Archive for January 21st, 2011
Blues linked with Leicester City star
The Blues are looking to bolster their squad during the transfer window, and Alex McLeish is keen to add a midfielder to his options. …
Coventry City linked with out-of-favour Leicester City striker
COVENTRY CITY are mulling over a move for departing Leicester City striker Danny N'Guessan, according to reports. The former Lincoln City frontman, …
Paulo Sousa is convinced he could have brought success to Leicester City if he … – Leicester MercuryFriday, January 21st, 2011
Paulo Sousa is convinced he could have brought success to Leicester City if he …
In his first interview since he was acrimoniously sacked, after just nine league games, Sousa admits he made mistakes and accepts responsibility for City's …
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Paulo Sousa was so devastated by his sacking as Leicester City manager that he could not face watching any football for weeks as he came to terms with his departure.
The 40-year-old said he turned his back on the game that had been such a massive part of his life since he first started kicking a ball on the streets of Viseu, Portugal, as a boy.
But now, three and a half months since his sacking, which came after just nine league games in charge and with City in the bottom three of the Championship, Sousa has decided to speak about his experiences at the Walkers Stadium and his frustration that he was not given the time and resources to implement his plans.
Sousa still lives happily in Leicestershire, and he looks calm and relaxed as he speaks about what went wrong for him at the Walkers, but the flame that fired him up to become a double Champions League winner as a player has been re-ignited as he looks to make a return to management.
“Emotionally, I felt very down because, as a person, I am always very positive and I felt I could have handled the situation and turned things around if certain things had gone differently for me,” he said.
“Of course, I have to accept my responsibilities and I am not the type of person who makes excuses. I made mistakes in some areas.
“My first two or three weeks afterwards I didn’t want to watch games or think about football. I wanted to spend time with my family and to draw pleasure from my wife and daughter.
“After that I started to reflect on what happened and why I made the decision to come to Leicester, and why I didn’t achieve the success I proposed to myself as a manager and a person.
“I began to reorganise all my ideas and my values in football, not just in England but also abroad. I invested in myself and my knowledge by reading all kinds of literature from England and other countries to look at different perspectives and dimensions of football.
“Now I feel the time is right to talk about what happened.”
Sousa said he was full of hope when he left Swansea City and joined Leicester last July.
He had joined a “massive” club which matched his ambition, but while he admits he made mistakes, he also said there were factors at the club which made it incredibly difficult to succeed, and he was not given the time to overcome the obstacles.
“I don’t want to make excuses for what happened,” he said.
“One of the major mistakes I made was I wasn’t quick enough to take decisions, or determined enough to ask for things.
“I came in at a delicate time with the proposed takeover. Milan Mandaric was trying to sell the club and there was indecision, and I wasn’t strong enough or brave enough to ask for things.
“You need to have the right environment which allows me to do the best job. To do that you have important areas where I needed complete control. I didn’t control certain areas and I did not have the chance to change things, to be strong, to bring people with knowledge and quality, with the same vision I have, to do the right things.
“There were some important problems that needed to be resolved. Some of the players they wanted to leave, some of them, as I understand, because they didn’t believe any more in the club.
“Other ones because of all that instability, and the players want that stability, they want more money and better contracts.
“I didn’t have the opportunity to be quick to buy the tranquillity and happiness of those players so they could be focused. “That is important when you build something different in a different style. You need to sometimes buy the players’ happiness, even if you sometimes don’t think of that player in the future.
“It is something you need to have, to have the players with you.
“Sometimes you need to buy them with contracts. I don’t say I was not allowed to do that, but everyone understood at the time Milan was not investing so much any more in the club, because he was trying to sell the club.
“I was not so quick to understand that. I spent a lot of time and energy looking to bring in new players to add more quality to the squad, to allow us to stay strong but bring in a different style. We negotiated and tried to conclude deals, but they were not concluded.”
Without the support to bring in his own players, Sousa said he had to try to engage the remaining squad who still had an attachment to his predecessor Nigel Pearson, and he said the players were gripped by uncertainty and doubt about the direction the club was going. He admitted he did not have all of them with him.
“These things take time to change, by adding different players with good quality, to have competition, to give contracts to keep important players happy,” he said.
“All these factors did not help us get the results straight away, and then confusion and doubt crept in. The players needed to believe in the changes and then keep working for the change, and we were close.”
Sousa claimed it was not just the players who had doubts about the direction of the club, and he added that the club did not possess a defined philosophy and culture, which meant people were not pulling in the same direction.
