The Key to Successfully Coaching in Europe

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Quite a few American players have enjoyed modest success in Europe. However, no American coach has yet to coach a first division team in one of Europe’s top leagues. Serie A? No. Bundesliga? Nein. La Liga? Nunca. Thus, we have to ask: what do American coaches lack? Mastery of tactics? Man-management? Opportunity?

All the above may be true. But, after years of careful study, I’ve found another explanation.

PowerPoint. Yes. You read that right. PowerPoint. Slides. Transitions. Images. Font colors. Snippets of video. Background colors that do not distract. I am happy to report that years of tedious research has revealed that PowerPoint is the key to great coaching and getting coaching jobs in Europe. Check out these facts:

April 24, 2013 – Bayern Demolishes Barca. At the time, everybody assumed Barcelona, like Spain, were Gods among men, Titans immune to fatigue and incapable of losing. The languid daddy longlegs of Busquets, the immaculately plucked eyebrows of Xavi Hernandez, the melanin allergy of Andres “Ghost in the Masia machine” Iniesta – nobody could touch the midfield.

Except for Jupp Henckes. And PowerPoint. The Bayern coach revealed that “I had a PowerPoint presentation so I could see all the runs Barcelona do.” And Barca caved like a house of cards in a cave but one of those caves with mysterious gusts of wind that occasion the collapsing of houses of cards in…said…cave.

September 21, 2014 – United Spills the Beans. Manchester United, biggest club in the world, future winner of the Europa League, revealed quite a telling secret at the official site no less: LVG’s assistant coach, Ryan Giggs, used PowerPoint to present opposition scouting info to the players. It worked incredibly well for the defense, who conceded very few goals.

October 13, 2015 – Big Sam’s “What If.” Less than a year ago, The Independent dropped an absolute bombshell. Sam Allardyce – the recently pariah’d coach of England and only coach of England to win every single competitive match – missed out on coaching the Three Lions years earlier because the poor-as-dirt FA could not afford PowerPoint facilities. Can you imagine?

Summer, 2002 – The Rise of Jose. How do you go from meddling lower tier player and translator to the manager of a top team in a respectable league in Europe? Yeah. You know the answer. PowerPoint. And, thanks to the internets, we have a link to the presentation used by The Special One to woo over Porto more than a decade ago.

We have a lot to learn from this document, so please pay close attention.

First, futbol is a sport of toughness, but also gentility. Thus, don’t be afraid to use pink fonts.

Second, shadows. Normally, PowerPoint Training (PPT) 101 is: never use shadows for blocks of text or even text itself. Still, if this worked for Jose, then maybe all the rules you thought you knew were MEANT TO BE BROKEN.

Third, grammar is important but not super important. Notice the lack of accents for certain words. The Porto CEO didn’t.

Fourth, the suckerpunch. Just as you have to be patient to bait a fish on a hook, you really need long, boring blocks of text to lull a busy executive to sleep. Then, just below the long and boring text, have something obvious in a different colored font followed by an exclamation point. This will  softly pull the executive out of slumber, but also reassure him or her that they needn’t feel bad about not paying attention: “The Most Important is the Club’s Success!” How can you not buy into that? Are you anti-success? Freak.

Bottom line: American coaches need to stop whining, move to Europe, and take really good PowerPoint Training classes. PPT is the key to opening that door of soccer coaching success abroad.

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