Monday, July 09, 2012 by Paul Grech
When you listen to Rodolfo Borrell or Mike Marsh talk after a defeat, you can feel their annoyance at the result. They might try to be diplomatic in what they're saying but their tone of voice and body language betrays their true feelings.
It might seem petty but the coaches' reaction is, in truth, more than justified. If you've been involved with football as much as they have, then you're bound to realise that for some of these players winning the FA Youth Cup or the reserves league might just be the pinnacle of their career. It is out of respect to such players that they show such a strong desire to win games and, ultimately, competitions.
The second reason is less altruistic. They know that winning is the best advert for their own work. People buy into success and if they see a side that is winning they attribute part of those results to the coach. Equally, a losing side is - in the mind of most people - at least partially down to bad coaching. It doesn't matter what kind of players you have, how tough the competition or whether they're playing against older kids.
Yet by far the most important reason for such an attitude is that winning needs to become a habit that these kids has to learn. This was highlighted by Iker Casillas following Spain's win at Euro 2012 when he said "We have got used to winning from a very young age. We won the Under-16s, the Under-19s, the Under-20s. We learnt to win."