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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, May 10, 2003
    Moyes was good at Old Trafford last night, letting us see brief glimpses into his motivation and philosophy. The most telling statement he made was in answer to a question about what motivated him. "Fear," he said, "fear of failure, fear of losing...." I think that's probably the other side of the coin on which is printed 'driven by need for success', and whilst feeling cautious about that it's evident that when people with rare talent channel such drives (Alex Ferguson the prime present example, and perhaps Tony Blair too) the effect on their chosen 'project' can be wonderful, transformational. It's worked with Everton under Moyes so far.

    The other thing he said which really struck me was about how he deals with people. For he's obviously very, very adept at that, what they call in football a great 'man manager'. The important thing, he says, is to deal with people, all people, equally, "with respect." That word again. Heard it this morning too, on a conference about nurturing Christians. It's a core principle of any valid relational activity.

    It seems to me that Moyes works hard at cultivating an attitude of respect for all. He must have discovered its value on the mean streets of Glasgow as a youngster, he has learned it on his hard journey through the lower leagues, respecting journeymen colleagues at down-at-heel clubs, he's cultivated it at the feet of acknowledged masters such as Ferguson and Robson, whom he's studied closely. And he showed it to four giddy scousers hassling him for autographs and photographs last night, one of them in a royal-blue clerical shirt, ahem.

    Respect. It's the subject of a book I've been reading all too slowly since last month. I must get through it. From all sorts of angles, it's obviously key.