May 27, 2021

Interview with a Legend (Part 2) with Clyde Best, MBE, Former West Ham United Striker and Bermuda National Team Manager

Interview with a Legend (Part 2) with Clyde Best, MBE, Former West Ham United Striker and Bermuda National Team Manager

In Episode 31, Clyde Best, MBE, former player with West Ham United, Feyenoord, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Portland Timbers, and Toronto Blizzard, former youth coach, former Manager of the Bermuda National Team, and member of the Bermuda Hall of Fame, talks...


In Episode 31, Clyde Best, MBE, former player with West Ham United, Feyenoord, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Portland Timbers, and Toronto Blizzard, former youth coach, former Manager of the Bermuda National Team, and member of the Bermuda Hall of Fame, talks with Phil about mentorship, self-awareness, the value of team sports in other areas of life, integrity and doing the “next right thing,” the infamous VAR, his beloved West Ham United, his faith, and how he has used lessons learned in his incredible playing career in other areas of life. Specifically, Clyde discusses:

  • The value of mentors in football and in life (3:18)
  • How he took the lessons learned from his mentors in the game and used them in his life after playing football (7:32)
  • The importance of honing both your mental and physical parts of your game (11:17)
  • How he can tell if someone has played team sports in their life (12:41)
  • The importance of self-awareness and why it is important (17:39)
  • Living a life of integrity and doing the “next right thing” (20:56)
  • How he really feels about VAR, diving, and other not-so-great parts of the game (25:03)
  • Life lessons we’re missing due to the introduction of VAR (27:16)
  • What he learned from the game that he took to coaching youth and professionals (38:27)
  • Things he loves about West Ham and things he wishes were different (42:30)
  • Lessons he learned from the game itself that he used in his business (47:32)
  • How his faith played into his playing, coaching, and other areas of life (48:52)
  • Lessons he learned from the game that he has used in his marriage and parenting (50:10)
  • What he has listened to that has informed his thinking of how soccer explains life and leadership (52:36)
  • The importance of having a learning posture (55:14)

Resources and Links from this Episode

 
Transcript

Phil: [00:00:00] Welcome back to How Soccer Explains Leadership. Today, we have a special treat. If you did not catch Part One of this interview that I get to do today, go back and do that right now, before you do anything else before you listen to the rest of this interview, listen to part one of my interview with Clyde Best. Clyde, has done so many things in his life.

I'm going to shortcut it no matter how long I describe him, but the couple of things we got. West Ham United, he played for them back in the day. Uh, he was the manager of the Bermuda National Team. He was my coach as a kid, which is, which is pretty cool and a whole lot more. If you, again, go back, listen to Part One, you'll hear all of that.

We're not going to rehash all that here. We will have that in the bio on the show notes. If you want to go check that out, but we're just going to pick up the conversation where we left off. Last time, last interview, we got to talk to Clyde about, the racism that he experienced playing as one of the first black footballers in the Premier League and how he was able [00:01:00] to, uh, deal with that and how that relates to some of the stuff going on today, like some of the best leaders that he played with, um, the importance of building and nurturing relationships and not burning any bridges, as well as gaining the respect of our competitors as we play as we live in, in our life.

And so those were some of the things we talked about and we're, again, like I said, we're going to pick that conversation up here today, before we jump right back into that, though, I do want to remind you, if you haven't already go subscribe to the show, just click that link. or the, uh, the subscribe button, wherever you're listening to this.

You can also join our Facebook group, obviously on Facebook, it's the how soccer explains leadership Facebook group. And then every Friday morning, if you're on Clubhouse, you can join the how soccer explains leadership room there and have a conversation with me and Paul Jobson and some other people who have some amazing things to say about this incredibly important topic, how we can basically take these lessons from this beautiful game and, and use them in our life and leadership.

So without more on that, let's [00:02:00] get back into this conversation with Clyde Best. Clyde, how are you doing today?

Clyde: [00:02:05] A very good Phil, just like everybody else in the world, try to keep out of trouble and, stay safe. and even though we're down here in beautiful Bermuda, we're facing some of the same problems the rest of the world is facing.

