|Job||xxxx Football Coach|
|Chelsea youth coach|
|Liverpool youth coach [ex]|
|Club as Player||xxxx|
2020 04 08 Retrieve
[Mason Mount: How midfielder ended Chelsea’s long wait for homegrown star] He always turned up really early to sessions. When coaches were turning up 30 or 40 minutes before a session to set up, he’d already be there with a ball, playing and really enjoying himself
[…] I spoke to him at Vitesse Arnhem in the first couple of months when he was in and out of the team. I was expecting him to be down, but he was relishing the challenge; he was going to prove everyone wrong
2020 04 24 Retrieve
[Former Liverpool youth coach Michael Beale has revealed that he knew Trent Alexander-Arnold would become a first-team footballer from the moment he saw him playing at centre-back for the Reds’ Under-14 side] I saw him on my first day there in the Under-14s as a central defender and he was different to anyone we [Chelsea]
On my first day at Liverpool, they asked me which players did I like. I said I liked Trent and I thought he will play in the first team because when I looked across the pitches, he excited me as he was standing out above everyone else.
Liverpool was different to Chelsea but he would have got into any of our Chelsea teams. That’s why I made that bold statement.
I didn’t know he would make it and at times I thought maybe I said that too early as he definitely had things to work on. He is lucky to have a good support network around him with his mum Diane. His brothers also really help him.
He kept his support network small which helps keep out noise and influence apart from his family and the people in the club. I think there was a lot of work he had to do. A bit like Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, I kept thinking, ‘Wow, what will he become?’ rather than ‘wow, what is he now?’.
He has surpassed my expectations already. What my advice to Trent would be now is that you have achieved a lot early, but it is only five per cent of what you wanted to achieve. It is important that his success makes him hungry and I think it does. He has the same look in his eye that he had at 16 that he is hungry and he wants to get better. He makes me smile
[At Liverpool, Beale worked as the club’s U-23s manager under Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp, both of whom have been generous in giving debuts to youngsters] When I went to Liverpool I was introduced to people like Kenny Dalglish, Rob Jones, Robbie Fowler. Pep Guardiola’s current assistant, Rodolfo Borrell, was the head of the academy at the time.
Steve Cooper was the U-18s coach who has gone onto manage Swansea City now. Alex Inglethorpe came from Tottenham so it was a really exciting time. I was really good friends with Pepijn Lijnders, who came from Porto and he is now Jurgen Klopp’s assistant.
I went from one environment with fantastic people to another. The influence of the first team I got at Chelsea dripping down from the likes of [Jose] Mourinho and [Carlo] Ancelotti was good, but I was closer to Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp as the reserve team manager.
I worked with a really good group. My first group was Harry Wilson, Ryan Kent, Jerome Sinclair, Brad Smith, Jordon Ibe and Jordan Rossiter, who all went onto play in the first team. There was also Conor Coady and Suso.
There were some really good players around at the time. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Woodburn and Curtis Jones behind that. It was a club rich in development. It is different to Chelsea. It is a smaller city that is in love with the team.
London is bigger and you don’t have as much evolve around the club. We had a lot more ex-players helping the group which was different to Chelsea at the time. It was fantastic. Being reserve team manager, I was close to the first team and I had access to first-team players which progressed me as a coach as well.
[Beale opted to stay out of Gerrard’s way so as not to step on the legendary midfielder’s toes, though he still got the call to head to Ibrox to work alongside the first-time senior coach] When I went back to Liverpool, Steven was manager of the U-18s and I tried to stay out of his way. I didn’t want to be there as a former U-23s coach when he was learning. I mentored the younger coaches so I didn’t work with him until he invited me here
2020 04 25 Retrieve
[How Mourinho helped attract Abraham & Mount to Stamford Bridge] We brought in Mourinho as manager and then we went from Battersea Park and Harlington to Cobham, which was an unbelievable training ground. So, it was easy to recruit for Chelsea because they were a club people were looking at and very excited about. The problem [for the young players trying to break through at that time] was that Chelsea were one of the best teams in the world. They had five national team captains at one point! These guys were kings; they weren’t normal footballers. They are all legends now: [Michael] Ballack, [Frank] Lampard, Claude Makelele, William Gallas, [John] Terry, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic, Arjen Robben, [Didier] Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda. But having these names at the club inspired [the likes of Abraham, Mount and Loftus-Cheek] to join. On top of that, Neil Bath ran a fantastic academy and had a big vision for the academy. Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s age group was the first that I coached at 9 or 10. We also had Ola Aina, Dom Solanke, Jake Clarke-Salter, Fikayo Tomori, Reece James and Rhian Brewster at seven or eight. I coached Josh McEachran too, as well as Declan Rice, Eddie Nketiah and Jeremie Boga. I used to pick Tammy Abraham up from Peckham at his house and drop him off at training in Battersea. Wow, there were so many stars to speak about! I’ve got fond memories of knowing the Chelsea lads from six or seven years old. When I look back, I loved every minute and now it is clear to me that we were doing good work. I think over the years it has been difficult for people like Neil Bath because players have not always been given the opportunity. Now, though, it must be fantastic for him and the players, because, in the past, they would have had a lot of sleepless nights.
