Managing England

Back in the day, when I wrote teaching materials, I used to do stuff for Careers, based on football managers. It's a good way into the business of organising people, of what and how you approach the job, and what seems to work. If I were teaching this year, for instance, there's a fascinating contrast in styles between the big beats we've brought in - Gaurdilola, Klopp, Conte and Mourinho. how do you handle your players, and the press? How do you best create morale? How much difference does tactical intelligence make - if you don't change all the players, does it matter how they're organised? 

There's another tasty little assignment provided this weekend, by the contrast between England's managers for football and rugby. Gareth Southgate, utterly straight and decent, clearly a nice guy but not - on the evidence of his management career - likely to work miracles. And then there's Eddie Jones, the wily, ruthless fanatical Aussie who organises every inch of his players' lives and has them eating out of his hand. The team which comfortably beat South Africa was not that different from the personnel assembled by Stuart Lancaster - but after a mere twelve months the difference in performance and attitude is phenomenal.