This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
The Boot Room


Issue 09 April 2014


Clive Woodward with his trophy haul, including the 2003 World Cup trophy


“I remember when Jason Robinson first joined the squad from Rugby League. He would carry a big pad of paper in his rucksack and he wrote everything down. He used to joke and say it was because he wasn’t very clever and he would forget things. He wasn’t, he was the opposite. Like me, he was so focused on attention to detail and he studied the detail. He studied his game and he kept all the information.


“I wanted to be seen as the most professional coach and I wanted the squad to be the most professional group of players – not just in rugby but in any sport”


“Jonny Wilkinson was famous for it too, but they all were, because they all knew how to do it. In the end you would feel a bit daft sitting there not writing anything down because everybody else was writing things down. It became a culture and became important."


Attention to detail is exactly what Woodward believes is required if Roy Hodgson’s squad are going to emulate England Rugby’s 2003 World Cup success in South America this summer stressing that you "cannot prepare enough" for a such a huge tournament. Woodward crossed codes himself in 2005 becoming Southampton’s Director of Football and believes taking care of the detail off the pitch is just as crucial as that on the pitch.


“If you had a perfect world, you would take all the players to Brazil before the tournament so that they can see it, feel it and experience it.


“Our first World Cup games in 2003 were in Perth. We’d never played in Perth before, so on the way back from one trip we diverted there. The players weren’t very happy because they wanted to go home. But we said we’re going to spend two or three days there so they could get used to the hotel, the pitch, the training pitch, and the coffee shops. Those things are priceless and you have to prepare as much as you can."


The Three Lions’ first World Cup game against Italy in the heat and humidity of Manaus represents a big task, however Woodward believes success at international competition can come down to the side who are most prepared.


“It’s the same [the conditions] for both sides. You’ve got to prepare better than them. The amount of detail you’ve got to go into – the hydration and preparation – it’s all learning. Don’t think you can start ploughing the knowledge into the players when they get to Brazil. It should be happening now."


Another area which Woodward believes must not be left unprepared until the days surrounding the tournament is penalty kicks.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92