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These kids think that the coach has only two tasks: first, turn on a computer program, second, write a stirring speech for the Coach of the Year award gala.

An old school coach that wants to put the new wave trainers in their place. How does he want to do that? Where does he see his advantage?

Read more in the interview.

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Old School

These kids think that the coach has only two tasks: first, turn on a computer program, second, write a stirring speech for the Coach of the Year award gala.

An old school coach that wants to put the new wave trainers in their place. How does he want to do that? Where does he see his advantage?

Read more in the interview.

You were succesful in the 80s and the 90s, later you disappeared from the coach radar. Don't you think football has changed too much since then for you to succeed?

Changed? Are we playing two balls now? In teams of twelve? Maybe we're scoring the distance players covered, not the goals?

You know what I'm talking about.

The last time I checked, football is still about who scores one goal more. I can tell you, I remember a game like that. It was called football. And I, too, used to coach football, quite well if I dare say so.

Coach, you can make a big joke out of everything, we all know you're the king of an eloquent interview and a charismatic statement. But the facts are what they are - football has changed. Advanced statistics and analyzing the rival are so much more important today. It wasn't that developed back in your day.

You're trying to make an old clown out of me, editor, but people didn't like interviews with me just because they were funny. They liked them because they were meaningful, and they were meaningful because of my merit. Well, I can see the direction the world is going, I'm not ignorant. But I believe that the advanced statistics are, for now, and ocean of data many coaches drown in. These kids think that the coach has only two tasks: first, turn on a computer program, second, write a stirring speech for the Coach of the Year award gala. 

I've seen unhealthy excitement caused by the distance players covered, and I laughed at that. Everyone was about analysing and stressing that. Praise the team for how many kilometers they've run through! I think that if I play better, it's the rival who's going to chase the ball, not me. That's the madness of today's football, praising inability to play the game. And what if I play defensively, focus on countering, at the thirtieth meter? I won't cover much distance either, because I've been betting on three good counters from the start. And that's the career of a stat that's not saying anything and only misleads people.

But there are stats that say much more. Expected goals, for instance

The factor that says a striker should score three goals, not two? You think I need that? Let me tell you: a drunkard from the last row in the stands would tell you the same thing that the machinery tracking expected goals does. You really don't need artificial inteligence to know that a striker should score three goals, not two.

Mr. Editor, maybe there will be a time we'll learn to swim in this sea of data. I'm not against going in this direction. I will take a look at a report, too, I'm not a dinosaur. But I think some people, trusting too complicated data too much, are like those guys who want to install a laser, a level and an alarm clock on their hammers. Great gadgets! Great distraction. Let it distract the competition. I'll use my hammer.

What will you be using, then?

Getting my team to approach the game the best it can. Opponent analysis? I'm not saying it's not important. But some people spend so much time on the rival that they don't remember the names of their own players. I think that, sure, it's good to know what your competition can do, but it's really all about making your own team strong. That's how you win in football, with a strong team! That's how it's always been and how it will always be.

Let me use a military metaphor. Let's say somebody has drawn a whole battlefield for you. There are pits here, there are landmines there, a stand with a machine gun. But what does it matter if you've equipped your army just with water guns? Do you know what all this knowledge about your enemy's strength can tell you then? It tells you how exactly you're going to get blown into pieces. I'll pass this time building up a tank that doesn't need any map.

In that case, what's your team supposed to be like?

I won't tell you what it is supposed to be, just what will it be. Victorious. It will come for its enemies' throats starting with the first minute. The one thing I'm jealous about is that my enemies will get to analyse me. Because this will be quite a show. I think they'll appreciate the beautiful style in which they'll get blown into pieces.

Old School

You meet a man with this personality once in a lifetime. He's an old school coach who values the outcome over the show.

He's a man of intuition who shuts the mouth of football critics with simplest, but most efficient decisions. Thanks to him your players will be in perfect physical shape, and, more importantly - they will be effective. Throw away the statistics and the pretty game, but get the trophies, fans' adoration and relish in journalists' being devasted for that reason.

The decisions you make during the game will make a particularly strong impact on it. We're all about football, not philosophy.

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