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There are many strands to management but it boils down to three areas of expertise; assembling a squad, improving your players in training and picking the right team.
Slightly more nuanced but often just as vital are the subtle arts – like deflecting the blame when it all goes wrong.
Jose Mourinho is a master at this. Seriously. The Chelsea boss has regularly put himself at the centre of a media firestorm to erect a smokescreen around the deficiencies of his team, allowing his players to work on putting things right while their manager soaks up the scrutiny and eats up the column inches.
Harry Redknapp also went for a spot of diverting this week, albeit not quite as selflessly. Instead, the QPR boss took the heat off the players responsible for the laughable late collapse to Liverpool by creating a controversy around Adel Taarabt, a player who hadn’t taken his coat off.
Up at Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers showed his project management is one step ahead of the pack by actually acknowledging Mario Balotelli’s shirt swap wasn’t the reason his team were outclassed by Real Madrid.
With everyone else throwing Mario under the bus, Brendan was bright enough to realise the diversion was already in place.
In musical terms the Liverpool manager is currently traveling through classic ‘difficult third album’ territory.
If Swansea was Brendan’s big breakthrough and ‘Suarez with Liverpool’ his magnum opus, then the current Anfield offering is big on investment but short on creativity. The luckless Balotelli resembles the big-name producer brought in from another musical genre to provide something a bit different but failing miserably to gel with the rest of the band.
When a group hits the big time another issue can be a distracted rhythm section thrown off its game by the myriad temptation of success. While no one here is suggesting Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel now travel with their own pharmacist and have an intimate relationship with Jack Daniel’s, it is clear Liverpool’s problems also lie at the back of the band.
The real issue for Rodgers isn’t giving away dirty shirts, it’s keeping clean sheets. Everything else is just a diversion.