On the ball: Be patient and you will succeed, says Oman football coach
October 17, 2017 | 7:25 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan
Having coached in the UK, Bahrain, Italy and now Oman, Gerald Lami is hoping to get into football management at some time in the future.

Gerald Lami has been on both sides of the pitch – on it, as a player, and off it, as a coach. Currently one of the senior coaches at the Juventus Academy in Oman, Lami’s inimitable experiences have moulded him into a much wiser football man than he would’ve been, had he stayed just one side of the game. “I think at a young age, football is more about playing time and building match fitness and first-team experience than about the money aspect of the game,” explained Lami.

“It is hard, because there are teams out there that are paying massive amounts of money for a young player, and when that opportunity presents itself, you have to think about it twice, but if you think about the long-term, it’s all about gaining experience, and eventually, you will get that opportunity, and the chance for you to get the money will come as well.

“Sometimes, taking a step down isn’t bad as well, because if you look at someone like Harry Kane, who is now one of the best strikers in England and is being looked at by many of the big clubs, he took a step down to go play at Millwall, and look at him today,” he added.

Lami also stressed that clubs should do more to protect their young players. “I am for the loan system, but am against it as well, because if you look at teams like Chelsea, they’ve got a massive loan list, so when they go out on loan and when they come back, what happens to them then?,” he asked. “For the lower teams, if you bring in three players from another team on loan, is it fair for the other teams?”

Having coached in the UK, Bahrain, Italy, and now Oman, Lami is hoping to get into football management at some time in the future.

“At the moment, I just want to get as much qualifications as I can and one day eventually get into the management side of the game,” he revealed. “I don’t want to put a cap on what I can achieve, but I want to get to the highest level, and I am patient about this. That is one of the things I have learned over the years.”To be patient is very important.

“I would definitely say this is a journey I am on at the moment, I am learning and gaining experience, because it is sometimes more about people’s skills when you are a manager,” explained Lami. “You need to handle different players in different ways. Some might be more reserved, sometimes you have players you need to shout at, or sometimes, you need to put your arm around them. It’s all relative and about understanding people’s reactions and getting the best out of them, and how they react to certain situations.

He was also quick to provide real-life examples of how proper management brought the best out of players.

“If you look at someone like Eden Hazard for example, he wasn’t at his best under Jose Mourinho, and he wasn’t the same Hazard we were used to seeing, but now if you look at the way he is being managed under Antonio Conte, he is back to doing what he loves doing and what he does best,” said Lami.

“I see Marcus Rashford as the player who has the best mentality,” he added. “The way he burst onto the scene, if he was nervous, he certainly didn’t show it. He is becoming one of the main players for Manchester United, even though he is a very young player, and he is one of the club’s main players.It will be hard to fit both Rashford and Kane into the same team, but they bring different things into the game. Rashford is really fast and quite direct, though Kane can do that as well, but I see Kane as an excellent box player, and is lethal when it comes to finishing. He’s a lot like Alan Shearer, but a bit more technical as well. As soon as he gets a chance, more than nine times out of ten, he’ll finish it.

“I think he will stay at Tottenham and he will become a legend for Tottenham. I think he will become the top scorer in the Premier League one day.”

Gerald Lami was speaking to Jamie Pollitt of Football Prospects, a grassroots website that promotes youth football in the UK. You can visit the Football Prospects website at, or on Instagram @fbprospects. Gerald Lami can be accessed via Instagram on @coachgerald.lami

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