The rules of life by Oleg Blokhin
“Depending on a particular situation, I adjust the team differently. I treat guys accordingly. Sometimes it is necessary to tighten the screws, because I feel that imbalance in appeared in the team. On the other hand, sometimes it is necessary to pet the players a bit. I never reveal my cards to journalists. This is a secret. In addition, there are things that are difficult to express, they must felt from inside”.
Coach Blokhin, in my opinion, could get along with player Blokhin. But for a football player and a football player this is unlikely. The main thing is for a coach to find a point of contact with a player.
When was player, I could not understand Lobanovskyi as coach. By changing profession I understood some things, saw some things that I had, just like he did some time ago, to bring to my charges, even though they received it with hostility.
Now all the conditions have been created in the teams. Of course, they are needed. But players also must work off the money that they get paid. At one time in summer we squashed gnats at the base at nights, because the gauze was ripped off by the wind. We also had to launder our kits by ourselves.
Sometimes I crawled home: could not take my hat and coat off, used to fall asleep still dressed in an armchair.
Many of my goals looked adventurous. They still wonder how I scored them. Apparently, I was feeling something. I will be happy if a player from my team dares to do so. But now, except Lionel Messi, who boldly charges four opponents, beats them and scores, I do not see such players.
The work performed by player should be judged by fans and experts. It is not my business to find out who is the best – whether Blokhin or Shevchenko. Let people who used to play football themselves or understand it engage in this.
In 1973 Dynamo faced Real. For me they were proposing 9 million USD. Crazy money! I did not even think of staying there. Because I knew of the repressions that would await my parents.
The more they forbade things in Dynamo, the more we wanted to violate something. Everything was at hand – beer, vodka. The most interesting thing was that we did not want to, because we understood that we could afford it at any moment.
Glory is a good which spoils quickly. I have passed this. Yesterday Blokhin was a superstar, all doors opened before him, fans carried his car on their hands. Then you leave. It hits on the nerves badly.
I did not play for veterans. I said straightaway that I will not do so. I only went a couple of times against Spartak, but it is a holy thing. I wanted people to remember that football players, who brought glory to the country, are still alive.
In Cyprus when I was 38 they offered me a contract for 5 seasons. In Aris they pay little, now for such money they, perhaps, will not go to field even in the second division. I believed that I needed to play, to feed the family, to do something.
I am an optimist by nature. I cannot be in any other way in my soul. It is generally bad when a person does not want to be the first. I owe this strain to sport. And, of course, to genetic influences. I was a leader, probably, from the very start. When I felt that I need to conquer peaks, my mother told me: “Do not dishonour the name you will conquer”.
I returned to Ukraine as a formed specialist. I realized that I manage, and I can!
It is a great honour to play for the national team. You cannot break the atmosphere here. Libertines violate the microclimate.
Responsibility is the main thing. Without it you cannot go anywhere. Who, except the footballer, shall be responsible for his game on the field? Whether the coach teaches you, but you are the only one responsible for your actions. The coach is responsible for the whole team.
If you promised something – do it. It was laid within me. Had we won the World Cup, I would have shaved myself like a drum. Once Gazzayev promised to shave off his moustache if he wins the UEFA Cup. But the promise was left unfulfilled. And for what you say, as they say, you must take responsibility.
In some diplomatic issues you can go to ground, but in the global scheme of things – no. I passed this a long time ago in Greece. There one club president gave me a piece of paper with the line-up for the game. I got up and said: “Thank you, I will manage by myself somehow”.
It seems that many players of this generation lack a sense of shame. After losing important matches, I have watched this many times, on the way back on the plane young guys are laughing, playing cards. Do anything just to not worry over a bad result.
Youth needs to be brought up on something: not on titles, but on examples of people, who have done something significant in life. We must not forget that without history, without the past there is no future. At the Olympic Stadium they need to make tablets, or some kind of a museum. It will be nice and helpful.
I said to Shevchenko: “As long as the national team of Ukraine does not reach certain results and you do not show something brilliant in it, you will not earn the ‘Golden Ball’. It is only earned as an aggregate of national team – club”. It happened so.
There was colossal work behind my “Golden Ball”. I did not even think that it is possible. It is primarily valuable as a sports trophy, and there is no gold in it. Not even enough for teeth.
They talk a lot about my luck. If you listen to them, Blokhin is not a psychologist, but just floats downstream. However, it is impossible to achieve results without the comprehension of players.
You need to feel the atmosphere in the team in a very sublime way. The job of national team manager should be more based on psychology. Over the four days set aside to prepare for the game, it is impossible to increase the physical and technical conditions. But you can influence the psychological state.
I do not like familiarity. In training I will harshly stop slovenness. But in life I do not distance myself from anyone. We solve many issues with players. They come for advice, I suggest something.
The coach should not work with the team. The process should be seen from the side.
The job of a coach is associated with risk. If you do not know how to properly take risks, it is time to retire. Sober calculation is necessary.
What will happen to me after EURO 2012: will they cut my head off, or prolong the contract – I do not know. This is the destiny of a coach, which I accept as it is.
My private life belongs only to me. I will not discuss this topic with anyone.
You do not need to be Blokhin. No copy can come up with the original. That is why we will never see another Blokhin, Shevchenko or Messi. Regardless of how someone would want to look like us, he will still be different – in a manner of walking, hair, etc. Thus, I wish you one thing: be yourself, love football and remember that life is fleeting, and during this period you must manage to get something done.
My greatest achievement is the fact I became accomplished as a human being, and the most valuable thing I have won in my football life is my name.
12 july 2012, 10:40
08 june 2012, 08:37