I didn’t believe in what I was saying to the parents anymore. I was getting frustrated. I wasn’t willing to be quiet about the lack of opportunity so, rather than be disruptive, I thought it was best to move on. Liverpool came in and what an opportunity it was! It wasn’t that the grass was greener but it was cut differently at Liverpool, so I was pleased. But I am glad that young talent now gets the chance at Chelsea. There’s no doubt that English football now recognises the excellent work done at under-age level at Chelsea. Now we see a system where Nathaniel Chalobah’s younger brother Trevoh may get the chance that Nathaniel didn’t
Look at Joe Edwards or Andy Myers too. We also had Dermot Drummy, Eddie Newton, Damien Matthew and Steve Clark (now Scotland manager) when I came in. It has really been a conveyor belt for coaches coming through that academy – not just players. Chelsea have reaped the rewards of the academy in terms of coaches too
2020 04 26 Retrieve
[First Arteta, now Alonso? The search for Guardiola’s new number two] Rodolfo Borrell came [to Liverpool] from Barcelona with Olympiacos in between. He was the reserve team manager at the time I came in and he was a very good coach. He was very good defensively, which isn’t exactly what you expect of a former Barcelona coach. I think Guardiola credited him in his book for helping him learn a lot about pressing and counter-pressing. I found that fascinating.
2020 04 26b Retrieve
[Rangers coach lifts the lid on working with Gerrard] After working with an idol like Rogerio Ceni in his own country, it felt like doing the same again with Steven. They are like rock stars; they are so famous. To work with them every day and get their insight is fantastic. What I see from Steven is an obsession to get better. It is no secret why he was such a good player. He is obsessed with the game, has empathy and he is a leader with a good work ethic. He has good people he works with and he trusts people to do their jobs. If he gives you something, you must do it well. The professionalism he has around people is fantastic. The key attribute is he is composed under pressure. He talks well, is precise and honest. These are good traits that are in any top people I have been around. How he manages the changing room is really good and he is a very good coach but he wants to stand back and assess players. He comes in and says his points at different times. It gives me some autonomy to do our training in the long term, along with the other coaches, in planning and implementing. At the moment, I think he is helping me grow and learn. I hope I am helping him structurally and with ideas on the pitch. I like to watch the games upstairs in the first half to get a different angle from Steven down there. I have had that wow feeling about Ibrox. We have had a lot of memorable games in Europe and the Old Firm in a short period. If you look at other similar young managers, Steven has only lost something like 17 games in 117. That’s incredible even compared to Frank Lampard and Patrick Vieira. If you look at your Harry Kewells, Robbie Fowler and Garry Monk, he is 18 months out of it and he has been really good.
