It is a known fact all over the globe that every manager who dishes out instructions from the dugouts both young and old more often than not usually want a wise and intelligent man as an assistant next to them for experience and to also help out in reading matches and their opponent tactics on the pitch or behind the scenes.
We’ve seen a right-hand man like Rui Faria a very loyal ally to Jose Mourinho during his stint with Chelsea and Manchester United, Zeljko Buvac another loyal right-hand man to Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool before he went solo, another assistant manager who also worked with Kloop at some point his David Wagner who is also brilliant in doing his duties.
Assistant managers are usually the unsung heroes at clubs or countries, who take training, works on formations and tactics of the team, or set pieces and they generally run things behind the scenes that many football fans don’t even appreciate despite putting in a lot behind the scenes. However, at some point those experiences gathered while working as an assistant manager often provide an opportunity or pave way for this assistant manager to carve out their own legacy through a great achievement when they finally accept a role as the main manager of a club or country.
Today in this piece, Cheapgoals will look at the life of an assistant manager who is too good to be an assistant
One known fact about Chelsea football club is that when it comes to providing young players they’re arguably one of the top-ranked team in England, as such a young Jody Morris came through the youth ranks of Chelsea alongside his close friend and now club legend John Terry, Morris became the youngest player ever to play in the Premier League for Chelsea when he debuted for the Blues at the age of 17 years and 43 days in their home game against Middlesbrough in 1996.
The young Morris later went on to be named Chelsea’s Young Player of the year for the 1996-97 season, and during his stint with the Blues, he made over 173 appearances for Chelsea, won the FA Cup and even went on to briefly made the captain of the team by then club manager Gianluca Viali who was also a former player of the team, unfortunately, Viali reign with the Blues didn’t last long as a new manager was appointed.
The arrival of a new manager put a lot of dent in Morris’s playing time in the team, due to that he was often linked with a host of teams who would guarantee him more playing time, in fact during that period he was linked with a move to Leicester City managed by his former England U21 manager Peter Taylor, but the deal didn’t materialize as he went behind the pecking order to the likes of Didier Deschamps in the team.
In midst of his reported move elsewhere, Morris was offered a new five years contract to remain with the team until 2003, but then he turned the offer down and choose to still pursued his move to another team, by doing so Graeme Souness the very controversial manager offered him a lifeline and the chance of playing regular first-team football at Blackburn, but sadly the deal also didn’t materialize, and he later moved to Leeds United.
In 2004 Morris joined Millwall after a short brief stint with Rotherham United, he made over 70 match appearances for the ‘Lions’ before he sustained a career-threatening injury towards the tail end of the 2005-06 season and in 2007 Morris was released by Millwall, Morris also had a stint with Charlton Athletic, and St Johnstone in the Scottish first division on a short team deal playing under his former teammate at Millwall.
After a successful five months stint with the team from the McDiarmid Park, he was offered a two-year contract at the end of the season following an impressive performance which thrilled Derek McInnes and even helped the team to gain promotion to the Scottish Premier League after a seven-year absence from the topflight, amidst been offered a new contract with the team, in 2009 he was also offered a new contract by the Saints having been praised by McInnes for his influence on the team.
2011 laid the foundation of Jody Morris coaching career as a young manager, following the departure of McInnes as the manager of St Johnstone, a new manager took over the reign of the team as a caretaker and Morris was appointed as an assistant to Alec Cleland, in the main time Morris left the McDiarmid to sign a one year contract with Bristol City reuniting him with former manager Derek McInnes but his stay with Bristol didn’t last long as his contract was terminated.
In 2013 following his departure from Bristol City, he returned to Chelsea as an assistant manager with the U21 team, thereafter he was moved down the pecking order with the U18 team as an assistant manager to Joe Edwards and they both achieved success, so he was later moved up as the main manager of the U18 team in the 2016-17 season and he went on to achieved success winning a treble the Youth Cup, U18 Premier League South and National title.
For many years now, Chelsea has been one of the most successful football academies in England, even though they haven’t been reaping a lot from the players since the time of their former defender, captain, and legend of the club John Terry, and that has been a great avenue used by fans to banter the Chelsea faithful. However, in the last couple of season, the fruits of the hard work invested in producing talented young stars from the academy have been paying off with what the current manager is doing with the team giving a lot of chances to the young players, even though some set of fans might not fancy his ideas.
