Top 10 stories of 2019
Written by Training Ground Guru — December 28, 2019
WE'VE been through our analytics to work out TGG's top 10 best-read stories of 2019. Here they are, in ascending order...
Ben Dirs visited Harry Redknapp at his Sandbanks home and found someone far removed from the caricature that's often presented.
"It is tempting to write Redknapp off as a hangover from a bygone age, when apprentices painted the ground in the summer and senior pros gathered balls after training, but he’s a lot more sophisticated than that."
Former Luton Town Academy Manager Gregg Broughton outlined why the club has become such a hotbed for Premier League talent, despite relatively modest resources.
Greg even quoted TS Eliot - a first on TGG - "The great ages didn’t contain more talent, but they wasted less."
Legendary Sevilla Sporting Director Monchi told us why "Big Data is the future of football."
“Lately, more than scouts, we started looking for engineers, mathematicians, physicists and experts in statistics or algorithms."
In a frank and insightful interview, Damian Roden lifted the lid on his time as Head of Sports Science at Stoke City. In his first three seasons, the club were riding high, but then the rot set in.
“The DNA of Stoke changed. The players that came in didn’t buy into a hard training culture."
Game Changers has been a Netflix sensation, racking up more sales on iTunes in a single week than any other documentary has in hitory. The only problem? Some of the film doesn't stand up to scientific scrutiny, as outlined by Preston's Head of Performance, Dr Tom Little, in this excellent piece.
"The film is a mix of the good, the bad and the downright ugly."
Sporting Director Stuart Webber transformed Norwich City from a dysfunctional team on and off the pitch into Championship winners.
There are plenty of gems in his interview with Connor Southwell - about his role, philosophy, homegrown players, English managers and why top players don't automatically make top coaches.
"If you immediately put Max Verstappen in charge of an F1 team, with 300 staff, people would think you were crazy."
In a fascinating interview at SiS Paris, Arsene Wenger explained the importance of scanning and how it separates the best from the rest.
“The problem in football is you learn how to play the wrong way round - first execution, then decision making and perception last. I have lost many top players because their head was on the ball and they were not seeing what was around them."
Brighton Technical Director Dan Ashworth - the man who revolutionised the way England teams play and prepare during his time at the Football Association - gave an in-depth insight into his role in this interview.
“A Technical Director’s role is always best described as looking after the interests of the club in the medium to long term."
Gary Neville later tweeted (below): "For those wanting to read why I feel United is where it is today and it’s not always the 'manager's fault' then please give up 2-3 mins of your time to read the below!"
For those wanting to read why I feel United is where it is today and it’s not always the “ Managers Fault “ then please give up 2-3 mins of your time to read the below ! What we are now witnessing is down to the short term decisions made. Hopefully this has now stopped . https://t.co/QukxSxbleH— Gary Neville (@GNev2) October 7, 2019
Here it is - our most popular story of 2019.
When Eddie Jones said, "There’s a Spanish guy, Alberto Mendez-Villanueva, who is absolutely brilliant and helped me a lot in understanding Tactical Periodisation," we knew we had to track him down.
Mendez-Villanueva, who is a coach at the ASPIRE Academy in Qatar, is a world-leading expert on the philosophy used by Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espírito Santo. He outlined the main principles and how to implement them.
"If you don’t work together as one staff, it is virtually impossible to do something close to Tactical Periodisation, or in fact any methodology where you want to get the physical and tactical integrated."