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Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Some excellent comments here from England Rugby Coach, Martin Johnston, interviewed by Oliver Brown of The Daily Telegraph:
‘It would be a brave man who bracketed Martin Johnson and Arsène Wenger, but the iron-fisted totem of England rugby appears firmly in the professor’s debt. Johnson is talking, as he is so often prone to do, about “the group” at his disposal in this auspicious World Cup year. But when it comes to selecting his players for such a group, he reaches for some intriguing inspiration.
“I heard Wenger speaking last autumn and he was talking about the type of characters he wanted to play at Arsenal,” says Johnson…….“He was saying the guys who were winners were never happy with their performance. They always want to improve, to get better. You should never get to the stage of patting yourselves on the back.”…………
In his blinkered focus, Johnson invites accusations of acting as a disciplinarian. Does he, I wonder, allow his players to breathe as part of their ferocious training regime. “Breathing’s on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” he grins, before recalling an innovation by his celebrated predecessor, Sir Clive Woodward, known as the 'Lombardi rule’.
Loosely, this refers to the principle devised by legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, who would call team meetings for 9am and then start them at 8.30. Johnson plainly endorses the philosophy. “Clive was a real stickler for punctuality. But it’s not simply about rules, it’s about embracing the right type of behaviour. If you can’t trust guys to be on time for a meeting, how can you trust them to do something that’s difficult? It’s about behaviour." ......'
For more, see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/england/8367427/Martin-Johnson-Not-every-England-player-is-like-me.-Thats-what-I-need-to-understand.html