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Manchester United's lack of philosophy an advantage in these chaotic times | Jonathan Wilson

The Guardian

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side are better able to adapt to the bizarre circumstances of this season while Liverpool are struggling

Did Alex Ferguson have a “philosophy”? Perhaps, over the 39 years between him taking his first job at East Stirlingshire and him retiring in 2013, it is possible to pick out some essential principles, but fundamentally he changed according to circumstance. He did not formulate and then enact some grand theory of how football should be played; his greatest assets were his capacity to organise, to motivate and to evolve.

Yet recently, the assumption has been that managers must be philosophers: Pep Guardiola with his juego de posición, Jürgen Klopp and the German school of Gegenpressing, all the various followers of Vítor Frade and his theories of tactical periodisation. Since Ferguson’s final success in 2013, the only Premier League title not won by a philosopher-manager is Leicester’s in 2016 – and even they had a clearly defined way of playing.

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January 23rd 2021, 11:13 pm
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