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Pressure On Players Much Greater Than In The Past

9:26 am, Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 9 Comments

Newcastle United coach Steve Black has been criticized by Sky Sports pundit Tony Gale after the game against Chelsea ended, when Steve went onto the St. James’ Park pitch to talk to and make points to some of the Newcastle players.

steve black closeup at newcastle

Steve Black – Newcastle consultant

Black is well known in the sports world and came to fame working with England rugby player Jonny Wilkinson throughout his career, and Black is well known here in the US.

His official title at Newcastle is a consultant and he has been asked to work on the mental strength of individual players and get them prepared for games – as one of his duties.

Tony Gale objected to Steve Black going onto the pitch immediately after the game to talk to a number of Newcastle players.

This is what Gale said on Sky Sports News:

“That’s too much, he should do it in the dressing room. He shouldn’t be on the pitch acting like he’s the Guvnor.”

“Steve McClaren should be able to do that. Would he have come on the pitch if Ramires had got the third goal?”

“If they need that, they shouldn’t be playing football.”

The pressures of playing football these days at the highest level are much greater than they were when Tony played from 1977 through 1998 mainly for West Ham as a defender.

There is now social media where anybody can slam anybody else about anything, and with the Internet – reaction to anything is almost instantaneous around the world.

There seems little civility left these days between people and Twitter accounts can be used to slam anybody who has the misfortune to disagree with a particular viewpoint.

So young players have to withstand all that and regular over the top criticism almost all the time and that´s difficult when you are growing up.

They get criticised for not playing well, the haircut they have, wearing a Tuxedo before a game, not crossing the ball at the right time,  and we wont even mention if they make a mistake in a game.

Social media and instantaneous communication are one source of extra pressure on players and there is also big money in the Premier League with billions of pounds now in the game.

Whenever there´s big money around there´s always extra pressure – that´s just the way things are these days.

We don´t see too much wrong with Steve Black going onto the field immediately after the game on Saturday.

That´s when the players are still in the zone after just finishing a game, so the Black can make some points to the players at that time.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Other News · Premier League · Press

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 magpie6699 // Sep 30, 2015 at 9:34 AM

    Has Tony Gale got nothing better to moan about? How about Ramires NOT being sent off?

  • 2 cyprus // Sep 30, 2015 at 9:44 AM

    So that’s who that was. Agreed. Steve, tell him not to do that again.

    Ed man,
    I hate to keep coming back at you re AP, because, controversially, I think he’s probably a nice fella. The messiah is gone man. Just a reminder of what that Pardew out crew have made us miss 🙂


    In the cold light of day I blame Steve and bad luck for our 2 points dropped.

    With every substitution, he managed to weaken the team. At the end it was a shell of the first half lions who gave Mourinho his worst half in his career 🙂

  • 3 the broons // Sep 30, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    Am confused? at what point did Steve Black do this? I don’t remember it. And yeah the coaches aren’t supposed to come on to the pitch but you see people like Mourinho run all the way up to the corner flag sometimes!

    And I doubt Black actually went strolling about, interupting play. If his point is that it is Mcclaren’s job as head coach to do so then that to me just sounds like nonsense. There is a technical area where staff aren’t supposed to exit (which no one obliges too) that applies to all staff. I think this is just another pundit that has it in for us to be honest.

  • 4 sickandtired // Sep 30, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    @Cyprus – I remain far from impressed, yet, with Schteeve.
    That said, what choice did he have with the Subs? Mitro could barely walk and Colback was injured.
    Judging by Simpsons comments – it was the players who took their foot off the gas in the 2nd half, not a coaching staff directive.
    As for Black, I presume you were being sarcastic? Gayle should step out of the ice age – because if he thinks Black can’t motivate players despite that being his job (or shouldn’t have to) then he plainly knows nothing of his relationship with Johnny Wilkinson, or Charlie Austin. Even ole ‘Arry raves about him.
    Ed says he cant’ see ‘much wrong’ in it. I don’t see anything wrong in it!

  • 5 sickandtired // Sep 30, 2015 at 9:58 AM

    @ The Broons – it was after the match ended! Blackey came on and gave the lads some one to one chat before they left the pitch.

  • 6 martoon // Sep 30, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    On topic surely it depends on what Steve Black was saying to them. If he was patting them on the back and saying well done then no problem. However if he was trying to go into deep technical discussions then, agreed, that wasn’t the time or the place. As we will probably never find out how can we or Tony Gale judge?

  • 7 sickandtired // Sep 30, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    @Martoon – why would he even attempt to be giving ‘deep technical’ input?
    He’s there for motivational/sports psychology reasons, nothing else, and he was doing just that.
    As I said, if he’s good enough for Johnny Wilkinson to make use of and rave about, then this club and it’s players can dearly do with him.

  • 8 AdamSQZ // Sep 30, 2015 at 2:02 PM

    I don’t usually post much, but really feel like I need to say, “pipe down Tony Gale!”. Talk about nit-picking…

    Steve Black is there to motivate & congratulate where appropriate and after the game while they players are coming off the pitch is one of them!

  • 9 Ravostag // Sep 30, 2015 at 9:04 PM

    What amazes me is that anyone actually listens to the overpaid cockney or scouse pundits that litter sky and Beeb1. I switch on when the match starts leave the room at HT and do the same at full time. We can all draw our own conclusions and don’t need to be told what is right or wrong. Incidentally we never get a commentary of the game now only pundits talking about how many we have won, lost who is top of the league, who is the star, blah blah blah

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