As a host of retired footballers take their baby steps into management this season, my curiosity as to how they’re shaping up to become the main man bears snippets of their progress so far .

Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and most recently Thierry Henry have traded their football boots for trainers and with the memories of their exploits on the pitch still fresh, the sight of them in a suit rather than a tracksuit on matchday is taking some getting used to but these men are steadily showcasing what they have to offer the spectacle that is modern day football.


Playing position and whom they played for has a massive influence on how they view the game when switching from player to manager

Thierry Henry has promised to adopt a style of play referencing the tenets of Pep Guardiola coupled with Arsène Wenger’s masterful teachings in his first managerial role at former club Monaco. A club whose policy of selling their exciting young talent and basically all their best players for large profit has finally caught up with them in a dismal season that sees them lying in the relegation zone.
Henry claims he would like his team to defend as a unit, attacking shouldn’t be any different and he  would look to his assistants who include former Arsenal Under 18’s coach Kwame Ampadu, father of Chelsea’s rising star, Ethan, to help drill his methods quickly into his players.
He oversaw a 2-1 loss at Strasbourg over the weekend due to a series of unfortunate incidents as he had to replace injured marksman Radamel Falcao in the first half and have a man sent off in the second period when already a goal down to ensure a miserable managerial debut that couldn’t be more difficult.

Henry rejected the offer to take the reins at Aston Villa for the Monaco job so he obviously has the utmost confidence in his abilities and in Falcao, Aleksandr Golovin, Youri Tielemans, Stevan Jovetić, Kamil Glik, veteran Croatian ‘keeper Danijel Subašić and Nacer Chadli amongst others, He has enough quality in the squad to work with and we should begin to sing praises of his influence on the team before long. That is before the chance to sign more players who suit his ideas in the January transfer window.

Steven Gerrard has taken Rangers up a notch this season, reviving their fortunes in the Europa League and overseeing a 4-1 over Hamilton yesterday to move up to fifth in the league. He’s made the team harder to beat and they no longer leak goals as they did last season.
They press high up the pitch and he’s been true to his promise of aggression in defending with the infusion of a clear, compact shape. The Gers are certainly a better team since Stevie G pulled up at Glasgow and the board and fans would hope for more of the same to be in a position to compete at the top end of Scottish football with Old firm rivals, Celtic soon, just as they had hoped.
Derby Manager Frank Lampard (Getty images)

Frank Lampard sets his Derby County side to be hard working, defensively well-organized, emphatic in the opposition box with a lot of players in the box when they’re in the final third and encourages long shots from outside the box (firmly reminiscent of Frank the footballer).

They usually counter attack the opposition with quick passes to initiate breaks down the flanks when they win possession in their half of the pitch. Mason Mount has been particularly taken under his manager’s wing as the on-loan teenager has been recreating the midfield dynamics we witnessed from the man himself.

Derby’s progression via penalties at Old Trafford in the league cup a few weeks ago is testament to the winning mentality and organization Lamps has instilled in his side who now sit fifth on the English Football League Championship. The fourth round draw away to Chelsea is reward for his efforts and what a first season the Chelsea legend is having, he once scored against Chelsea for Manchester City and getting a Chelsea scalp again would be such a storyline.
John Terry and new boss Dean Smith (GETTY Images)

John Terry and Michael Carrick are honorable mentions of playing colleagues of the new band of managers who are in coaching capacities at the moment.

JT and Carras captained their respective sides last season and its a big plus to have a captain in the backroom staff at any club. Terry would be massive for new manager Dean Smith in the Aston Villa dressing room, just as Carrick must have been at Man. United in keeping the squad in line with the coaches during their roller coaster season.

Michael Carrick with Boss José Mourinho (GETTY Images)

Carras finds himself in a privileged position, he is well-liked and respected at Man. United and being in José Mourinho’s coaching staff having played and learned under the tutelage of Legendary Sir Alex Ferguson for seven years is a no-brainer.

We wouldn’t be getting any insights into the coaching philosophy of either men as yet but man management skills would certainly be in full use and I suspect they’re already superb, Man management by the ex-stars is expected to be nothing short of that.

I am particularly looking forward to the managerial rivalries that arise between these managers in the next few years, with the promise of seeing no punches pulled.


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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