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  • Cavalry Trouser Tips
    replied
    If this don't motivate 'em...

    Baker & Kelly would have killed for that story.

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  • ian.64
    replied
    If this don't motivate 'em...

    Pure gold, Nathan. Excellent.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    If this don't motivate 'em...

    Nathan Helena Handcart wrote:
    a sports psychologist called Janet
    She looked more like a gannet,

    She wasn't half a prannet . . .

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    If this don't motivate 'em...

    NHH, oh jesus wept.... if thats true it should be more widely known. Oh the pictures... I hope, and wish they have been saved.

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  • NHH
    replied
    If this don't motivate 'em...

    When manager of Northampton in the mid 1990s, Ian Atkins went through what can only be described as a mid-life crisis. Having taken the Cobblers to the heady heights of the third tier, Atkins was looking to prove the doubters who considered him a journeyman clogger who as a manager produced uninspiring, if willing teams, wrong. Far be it for Atko to actually change. No, having featured in Alan Hansen's ever-so-clever documentary on the madness of management, Atko was ambitious, and this was a time of the new. We'd not yet found out new didn't mean good, just the same ineptitude masquerading as the modish, but Northampton perhaps found out more about the brave New Labour world ahead of the rest of us.

    He'd signed John Gayle the season before, who is by some margin the worst footballer I've ever seen. He really couldn't do the rudimentary skills of a bog standard park player, yet alone as a professional. He scored for Stoke in the League Cup against the Cobblers, which Atkins took as a sign of his talent, not a sign of his defenders' inability to defend a set play with a hulking great man-monster; imagine John Carew, but really, really, really shit. At the end of the season, the Cobblers had won promotion with the last kick of the previous season when John Frain scored in the last minute of injury time to beat Swansea.

    Anyway, Gayley was nothing if not willing. He'd started the next season by scrapping with Carl 'Hammond' Heggs in the pre-season. Heggs had played for Swansea before signing for Northampton and had a bit of a set-to with Gayle and they'd continued the dispute. There was definately something antagonistic and unlovable to the outsider of that year's Northampton which had a Crazy Gang feel to it and Gayle had been a womble albeit briefly. The team did seem to succeed precisely because they were favourites for relegation and thrived on being written off time and time again. They eventually lost to Grimsby in the play-offs which the high-water mark of Atkins' career, not that anyone knew then. Atkins didn't, and wanted more.

    Gayle swore by the services of a sports psychologist called Janet. I can't remember her name, but she seemed more new-age vapid motivator than scientist. He knew he wasn't the most skillfull, but he did want it more, he said, and Janet helped him translate his desire into performance. PMA. Positive Mental Attitude, said a Lucozade advert at the time featuring Kriss Akabusi, and Janet seemed to come from the school that emphasised relentless use of the word 'winner' mixed with mindless ignorance of reality masquerading as positive thinking that Akabusi embodied.

    Atkins recommended that everyone in the club start using her. Some found this helpful, other working class no nonsense types with 15 year careers in the game reacted to injunction to emote in a new age style in the manner you would expect.

    It reached its apogee (or zenith, depending) - and provided the reason for this post - with Janet recommending that the players drew pictures of themselves looking scary, which would then be placed on the walls of the opposition dressing room.

    I'm going to repeat that.

    The players drew pictures of themselves looking scary, which would then be placed on the walls of the opposition dressing room.

    I would have given anything to see the pictures. I can't even begin to speculate what they might have been like. In my mind's eye, they were closer to primary school than Picasso, but that's surely my own prejudices. Lots of green at the bottom, blue at the top and a pretty sun, complete with daubs allegedly a self-portrait of jobbing pros doing monster impressions.

    More pertinently, they seemed to have had the effect anyone on earth, rather than Planet Janet, would have expected. They didn't strike fear into the visitors to Sixfields, and the Cobblers got relegated. In truth, this was a time when players lower down the leagues still thought the riches of the Premiership were able to be reached by them, before the immutable caste-system set in stone, and so losing the third-tier play off seemed to unerringly lead to relegation the next season as crushed players, having missed their chance to have a chance at the big-time, just couldn't get their act together such was the depression.

    Behind the scenes, the normal stresses and strains of a club heading down the leagues got a twist from the divisiveness of Janet's methods in which Atkins swore. Soon, there was a division in the camp. Dissent seemed to coalesce around Colin Hill, all-round clever bloke on the squad and top-flight veteran from Leicester City. There were rumours that there had been showdowns, ultimatums and sides-taken. People left without reason and Rushden did a brisk trade, until Janet was dispensed with, and later on, Atkins himself. He never achieved the same success again, despite a brief reputation as the bottom-tier's Red Adair.

    Janet also did a column for the Match of the Day magazine, so Atkins wasn't the only person taken in by her. I just wish someone would have taken me into the dressing room before the visitors got there.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    If this don't motivate 'em...

    "No team on planet earth capitulates like Tottenham Hotspur"
    I wouldn't put that up for fear that they read it and think, 'Hmmm, yeah he's got a point'

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    If this don't motivate 'em...

    This whole thing is extremely common in the GAA. Stories of managers pinning unflattering press-cuttings up on the dressing-room wall before the match and roaring at the players to get out there and prove their detractors wrong are legion.

    If the team then wins, the manager will invariably use his post-match interview to have a swipe at the journalist(s) in question, even if the criticism was as mild as "I don't think Galway will quite have enough firepower to beat Kerry today".

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  • The Awesome Berbaslug!!!
    replied
    If this don't motivate 'em...

    It's all coz he doesn't sing the national anthem.

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  • EIM
    replied
    If this don't motivate 'em...

    I seem to remember Brondby's 'keeper Morgans Krogh had a pop at the United attack, Andy Cole in particular before Manchester United's group games with them in 1999. He conceded 11 goals over the two games.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest started a topic If this don't motivate 'em...

    If this don't motivate 'em...

    Over the years there are stories about phrases managers stick up on changing room walls to motivate their teams. Some of these are quotes in papers or from the opposition.

    Today I saw one in the Daily Mail (It was lying around on the table where my boy was getting his hair cut, honest...) and it made me think I'd stick that up at White Hart Lane. It was:

    "No team on planet earth capitulates like Tottenham Hotspur"

    Other examples???
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