Robbie Fowler Exclusive: Managerial career, his best Liverpool manager, and the future
BettingOdds.com sat down with Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler to speak about his managerial career.
Fowler has had three jobs to date, all of which are spread out across three different countries, and he's been heavily linked with a number of EFL jobs throughout the current campaign.
Below, Fowler talked us through his passion for the game, and where he sees his future in the managerial arena.
You’ve been linked with a few EFL jobs this season. Have you been close to taking any, and do you envision the next step of your managerial journey in England?
Hopefully, it is. In this game we’re in I don’t think you ever really know what’s around the corner: that could be being sacked or getting the next job. Once you are actually on the managerial merry-go-round it’s a little bit easier!
What I have been told so far, and I think it’s absolutely ridiculous, is that I’m not really experienced in this country. I can’t understand that. I have managed in three different countries, so you’re learning daily about different teams, cultures, and methods.
It’s not as though I’m new to it. I have every single coaching badge: the highest Pro License you can have.
I’m currently doing an LMA diploma which is level with the Pro License. I think I’ve just got to show people that I’m dedicated to my passion, which is football. I’ve just got to wait. I’ll keep looking, but in all honesty it’s a bit frustrating so if I need to go overseas again, then I’ll do that because I feel as though I’ve got a lot to give.
Speaking of overseas, what did you learn when managing in Australia, Thailand, and India?
Every club is different, every place is different. For example, in my first role in Thailand I had to understand what the players’ needs were. I think that’s football in general, it’s understanding what players can eat, and what they can’t eat.
We had to stop off at a temple before the games because that’s what the players wanted - it’s a little different to the UK! Over in India and Thailand, culturally it was so different to what you expect over here.
As a manager, you’re always learning and developing, you want to do that little bit more so you’ve got to understand the players’ needs and that’s what it was.
The language barrier was not a problem per se. I learned enough Thai to get me by on the football pitch but not to get by on a lifestyle basis - but I massively enjoyed it.
This is one of the problems I have now where people say I am inexperienced. The experiences I’ve had have put me in good stead for anything that is coming.
You've played under a variety of managers, who has influenced your managerial style the most?
This might surprise a few people actually but it was Roy Evans. For me, he was brilliant. I don’t mean from a technical point of view, I mean from a man management point of view.
I just always felt Roy Evans was a manager I got more satisfaction from because I am a big believer in the man management side of the game. Okay you have to know the technical side or the tactical side of football and you need to be up to date with the modern game, yet nothing can beat a great man manager.
If you’re a great man manager, your players will run a little bit more. You’ve got to create that environment where players enjoy going into the training ground and enjoy being around you. You can’t be that big loud voice every time because the game has changed.
I do understand the technical side and the tactical side, but sometimes players want an arm around their shoulder and players want to be loved. It’s like anyone's job, if your boss is a bit of a dictator and a bit horrible, you’re probably going to do the bare minimum, but if you’ve got a manager who is keeping you motivated, you’ll find people putting in that extra bit of work.
Rafa Benitez and Gerard Houllier were tactically brilliant, however Roy Evans’ man-management was far superior.