Thursday, 19 January 2012

Mind games

Fabulous little interview at the always thought provoking Craven Cottage Newsround with football pyschologist Dan Abrahams.

A snippet:
It seems to me that football is a game of momentum. How can players change a game’s momentum?

I need a whole book to answer this one. From a football psychology perspective you must plan to deal with momentum before playing. Specifically preparing the strategies you are going to use to deal with momentum both for and against. Examples of cognitive strategies I’ve used with players include deliberately keeping focus in the present moment, positive and confident self-talk no matter what, and verbal cues related to sticking to role and responsibilities. Behavioural strategies include visual cues, deliberately playing with fun and freedom, maintaining positive body language and being more vocal.
Great question given that momentum seems a difficult thing to stop, other than feigning injury and creating a break in play - artificially curtailing momentum. It's a shame that it's such a technical answer - would love to see some real examples of this.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Money, money, money

Just seen this in the Guardian.

One of those players was the then 19-year-old RubĂ©n Rochina, who was signed for €450,000 (£372,000) from Barcelona. His agent, Manuel Salamanca Ferrer, received a £1.65m fee

I guess the astronomical wages of players make football's administrators believe that these kind of payments are justifiable? I just find it all depressing.

Monday, 9 January 2012


A combination of a six month old daughter, a 200 mile relocation, my biggest work deadline of the year and the complete ineptitude of BT means I haven't seen much football nor been online much in recent months. I get the feeling I'm certainly going to struggle to keep up with Fulham from the top tip of Derbyshire.
But there are odd games that I can catch. I saw the last 20 minutes or so of the victory against Arsenal for example - ie the best bit. What I don't understand is bad loser Arsene Wenger's point about it being obvious that Fulham were targeting Djourou - if it was that obvious, maybe he should have done something about it by subbing him?
The red card did highlight one of the lovely things about Craven Cottage - the 'tunnel' positioned in the corner of the pitch. If an opposition player is sent off in front of the Hammersmith End then there is an awfully long, and lonely, walk back to the Cottage and the changing rooms within. You don't even get the chance to walk back along by the dug out for some moral support, as you would in other stadia with tunnels at the corner, such as Old Trafford and Villa Park. The layout of the Cottage also provides the funny instances of managers holding up the start of the second half as they attempt to get to the dug outs by cutting across the pitches - I believe this also happened in this match!
Meanwhile Fulham have won another London derby - with my man Clint dispatching Charlton with a hat-trick:

Also in London, it seems Mark 'strange man' Hughes has decided to stop looking like an arse defending Carlos Tevez from the pundit's chair and will replace Neil Warnock at QPR. Here's hoping the Rs have the requisite ambition for Mr High and Mighty, but Sparky should know that it is a decision that will move him away from his dream job of managing Chelsea - Loftus Road is twice as far away from Stamford Bridge as Craven Cottage.

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