Lee’s departure from Bolton shows good management can’t be taught

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Josh ponders whether Sammy’s reign could have been anything more than a failure.

If football management was judged on qualifications then Sammy Lee would have been the most decorated manager in the Premiership. The holder more badges than an over-enthusiastic boy scout, Lee should have, by rights, been a success at the Reebok. As we all know, he wasn’t.

Managerial qualifications are a relatively new phenomenon but the thought that management can be learnt has always been kicking around. How often have we heard about how a new manager will have picked up skills from the managers he played under. The players of Clough and Fergie have suffered more than most, be it Pearce, Robson, whoever, as soon as they took managerial jobs they were compared to their mentors. It’s Roy Keane and Neil Webb I most feel sorry for, boy have they got a lot ot live up to.

But it is the success of Clough and Fergie that most clearly illustrates the innate ability to management. With the possible exception of Shankly, these are the two managers in history who have built teams almost by force of personality alone. Whether it is intimidation, anger, or whisky before kick-off they have got more out of players than anyone else in their generations could come close to. And they don’t need qualifications to prove this, they are just people who can lead. And you cannot learn that, sorry Sammy.