So you just trying to do the best you can to continue to help people and stay safe. .

Phil: [00:02:23] Yep. Absolutely. And that they're right there. You said one of the things that I love most about you is just as far as helping people and, uh, I know that's something that's very important to you. Something I know that you have done as a coach that you've done as a player.

Um, but one of the things that I know that didn't just happen, right. That didn't just happen where you, uh, had these views on life and you had, you looked at life in a certain way. Yeah. Part of it's the way you're wired, but also part of it comes from mentors that you've had in your life. And I just want to talk a little bit about that with you is the value of mentors, not just in football and in this game that we love, but [00:03:00] in our life, in our leadership, as we are going about different things, I know you've had your mom and dad and you've had amazing players.

Can you talk a little bit about that?

Clyde: [00:03:08] Yeah. Well, I think the first two people I would have to thank for the way I am is my mum and dad. because of, I said probably in the last episode, They taught me to treat people the way you like it to treated and if you do that in life, you can't go wrong. And I believe that, and I carry that with my every day, you know?

And, um, I think that's very important that you do that, especially at times like today, when we've got all sorts of turmoil, not just, uh, this, it wasn't the entire world, you know, um, it's a shame, but, um, the good father knows what's happening and he's the one that can, lead us to the right path, you know?

Phil: [00:03:51] Absolutely. And, you know, I know in your book, we mentioned it in the last, interview as well, but it's called The Acid Test. It's your autobiography. You also talked about some of [00:04:00] these guys, uh, Martin Peters, Bobby Moore,  Geoff Hurst, that, that taught you different things as you, brought you under the, under their wing, basically when you came, to West Ham, can you, what are some of the things you remember learning from those guys as you were playing that, you took not just in your game, but beyond the game itself,

Clyde: [00:04:19] the most important thing that I learned from them three, um, who were just coming from winning the World Cup in '66. I got there in '68 and to be in the same company as them was to teach you how to be humble, you know, and even though you're on that big stage and everything, you've gotta be humble and got, gotta know how you carry yourself.

You gotta be respectful. And, uh, as I said, being nice to people, you know, and, everybody in life, I'm not gonna probably agree with you, but I think the majority of people in life that a decent folk would [00:05:00] understand what I'm saying, you know? And, um, as I say, I couldn't have had, you know, for me West Ham was the perfect club, I mean, the area that we're in, you know, that part of London, was a rough, rough area.

But what you learned from being in those areas was that everybody respected one another, as long as you'd done and you worked on and you've done what you had to do. these three guys, uh, you know, they worked tirelessly on the field. They train as hard as they play and most soccer players today, especially, and people that want to be soccer players, that they must understand.

Nobody's going to give you nothing. You got to earn it. And by earning it, it's working hard. And if you have to go in and do extra stuff, you got to do it. These three done that continuously. I mean, sometimes you would just sit and watch a person like Bobby Moore after lunch, we'll go back to training and then [00:06:00] just do some laps.

So do sit up. So new passing and those are the things it takes to become a world-class player. And those three, they were world-class players. I mean, if they were playing, if they were playing today, no. What I'd have to pay him. It'd be a lot of money.

Phil: [00:06:20] Absolutely. I think we talked about that last time too. I mean, you mentioned a lot of other players last time too, and what we'd have to pay him today.

I probably wouldn't have enough money to be able to pay some of those players. And I think that hit something on there, there too. Yes. It's the hard work. Yes. It's the work ethic. Yes. It's. It's not just, you know, resting on your laurels and, and being able to say, oh, well, I'm, I'm the best. So I don't have to work hard.

Of course not. That's that's absolutely just the opposite. You have to stay at that level. But one of the things that was interesting and it's the first thing you said was that humility. That humble, that servant leadership, that idea. And to, to see that, to hear that, um, especially as the number one thing, [00:07:00] is, is massive.

