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Krueger: A deeper dive — Southampton

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In the interest of not pouring everything into a megathread, I thought we could have a few separate threads about various aspects of Krueger's experiences. Really do a crowd-sourcing deep dive. The soccer angle might be the most fascinating one for a lot of people. How did he get that job at Southampton? What did he do exactly? Why did he leave (or get shown the door)? How does it all transfer to being head coach of the Sabres?

For starters, here's a piece from the Guardian newspaper published upon his arrival at Southampton. A couple of graphs jumped out.

Quote

The cross-over into Premier League football has a startling feel to it and yet, according to him, it is not even his sporting pedigree that has made it possible, although it has most surely helped. Krueger's credentials are rooted in him being the founder of a motivational speaking company; a best-selling author and, as of 2011, a core member of the World Economic Forum's council on new models of leadership. "We create platforms where we can communicate to the world leaders," he says, matter of factly.


When the Southampton owner, Katharina Liebherr, assessed the high-profile fallout from her dispute with Nicola Cortese, and the then club chairman's eventual departure from his position in mid-January, she moved to appoint Krueger. He joined after Canada had tasted Olympic glory on 23 February; indeed, he flew to England the next day.


"Truly meeting Katharina [for the first time] would not have happened until last fall, in the October, when she was running a search for a potential leader," Krueger says. "The sports marketing company in Liechtenstein that she used have known me for 20 years and they said: 'We know a guy and we don't believe he has anything after February.' Then we met and it just took off right away."

Quote

Krueger has a steeliness, not to mention a handshake that leaves you counting your fingers. "Believe me, I can be ruthless for the cause," he adds. "It'll be above table, it'll be honest, it'll be in the eyes of whatever I need to be ruthless about. I have 52 stitches on my face from my sport. This dimple right here? That was from when a hockey stick went through my cheek."

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/16/ralph-krueger-ruthless-southampton-chairman-mauricio-pochettino

Edited by PASabreFan

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"The first magnet that drew me to Southampton was speaking to Katharina and her perspective," Krueger says. "I don't want to genderise it but it was refreshing. She is in this for so many emotionally based, value-based reasons. The values at the top are strong and honest and good. In the organisations where the focus is bottom line, bottom line – well, there are a lot of compromises in how you treat people then."

Very interesting.

Lot's of food for thought in that article, thanks for posting. 

Edited by Thorny

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Interesting, but it sounds more like the resume of a GM than a coach. We will have to see how all this motivational stuff translates into NHL coaching. 

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From the daily telegraph.

 

"Krueger was initially brought in by former owner Katharina Liebherr and, although he continued acting as a conduit between the executive board and the Chinese Gao family after they became majority owners in 2017, his influence on key decisions was limited." 

 

Perhaps why he left?

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@steveoath — I don’t think leaving was his decision — I think the team decided not to renew his contract.  

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46 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

@steveoath — I don’t think leaving was his decision — I think the team decided not to renew his contract.  

Maybe.  Could be a mutual split.

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I think Ralph was the favourite of the old ownership and had basically accomplished what he came to do.

New owners, new direction, new people. They clearly didn't want him back, but it also seemed that he was OK with that.

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8 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

Interesting, but it sounds more like the resume of a GM than a coach. We will have to see how all this motivational stuff translates into NHL coaching. 

I don't know if there's actually a lot of separation between GM and coach as we'd like to think. Back in the day they weren't even separate positions. They still aren't in soccer.

Coaching and GMing have split out into their own things because of the amount of work now involved in doing both jobs. No one man could really handle both at the same time anymore. But I think both people in those jobs have to more or less be able to think like their counterpart. The relationship between coach and GM should be symbiotic. Darcy and Lindy, for better or worse, seemed to have this kind of relationship.

I think this is something Botterill might value highly in Krueger, a coach who understands him and can work with him.

 

 

Perhaps Phil wasn't a good communicator?

