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As the dust begins to settle on the much-ballyhooed mutual consent departure of Jose Mourinho from Chelsea it’s time to take a look beyond the Special One being gone. As surprising as it was to hear that Mourinho’s time at Stamford Bridge was over, it really wasn’t all that surprising it turns out.

It wasn’t that surprising because the discontent between Mourinho and billionaire-owner Roman Abramovich had become quite clear. Mourinho wasn’t playing the players Abramovich wanted him to play and the manager wasn’t playing the type of pretty, attacking football that the Russian wanted. All Mourinho did was deliver wins, loads of them, and get results on the pitch. Still, for the hundreds of millions that Abramovich sunk into his new play-toy Mourinho was still the one in charge. The only way to make things work the way Abramovich wanted was to constantly undermine (Michael Ballack and Andriy Shevchenko ring a bell) and ultimately discard Mourinho. Abramovich wanted things done his way and he certainly thinks he knows better than Mourinho (as evidenced by having his pet, Sheva, act as a translator for Michael Essien while he laughably tried to explain tactics to the midfielder). The appointment of Avram Grant (one of his minions) only gives Abramovich more power and control over his team, and will only hurt Chelsea’s chances in the future.

Much can be gleaned from this tug-of-war for power between coach and ownership. As parents, take a look at the interactions you have with your child’s soccer coaches. There is something to be said for personal instruction at home and a little extra practice with your child never hurts. Continually working to develop your child’s individual skills will only help them when they hit the pitch. However, try to let your inner coach go once practices and games begin. The coach is there volunteering time and resources (or even if the coach is paid, then they should have credentials and licensing so even more incentive to not get involved) to help build a team that can play together and hopefully produce positive results. Don’t openly criticize the coach in front of your child or other players on the team. It will only undermine the coach when they are at practice trying to work with the kids. You might feel a sense of entitlement for the money and resources you’re putting into the team and your child, but take any problems you have with the coach or their tactics up in private. There are positive ways to sorting out issues with coaches, where all parties are able to understand each other.

The kids are the ones who need to benefit from the sport, don’t be an over-controlling owner who thinks only he/she knows best.


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