And, and so what is, how did you, you know, take that into every area, every other area of your life, as you led a business, as you managed as you are a father and a husband, what does that look like as you, as you saw these men who were at the top of anyone's list of things to achieve, and you saw that in them, how did that impact you off the field?

Clyde: [00:07:22] Well, it was great because, um, at the time people like myself, Clive, we were young guys, like 17 and 18 years old. And here were these guys that were world-class players, established players that treated us decently. Treated you the way you want to be treated. Wouldn't be afraid to pull you aside and tell you when you made a mistake.

And if you were man enough and, has a decent mentality, you know, you would take what they had to say and, and apply it to your own self. And in your game, I [00:08:00] remember, just before he died, Martin died early in the, um, he died last year and the last time I was in England, I saw him. And I pulled him aside and I told him, Martin, thank you very much for showing me how to break the offside trap, because when you're a young boy, you just play off of energy, you run, run, run, not thinking and he showed me how to run on the line and then bend in to make your run. And if you do that, that way, you know, nine times out of 10, you know, beat the defense and, you know, for him to tell me that it showed me that, I mean, that was a lesson well learned and something that I always remember, you know? And, um, those are the type of people they were. And as I said, the whole amount of people at the club and it was like one big family.

You know, from the lady [00:09:00] that done the shorts that done the the equipment for us. Washed it. Made it, decent for the next game to the guys that done the ground. You know, everybody, you knew everybody and everybody got along with everybody. And if you had disagreements, you go to the manager and put it forward, then you sit down and discuss it, you know?

And that's some of the things that I tried to carry with me when I entered coaching, you know, just to be open and honest with the players. Well, you play. And if you let them know that, right from the off, you don't have problems, you know? And, um, and they know to themselves because those players, you know, they're honest, when it comes to, giving them, things to do in details on the football field.

Like you say, you being a goalkeeper. If you're making a mistake and I tell them, you Phil, you should have saved that if you're. You know, in the right frame of mind, you will probably agree at times, you know, that, [00:10:00] Hey, that was a mistake, my error. And if you hold you hand up, and, uh, you know, to be counted and, you know, say, Hey, I made a booboo, they respect you for that.

You know, and that's what life's all about, you know, it's, growing along, you know, and when you do something wrong, you know, don't be afraid to say, Hey, I made a mistake, you know, and you just go on from there. Yep.

Phil: [00:10:21] No, I, and I, uh, I think I may need to get on a zoom call with you and my nine-year-old now ten-year-old son, to help him understand the offside trap too, even, even at his age, because he tends to do exactly what you said, just run forward and he's five, six yards offsides, but you know, we've all been there.

We've all been there. Yes.

Clyde: [00:10:39] Well, it takes time. It takes time, you know, and the more you practice it, the more it becomes natural, you know?

Phil: [00:10:44] Right. Well, that's like you said, that hard work, that hard work that, that gets you there. It's not just in the, in the training room and working out and getting faster and getting stronger.

It's getting smarter. Right. And that's, that's something that that's a great lesson for life too. You know, you never [00:11:00] want to take away that aggressiveness and that excitement and that passion, but you got to say, okay, how do you hone it to be able to make it? Yeah,

Clyde: [00:11:07] that's the most important thing is to hone it in the right direction, knowing when to, and when not to, you know?

And, um, I think part of that is being humble. As we said in the beginning, most of the guys that I played with that world-class players, if you didn't know the names, you wouldn't even know him because they're not the type of person that's show you person. That's going to be talking about who they are or what they've done, what they've achieved.

They just go on about their business and most great soccer players are like that. They don't go around shooting all their trumpet about what they done. Of what they have achieved, the ones that do it are the ones that normally don't make it where they need to get to.

Phil: [00:11:49] Yeah. And you've said a couple of things here that, that makes me want to go a little bit deeper into this idea of playing team sports.

And you just talked about that, having a humble posture, having a learning [00:12:00] posture, but also what is it about, you know, playing team sports and, uh, what we learn about being a team player that translates and how does that translate into life outside of sport life, outside of these teams sports? Um, can you say, you know, can you let us know just how, how that has, how you've seen that play out that team sport equals a better employee, a better person, a better whatever, or is it something that you haven't seen that much?

