Guest Blog: Steve Howey - Manchester City FC

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Season 2013/14

Guest blog: Steve Howey

  • 06 September 2013 15:31
  • Posted by @roline_mcfc

Next up in our weekly series of guest blogs, we have Steve Howey. The former City defender tells us about life as a player, the changing role of defenders and his views on video technology...

I cannot tell you how happy I am that the football season is back! Seriously, I hate not having any football over the summer. Believe me; I was chomping at the bit for it to start again.

I still keep an eye on City’s results to see how they’re doing.  I think that it will be a tough season for them though – especially with the change of manager – but it’s a season I’m really looking forward to.

Since I finished playing, I’ve been doing my coaching badges like a lot of the lads do, but I have to be honest – it’s always better being a player. You go to training and then you go home!

As a coach, you have to think about your players’ attitudes, their pace, their positioning, how serious their injuries are... There is so much to worry about when you’re a coach or a manager but it’s still good because you’re still involved in football. Nothing will ever compare to life as a player though.

At the moment, I do something called Premier Skills where I go all around the world, advising coaches and giving them ideas on how to improve. I spend a lot of time in Africa and Asia.

I also work for the Premier League, doing bits and pieces for them. There is much being said for the referee’s assessments – that’s what I do now. It’s a delicate job where we try and get more ex-players involved in referee’s performance.

I think that referee’s get a little bit of stick – and sometimes, rightly so – but sometimes, you have to be honest and say that they do get an awful lot right. It’s only since I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing that I’ve realised that they are actually very, very good.

They are bound to make mistakes – they all do – but it’s okay for us, watching it on the television in slow motion and blown up. It’s easy to cane the referees then but they don’t have the benefit of replays and what happens, happens in real-time. I think they do a great job and I certainly think that referees in England are the best in the world.

Now, video technology is in place and the jury is still out. Some people are in favour of it and some people are against it. Personally, I’m alright with it. I’m not delighted because I like the game just the way it is, but I suppose you have to move with the times.

I do prefer things the old-fashioned way but you can understand why these things are being brought in. Nowadays there’s a lot riding on games – especially with the amount of money that’s involved – so if big decisions are wrong or if goals aren’t given, it can be quite damaging.

A lot has changed since I played - even the role of a centre half. Their main aim is still of course to stop goals and keep clean sheets but in all honesty, I don’t think centre halves are the centre halves of years ago (well, not too many years ago!). Let’s face it, the old-fashioned ones would boot you in the head and get really aggressive!

Modern defenders have got to have a bit more about them and they need to read the game very well. They also need to be: versatile, comfortable on the ball and able to bring it out from the back. It wasn’t like that when I was a player.

I guess one thing is still the same though: if you can influence the game in any way through your ability as a player, then you’ll go far.

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