[Beale remains convinced that Gerrard and his team are making progress] It has been a massive whirlwind. We have had unbelievable highs and now through a period where we haven’t been able to play our strongest team. The fact that people don’t realise is that we have played 53 games this season which is more games than any team. We played Bayer Leverkusen and they have played 20 games less than us. Our starting XI can play at a very high level whether against Porto, Feyenoord or the Old Firm games. They have grown as a group very quickly. We feel it is a sheer number of games. By comparison, Barcelona and Real Madrid have played 37. The weight on our players is huge: that’s a reduction in training time and finding that consistency level is difficult. We need to find more competition for places for our best players. We have done extremely well but no one will pat us on the back because of the league that we are in. We are in a two club battle domestically, let’s be honest. We played very well in a cup final against Celtic and it was the most one-sided final maybe in history that a team loses. We are moving forward; we have young players people respect, we have built respect in Europe. We have lowered the average age and we are growing the interest in the Scottish league again. Still, we need more consistency like we have had in our big games. We need to find that level of performance that we have had over a 50-60 game season. We have made shortcuts, gains and got people excited and raised expectations
[Their strategy revolves around attempting to sign younger players, such as Ianis Hagi - son of Romanian legend Gheorge - who looks set to join from Genk on a permanent basis once Rangers take up a £4.7 million (€5.3m/$5.8m) option to buy] We have an option to buy and Ianis is here and he wants to be here. He is becoming a man. He is a great talent with great technique in his right foot and left foot. He has an eye for a pass; he has moments of magic in him. You can see what he is born into with his talent in the blood. I think in the next two or three years, he is slightly behind [Ryan] Kent and [Joe] Aribo. In two years, where will his body be? His mind gets it, he sees passes, he gets the tactics and uses the right balls. I am excited to work with him more. He can go onto what he wants to do in the game. It is about finding a club that’s right for him and I think we are that. We are the ideal fit for him right now. I think financially we have to be very open with our recruitment. We don’t get anywhere near what even the Championship teams get. We have a lot of top Under-23s players, Brandon Barker, Ryan Kent, Joe Aribo. These are players that were either struggling for a breakthrough or needed a career before a career. It is very much the same at the other big club Celtic, Moussa Dembele came in from Fulham before moving on. Victor Wanyama and Virgil Van Dijk did the same. Odsonne Edouard is a very good player also
2020 04 29 Retrieve
[Ex-Reds coach reveals interest in Eder Militao, Real Madrid defender] He was a good player and Liverpool already knew about Eder and asked me to keep an eye on him. He was always a good player as a centre-half who played in central midfield. We played him either as a right centre-back in a three or right-back just because he was growing into the position. We gave eight or nine debuts in our 36 games there. Eder was like what Trent [Alexander-Arnold] is doing now. You wished he would do it but sometimes you don’t see how they can do it so quickly. Eder went to Porto, which was a great softener for his move to Europe. He had two fantastic years in Europe and at Real Madrid he now faces difficulties. He is trying to displace the world’s best players in Varane and Ramos. Every day, he is going to learn, grow and get better. He is a Brazil full international playing for the most mystical national team in the world. I just smile and I had a one per cent impact on Eder’s career but I was around when we helped him make his debut so I was proud of that
[However, losing the likes of Eder was one of the reasons he chose to leave Brazil, before rejoining Liverpool and ultimately going to Rangers to work under Steven Gerrard] I left Sao Paulo because they sold a lot of their best players and I couldn’t see where they were going with the project. It was my first step into first-team football. It was all about selling in Brazil because the league doesn’t have much money. I couldn’t understand it. I was all about getting close to players and going on their journey. I did it at Chelsea and Liverpool. So I found it hard to sell Eder Militao to Porto and then he goes onto Real Madrid. I didn’t want him for just 10-15 games. I wanted him longer. We sold David Neres to Ajax. We sold two more to Lille. We sold Maicon to Galatasaray; we sold Joao to Atalanta. I found it really difficult to see where it was going. Still, the day-to-day working in Brazil was unbelievable and it took me to another level. I loved the away games with Santos, Palmeiras and travelling around the country. Training Brazilian players, meeting people and the experiences I had are very hard to explain because people haven’t lived it.
It is pure football with atmosphere, attacking but it is sometimes naive tactically. I loved the flair. I was hasty when I left but it felt like the right decision at the time and I am happy with what happened since. My idols were Bobby Robson and Terry Venables who had both coached overseas and spoke a foreign language. My worry in life is sitting still and being comfortable. I wanted to manage abroad and head up an academy abroad as goals in my career. I never thought I would get a chance like that
2020 05 07 Retrieve
[Why Chelsea released Declan Rice but now want him back at the Bridge] I was disappointed. In Declan’s case, he needed time. He had just gone through a growth spurt and look at him now. He is a big strapping lad. Pace has never been Declan’s thing but personality, character and work ethic have. He is technically good and committed. He was a small lad who had a growth spurt and he was in a group with big athletes. It could look unforgiving for him. But I never saw Declan struggling, in my personal opinion. Maybe that was because I was close to him and wanted him to do well. I thought then he just needed time to grow. But maybe he needed to leave Chelsea to go to another club with a clearer pathway to the first team, as that’s exactly what he found at West Ham.
[Michael Beale believes that Rice was actually spurred on by his rejection at Chelsea] Disappointment can sometimes help a young person. It can refocus you. Declan is a great lad and being dropped could well have been the making of him