Paul McGinley on GAA: Managers need to be ‘cold and calculating‘

A big year lies ahead for Jim McGuinness, according to his friend Paul McGinley, after the 2012 All-Ireland SFC winning manager stepped away from his assistant coach’s role in China last week.

Paul McGinley on GAA: Managers need to be ‘cold and calculating‘

With an affinity for Donegal and Celtic FC, McGinley and McGuinness have known each other for a number of years and both would have picked each other’s brains when the Dubliner was 2014 Ryder Cup captain and during McGuinness’ four years at the helm of his native county.

The pair spoke to each other last week and McGinley has intimated McGuinness may be appointed to a coaching position in European soccer in the near future.

That would tally with McGuinness’ statement confirming his departure from Beijing Sinobo Guoan last week in which he remarked that the experience had set him up “for the next stage of my coaching development and I look forward to a new chapter in Europe”.

McGinley revealed: “Jim’s okay, he’s on a plan. I can’t say much more about that. A lot of things are confidential, he is one year before he is fully qualified (as a coach). He is flying through his exams and has one year to go.

"He is learning wherever he goes, going to conferences all around Europe. He is not coming back to GAA, put it that way. The Dubs can rest easy!

“The family are living over in Glasgow, it is tough. It is not easy for him. He has a lot of ambition. It comes easy to him, exams – he is on a good path.”

McGinley is friendly too with Dublin manager Jim Gavin, who is a neighbour of his father Michael’s in Ballyboden (they also golf together) and whose children play with McGinley’s boyhood club Ballyboden St Enda’s.

“Jim Gavin came to the Ryder Cup as my guest. I really admire what he has done with Dublin – the clinical approach, the respect that the players gave him, the way that the players behave.”

McGinley would regard McGuinness as being the more emotional of the two men. The 51-year-old is fully aware of what has been written and said about Gavin’s stoic nature in the wake of delivering a fourth All-Ireland title and can see both sides of the argument.

“There is more emotion in Jim McGuinness than there is in Jim Gavin. I can understand the criticism he got for not having emotion.

"But on the other side, any time when I was captain, I realised you have to leave that emotion aside because how can you make cold calculated decisions when you are emotional?

“Tiger Woods talked a lot about lowering his heart-beat, and any time he did get excited, the first thing he did was lower his heart-beat.

“Jim put himself in a space where he needed to be, and maybe he was so good at it, so driven to that mindset that he needs on the line, the cold, calculated mindset that he had immediately after the final whistle.

"I’ve a lot of respect for Jim, what he has achieved and how he did it and I totally understand why he would be that cold, calculating person as a manager.”

McGinley doesn’t hide how much of an influence McGuinness was on him when he guided Europe to a famous Ryder Cup victory in Gleneagles four years ago. “I had an ethos going through the whole week, one of the phrases I used – ‘wave after wave of attack.’ I lent it from Jim McGuinness.

“Jim’s view was you don’t necessarily start with your best 15, but you’ve got to finish with it. If you’ve got a really good energetic forward, sometimes it’s better not to start him.

"Wait until the full-backs are tired and then put him on with 20 minutes to go where he’s fresh and you can take advantage of tired full-backs. So that was the way I was talking to those four guys who weren’t playing.

"I’d empathy with them about the wave after wave of attack.

“It wasn’t that they were the second rate, just that they were suited to the afternoon wave when we’re going to hit them with the first wave, hit them with the second and hit them with the third. On and on and on. So they felt they were like the second wave and not left out.”

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