Colm Cavanagh: Do Man United need a new voice in the dressing room? It worked for Tyrone
I’M a proud Manchester United supporter. There I’ve said it, and for those of you who have kept reading I assume you are suffering like me, I hate to admit it but I think the wheels have fallen off Ole’s bus. I can’t help but compare the current Man United dressing room to my perception of the Tyrone dressing room of 2019/20. I think Solskjaer has lost the dressing room and I can’t see how he will restore confidence in the team this season, if he lasts the rest of the season that is.
It is so important for any manager to inspire their team, especially in times when results aren’t going your way and I think this is lacking from Solskjaer just as I felt it was lacking from Tyrone management towards the end of my career. I’m not saying either men are or were bad managers, far from it, but I just feel that similarities can be drawn in how they have lost the confidence and perhaps some respect from their squad. It is an impossible job, you will never please everyone as a manager and every player needs managed in a different way but to be a successful manager, you must have the full support of the changing room, have everyone on board and be enthusiastic about how the team is being run. It takes a very special person to be able to manage a team and even ‘The Special One’ himself Jose Mourihno has lost his fair share of dressing rooms in his time.
When Paul Pogba came out this weekend after Man Utd’s defeat to Leicester and said that the players recognise that they didn’t deserve to win but they can’t find the ‘problem’ I read it as being a problem of management rather than the players. There is always a certain arrogance that comes with being a top-level footballer, which can make comments like Pogba’s seem like it is anyone’s fault but the players but it takes a special player to become a leader who can overcome any negativity and hold a team together. This is made especially difficult for someone trying to lead a team who no longer believe in how they are being run from the top level.
Quite often the captain of the team and the leader of the team in the dressing room are two different people just like quite often the manager of the squad and the member of the management team who does the team talk are different people too. That’s why the dynamic of Tyrone’s current management duo is so intriguing and the future is so exciting.
Two completely opposite personalities and personas but with a tunnel vision and steely determination to reach the exact same goal. It's no wonder we saw the same squad of players as previous years completely rejuvenated this year.
Is that the answer for Man Utd too? Do they need a fresh face as their leader? I believe they do but I dare say there isn’t another Logan-Dooher combination readily available to take them on, as much as I wish there was.
A good manager has the ability to inspire their team, to make them feel they are capable of anything and to fully support the players in their needs. A good manager will also choose their backroom staff very carefully and surround themselves with a diverse mix of people so that each player will have someone that they can relate to, however, they all need to have the same end goal in sight.
As soon as players start to lose confidence in any member of management, it spreads like wildfire. Ultimately it is the manager who gets the blame but quite often any difficulties are manifesting long before it becomes the manager's problem.
In the end, it is the manager who bears the brunt of it, and we can see this throughout the Premier League year on year. A bad run of results for any team and the manager is fired immediately. It is a cut-throat business, and the pressure is bound to be immense. Thankfully in GAA managers are generally given more of a chance and will usually get a number of years at the helm before changes begin to be discussed.
How does anyone turn around and tell a manager who has given everything to their team for several years that they are now surplus to requirements and that they are no longer considered good enough at their job? It is bound to be a very difficult conversation but more often than not, it is for the good of the team. That said, we have to respect those people who have given countless hours of dedication and commitment to their team to be told in a phone call that they are being replaced.
All too often that is the story of management and managers' careers. They start out as the team's saviour, the one who will lead them to glory but if they don’t get immediate results, then they are replaced and the team have to adjust to a new leader. It's not a role I think I would ever be able to fill. As a player there are enough swings from hero to zero and back again never mind as manager. I’ll just sit back and see who takes over the wheel at Man Utd next and hope that whoever they appoint can have half the impact of Dooher and Logan on the players.