Nagelsmann wants managers mic'd up to players during matches
Written by Simon Austin — September 18, 2021
BAYERN MUNICH manager Julian Nagelsmann says electronic communication between players and coaches during matches is something “we absolutely need in football.”
The 34-year-old cited the example of the NFL, where the quarterback and one defensive player from each time are allowed radio receivers inside their helmets in order to receive instructions from their coaches.
Whereas only one-way communication is allowed in American Football - from coach to player - Nagelsmann wants football to go one step further.
"This is something that we absolutely need in football,” the German told Münchner Merkur. “Ideally with a connection back, so that the player can communicate with the coaches.
“It's extremely loud in the stadium, you don't have a stop-and-go game like the one in American Football. There is no time-out, there is only half-time to discuss tactical matters with the players.
"You have to go ahead and say: ‘We want that. We want something in our jerseys that players and coaches can communicate with.’”
Nagelsmann argued that football as a sport is sometimes slow to innovate and adopt technology.
”Football is highly technological, but it is also a sport with a long tradition,” he said. “And too often football still hides behind this tradition - and that has to be broken.”
The German has previously spoken of his admiration for American Football - particularly about the ability of NFL players to learn pre-prepared ‘plays.’
“It’s a very interesting sport and I think we can learn a lot from American Football in soccer and our players can learn a lot from it as well,” he said last year. “Especially in terms of their discipline in studying and executing the team’s playbook. I definitely think that’s an area that soccer can improve on.
“The game is based on an unbelievable number of plays, and the players have to understand a lot of specific terms and then act accordingly out on the field. They have to do all that extremely quickly, which is extraordinary.”
He added that the way American Football was structured helped contribute to this discipline.
“In the NFL you generally only have one-year contracts,” he said, “so if you make the wrong run three times then you’re out and you don’t get a new contract. That means you always have to push yourself to the limit as a player.”
Nagelsmann also took part in a ‘Coaches Corner’ discussion with Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid on Bayern Munich’s YouTube channel last week (see below).
Again, the Bayern manager returned to the theme of the playbooks that are used in America Football. He said: “It’s not normal in the Bundesliga or soccer in general to work with a playbook and I’m very interested in doing that. How do you convey it and how do the players learn it and how many pages do they have to know?”
Reid replied: "By the end of the year we’ll have close to 500 different plays they have to have in mind right now, within a split second. Teaching becomes important and how you end up communicating that to the player inevitably becomes the most important thing."
When Nagelsmann asked whether Reid or his quarterback Pat Mahomes would choose a particular play during a game, Reid said: "We go through every situation, we break everything down. I actually have a big gameplan sheet I use. I’ll call the play and then Pat will run it."
Nagelsmann responded: "To plan everything is perfect. In soccer it’s not so easy, because you have all the media and if you have a gameplan like that there will be big headlines. I think it’s perfect to try and prepare every situation."
And when asked which of his players he would take to the NFL, Nagelsmann said Robert Lewandowski.
"He can also be a good receiver,” he said. “He's fast and physically strong. In the Red Zone it would be perfect for catching a short pass and making a touchdown. "
When asked which of his players could make it in football, Reid said wide receiver Tyreek Hill. "He's fast and has the stamina to run as much as you do.”