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Roy Hodgson enlists help of GB and Sky boss - but can he help players tame their inner chimp if game goes to penalties?

England football manager Roy Hodgson plans to enlist the help of Sir Dave Brailsford ahead of this summer’s FIFA World Cup in the hope that the national team’s players can learn from the success of Great Britain and Team Sky's cyclists.

The Daily Star says that Brailsford – reported in October to have turned down an invitation to sit on the Football Association’s Commission aimed at reviving the fortunes of the national team – will give the squad a motivational talk before they leave for Brazil.

England face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in the group stage of the tournament, which starts on 12 June.

Hodgson said: “He’s prepared a team of British cyclists to win gold medals and he may be able to give the players a feel for how he’s done that.”

It wouldn’t be the first time that Brailsford, who was born in Derbyshire but grew up in North Wales, has been sought out by football managers eager to learn how he masterminded Team GB’s dominance of the track events at the past two Olympics and Sir Bradley Wiggins’ and Chris Froome’s victories for Sky in the Tour de France.

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson met with him after the Beijing Olympics, and following Team GB’s success at London 2012, so too did Roberto Mancini, then manager of Manchester City, whose Etihad stadium lies across the road from the National Cycling Centre.

The success achieved by Brailsford, who revealed earlier this month that he will reconsider his combined British Cycling and Team Sky role after this week’s UCI World Track Championships, has inevitably led to the question arising of whether he would switch sports.

While England’s Rugby World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward had an unhappy experience as Director of Football with Southampton, Brailsford himself said last March that he might consider a move into football management at some point.He told the Advertising Week Conference in London that he believed some of the psychological techniques British Cycling had employed were transferrable to football.

"In sport people talk about the zone, switch off the frontal lobe, emotional engagement," he explained.  "Switch off the chimp. Penalty kicks are a great example [where] silencing the chimp would be beneficial."

Any advice he can impart to Hodgson and his players in that area might come in particularly handy should England progress to the knockout stages in Brazil.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

32 comments

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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I thought Dave Brailsford was an intelligent man.

Why on earth would he want to get involved with the toxic soup that is the England Football team? It can only end badly.

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themartincox [500 posts] 2 years ago
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Is this an admission by Hodgson that he's simply not up to the job?

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usedtobefaster [172 posts] 2 years ago
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I hope he the first thing he says is "Put your phones,laptops, gaming machines down and try to act like adults who want to succeed in the name of your country for at least the next hour. Anyone not capable of this can leave the room now please"

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Wirley [6 posts] 2 years ago
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DB would do well to remember the wise words of one of Cav's coaches..."If it was easy, footballers would do it"

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Him Up North [235 posts] 2 years ago
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Top footballers are no strangers to sports psychologists and motivational coaches who work with players one-on-one. This is a PR thing. It might as well be Kanye West as Dave Brailsford. In fact, given the riches in football the players could probably relate to Kanye more.

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StantheVoice [94 posts] 2 years ago
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themartincox wrote:

Is this an admission by Hodgson that he's simply not up to the job?

Perhaps all teams should just rely on the one person to do everything, all the planning, preparation, training, motivational work? Just like Sky and British Cycling.......oh...er.....

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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Perhaps the England team should be picked, and it's tactics decided, by a text vote of tabloid "readers". Save everybody the expense, pretense and farce of having an England manager like Roy Hodgson.

As an aside, where do Brailsford's football allegiances lie? Is there a chance that he is doing an undercover/inside job for the Welsh?

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mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
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I could do that job. I'd just write them all a list saying;

DON'T

1. Take cocaine
2. Enhance risk of disease by sticking it in anything that moves
3. Smoke
4. Drink excessively the night before an important performance

DO

1. Get over yourself
2. Do some ****ing real training
3. Grow a pair

Would fall on deaf ears though.

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Mr. Rossi [36 posts] 2 years ago
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Steve Peters has been working with Liverpool FC for quite some time now and I'm sure our recent league performances owe a lot to his influence. Steven Gerrard often sings his praises. I reckon he's the man England need on their staff, not Brailsford.

