Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has suggested that football players on particularly high salaries are more likely to clash with their managers. The 69-year-old has spent much of the last week preparing for today’s match between Cardiff and Burnley, but took time out of his busy schedule to share is thoughts on the ongoing Jose Mourinho / Paul Pogba saga.
Football has evolved considerably since Neil Warnock first began his journey as a professional manager back in 1980. Over the years, Warnock has seen first hand how a massive financial influx into the English football leagues, has created a new dynamic between players and managers. Indeed, many of the UK’s most prominent managers have been forced to adapt to an environment in which young footballers take home in a week, what the average successful businessman would take home in a year.
Paul Pogba is fast becoming an example of the friction that can be caused as a result of mega salaries. In years gone by, managers could simply refuse to field players that were deemed to be ‘acting up’. But how can you refuse to field a player that cost the club nearly £90 million?
“I don’t think I have ever handled anything like what we are talking about in terms of the players,” said Warnock. “When they are on that sort of money it is difficult. Every manager has their own way really, don’t they?
“Whether it’s an arm round the shoulder or face-to-face in the office, everyone has their own way if dealing with it. I have my own way of dealing with things.
“The type of player I’ve got hasn’t given me too many problems, I had some at Crystal Palace when I was there, with players on decent money.
“Players should not be talking to chairman when the manager is not aware of it. It shouldn’t be allowed because it does belittle you.”
Warnock is well known for his no-nonsense attitude towards management, yet since earning promotion to the Premier League, the 69-year-old has struggled to get the best out of his players.
“The first 10 games we’ve played the top seven from last year,” he added. “That was a little bit cruel on us but we’ve just got to hang in there. This is a big game. Apart from the top six anything is winnable in this league and Burnley are in that category.
“I think there’ll be a few more of them in the next few weeks. It’s not a must-win but it is very important to us.”