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A players attitude is just as important as their ability

Thursday 27th April 2017
To be a top (top) footballer on the biggest stage you have to possess bags of ability, however, it's often the case that a players attitude and application gives them the cutting edge they need. Especially when it comes round to team selection.

It's a rather common thing to see a manager pick a certain player because of their work rate or enthusiasm they bring to the side, that kind of player who "puts in a shift" or covers a lot of ground during the full 90 minutes. This can often see a player preferred in those bigger games even as oppose to another who may be regarded as a better footballer.

This is all about the attitude of a player, their mentality and what they believe is required of them when playing. Even more so with younger players looking to break into a side, to get them in good books with their manager they need to show they are grounded and show they know their place regarding squad status, age compared to other more senior members and what is required of them when they are called upon by their boss.

The prime example of a player like this at the minute is Manchester United starlet Marcus Rashford. In a recent interview, he has expressed how valuable the influence Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had on his career in their short time playing together, he portrays a humble young man who is grounded and has a very sensible head on such young shoulders. His mental state as a young 19-year-old with the world at his feet is impressive, he is clearly not taking anything for granted after his meteoric rise since his debut around 14 months ago.

If only others could follow suit and share such a humble and well-balanced nature. He knows full well what he must do to maintain his early career promise and also to impress his famously demanding manager Jose Mourinho, keep on working hard. Keep on putting in the effort as if he is still the young nobody looking to break through. Of course, it's not to say Rashford is the only young player with the attitude to match the talent but there are plenty who clearly don't.
Aston Villa's young talent Jack Grealish is a much talked about young player, but sadly not for his exploits on the pitch. He is a talented exciting player with bags of flair and the potential to achieve a great deal in the game. However off-field misdemeanours have seen him hit the back pages of the daily tabloids for all the wrong reasons. He is, of course, a young man with an A-list lifestyle meaning the temptations will always be high but if he adopted a shade of the control and the mentality Rashford shows he could well be achieving exploits of a similar feat on the pitch. Sadly such application is only down to Grealish himself and all the amount of coaching in the world can't force him to put in the effort required to succeed as he could.
A players mentality can even outweigh their ability in some cases and in managers eyes they often see this as a defining factor in who they want playing in their side. Over the years the players who have had the greater attitude have so often succeeded where others have failed, coaches always appreciate the player who puts in that little extra and that will never change.
Ryan Stewart

23 years old, Sport Journalism graduate living in Salford. Work in web content in Media city and always looking to break in to sports writing. Manchester United season ticket holder.

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