Having talked about how Chelsea has fared in producing young talents who could lunch an assault on getting a starting shirt in the team and those who are already making ways in the team even though some of their players have moved on due to limited opportunity to showcase what they’re capable of doing with the senior team.
Morris, the unsung hero who knew some of these players in and out during his stint with the U21 and most importantly U18 team where he was hugely successful even though some of the players have left the club, such as Chalobah and all.
In the 2017-18 season Jody Morris took his achievement with the team to another level by winning the inaugural U18 Premier League Cup to add to their trophy haul and claiming an unprecedented quadruple, a feat that hasn’t been achieved by any manager from the youth ranks, following all of his achievements with the team, Morris couldn’t continue with the youth team, as he left in the summer of 2018 to joined former Chelsea midfielder, captain, and legend Frank Lampard’s backroom coaching staff at Derby County in 2018.
July 2019 was another great chapter in the career books of Jody Morris, as Lampard was appointed the new manager of Chelsea on a three -year deal having impressively done well with Derby County in just a season. Frankie leaves with Jody Morris to Stamford Bridge as his right-hand man and since then he has been part of the backroom coaching staff.
In the wake of Chelsea’s transfer ban, huge questions were asked about how they’re are going to cope in playing in the league and other competitions without bringing in players who could help them in navigating all of those championships, there were calls from the team fans that some of their loaned out players should be brought back into the team to help them going forward until the ban is lifted which in the end was later lifted.
Following the ban uplift, hopes were high in January that Chelsea was going to bring in a lot of players to at least refresh and help build the zeal and morales of the players, no player was brought in, as Lampard and is crew kept faith with the senior players in the team and the young players like Tammy Abraham who has done brilliantly for Chelsea thus far, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori who combined have made their mark in style with the team as a first-team player.
Having gone years with relatively giving little opportunity to academy players in the first team, but recently things changed and all thanks to Frankie and Jody Morris, with that there is an iota of hope that in the coming future Chelsea team could be benefiting more from their academy players. As more encomium needs to be showered on the unsung hero who has been the brain behind the future some of these young players have worked with, in the youth team.
You will agree with me that Jody Morris is too good to be an assistant manager with what he achieved with the Chelsea U18 youth team, if all of those hard works, dedication, tactical approaches and reading the game could be infused into his own team if he later decides to manage a team in the future he would go places. However, history also has it that not all assistant managers who left their role and go solo do usually went on to achieve great success in their career.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere
The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.
The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.
Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues
Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.
Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.
He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.
The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.
In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.
Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.
Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”
- Iago Aspas
Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.
After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.
At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.
In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.
- Diego Forlan
Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.
Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.
In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.
The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.
With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.
Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.
Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.
There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.
These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.
Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1
Ligue 1 no doubt harbors quite a number of talented players, as such it’s quite understandable for those considered to be world-class players among them to cash out hugely on what they earn at the end of the month.
As of late, the players’ salaries have given indications of solid development, on account of the tremendous income pouring into the game. The fierce rivalry between the country’s top football clubs has brought the nature of the competition higher than ever. The league has more than its own fair share of highly paid players.
Here is a rundown of the top 15 highest-paid players in the Ligue 1
- Neymar Jr – (Paris Saint Germain, – €3.06 Per Month )
Behind Ronaldo and Messi, the Brazilian forward is regarded as the third-best player in world football since moving from Santos to Barcelona in 2013 for a deal reported worth €86.2million.
After apparently growing and widening his status as a footballer with his achievement on and off the pitch, it was evident that the former Puskas Award winner would go on to attract top elite clubs.
With the Parisian club brimming with a lot of cash to flex muscles with high spending clubs, it was just a matter of time before Neymar would join them. Fast forward to 2017, the Selecao captain signed for PSG for a world record transfer fee worth €222million, and since then he’s been an important figure of both the club and their project.
Amidst transfer rumors of him returning to his old home Barcelona, plus the fact that the Parisian are also ready to offer him a new deal that would tie him down with the French side for at least another three seasons.
- Kylian Mbappe – (Paris Saint Germain, € 1.91m Per Month)
As a World Cup winner and one of the best prospects in world football, it’s quite understandable for Mbappe to be among the highest-paid players in Ligue 1 and Paris Saint Germain. The 2018 World Cup winner burst into the scene as a young player for Monaco, making his professional debut in 2015 at the age of 15.
The Frenchman signed for the Parisian club in 2017 on loan, which was later made permanent in 2018. He has shown to be a great prospect for both the club and their project in dominating the Ligue 1 and also flex muscles with the top clubs in Europe.
