Thursday, May 23, 2019

Should footballers really need that much motivation to perform?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 4 Feb 2019

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It is very strange that in the last few weeks, we have had both Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri and Everton boss Marco Silva talking about their players lacking motivation. Apart from the pair being very brave talking about the subject in such a candid manner, it got me thinking (oh no he’s thinking this could be dangerous!) why do professional footballers lack motivation?

Is the problem too much money?

The first thing that would spring to mind is that some of these so-called professionals may earn too much money. These are highly paid athletes supposedly at the top of their profession. However, these are also often very young guys who have been pampered their whole life.

They no longer wash the professional’s boots or need to do their own kit like in the old days of football. No, these young guys are handed everything on a plate, many with massive contracts in their teens.

Once they have that big contract, some must think I don’t have to work hard anymore or do my best I get paid, whatever happens, win, lose or draw. At the end of the day, it doesn’t affect them negatively in any way.

However, if money was the cause of players underperforming, why are there millionaire players producing week in and week out for other teams. Lionel Messi is a great example of a player who has more money than he can count, yet still produces breath-taking performances on a regular basis.

Do these players not have any professional pride?

Most working class football fans would love to play for their club. I accept that to most footballers, it is just a job. The game pays for their next Porsche or mansion. However, do they not have any professional pride? Do they not want to be renowned as a top person in their profession?

Many players decide to down tools under certain bosses and then the bosses get the blame for poor performances. It has happened a number of times in recent years, especially at Chelsea where there seems to be a culture of players performing when they want to and then blaming the managers for their poor displays.

Yes, it is true that a good boss will get more out of a player than a bad one. However, at the end of the day players have to start taking responsibility for their own underperformance and start upping their game.

These grown men should not need the team’s boss to give them extra motivation. The will to win and do a good job should be enough for them to perform. Maybe the players who are underperforming are not mentally strong enough to play at the elite level of sport.

Bosses will pay the price for underperformance

Fortunately, for the overpaid players, usually, the team’s boss takes the blame for their underperformance. Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is now odds of 8/1 to be the next Premier League boss to leave his job, while Marco Silva is just 6/1 to leave Everton.

Both bosses have talented squads of players, Sarri more than Silva. These players are internationals, worth an absolute fortune that play a game that millions of people play each week just for the love of it. The least they can do it find the motivation to play at their top level for the fans paying their hard earned cash.

However, the sad truth is if Chelsea fails to qualify for the Champions League, Sarri will more than likely be out the door next summer, albeit with a big payoff. The majority of his ‘hard to motivate’ underperforming players will still be at the club picking up ridiculous wages whether they can be bothered or not.

The same will likely happen to the next boss when the players ‘lose motivation’. Maybe it is time these players looked themselves in the mirror and attempted to improve their performances, instead of using their bosses as scapegoats for their failures.

Should footballers really need that much motivation to perform?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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