Clyde: [00:12:31] Well, I've been pretty fortunate to be able to pick out. You can always tell the people that have played a team sport because they're always willing. To accept a team. Most people, even in the workforce, if they haven't played sports, there are different sort of person. So playing in sport plays a big part in your everyday life.

And you look at our sport football. [00:13:00] And I probably said it last time when a goal is scored, what happens? once goal is scored? What does everybody do?

Phil: [00:13:10] Hug each other?

Clyde: [00:13:11] How does he, they didn't look to see what color you are or what country you're from. Everybody has the same happiness in it, you know? And that's the beauty of playing sport.

And a lot of your everyday life stuff you take with you. If you apply it in your work, it helps you because if I'm in charge of people, I have to learn how to speak to people, how to treat people, how to respect people. If I want to be respected, I got to give respect too. So it works both ways. So being in sport, all that helped you and they teach you how to be part of a team in your everyday life.

You know, especially in the workforce, I tell people all the time, I can go [00:14:00] to a lot of places in the world and get people to listen to what you have to say, because of the way you put it across, you know, I'm going to go in and be all flashy here. Sure. People are going to say, yeah, I don't want to listen to him because he was talking nonsense, you know, so playing that team sport that helps to alter your mentality.

It helps you alter your behavior. It teaches you how to treat people and all that. A lot of that is in everyday life. You have to be that way in everyday life as well. If you want to be success, you know,

Phil: [00:14:37] Absolutely. Now I talk to people about that all the time. I mean, you saw them with other whether within a law firm, whether it's in the work that I'm doing with, with orphaned kids, all around the world and different non-profits that I'm talking with, whether it's churches, whether it's organizations, different, different organizations that I'm working with and coaching, you see that you can, you can, as you're talking with someone, you know, who's played team sports, [00:15:00] you know, who, you know, who has it just the way that the conversations go.

So those are all things I, I know we've talked about and I just, you know, it's something that I remember, even when you're coaching us, some of those conversations we'd have where you teach us. And this is not just here. It's also. Outside this, this game, and you need to learn these lessons, which is, you know, big reason why I was excited to have a conversation with you is because I know that you taught me these life lessons through the game, and I'm excited that you get to teach it to other people as well.

and I know that was always something that you saw as one of your privileges that you got to do in coaching is to help people understand life as well. And I mean, did I, am I getting, am I, did I just, uh, impose that on you? Or is that something you actually enjoy?

Clyde: [00:15:47] Well, you know what happens a lot of times, Phil, you had teachers, you have mentors as a young person, and if they teach you the right way, you're going to use a lot of those teachings [00:16:00] yourself.

And carrying on and passing on to other people, you know, so it's probably like a train track or train, you know, you have different lines to go to different places and, you know, when they use that thing train, you know, and, um, it makes sense to me, you know, um, use what you've learned and pass it onto other people, you know, because if it works for you, it's going to be good with other people, you know?

Phil: [00:16:29] Yeah. Definitely. So that, that kind of leads into the next thing I wanted to talk to you a little bit about, but the idea, and you talked about humility, you talked about that humble posture, and you've talked about that through both interviews. So the fact that you've talked about it so much, it's, it's not, it's not just something that you talk about.

It's something that you live in, something that you absolutely am a part of, but with humility is also this idea of self-awareness right. This idea of understanding that, you know, yes, you have faults. That's a big that you have that [00:17:00] put a lot of people think of as home humility, right? There's self-deprecation oh, I'm not that good.

I'm not there. That's not what humility is. Right. It's also knowing your source, but it's also knowing that you have things you do really well, that you can add to the conversation. You can help others to flourish. So this idea of self-awareness of knowing your strengths and your weaknesses, um, how does that play out and how did that play out in your career and how has that played out in your coaching and in your parenting and everything else you're doing.

