John Collins interview

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the hibLOG
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John Collins interview

Post by the hibLOG » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:36 pm

Excellent piece giving John Collins a platform to expand on how he thinks we should be teaching our kids to play football. There will be those who irrelevantly carp about his management failures - irrelevant because management is not the same as coaching - and for once in the Scotsman the comments below the article are also sensible and acknowledge this for the most part.

I find it hard to disagree with anything Collins says and yearn for the day when coaching in Scotland takes even something resembling this form.

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/ ... -1-3138422
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Re: John Collins interview

Post by lbb » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:05 am

Nothing wrong with what he's saying. Fairly obvious stuff. Unfortunately, no-one in Scotland wants to listen. They'd rather focus on petty trivialities and in-fighting than do anything to actually improve the standard of football.

Collins is being optimistic if he's placing any hope in Gordon Strachan and Mark McGhee. The Celtic-Barcelona match had Strachan going on about 'cheating foreigners' and how 'they don't want to go back to where they came from' (said whilst in the middle of Parkhead, a district that could be improved by demolishing it and building a slum). Mark McGhee's view of Adam Matthews intercepting a Barcelona passage of play by hoofing the ball into the stand was that there was 'no harm done there.'

I also read many online comments from alleged Scottish football fans who said they found Barcelona - and, later, Bayern Munich - 'boring'. Perhaps these people are getting the football they deserve.

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Re: John Collins interview

Post by the hibLOG » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:57 pm

But that's the difference between managing and coaching. Strachan and McGhee are in the management business, being pragmatic in working with what they've got, and whatever they might say in TV commentaries they obviously seem able to organise and motivate the team better than Levein did. Management, especially at international level, is about man-management, not skills development. I don't see any reason why Strachan wouldn't be supportive of a coaching structure that delivered better skilled players to the managers at club and international level. If you've got the skills then you can play football any way you like. If you haven't then you are stuck with pragmatic approaches to maximise your limited talents.

I don't disagree that there are a lot of people in Scottish football at all levels with unenlightened attitudes to the kind of development Collins is talking about, either out of ignorance, self-interest or a preference for agricultural styles of play. But if more people can express enthusiasm for what Collins is saying, rather than simply resigning themselves to perpetual failure then perhaps change might happen somewhere. It's to Hibs' eternal shame that it didn't start happening unilaterally at East Mains and Easter Road.
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Re: John Collins interview

Post by Gorgiewave » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:26 pm

I agree entirely with Collins, although it's a theme that's been gone over for many years.
I believe Joe Jordan tried to implement similar ideas at Hearts and they were rejected by the senior players. It's very sad if that included, possibly above all, Craig Levein, whom I've met several times and know to be an intelligent man. I've also heard the rumour that Hearts' 6-0 loss to Falkirk was a means of getting Jordan he sack.
Paul le Guen had the same.

All the clichés are true IMO: too many people just do not believe in excellence or elite achievement in Scotland. "We're aw Jock Tampson's bairns" translates very often into resentment at anybody with ambition or talent as "getting above himself". There is a long-standing tradition, in football and other areas, of ambitious Scots leaving Scotland to pursue their lives (I don't know the many members of this board who live outside Scotland so I don't know their reasons for having emigrated).

I think a young player who showed promise and who, without being a prig about it, said he wasn't going to stay out late or drink alcohol during the season, who stayed behind at training to practise or who spent his afternoons in the gym building his strength, would be in some danger of being laughed at, even by his team-mates. Please correct me if I'm wrong. The idea of just wanting to be as good as he possiby could, or just doing as much as possible to win a lucrative contract, might not give them pause.

I think the two outstanding Scottish failures in the last decade have been Derek O'Riordan and Garry O'Connor. That's not a dig at Hibs fans: these players were excellent and on more than one occasion tore Hearts apart. Now Garry O'Connor is badly overweight and their careers are basically over aged 30. Keigan Parker is another: I used to play with him in the playground and he was ridiculous, better than Richard Brittain, a dream winner at Wembley, and this summer on trial for Armadale Thistle at the age of 30/31. A silly waste and a lot to do with not properly managing people.

This is a useless post and just a ramble, but I agree with John Collins. I think it's a national matter, not just a Scottish football question.
Last edited by Gorgiewave on Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: John Collins interview

Post by Gorgiewave » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:26 pm

Unintended double post, sorry.
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Re: John Collins interview

Post by Scottish » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:16 pm

Riordan & O'Connor are surprising because they were both able to go elsewhere and maybe rod themselves of the influences around them. I concur re Parker. I saw him when he burst into the St Johnstone first team and he had international player written all over him.

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Re: John Collins interview

Post by the hibLOG » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:33 am

scottish wrote:Riordan & O'Connor are surprising because they were both able to go elsewhere and maybe rod themselves of the influences around them. I concur re Parker. I saw him when he burst into the St Johnstone first team and he had international player written all over him.
I wonder if the influences which would have attended O'Connor in Moscow were all that positive. It wasn't an environment where you could easily avoid the depredations of drink, drugs and easy money. But still, it is true that both those players were greatly talented bampots. And it is tragic to be talking about them in the past tense already.

But I think what Collins has to say is much more important for the future generations. We're not talking about today's adult players who are, as Collins himself has already discovered, beyond redemption. If there was enough public pressure and also from within the game from respected figures then even the muppets in charge at the SFA would surely have to implement these kind of recommendations.
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Re: John Collins interview

Post by Scottish » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:01 pm

Yes, I suppose you're right. The existing temperament of player must have a lot to do with how he adapts to a new environment. McGregor & Boyd didn't last five minutes in Turkey. Half a century earlier the same could be said of Joe Baker & Denis Law in Italy. Yet in between the likes of Joe Jordan, Graeme Souness & Steve Archibald took to playing abroad with ease. Less famously the same holds true for Jim Bett & Jimmy Calderwood. You could go back as far as Johnny Madden in Prague & John Cameron in Dresden before the First World War.

Gary Lineker slotted in easily at Barcelona, learning Spanish to a level whereby he could converse in the dressing room with no difficulty. David Beckham was the most famous player on the planet when he moved to Madrid yet despite all the celebrity surrounding him and his wife, never had any problems, even moving on to that bastion of puritanism which is LA and ending his playing career aged 37 in the quiet French backwater of Paris. Admittedly he only learned enough Spanish to merit a sending-off.

OTOH all of Gazza's demons accompanied him to Rome from the moment he boarded the plane.

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Re: John Collins interview

Post by Snuff » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:33 pm

I was out of the country and missed the Collins interview. I noticed it was conducted by David Ferguson, The Scotsman's rugby writer, and not, therefore, one of the SFWA "stars" who are the opinion-formers in Scotland.

This interview should be required reading by every director in Scottish football, aye right; until we get directors who will insist on a total change of emphasis in Scottish football, and the cajones to carry it through, we will stagnate.
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