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gareth2510 [167 posts] 2 years ago
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mooleur wrote:

I could do that job. I'd just write them all a list saying;

DON'T

1. Take cocaine
2. Enhance risk of disease by sticking it in anything that moves
3. Smoke
4. Drink excessively the night before an important performance

DO

1. Get over yourself
2. Do some ****ing real training
3. Grow a pair

Would fall on deaf ears though.

your making out cyclists are purer than the driven snow.
Drink binges in airports, epo, blood transfusions, and all the rest that has been up to now in pro cycling

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Charles_Hunter [149 posts] 2 years ago
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Good luck to him but one talk vs years of work for a cyclist growing up with british cycling, I can't see it having much effect.

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giff77 [1251 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
gareth2510 wrote:
mooleur wrote:

I could do that job. I'd just write them all a list saying;

DON'T

1. Take cocaine
2. Enhance risk of disease by sticking it in anything that moves
3. Smoke
4. Drink excessively the night before an important performance

DO

1. Get over yourself
2. Do some ****ing real training
3. Grow a pair

Would fall on deaf ears though.

your making out cyclists are purer than the driven snow.
Drink binges in airports, epo, blood transfusions, and all the rest that has been up to now in pro cycling

Don't think there was any mention of cyclists mentioned there. Every sport has it's fair share of undisiplined party hard overpaid prima donnas

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JackBuxton [35 posts] 2 years ago
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Maybe he can give them some of that sweet sweet Team Sky dope  3 3 3 jokes aside, he has the ability to help after the work he did with Wiggo and Cav etc

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mtm_01 [196 posts] 2 years ago
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Not sure they'll listen, bunch of overpaid sops!

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Argos74 [392 posts] 2 years ago
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Brailsford: "Okay fellas, we're going to be looking at managing your inner chimp."

Rooney: "Do one pal."

+ 1 for the Kanye West idea. Heck, bring in Brian Blessed and have him talk about the Standard Model for half an hour. Be about as relevant, and about as useful. But much, much more fun.

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gareth2510 [167 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Cycling topic on a cycling forum. I think although not actually written, the hint is there  4

Avatar
gareth2510 [167 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
giff77 wrote:
gareth2510 wrote:
mooleur wrote:

I could do that job. I'd just write them all a list saying;

DON'T

1. Take cocaine
2. Enhance risk of disease by sticking it in anything that moves
3. Smoke
4. Drink excessively the night before an important performance

DO

1. Get over yourself
2. Do some ****ing real training
3. Grow a pair

Would fall on deaf ears though.

your making out cyclists are purer than the driven snow.
Drink binges in airports, epo, blood transfusions, and all the rest that has been up to now in pro cycling

Don't think there was any mention of cyclists mentioned there. Every sport has it's fair share of undisiplined party hard overpaid prima donnas

Cycling topic on a cycling forum. I think although not actually written, the hint is there  4

Avatar
Cyclist [295 posts] 2 years ago
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Couldn't get past the first sentence. If 300 grand per week does not make you passionate or playing for your country, then you are a c##t and no Brailsford PP heavy presentation will change that. It's a bit like what I thought of the GB team at the worlds to be fair. However football will eventually implode.... 300 grand now, 500 next, it is honestly pathetic.

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Cyclist [295 posts] 2 years ago
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Argos74 wrote:

Brailsford: "Okay fellas, we're going to be looking at managing your inner chimp."

Rooney: "Do one pal."

+ 1 for the Kanye West idea. Heck, bring in Brian Blessed and have him talk about the Standard Model for half an hour. Be about as relevant, and about as useful. But much, much more fun.

No way can Rooney ( face it your bald) string three words together... You must of got him mixed up.

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edster99 [336 posts] 2 years ago
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Cyclist wrote:

No way can Rooney ( face it your bald) string three words together... You must of got him mixed up.

