The Undervalued Importance of Assistant Managers

It’s safe to say that if an average soccer fan were shown a picture of José Mourinho and asked which club he managed, he would know the answer straight away. Same would be said for Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola, or Massimiliano Allegri. Football managers quickly become the “face” of the clubs they lead. They are responsible for the majority of decisions and players’ characteristics usually emulate those of the managers (with any luck).

But what if the average fan were shown a picture of Paul Clement and asked which club he managed? Same question for Tassotti Mauro, Domenec Torrent, or Silvino Louro? Not many would.

For the record: Paul Clement is Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant at Real Madrid FC, Tassotti Mauro is Massimiliano Allegri’s assistant at AC Milan, Domenec Torrent assists Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munchen, and Silvino Louro assists Jose Mourinho at Chelsea FC.

In any sport, assistant mangers/coaches are unsung heroes and their importance is undervalued. Most home supporters are fully aware of their manager’s assistants and the roles they play, but outside of the club that is not the case.

This statement isn’t groundbreaking. In any profession, people understand the value of a quality support system in the workplace. The boss is the one whose head is on a platter if the business is stuttering. That’s why it’s important for him/her to choose quality associates and delegate authority appropriately. They would want loyal individuals with a tremendous work ethic, defined roles, and the ability to put in the necessary time it takes to insure the business a success.

In football management, an ideal assistant would be one with previous head coaching experience. It can’t be stated enough how important it is to have assistants who understand the difficulties a head coach faces each day.

Brian Kidd is currently the joint-assistant manager at Manchester City FC. Prior to working under Manuel Pellegrini, Kidd has worked alongside some notable managers in the sport: Sir Alex Ferguson, Roberto Mancini, Terry Venables, Neil Warnock, and Sven-Göran Eriksson. He also spent time as the head coach of Barrow, Preston North End, and Blackburn Rovers. But since 2000, his sole responsibilities have been in support of the manager.

Kidd has spent time at every level of the sport. He’s been a player, youth/reserve team coach, as well as various other duties involved in management.  He prides himself on being an “unassuming figure”. His qualities have allowed him to remain at clubs despite the sacking of the first team manager. He worked for both David O’Leary and Neil Warnock while at Leeds United. He then assisted Warnock again while at Sheffield United and remained at the club after Warnock resigned and Bryan Robson took over. And most recently, he remained on staff at Manchester City after Roberto Mancini was replaced by Manuel Pellegrini.

More than likely, the reason why Pellegrini chose to keep Kidd on staff is because of his experience within the Premier League. In any profession, having someone who is familiar with every aspect of the workplace can be invaluable to a new boss. Kidd provides this to Pellegrini, as well as an understanding of the players and day to day operations at Manchester City.

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One Response

  1. Dust October 16, 2013

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