John Carver is giving us little nuggets of information about the way the great Sir Bobby Robson dealt with players while he was at Newcastle, and in yesterday’s media briefing John told a little story of how the great man once dealt with Craig Bellamy – who was one of the problem players when he was at Newcastle.
A young John Carver with Sir Bobby Robson
The conversation was centered on man-management and the fact that former full-back Andy Griffin would be at the game in his commentary duties.
This is a little story John told about man-management and his time with Sir Bobby:
“It’s probably one of the most important things in how you deal with and handle players.”
“I remember one day Sir Bob was looking for Craig Bellamy, and he said come on I want you to come into the meeting room with me.”
“And we went into the room and I thought he was going to tear a strip off him, and he just sat him down and was so nice and pleasant with him.”
“I was sitting there thinking Bob what are you doing, and I thought he was going to give him a right telling off and he didn’t, and that’s how he dealt with situations.”
“I’m not saying that’s the way I deal with every situation, but he certainly turned my head, and I’m definitely a lot more sensible when I’m dealing with man management situations.”
We’ve heard players who played for Sir Bobby Robson say that they gave their all for Bobby because he was such a great man – very fair – and was always renowned for getting the best out of what he had available – which is a good definition of what a coach is.
He did that at Ipswich Town from 1969 until he took over the England side in 1982 and he coached England for the next eight years.
We often think the tactics get way over-rated in today’s game, and what’s more important than anything else is how the head coach can keep getting the very best out of his players.
Sir Bobby Robson was one of the very best at doing that, and one reason why he was loved, revered and admired throughout the world of football.
If only we had Sir Bobby at the club now – with the good players we have – we’d again be flying high in the Premier League.
Bobby Robson remains a great inspiration to me as both a coach and a man, and also the way he bravely handled the cancer he had – which eventually killed him in July, 2009.
In his last three seasons as the Newcastle manager (2002-2004) we finished in 4th, 3rd and 5th position in the league table.
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