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1 hour ago, darksabre said:

I don't know if there's actually a lot of separation between GM and coach as we'd like to think. Back in the day they weren't even separate positions. They still aren't in soccer.

Coaching and GMing have split out into their own things because of the amount of work now involved in doing both jobs. No one man could really handle both at the same time anymore. But I think both people in those jobs have to more or less be able to think like their counterpart. The relationship between coach and GM should be symbiotic. Darcy and Lindy, for better or worse, seemed to have this kind of relationship.

I think this is something Botterill might value highly in Krueger, a coach who understands him and can work with him.

 

 

Perhaps Phil wasn't a good communicator?

To me Phil always came across as a mealy mouthed prick... could be why players tuned him out... like a berating boss.. 

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7 hours ago, darksabre said:

I don't know if there's actually a lot of separation between GM and coach as we'd like to think. Back in the day they weren't even separate positions. They still aren't in soccer.

Coaching and GMing have split out into their own things because of the amount of work now involved in doing both jobs. No one man could really handle both at the same time anymore. But I think both people in those jobs have to more or less be able to think like their counterpart. The relationship between coach and GM should be symbiotic. Darcy and Lindy, for better or worse, seemed to have this kind of relationship.

I think this is something Botterill might value highly in Krueger, a coach who understands him and can work with him.

 

 

Perhaps Phil wasn't a good communicator?

I agree with you, and things have changed so it is very important to have good assistants for the teaching and various direct things coaches used to do themselves. 

When it comes to Phil, you never know what to believe these days because they always spin a good story but the old narrative was that he was supposed to be a good communicator and players supposedly liked him and so forth but ultimately I think he is better as an assistant than he is a head man. He did a lot of experimenting but never could get something together that worked. Players need regular linemates, set D pairings. You look at Boston in the playoffs and they have unbelievable communication on the ice and that comes from being with the same guys and knowing what they do and how they think. Bergeron makes hand gestures for line changes and there is a flow and to quote the old line everybody is on the same page. We, under Phil, often seemed disorganized and running around and nobody seemed sure of where to be or what to do. We need a better structure/system and I hope Kreuger can bring that to us. 

I don't want to go back to Bylsma hockey but I do want to see a more balanced approach and strong defensive play and backchecking. Carolina did not have the depth to go past where they did, and neither will we, but maybe with the right coaching we can  go as far as they did. Talent wise, they aren't really any better, they were just better coached and had a better chemistry. Fingers crossed.

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On 5/17/2019 at 4:51 PM, PerreaultForever said:

I agree with you, and things have changed so it is very important to have good assistants for the teaching and various direct things coaches used to do themselves. 

When it comes to Phil, you never know what to believe these days because they always spin a good story but the old narrative was that he was supposed to be a good communicator and players supposedly liked him and so forth but ultimately I think he is better as an assistant than he is a head man. He did a lot of experimenting but never could get something together that worked. Players need regular linemates, set D pairings. You look at Boston in the playoffs and they have unbelievable communication on the ice and that comes from being with the same guys and knowing what they do and how they think. Bergeron makes hand gestures for line changes and there is a flow and to quote the old line everybody is on the same page. We, under Phil, often seemed disorganized and running around and nobody seemed sure of where to be or what to do. We need a better structure/system and I hope Kreuger can bring that to us. 

I don't want to go back to Bylsma hockey but I do want to see a more balanced approach and strong defensive play and backchecking. Carolina did not have the depth to go past where they did, and neither will we, but maybe with the right coaching we can  go as far as they did. Talent wise, they aren't really any better, they were just better coached and had a better chemistry. Fingers crossed.

This is a great point.

Leadership gets everyone on the same page and pulling together in the same direction. Talent is what pulls the oars.

The Sabres, I believe, have talent, that in the absence of solid leadership have been left to pull when they think is best, how they think is best.  It appears that may be about to change.

Edited by LTS

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