How Joe Carnall will evolve analysis role at Millwall
Written by Simon Austin — October 22, 2019
IT may have been a surprise to hear Gary Rowett was only taking only two staff with him to Millwall (he took six to Stoke City) but not that one of them was his trusted lieutenant Joe Carnall.
The analyst has been at the manager’s side since they first worked together at Birmingham City, in 2014. His role at The Den will be different to the ones at Birmingham (when he was Head of Performance Analysis), Derby (Head of Tactical Analysis) and Stoke (Head of Tactical Insights) though.
His new title at The Den will be Technical Coach, responsible for analysing training and making sure the team are reaching their tactical targets, while sitting next to Rowett on the bench on matchdays for the first time, relaying statistical information and video feedback.
In previous roles, Carnall has been in the tactical analysis room in the bowels of the stadium. With electronic devices now permitted on the bench during games, enabling tactical, technical and physical information to be relayed, new possibilities have opened up.
Rowett gave an insight into what we can expect of Carnall's Technical Coach role when the duo appeared on the Training Ground Guru Podcast, along with Dave Carolan, in April.
“We’ve spoken about rather than having three coaches on the bench - because you can get live physical and tactical data coming in - maybe we’ll have Joe sitting on the bench next time,” Rowett explained.
“Ultimately, you can give the manager not just your opinion, but an objective analysis of exactly what is going on. That’s where it’s starting to get more and more important.
“Because you can have that live feed on the bench, you can make those in-game interventions based on what you know is happening rather than what you think is happening.
“We’ve been labelled in the past as a group as perhaps having old-fashioned values, but I think some of the things we’ve done have been more advanced than a lot of people would understand.
“Things like predicting certain things on the pitch - when players are starting to fatigue, predicting certain patterns around possession, where opportunities to attack and spaces are - you can do a lot of that on data.
"Of course data is never going to replace the human eye and instinct for the game, but it can support your decision making.”
Technical Coach is a popular role on the Continent, yet still rare in English football. The other member of staff coming in with Rowett at Millwall is Callum Davidson, who becomes one of his assistants.
Davidson worked with Rowett and Carnall at Stoke City, having previously been at St Johnstone since June 2013, as well as part of the Scotland coaching staff under Gordon Strahan for a brief period.
Elsewhere, a number of previous manager Neil Harris’s staff remain. Adam Barrett, who was caretaker manager after Harris left earlier this month and Development Coach before that, will be one of Rowett's assistants.
Lee Turner continues as goalkeeper coach, Dan McLoone as Head of Analysis, Alex Aldridge as Head of Recruitment, Laurence Bloom as Head of Performance and Paul Tanner as Head of Medical.