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"Sometimes you need to treat footballers like school children and be harsh with them," Fos


Below are extracts taken from the following link outlining the performance of a football manager - Nigel Pearson - in the English Premier League who has pulled off a minor miracle over the past three months.

In regards to the quote "Sometimes you need to treat footballers like school children and be harsh with them."

Paul J James would apply this to the Canadian Establishment Class.

Whether a Police detective, a lawyer, a factory worker, a politician, a collegiate soccer coach there needs to be a cross pollination of understanding of what it is to be in either segment of society and a collective synthesis of how to behave at all levels. Then you would not have Canadian Youth scoring D in physical fitness, physical participation and arithmetic on a global basis. Competent, quality leadership would not permit this to happen. Canada falls short in too many areas. Tied in with a major moral character problem the future outlet is not good for the Maple Leaf. As an observer what I have seen and experienced over the past three years alone is absolutely shocking. A disgrace. Cannot believe I have been living in Canada. And it is not from average Canadian citizens who are the opposite.

If Watford's players were under any misapprehension as to what manager Nigel Pearson was all about, it was dispelled at half-time during his first game in charge.

The Hornets had held Premier League leaders Liverpool for 38 minutes before falling behind; they entered the away dressing room feeling they had acquitted themselves well - at least by their own recent dire standards. This will be outlined again in an upcoming blog.

Pearson felt differently.

As goalkeeper Ben Foster recalls, the new boss tore into one player, "sticking a rocket up him like you wouldn't believe".

There was no sulking from the players, though, no lasting bitterness or resentment - just acceptance. Watford would concede again and lose 2-0 on that mid-December afternoon.

The result left them six points adrift at the bottom of the table, but Pearson had made his point. They have not lost since.

Watford had won one of 16 games this season under two managers - Javi Gracia and his replacement Quique Sanchez Flores - before Pearson took charge, claiming a paltry nine points from a possible 48. Under Pearson, they have taken 13 from 18.

Listen to any Watford player speak about the changes their new boss has made and it sounds simple - discipline, clarity, respect.

First, he has challenged the ill-discipline that had crept into the club.

"Sometimes you need to treat footballers like school children and be harsh with them," Foster tells BBC Sport.

"The difference between the previous two managers and Nigel... they were coaches but this club has been calling out for a manager. Nigel is a manager and takes complete control - timings, logistics, everything.

"Off the field, things started to creep in - sloppy things - and it gets worse and worse. It's like a bacteria.

"The current manager has pulled everybody together. He makes an example of you if you do something wrong, so everybody thinks: 'I'm not going to be that guy next time.'

Instead of balking at such fierce enforcement, Watford's players have embraced it.

"If you don't buy into what the gaffer wants, you won't be here," explains club captain Troy Deeney, whose recent return to the club's attack after injury could not have been better timed for the Pearson revolution.

"He has hammered me a few times but he has been brilliant with me. For the first time in eight years, I have been treated like a proper man.

"When you are captain, you do as you are told. If you are treated like a man and with respect, then you reciprocate that."

Pearson is more than just a strict disciplinarian, though. He is also an emotionally intelligent, shrewd man manager capable of assessing the needs of his squad - especially in the short-term, when points have been paramount - and tailoring his approach accordingly.

On his second day in the job, he visited every department at the club to introduce himself, with club employees noticing warm, human qualities in him similar to those that made the late Graham Taylor such a popular figure at Vicarage Road.

"His people skills are brilliant. He can talk to people and gets to know everyone around the training ground," says Foster.

Deeney adds: "His man-management is massively underrated. His technical team, too. You've got him, Shakey [Craig Shakespeare] as well - but then also he's implemented Hayden Mullins and Stacky [Graham Stack], who have got bags of experience."

A testament to Pearson's ability to manage his players came in the 3-0 win over Villa at the end of December, in which he substituted Nathaniel Chalobah 15 minutes after he had come on at half-time, following Adrian Mariappa's red card.

Foster says: "He brought him off and everyone was like: 'That's not nice.' But the first thing he [Pearson] said was: 'I have to apologize to Nat. I had to do it for the team.'

"Nat was gutted [at going off] and close to tears, but he made a point of saying that in front of everybody, and Nat can respect that and he has come back from it."

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