, as they had in salvaging a point in stoppage time on the opening weekend against Liverpool, Watford’s players could no longer summon the fight. The ‘little relationships’ of which his former players speak were broken.

Now of course the obvious counterpoint to this perspective is how little loyalty is shown by clubs to coaches.  You can find those examples littered about.

But the point made here is that he lost the players with whom he had built so much trust.  They perceived him to be leaving. The felt they might be the stepping stone in the coach’s career.  As a result the players lost their ability to buy into his powerful capacity to build a shared vision.

Worth thinking about.






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