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The Dean Holdsworth column: Coaching with Rafa

This week I started the course for my coaching badges in Cardiff and its going great. It’s been an intensive few days with lots to cram in, and we were delighted to be joined by Rafa Benitez (pictured) and Damian Comolli.

We had Paul Jewell there, who was taking a practical session and also giving us insight into his management techniques.

Micky Adams lead a tactical session and a talk on his management career, which was excellent.

So there was lots of psychology, career planning, forward planning, and it was really good. The Welsh Trust have been doing a fantastic job.

I think the most important thing for me is taking bits and pieces from each person and then changing it to my style and we do a lot of planning and a lot of statistics based on performance for pre-season training, which we are looking at now.

The Master Tactician app

There’s been times when we’ve been able to show some of coaches who are from the academies that the Master Tactician app is available with stats now and they’ve all given it the thumbs up.

I’m back in my office now, and preparations for next season are already under way.

I’ve been talking to players and agents, and there’s a lot of work to be done. We’ve got targets; we’re just waiting for all the boxes to be ticked.

Coaches really are the topical theme at the moment, especially Roy Hodgson, who named his England squad last Wednesday.

I think it’s a good squad for where we are at the moment and for players on form. There’s a decent balance, and I think the most important thing now is how you prepare.

England squad

It’s a very difficult job at the moment to get all the players together. The quicker they can get together the better it will be.

He needs to build partnerships around the squad and I think he will be disciplined and will show his man-management skills in the next few weeks.

I think inevitably we always believe that we’re going to win it. Have we got the players to win it? Possibly.

Do we play too many games building up to this? Possibly.

There are lots of questions that can cast a doubt and when you look post-tournament, you will see that there’s probably reasons why teams fail during the competition. It’s not just England.

Di Matteo's success

Another manager that is also in the news is Chelsea’s interim boss Roberto Di Matteo. I think he’s done a fantastic job, and let’s face it he couldn’t have done any more.

He’s achieved with Chelsea what no other manager under the reign of Abramovich has done before.

I don’t think he will be worrying too much about his future, as there will be plenty of other clubs that will be looking at him if Chelsea decide to go a different way.

He’s shown his man-management skills to great effect by taking a team that was in disarray, to being champions of Europe. He’s got to be in with a chance.

By Tom Coleman

Dean Holdsworth He is the co-developer of the Master Tactician app, which is now being used by managers and coaches at all levels of the game, with names like Sam Allardyce among the list of fans.Master Tactician is now available to download for half price HERE.

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