Friday's soccer news starts with a simple concept. What does a super coach look like without a super team? It works for any sport, asking how tactics and strategies adjust without the elite player advantage. Since super coaches regularly lose jobs with super clubs, we already know that those advantages might not necessarily make the difference. They're also not necessarily enough to succeed.
Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho spoke to that while working as a pundit for the Asian Cup. The Telegraph's James Ducker relayed Mourinho's opinion on how top level soccer really works.
“The coaches nowadays need a structure, need a club organised in a certain way. A club must have an owner or president, a CEO or a director executive, a sporting director or a football director and then the manager. This is the structure that can cope with all of the problems than modernity is bringing to all of us. For me, a club must be very well organised to cope with all of these kinds of situations where the manager is only the manager, and not the man who is trying to keep the discipline or is trying to educate the players."
It's an interesting point, especially given the tendency to reduce performance to the coach and the roster. Soccer has obviously changed in recent years, even in England where the "cult of the manager" is still somewhat in place. As Mourinho outlined, it takes more than the manager. If he's right, that team approach has to change what we see over and over. A "parting of the ways" when it's only the coach shown the door.
The National's Andy Mitten looks at Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa's process with the coach defending how he scouts opponents. The Guardian's Jonathan Wilson uses the word "meticulous" to describe Bielsa's approach. The Washington Post's Matt Bonesteel gives a US perspective on Bielsa's response.
ESPN's Raphael Honigstein on what Borussia Dortmund is doing differently this season. The Athletic's David Amoyal explains how free transfers really work. These Football Times' Ben Parsons with an appreciation of the job David Wagner did at Huddersfield Town.
AP's Francis Kokutse and Gerald Imray report on the assassination of journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale who reported on corruption in Ghanaian soccer.
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All 8 Americans who've played in the Bundesliga this season have scored. And there's more on the way! 🇺🇸💪 pic.twitter.com/hR7uWyqNGy
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