Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Conte Showed a Lack of Courage with Costa Text; Best Managers Know How to Handle Egos and Boss Should Have Acted Differently with Striker

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Conte Showed a Lack of Courage with Costa Text; Best Managers Know How to Handle Egos and Boss Should Have Acted Differently with Striker

Article excerpt

Byline: Weekend briefing Danny Murphy in association with

IF a manager had told me via text message that I was no longer wanted, I would have gone straight to see him and told him to grow a pair. I would also have been telling my closest friends in the team exactly what I thought of our boss.

I have no problem with Antonio Conte deciding he wants nothing more to do with Diego Costa. He is paid to make these decisions -- but, if Costa's version of events is right, he should have done it face to face.

Failure to do that shows a lack of courage from the manager.

DANNY I sense Spurs winning start and they beat (odds When I read what Costa had to say this week, it made me think Conte had handled the situation badly -- even though the Italian insists the player and agent were told of the situation in January.

I don't know Costa but all players have different personalities. The best managers understand what is required to get the best from their key men, as Roy Hodgson did when I was at Fulham. Looking further back in my career, Gerard Houllier always seemed to deal well with the majority of players at Liverpool.

Bobby Zamora was not an easy player to manage. He wasn't the best trainer, and could be a moaner -- as I could. But Hodgson and Martin Jol went about dealing with him in very different ways.

Roy knew when to massage Bob's ego, when to give him a kick up the backside, how to ensure he would be fit for the most important matches. In Roy's last season at the club, 2009-10, we reached the Europa League Final and Bobby scored 19 goals.

Bobby also got on well with Mark Hughes, who succeeded Roy. But when Sparky resigned in the summer of 2011, Martin Jol took over -- and he and Bobby clashed from the start. A number of managers struggle when they have to handle a player with a strong character, and Martin was one of those. …

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