Own goal

Dutch football coach Marco van Basten is finding management a far trickier task than playing the game. As a striker Van Basten was ruthless. As a manager he has the same clinical focus and shows little emotion as he watches from the dugout, jaw set, x-ray eyes on the play.

Unfortunately for Marco though, his new function involves more than controlling a ball. Managing top international players with huge egos requires good communication skills and a human touch. Two things that Marco seems to lack at present. How else can you explain his manoeuvres this week? Out of the blue he phones two top internationals he had previously rubbished in the media to ask them if they would rejoin the squad. Both midfielder Mark van Bommel and striker Ruud van Nistelrooij promptly told him where to get off. Van Basten now admits that he had been ‘perhaps a little too hard’ on the players. And that he should have told them personally when they were left out of the team rather than leave them to find out via the media!
Van Basten is rightly trying to rejuvenate the team and is not afraid to make bold moves. But he should know better anyone that footballers have their pride! And as a manager he should swallow his more often.

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