In the seasonal flurry, the process is over-prioritised and as the Liverpool manager points out, players’ emotions count more
In March 2019, Manchester United went to Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League trailing 2-0 from the first leg. By half-time, they led 2-1. Needing another goal to go through on away goals, their manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, pulled a counterintuitive masterstroke: he sat back. For half an hour, almost nothing happened. PSG pushed tentatively, first baffled and then anxious. And then Solskjær unleashed his assault on panicking opponents, United won a penalty – a silly, modern, European handball, but a penalty nonetheless – and went through.
That was Solskjær at his zenith, the result that prompted Gary Neville to ask where he wanted his statue. Solskjær’s record at that point read P17 W14 D2 L1; he was still soaring on the euphoria of not being José Mourinho. His struggles to implement attacking structures had not yet been exposed. But where he had proved himself adept was in reading and manipulating the emotional flow of a game.
Written by Jonathan Wilson
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2024/jan/06/jurgen-klopp-man-management-liverpool-premier-league-data under the title “Jürgen Klopp is right: man-management skills are being lost in a rush of data | Jonathan Wilson”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.