Ben Burgess: How do you lose a dressing room?

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
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In the Premier League this week there’s been an abundance of talk from ‘experts’ about managers ‘losing’ the changing rooms.

Well, what exactly does a lost changing room look like? A great example of that right now is the rather palatial one at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho has already presided over more defeats this season than he did in the whole of the campaign last year. Star players like Eden Hazard, John Terry, Nemanja Matic and Branislav Ivanovic are making simple mistakes and looking distinctly average. They will not be doing this on purpose but I can almost guarantee that everyone of them has had a run in with Mourinho at some point recently.

Jose was always they type of manager that created an ‘Us v Them’ mentality that players loved him for, but that’s gone out of the window as he feels the pressure of a certain trigger happy Russian owner.

He’s publicly criticising and ridiculing his own players, look at his decision to take Matic off against Southampton just 20 minutes after bringing him on. Will Matic run through brick walls for him now? Or subsequently will his morale and confidence be at an all time low?

I’ve never played for a team that had a manager sacked until I joined Notts County. Then I had 4! Certainly there is one place close to home where the dressing room looks anything but ‘lost’.

Surprisingly, that haven of motivation and desire is in the not so palatial Squires Gate training ground. Despite the vast amount of unrest surrounding the football club and its owners, Neil McDonald has slowly started (hopefully) to turn things around by achieving back to back wins in the league for the first time in two years!

All this coming against two decent sides in Chesterfield and Swindon. This was even followed up by a Cup victory away from home with a lot of ‘fringe’ players involved.

Blackpool’s players could never have fully appreciated or expected the issues surrounding this once great club when they signed. The majority of players have had little experience of ‘real’ first team football before and they’ve started with some poor results. What McDonald has somehow managed to do is not let their heads go down. After the dire 2 – 0 defeat to Shrewsbury a couple of weeks ago, many of us thought things could get even worse from here. Thankfully that hasn’t happened and that result will hopefully prove to be a turning point in Blackpool’s season.


Predictably, just as the England football team does every few years and just as the England Cricket team did recently, England’s once all conquering rugby team have fallen at the first hurdle in their own World Cup! Despite that disappointment, I’ve taken a lot more interest in this World Cup having never really watched rugby before. You have to have a huge amount of respect for the players who dish out an unbelievable amount of punishment to each other over a course of 80 minutes.

They clearly train hard and what it must feel like to be hit by 20 stone of pure muscle, I dread to think.

A lot of people have been campaigning for TV replays so often used in Rugby to be brought into football. I steadfastly disagree with this idea having witnessed countless ‘Tries’ being disallowed a full 4 or 5 minutes after they were ‘scored’.

This might be essential on the rugby field, but football is a fast paced game and that’s why we love it. Nobody wants to witness players stood around whilst the referee confers with countless others and everybody watches the big screen. Yes, mistakes happen in football, but that’s what helps bring out the passion in players and fans, the great arguments and debates you can have with football fans all over the world. Yes, instant goal line technology would be ok, but the rest needs to stay away from our beautiful if not perfect game.