I Was Often Too Close to That Line Dividing Sanity and Insanity; SATURDAY INTERVIEW

Daily Mail (London), March 20, 2004 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

I Was Often Too Close to That Line Dividing Sanity and Insanity; SATURDAY INTERVIEW


CONFESSION time with Paul Sturrock and the Southampton manager needs to say at least five Hail St Marys.

He admits to his failings as a father, his flirtations with insanity, his hunger for good food and his thirst for good wine, and the reasons why he suffers from insomnia.

Sturrock is sitting in his office at Southampton's training ground when he then owns up to what he ranks as two more sporting sins.

Not only did he lose his temper during Sunday's Premiership win against Liverpool, but he celebrated his side's goals as well. It was, he insists, completely out of character.

'If we score at Portsmouth this weekend you won't see me doing that again,' says a slightly embarrassed Sturrock. 'I don't normally celebrate goals. I'm normally too busy thinking about some aspect of the game. But after the whole build-up to the Liverpool match the goals just acted as a kind of release.'

Sturrock's appointment at Southampton was sudden and unexpected, but there were nine days between his arrival from Plymouth Argyle and his debut as a Premiership manager and the wait proved intolerable.

'Normally you get a game within two or three days,' he says, 'but it wasn't until a few days into the job I even met the players. I found that difficult.' Sturrock lives by certain rules, as he has done from the moment the pains across his chest became so intense he collapsed in the dug- out at Dundee United nine years ago. At the time he was managing St Johnstone, and his staff thought he was having a heart attack after a trademark touchline tantrum.

TESTS revealed nothing more than an extreme case of hyperventilation but Sturrock, now 47, realised that his life had to change. He had become too obsessive about his work, too prone to over-excitement. He was, by his own admission, a control freak.

In the end he sat down and listed 20 transgressions he would endeavour to avoid repeating. He reminded himself of them again before the Liverpool game.

Then, however, came the actual contest.

'Mentally, I approached the game very quietly,' he says. 'It was my intention to simply sit back, watch and learn. But our performance in the first half just wasn't Premiership standard. We seemed to be like a rabbit caught in the headlights and it took me aback.

'I surprised myself, but things happened that couldn't be tolerated. Things had to be said, and it's fair to say we had words at halftime. But they responded very well.' He assures me the days of throwing teacups are long gone. 'There is a fine line between sanity and insanity and I was often close to crossing that line,' he says.

'We Scots get excited, but I'd get too excited. It was the pressure of the job, wanting to do well in my first management job. I was doing all the coaching in training, taking the kids at night, running the club from top to bottom. There was a lack of delegation, and I was stupid.

MY FEELING was that if I wanted something to be done well, I'd have to do it myself. I'd been coaching from the age of 17, got my badges when I was 25, and didn't recognise that there were some very good coaches in this country.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

I Was Often Too Close to That Line Dividing Sanity and Insanity; SATURDAY INTERVIEW


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?