I've just got back after a week in sunny Menorca, so I'm in 'catching up mode'.
To those of us outside the professional game such behaviour seems surprising, but I suspect it is quite common in football. With a few exceptions, it is not the done thing for managers to speak to players on personal issues. Maybe they see it as a sign of weakness, or maybe it's just the way it has always been. If you read Stanley Matthews' autobiography, he relates how he was petrified of meeting his club manager to ask for a rise. This was when Matthews was playing for England and well on his way to becoming a legend - and he didn't get the rise.
A few years ago I spoke to a fairly senior Blades player who had just been dropped from the first team. In my eyes he hadn't done much wrong. I asked if the manager (then Dave Bassett) had given him a reason. "No, he hasn't spoken to me; I just found that my name wasn't on the team sheet" he said.
Brian Clough wasn't one for being 'nice' to his players. In fact he delighted in taking the 'big names' down a peg or two.
Time and again we read of players who are 'unsettled' or who have fallen out with managers. Some are banished to the reserves until a new manager comes in. It seems there is very little dialogue between players and the manager, which is perhaps one reason why agents have become so powerful.
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