Sunday, 1 August 2010

Opposites don’t always attract.

Been waiting for the dust to settle on this one.





Andy Murray has sacked his coach Miles Maclagan after a disagreement over the role of coaching consultant Alex Corretja.

According to sources inside the Murray camp, the three men were finding it difficult to work together. Although Maclagan was Murray’s main coach, Corretja had been working with the team as a coaching adviser since May 2008, and will continue on a part-time basis in the build-up to the US Open.  


Sackings are highly civilised, non-contentious affairs if the tennis world is anything to go by.


And I don’t even mean the ones that have the facade of amicability clumsily foisted on them.


What’s amusing is the media’s apparent complicity in the use of the word “sack” for any parting be it as unsavoury as Hewitts locker room bust up with Roger Rasheed or as amicable as Murray’s split with Maclagan seems to have been.


But Murray, who was with Maclagan for three years, has since started to seek his guidance on a wider basis, especially in hard-court tournaments. Recently, Corretja has been spending up to three months a year with the British No 1, and Maclagan may have felt he was being marginalised.

-- The Telegraph


Whilst it’s tempting to buy into a picture of domestic bliss ultimately undone by Corretja’s ever-increasing encroachment on what Maclagan likely saw as his “hard court territory”, I suspect the partnership had simply run it’s course. It happens to the best of us.


In any event, Corretja doesn’t sound like he’ll be persuaded to spend much more time with Muzz than he already is.


Did Miles really need to go before the USO?


"It was obviously a hard decision and one that wasn't the nicest thing to have to take," Murray, 23, said on a conference call a day after parting company with Maclagan.

"But it wasn't that tough to make up my mind because we were quite far apart in what we thought. It wasn't necessarily something that Miles wasn't bringing (as a coach)."

-- Reuters



"We had a chat when we were in Miami about how we saw things. We all saw things pretty differently.

"Between the three of us, we obviously had different ideas and different ways of seeing things - what I felt was beneficial to me and what Miles and Alex felt was beneficial to me.

"The last few years have gone very, very well. But I want to try and get to No. 1 in the world and try to win Grand Slams."

-- The Telegraph


If they really were that “far apart” then the answer must be yes.


Although I’m not completely sure Muzz is cut out to going it alone in a Slam, not just yet – the fact that it happens to be the one he thinks he’ll most likely win first can only add to the pressure.


The more interesting question must surely be how open he’ll be to whomsoever now takes charge in the autumn (Cahill’s effectively ruled himself out) when they start “seeing things differently” too.


"I think it is easy to start over thinking and over analyzing things to try and find: Is there actually a problem there?

"I don't think there is a problem in my game. I need to get better. That is something that hasn't happened the last four or five months, something that hopefully by getting a new coach and a new sort of coaching team in place that will help me do that and achieve my goals."

-- The Telegraph


It’s a little coarse to keep banging on about Murray’s passive aggressive approach, especially since he’s done everything he can to try and make the best of an arsenal that lacks a put-away forehand – even so, I’m not sure “nothing’s wrong” is a sound position to begin a coaching venture with anyone.


Then there’s the question of personalities. Contrary to conventional wisdom, opposites don’t always attract – they usually rely on a lot more compromise than one side is comfortable offering up – and that considerably shortens their shelf life.


I would argue that the more enduring, stable partnerships are those in which both parties have what’s been described as a quiet dignity about them.


One of the reasons, incidentally, being cited for Annacone’s suitability for Fed.


Muzz certainly has a lot of very string opinions but he’s not the petulant hothead he was when he split with Gilbert. Just saying.


With that in mind, it’s been interesting to examine the list of candidates the Times came up with this week:


Larry Stefanki

Although he is coaching Andy Roddick, the thought of getting into Andy Murray’s head and game would probably intrigue the chatterbox American. He has coached such diverse players as John McEnroe, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marcelo Rios, so Murray’s personality ought not to ruffle him.


There’s a temptation to think of every straight talking American as Brad Gilbert. About as accurate as characterising Muzzard as “the dour scot” who may now actually benefit from the involvement of a so called “strong personality”. In any case I don’t see Stefanki splitting with ARod any time soon.


Roger Rasheed

Murray gets on extremely well with the Australian who coached Lleyton Hewitt for a spell and is trying to get the best out of Gaël Monfils, the Frenchman. Rasheed is known for his emphasis on physical fitness but is a shrewd analyst and student of the game.


Really? I know I said opposites don’t always attract but they’re still preferable to a few homogenous couplings I can name – and this is one of them. Nothing quiet about Rasheed’s brand of dignity (often to his credit, often not). And I suspect the only reason he gets on so well with Murray is that he’s not coaching him.


Iain Hughes

Not much is known of a young coach who has worked largely with juniors, except that his name was mentioned in dispatches when the LTA initiated the process of choosing a Davis Cup captain after John Lloyd’s departure. It is believed that Murray threw his name into the ring.


What, another understated Brit no one’s ever heard of? Three years of Miles show that this can work. Although he might turn out to be as straight talking as, say, Stefanki – a far cry from Miles, whose role always looked to me to be more placatory.  The fact that Murray threw his name in the ring is an encouraging sign too.

blog comments powered by Disqus


All images on this site have been found in the public domain.
Credit has been given wherever possible.
If you feel your copyright is being infringed upon by any particular image, please contact me and I'll have it taken it down.

You Said...

Powered by Disqus

Receive Updates by Email...

Enter your email address:

  © Free Blogger Templates Spain by 2008

Back to TOP