Sunday, 24 April 2011

John Lambie Hall of Fame - Helenio Herrera

Following Saturday's podcast, we're delighted to announce the second member of the John Lambie Hall of Fame: Helenio Herrera

Name: Helenio Herrera
Nickname: "Il Mago" - the Wizard
Born: 1910 (or 1916!) Argentina

Clubs Managed
Puteaux, Stade Français, Real Valladolid, Atlético Madrid, Málaga, Deportivo de La Coruña, Sevilla, Os Belenenses, FC Barcelona, Internazionale, AS Roma, Internazionale, Rimini, FC Barcelona

Managerial Achievements
Atlético de Madrid:
  • League Championship (1950, 1951)
FC Barcelona:
  • League Championship (1959, 1960)
  • Spanish Cup (1959, 1981)
  • Inter City Fairs Cup (1960)
  • League Championship (1963, 1965, 1966)
  • European Champions Cup (1964, 1965)
  • Intercontinental Cup (1964, 1965)
AS Roma:
  • Italian Cup (1969)
Why is he in the John Lambie Hall of Fame?
Herrera was one of the few managers in history who was not afraid to step out in front of thousands of supporters and let them know who's boss. The Great Lambini certainly falls into the category too. It's tempting to have Herrera in the JLHoF for that alone, but he has so many attributes that has led him to this prestigious point...

His strict, but extremely effective, implementation of the catenaccio system led many to criticise him. This was the death of attractive football as far as some of his critics were concerned. But Herrera used the system in such a way that it was a way to stop the opposition from playing, but it was incredibly effective in an attacking sense. The fact that Luiz Suarez was one of Herrera's greatest successes says it all. Also, you don't win that many titles by simply soaking up pressure.

His motivational skills were...Lambie-esque. He wanted his players to believe that they would win every single game. He used to write inspirational slogans on the walls of the changing rooms: "Class + Preparation + Intelligence + Athleticism = Championships" and "Who doesn't give it all, gives nothing". He once suspended a player who, during a press conference, said "We came to Rome to play". Apparently he should have said, "We came to Rome to WIN".

So, although there is no documented evidence of him confusing a guitar with a banjo, there are a lot of similarities between our legendary manager and Inter Milan's most successful manager. Congratulations HH - you many finally rest in peace. You have made it into the John Lambie Hall of Fame.

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