Crio’s Question: The responsibility of coaches?

Kevin Muscat, recidivist, was a loser last night. Victory was unluckily, bravely defeated 1-0 but, just as significantly, the images after the final whistle were of their high profile coach confronting the refs with a vitriolic and very public spray. In front of a volatile home crowd this could easily have triggered a riotous response – luckily the Brisbane fans were happily contemplating a GF next week while, 1700kms away, Melboune fans had their heads in their hands after a week of misfortune.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………   “Coaches”, the righteous proclaim,”have a responsibility to the game”. “Custodians!” others concur.   Indeed, their tactics and actions can have a profound influence on a code. But that is not what they are paid to do. Their job is to win. Ask David Moyes of the consequences otherwise. Thus they will seek to find any advantage to exploit. Rules are bent. “Spirit of the game” is irrelevant. Time wasting and faking are tolerated if not celebrated.

There’s been some discussion this season about ungainly stoppages in AFL. Pundits have suggested getting rid of boundary throw-ins, convinced that would make play more centralised. I reckon tacticians will simply coach the cynical tap on to an opposing player as exploited in soccer.

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Coaches are doing a job that is demanding and cut throat. But, like in many other careers, surely they must also be held accountable for the wider consequences of their actions…their employers will respond to “winningness” but shouldn’t sports and society in general demand better standards?

Comments

  1. E.regnans says:

    Good one Crio.
    Winning is where it starts and ends in professional sport. Currently.
    Refer: Chelsea’s tactics v. Liverpool on Sunday night.
    Refer: tanking for higher draft picks
    Refer: injecting players
    Refer: sledging and time wasting in Test cricket
    It is the dominant motivation. Rules are bent to achieve the win.
    I’d love to see a scenario where other motivations dominate the sponsorship dollar, such as seeing the game prosper, developing fine citizens, etc.
    A scenario in which companies pay more to be associated with a club of good character, rather than a winning club. Rewarding behaviour.
    Imagine that…

  2. Dave Nadel says:

    As you recognise in your comments about David Moyes, Crio, the position of footy coaches or soccer managers are always fragile. As the old cliche goes, there are only two sorts of coaches, those who have been sacked and those who are going to be sacked. Given the consequences of losing coaches have to focus on winning. This is why preservation of the game is ultimately the responsibility of the AFL. Coaches, committees and fans will accept anything that wins a flag, If you hate the way that Ross Lyon (and others) have changed the game demand that the AFL do something about it. Don’t expect Lyon to change his tactics, If those tactics win Freo their first flag Ross will be the most popular man in Western Australia.

  3. I hate the knee jerk reaction to bad games. Lets not kid ourselves that all the games in the 70s and 80s were wonderful. Let the coaches coach, and let other coaches out-coach them. It will evolve, ebb, flow, change, change back again. The game is currently an ugly tackle-fest as crap teams try not to lose by too much. But some clever person will come up with a solution. It has happened right through the history of sport and footy.

    But forchrissakes keep the bloody administrators and rule makers out of it.

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