The Technicals

By March 14, 2022 Articles

The past 12-24 months has all been about technical this, technical that. So I wanted to explore TECHNICALLY what this is all about. What’s all the who ha!

The history of some of it:

This is not the beginning, the middle, and definitely not the end. But Sevilla of Spain have sowed and reaped the benefits of having specialists in a position of expertise – this gives clubs of all sizes the best chance of success—success in what is an already competitive market – in talent identification, and then producing the talent.

(inset, Sevilla’s head honcho – Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo aka Monchi)

It’s not a secret, clubs all over Spain and Europe HAVE, and are implementing very similar structures to which have been beneficial in an increasingly difficult market to compete in … The transfer market that is!

In years gone by, clubs like Barcelona added a string to their bow. Like Sporting Lisbon and Benfica in Portugal—they had perfected the method to thrive in a demanding market.

FC Porto – The 2004 CL winners. Blessed with an incredibly talented squad. Sevilla – Atletico Madrid – Shaktar Donetsk. All blessed with the creative and alternative means other than spending huge sums of money.

I mean hey! If you’ve got, you’ve got it. But with financial fair play, these technicals have been increasingly important – particularly in the UK. But these technicals not only provide the end product (the talent and results). All important of course! They provide direction.

Despite the problems inside the 4 walls of Stamford Bridge. Inside the gates of Cobham, Chelsea have assembled some of Europe’s best talent. This has made their academy viable and their 1st team competitive – serial winners at youth level, and champions of Europe in 2021.

(inset, Marina Granovskaia of Chelsea FC)

Let’s breakdown these technicals, and see why the GFA and all clubs and federations want to adopt this method.

The modern technical director may be tasked with any number of ancillary duties, including responsibility for and the overseeing of the club’s playing philosophy, the academy, the training ground (club environment), player contracts and the recruitment of both players and coaching staff  (cited from – www.thefootballfaithful.com/).

A director of football operations often works behind the scenes of a team. They help recruit and manage players as well as network and communicate with the other staff and coaches. They often spend as much time in the office coordinating with players as they do out on the field talking with coaches (cited from – www.jobsinsports.com).

The focus and role of a technical advisor is to provide advice on all football and performance matters throughout the club as well as embed and facilitate strong links between our men’s and academy teams, ensuring that the various support departments are working together effectively (cited from – www.chelseafc.com).

With these—all of the above, you would have further roles and co-ordinators –

  • 1 to 1 coaches
  • Head of youth (6-11’s)
  • An academy manager
  • Specialist coaches
  • Mentors – for both players and coaches – for holistic and specified development.
  • And more..

The GFA:

Bernhard Lippert, the Technical Director of the Ghana Football Association was appointed by the GFA in October last year. The 56-year-old German was given a two-year deal to head the technical aspect of Ghana football.

He said that to achieve his objectives for Ghana football, there must first be an overview of the game to determine the current status of football in the country.

“There is always very fast expectations of the Technical Director but the job is not done in three months or one year. First of all, you have to do an assessment to see where we are. It’s not easy because you must first find the identity of football in Ghana.”

Why do GFA and clubs like Manchester Utd want a Technical Director or Director of Football?

For direction – expertise and a philiosphy.

We discussed Edu in our article ‘What would Brazil do (click here)–a good, if not brief insight to the level of detail required. Incredibly interesting, as Ghana and Brazil share similarities.

Notes from the article –

Early talent identification and implemented pathways for players is important. In reference to what Bernhard Lippert said – players will always move on i.e. be sold. You can’t control that dynamic. What you can do, is create a system which has pathways and is measurable – whether playing in Ghana, or in Europe et al. [Continuing] With this, not only can the monitoring and development of players take place. But change can take place too! We discussed the population of Brazil. But it’s to this, one of the reasons why they have a big pool of quality players to choose from.

There are other factors, but for me this is one of the key components. It’s with this, they have created an identity, and foundation to build and create from.

‘What would Brazil do’ to improve the circumstances around the current state of our national side? What are the differences in approach?

It must be said, each country would have a different approach due its resources. But whether limited resources, or an insurmountable amount, the general management and co-ordination of both grassroots football and the national team will be the focus—with how can we engage as many Ghanaians to play football as possible. Including Beach Football and Futsal. Both on the rise it must be said. But at the foundation of it all, it’s Talent ID. And the pathways that will provide opportunity for both the player, and the Football Association to select the best players for the national team.

Edu Gaspar’s role, working with a large number of staff, was to plan each training camp and international break down to the smallest of details. These details are important, including which seems to be a sticking point, identifying and attracting the talent in the diaspora – in countries like the UK, Italy, Netherlands, and Germany, Ghana must take advantage of this!

As to identity, a sporting one/philosophy is important. In each corner of the world, most countries have a style and character they identify with. In Spain – Tika Taka. And in Brazil – Flair and Samba. We must find ours.

Where the European Champions (Chelsea) and Brazil succeeded—Ghana and Manchester United have failed in recent years – in not having a philiopshy and clear direction. It’s incredibly interesting that Edu Gasper (above) and Arsenal FC have turned a corner. And that the clubs on course to finish in the top 4 in the Premier League have had ‘The Technicals’ and head coaches in situ for the past 2/3 seasons. A CLEAR DIRECTION, AND PHILIOSPHY – to help steer the ship.

As with our podcast. Like, comment, share and subscribe/follow. We’ll posting as usual vía social media keeping up with the stories as they unfold in the coming weeks. As always if you have any questions or queries. Email us at teamghanaeu@gmail.com or tweet or DM us at @teamghanaeu on IG or Twitter.

 

Written by Andrew Mensah-Twumasi @andrewmensahjr (IG/Twitter)

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