“I saw some departments with some good professionals, but they are not together,” he said. “They are only trying to protect their job and no-one was working in the same direction in a way that helped everyone in every department to be successful. That did not help.”
Sousa apologised to the City supporters and said he felt sorry for the fans as the team struggled to get results.
“I notice they started to understand and believe in the football because they enjoyed it so much, and they could see there could be a bright future,” he said.
“They were looking to the next game with excitement and I am sorry for that because I wanted success like them.”
Sousa added: “I didn’t produce the results that everyone expects and it is easier to make decisions like Milan made at that moment.
“I am sure I could have turned things around. It could have become completely different with the same support and same opportunity to buy players with calibre and quality that they have at this moment.
“There are always ups and downs in life and in football, but the important thing is to be stronger.
“At this moment I am stronger than ever to take my next step in my professional career.”
Read Part Two – tomorrow
Paulo Sousa is convinced he could have brought success to Leicester City if he had been given more time and support.
In his first interview since he was acrimoniously sacked, after just nine league games, Sousa admits he made mistakes and accepts responsibility for City’s poor start to the campaign.
However, the 40-year-old Portuguese coach also says he was not given the resources to bring in the players he wanted as he tried to build a team to match his vision, mainly because previous owner Milan Mandaric was trying to sell the club.
Sousa also claims he was not given control of certain areas of playing matters.
He said: “I am sure I could have turned things around.
“It could have become completely different with the same support and same opportunity to buy players with calibre and quality that they have at this moment.”
Sousa said several of his squad wanted to leave because they did not believe in the club any more, and he was powerless to reassure them because he could not offer new contracts. As a result, he said, some players were not focused.
He also painted a picture of a club where various people were pulling in different directions and said the club had lacked a single philosophy and culture, as possessed by the likes of Barcelona and Arsenal.
“I have to accept my responsibilities and I am not the type of person who makes excuses,” he said.
“But I felt I could have handled the situation and turned it around if certain things had gone differently. I believe in my methods.
“When you join a huge, historic club, like I told myself when I made the decision to come here, it is because it is a club that comes close to my own ambition. But you need to have the right environment which allows you to do the best job.
“I didn’t control certain areas. Not only did I understand I was not controlling these areas, I did not have the chance to change things. There were some important problems that needed to be resolved. Some of the players wanted to leave, some of them because they didn’t believe any more in the club, and others because of the instability.
“I didn’t have the opportunity to be quick to buy the tranquillity and happiness of those players so they could be focused.
“Everyone understood that, at the time, Milan did not invest in the club so much any more because the step at that time was to sell the club to potential new owners.
“I could see we were making progress but I could not buy the time.
“I am very sad I could not bring the success to the club I proposed, especially for the supporters.”
Bruno Berner said he did not hesitate to sign his new contract after finding himself back in the Leicester City side.
The Swiss left-back had appeared to be on his way out of the Walkers Stadium during the transfer window after falling down the pecking order under Sven-Goran Eriksson.
However, the 33-year-old has become Eriksson’s first choice after loanee Greg Cunningham broke his leg at Hull City on New Year’s Day and Berner said he is delighted to be staying put.
“I never wanted to leave, it was more a case of I had to leave,” said Berner, who has signed a new one-year contract.
“Now I see that I have the chance to play first-team football again at Leicester. I did not hesitate to sign the deal.
“Things have changed dramatically in my favour this time. Greg has broken his leg and I have bounced back straight away. I think I have convinced Sven that I am still up to the challenge of being a top Championship player.
“I had another chat with him in his office and he said he was planning with me in mind, not just for this season but next as well. That was what I wanted to hear. He didn’t give me assurances I was first choice but, as long as I do play as I am right now, there is a big chance I will stay in the side.
“It is going to be tough for all of us in the next few weeks, to make sure we keep our shirts, and that is no different for me.
“At the moment I know I am the only one at left-back, but that could change as well in the next few days.”
Berner said he felt like the forgotten man at City after struggling to break into the team, but he said he was delighted to read Eriksson’s comments praising his professionalism in the Mercury.
“It is a reward for all your hard work, especially when you are not in the side for so many weeks, people forget about you,” he said.
“You have to work for yourself week in and week out. I have to prove to myself that I am still up to the challenge if needed.
“When you read or hear that the boss says he is really happy with that player, even when he is not playing, because he is so professional etc, that is very pleasing. It is reward for all the hard work.”
Asfordby girls push Leicester City all the way in cup final
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