Charlie Webster - Money vs motivation in modern football

21 January 2011 09:25
The hype over the 'frenzy' of the January transfer window has been in full flow. It's occupied the back pages of the newspapers and most certainly myself, especially whilst presenting on Sky Sports News. However we all know that player movements are minimal and the marquee signings will be in the summer.

The majority of football players moving now have been deemed surplus to requirements, with loans often being the order of the day. I don't know about you but so far in this window I've heard the phrase 'lost their way' used to describe a number of different players - I've even said it a few times recently. But what does this actually mean and why does it happen?

Is a move to another club the right path to redemption or in rediscovering form? I have to mention my club quickly here and Sheffield United's new loan signing Marcus Bent - a player who hasn't seen much first team football for the last few seasons. I saw an interview with him this week and he was saying all the right things but it does make you wonder why his three previous loan spells didn't progress into a permanent switch.

I've always been interested in the aspect of motivation in sport. I also believe it is one of the most important factors in becoming a successful athlete in any sport. As a trainee level 2 FA coach, the ability to motivate is something that is essential in being a successful coach. I love motivating people and I've never found it that hard to get people to train.

However these people aren't players that are earning ridiculous amounts of money. A player can be a millionaire before he's even turned 20 years old. So how on earth do you motivate the new-age player to work hard and train day in and day out if he thinks his success is attributed to money? Or the fact that he may be earning ten times more than his manager?

Before I go any further, I am in no way saying that all players are motivated by money. I'd be very interested to see how much Shay Given genuinely wants first team football over bench warming. He would have to take a big wage cut to get first team football. I think Given is fantastic keeper, he must be fed up playing second string, right?

The current David Beckham situation is also an interesting one. He most definitely has a strong professional attitude and his passion for the game is evidently still as prominent as ever. But I do think he made the mistake of chasing more money and fame in his move to America and where does that leave him now?

David Bentley's loan move should also be an interesting one. He's no doubt super talented but his commitment, work ethic and attitude seem to be the factors that are often questioned. He'll get games at Birmingham, but will he prove enough to show Harry Redknapp he's worth holding onto in the future?

Managing teams at this level is as much about managing player egos as it is about coaching football. Take Chelsea's Frank Lampard and John Terry, two players that apparently have a clause in their contracts that states they have to be the top earners at the club no matter who the London club sign in the future.

On the other hand there is the likes of Roque Santa Cruz. He's been unfortunate with injuries and crucially with the sacking of the man that took him to Manchester City in the first place, Mark Hughes. In this case it seems an unfortunate set of circumstances where he'll 'find his way again' at Blackburn.

Without sounding like a mad slave driver, I think lack of effort is unacceptable be it in games or training. As a fan or a coach there is simply no excuse for a player not giving 100% week in, week out.

Oh dear, nobody is ever going to want to be trained by or train with me!

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieCW

Source: DSG

Related Stories