You cant take the piss out of other people's grammar and eloquence if you don't do it right :

The expression you are looking for is 'You must have got him mixed up.'

 1

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monkeytrousers [107 posts] 2 years ago
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DON'T

1. Take cocaine - Boonen?
2. Enhance risk of disease by sticking it in anything that moves- Cipo?
3. Smoke - Merckx?
4. Drink excessively the night before an important performance - Anquetil?

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bikeandy61 [532 posts] 2 years ago
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Oh balls, now we're going to get the blame for England's shameful first round exit, as well as every other problem in the country. Oh Dave what have you done?!?!

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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The current crop of British cyclists all seem like very nice young people - all driven by a strong desire to be the best for very little financial reward. Dedicated and very hard working.

With the odd exception Premiership footballers are ostentatious, morally corrupted, lazy, morons who 'train' for a couple of hours a day and who blame 'fatigue' for bad International performances because the have to play two games in a week sometimes.

Good luck with that Dave.

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Flippa [38 posts] 2 years ago
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Stop paying them so much, and make them earn their money.

The sports which are now succeeding started that success before they were given any lottery funding (cycling & rowing especially). This was done through sheer hard work & desire to win. They now receive funding, but no where as much as footballers earn.

The GB men's gymnastics team lost their lottery funding due to poor results, and then they built a team which has started to succeed.

It would be interesting to see whether footballers would improve if they weren't already getting paid such large amounts. The desire to win needs to be there above financial gain.

Avatar
Flippa [38 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Stop paying them so much, and make them earn their money.

The sports which are now succeeding started that success before they were given any lottery funding (cycling & rowing especially). This was done through sheer hard work & desire to win. They now receive funding, but no where as much as footballers earn.

The GB men's gymnastics team lost their lottery funding due to poor results, and then they built a team which has started to succeed.

It would be interesting to see whether footballers would improve if they weren't already getting paid such large amounts. The desire to win needs to be there above financial gain.

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pwake [376 posts] 2 years ago
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On a hiding to nothing. The England team won't win a bean until there is a deep pool of English players playing in the top flight. That's not going to happen while the money's there.

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leedgreen [33 posts] 2 years ago
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Worked with DB for 6 years and this cannot do any harm as he loves football but is a Liverpool fan so.......think is shows the weakness of English football if anything....anyway sorry back to cycling.....how long till the classics?

Avatar
mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
giff77 wrote:
gareth2510 wrote:
mooleur wrote:

I could do that job. I'd just write them all a list saying;

DON'T

1. Take cocaine
2. Enhance risk of disease by sticking it in anything that moves
3. Smoke
4. Drink excessively the night before an important performance

DO

1. Get over yourself
2. Do some ****ing real training
3. Grow a pair

Would fall on deaf ears though.

your making out cyclists are purer than the driven snow.
Drink binges in airports, epo, blood transfusions, and all the rest that has been up to now in pro cycling

Don't think there was any mention of cyclists mentioned there. Every sport has it's fair share of undisiplined party hard overpaid prima donnas

Exactly! (Thank you  1 )

I don't give a longtails bottom if Mercx plugged every Belgian waffle with his wurst or if Boonen's biffed more snow than Santa pulling an all nighter - firstly they're not British so pretty much exempt from this conversation entirely and secondly - at least they win/won stuff.

The point is turning the England football team into worthy athletes probably wouldn't take much effort if they actually tried doing some sports once in a while, rather than squandering the ridiculous amounts of money thrown at them for having court cases to get them out of sexual harassment charges, hair transplants and wives boobs.

As it stands they are lazy, pathetic individuals and wouldn't know what sportsmanship was if it slapped them in the face with the very boots they're learning how to tie the laces on.

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mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

...and I'm a football fan. Before the trolling starts.

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AWPeleton [3321 posts] 2 years ago
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Sir Clive Woodward was asked to do something similar after winning the rugby world cup with England. That went down like a lead balloon as well. Footballers have no interest in anything other than themselves and half will know they are already going to play such is the old boys network surrounding England football.

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