Recently the BBC reported that Alan Pardew, manger of Newcastle United Football Club was seeking help from a sport psychologist as a result of his recent touchline behaviour. Over the last few years there have been a number of instances where football managers have been sent to the stands, sent off and even fined large amounts of money due to their behaviour.

  • 2013: Blackpool manager Paul Ince was banned for 5 games for showing violent conduct towards match officials.
  • 2014: Alan Pardew was fined £60,000 and given a 7 match ban for head butting Hull City’s David Meyler.
  • 2014: Jose Mourinho was fined £8,000 as a result of his conduct towards match officials after a loss to Aston Villa. Mourinho was even sent off in 2013 when Chelsea were beating Cardiff 4–1 at home and let’s not forget that Mourinho was sent to the stands 3 times when in charge of Real Madrid.
  • 2009: Arsene Wenger was infamously sent off against Manchester United in 2009 for kicking a bottle.

Why is it that football is a sport where managers can’t seem to control their behaviour? Why are we seeing so many managers being sent off or fined large amounts of money? Surely Sport Psychologists are involved in every club trying to help not only players performance but managers performance as well?

Managing emotions is not easy for any manager. Football is a high intensity sport where teams can go from winning 4–0 at half time and the resulting elation, to then conceding 4 goals in the second half to draw 4–4 and complete despair. Yes Arsenal, we are talking about you and that infamous match against Newcastle United. What about the recent thrashing that Bayern Munich gave Porto in the champions league quarter final. In the first leg Bayern Munich were beaten 3–1 by Porto. However in the second leg it was a much different story. Munich gave a fantastic performance and beat Porto 6–1 to progress to the next stage of the Champions League. Just think how frustrating this experience must have been for both managers. Porto manager Julen Lopetegui must have been overjoyed to beat Bayern Munich the 5 times champion league winners. Just when you think you are going through to the next stage of the Champions League you then get thrashed 6–1.

With the business end of the season approaching across all major European leagues the pressure will be mounting and football managers across Europe will be having many restless nights. Anxiety will heighten, frustrations will kick in and only those managers with the right psychological tools to cope with these stressors will succeed.

We want to know what you think about recent touchline behaviour and different ways that managers can keep their emotions in control. Leave your comments in the section below, drop us a tweet and lets get the discussion going!