Two Englishmen have their teams in Sunday's League Cup Final, which ensures a native born manager will win a major English trophy for the first time since 1996. This story from the Telegraph, "Sweeping aside old-fashioned mentality," discusses the approach of Bolton's manager Sam Allardyce.
Allardyce comes from an old school background. But watch a Bolton game, and when the camera pans to the shot of the manager in the stands, you'll see Allardyce talking into a recorder attached to his head. I'd always thought it looked a bit silly, but Allardyce could care less about appearances. In his position you wouldn't want to lose the random on-the-fly observation the way I often do. But it goes deeper than that:
"When the Bolton boss addresses his troops at half-time on Sunday, he will have a stream of data available to him from the laptop computer of one of his analysts. If Kevin Nolan has not done enough running, he will be given a read-out before the manager's bawl out."
And deeper still: Tai Chi anyone? Mental performance coach? Calls to Formula One teams to gain insight from their methods? Its all there in the Telegraph story. Makes the boys in "The Club" depicted in Michael Lewis' SI piece look like Neanderthals. Work beckons. More on that tomorrow.