His permanent transfer to Paris Saint Germain is reported to be worth €180million, making him both the second most expensive player and most expensive teenager. Since joining the Ligue 1 Champions permanently, the 22-year-old has scored over 120 goals for the Parisian club.
However, amidst the rumor of Real Madrid prepping up to break the bank in their quest to bring him down to the Bernabeu, the World Cup winner is still actively the second biggest earner in the league and of course Paris Saint Germain.
- Correa Marquinhos & Marco Verratti – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.2m Per Month)
Since the departure of top players such as Edinson Cavani, Zlatan, and recently Thiago Silva, Marquinhos’s status has risen from being a mere squad player in the dressing room into a leader, captain, and one of the best gladiator of the club.
As a 19-year-old teenager, the Brazilian was signed in 2013 on a five-year deal by Paris Saint Germain from AS Roma for a fee of around €31.4million. And as reported by BBC Sport, the deal was said to be the highest transfer fee for a teenager then, while Sky also reports it to be the then fifth highest transfer.
The current form of the Brazilian makes him rank as one of Europe’s most valuable players, most especially as a player who is currently plying his trade with the best team in France.
According to the transfer market rating, Marquinhos market value currently stands at €70million, as such with his years of experience and playing over 313 matches for the Parisian, it’s no surprise that the club captain takes home €1.2m per month tied with the Italian on the same amount.
As for the Italian, he’s also been a very instrumental player for the team since joining the club nine years ago. There have always been rumors concerning his future, either joining Barcelona or go back to Italy, but as it stands his current contract with Paris Saint Germain would expire in 2024.
- Angel Di Maria – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.1m Per Month)
Since joining the Parisian for €63million after a disappointing stint with Manchester United in 2015, the Argentine winger has continued to prove to the world that he’s still one of the best players in football since leaving Real Madrid.
Di Maria isn’t just rank among the highest earner for doing nothing, he earns his pay through his brilliant performances over the years since joining them, accumulating a total of 251 appearances scoring over 88 goals and 104 assists.
The former Real Madrid winger may not stay in the Ligue 1 with Paris Saint Germain for three years or more, as he’s already moving close to the end of his career. However, with his deal still running that makes him the fourth-highest earner in the league.
- Keylor Navas – (Paris Saint Germain, €1m Per Month)
When Navas joined Madrid from Levante in the summer of 2014, no one ever thought he’s going to achieve quite a number of success with Los Blancos based on where he was coming from and his antecedent as a goalkeeper.
After a successful stint with Los Merengues, the imminent arrival of Thibaut Courtois means the Costa Rican goalkeeper days at Real Madrid are numbered.
With his achievement at Real Madrid, it was evident that the Costa Rican won’t find it hard to get good European suitor to come by, as such Paris Saint Germain came calling for his services in 2019 having been told he won’t be Real Madrid number one going forward into the new season.
Following Navas’s move to the French capital, it means his salary would be on the high side based on his achievement and reputation as a Champions League winner with arguably the biggest club in Europe.
As a Paris Saint Germain player, he earns €1m per month, making the Costa Rican one of the highest-paid players in Ligue 1
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- Mauro Icardi – (Paris Saint Germain, €800,000 Per Month)
The imminent departure of El Matador when Icardi joined Paris Saint Germain on loan means the responsibility of goalscoring would be on the shoulder of the Argentine. The former Inter Milan forward made his loan permanent with the PSG following a strong start in Paris.
The Argentine and controversy certainly go hand in hand based on his antecedent with his previous clubs. Everywhere he goes he has always shown he could lead the line perfectly, and since he joined the Parisian permanently no report of controversy has been recorded concerning the former Nerazzurri captain.
Icardi may not be the poster boy of PSG just like his days at Inter, that doesn’t make him less of a player in the dressing room among other star players like Neymar and Mbappe who are no doubt the face of the club.
- Leandro Paredes – (Paris Saint Germain, €750,000 Per Month)
Juan Bernat – (Paris Saint Germain, €700,000 Per Month)
Presnel Kimpembe – (Paris Saint Germain, €670,000 Per Month)
Ander Herrera – (Paris Saint Germain, €650,000 Per Month)
Wissam Ben Yedder – (Monaco, €650,000 Per Month)
Cesc Fabregas – (Monaco, €600,000 Per Month)
Julian Draxler – (Paris Saint Germain, €600,000 Per Month)
Idrissa Guaye – (Paris Saint Germain, €500,000 Per Month)