What happens when a player goes to the manager’s office?

Conversations between managers and players almost always take place behind closed doors, which is how it should be in my opinion. Whether it’s talking about personal issues, about footballing matters or about fitting into the team, such meetings have always taken place.

However, with the latest documentaries in which large production companies put cameras behind the scenes of a football club, some of these conversations are being made public. The most recent, and surely the most famous example, was the one in which José Mourinho, Dele Alli and Danny Rose featured, the Amazon Prime “All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur” documentary.

The dilemma presented when a player goes to speak to their manager

In a recent interview with Stadium Astra, I gave my point of view on the complicated situation that arises when a player goes to speak to their manager to find out why they are not playing, or to ask them for more minutes on the pitch. 

One weekend you decide that a certain player won’t play, and the following Monday they come to see you in your office to ask the reasons for your decision. You give them your honest explanation

Then, the following week, the player might play, and believe me, they think it’s because they went to see the manager on Monday. And if they don’t play, they also think it’s because they went to see the manager on Monday! It’s a lose-lose situation with the player.

Before the player goes to see the manager, I suggest they have a good think about the team’s results, about how the other players in their position are playing and training, about their future, about the number of games there are during a season… and if they’re still not happy after contemplating those things, they should go to see the manager. But one thing should be clear: whatever happens after is not a consequence of the meeting.

It’s a difficult situation for the manager and it’s not easy to deal with every week.