Clyde: [00:17:29] Said before it goes back to the way you want to be treated. That's a great starting point because if you are going to treat people bad all your life, what do you expect to happen to you? You know, nine times out of 10, it's going to follow you to your grave. You know, so, you know, deep down inside that that's not the way to be.

So you try to do the right thing and it's all about doing [00:18:00] things right. we know a lot of things that we can do that are bad, but we choose not to do that because we want to be symbols for other people coming along. So, you know, you want to do the best you can so they can emulate what they see you do.

Just like we had done it for other people and people have done it for us, you know? So that's what life's all about, you know, not being afraid to pass on what you've learned, and that's the good thing about coaching. you played football all your life, but what gives me more satisfaction than anything is to see all you guys come along, go to college, get an education, do very well and still partake in the coaching sessions now with your kids and your kids' friends and stuff like that.

That's what life's all about, So it we do our job, right. As grown ups and people, [00:19:00] Hey, the world could be a better place for everybody, you know, but it's taking that responsibility and saying, I'm going to do this. No, one's going to do that rather than make all the noise and, make it bad for everybody.

You know, that's not a good way to be. I mean, it easy to spot off, It's a lot of harder, getting all these people together, and if you can do that somewhere in life, you know, you make it a better place for everybody and that's what life's all about.

Phil: [00:19:28] Yeah.

And then the other thing that goes along with this, you know, you talk about humility, you talk about, you talk about these really just values that we have and really the other one, the other one that's so important and something that you, I know take, very seriously is living a life of integrity.

And so you have this integrity, but. We also have a lot of corruption in football. And whether it's, you know, you talk a lot about the book CONCACAF and just the discrepancies amongst the different areas that you played in the different countries and the different money that's [00:20:00] being thrown around, whether it's the Super League now with, the big leagues and the big teams, the big leagues talking about that.

And UEFA, getting involved and, and all these different things going on. One of the things you said in your book, you said in life, there are two ways a right way and a wrong way. When you start moving between the two, that's when you have problems, right. When you start towing that line, when you start making excuses, when you start, making justifications for things that you know are wrong, but what, where did you, first of all, where'd you learn that?

Secondly, How do you. do the next right thing. What does that look like for you? What did that look like when you were playing? Cause I imagine there were times where It would've been easy to do the wrong thing and get away with it and probably get forward and get ahead.

So what does that look like and what has that looked like in your life?

Clyde: [00:20:46] I think the most important thing to remember, what is it that you want out of it? You know? And if you are gonna do things wrongly, you're not going to get anywhere. because somewhere along the line you're going to get stuck.

[00:21:00] So if you make your mind up what it is you want to do and how you want to go about doing it, it's going to be a lot easier for you, And, um, Y you don't know any other way to do it, rather than try to do it the right way, when you get trouble like that, and.

It's going to interfere with what you're trying to achieve, you know? So if you're going to want to be teaching people or helping people along the way, you can't be teaching them and doing things wrong, you gotta be doing things right. They see you doing it, right. They're going to do it right. Because they're going to say it, it worked for coach.

It can work for me, you know, and that's what life is all about. learning as you go along and learning from the right people, you know, and that's, what is the most important things in life, you know? And, um, they just say, we all make mistakes. And the good man knows his hand up and says, Hey, I made a mistake, the one that hides himself.

And you know, [00:22:00] pretends he doesn't make a mistake. Instead he lies because he's not, he's not being truthful to you. You know? So no, no, if you can go through those sort of principles, you're going to be okay.

Phil: [00:22:13] Yeah. You know, and as far as coaching goes, as far as, you know, you see different teams and, and, uh, different ways of playing different styles, but then you also see the, the players that are taking the little cheap shot, the little, the little knock after the play, the little, um, you know, things that are.

Stepping on the foot, whatever, you know, I mean, you know, these things, everyone who played the game knows these things that, it's that idea of, it's not illegal if you don't get caught. But the fact of matter is it still is illegal. You just didn't get caught. as far as that goes, and I think you said it and I want to just make sure I, heard you and I understood, the idea that as a coach, as a leader of these teams, to teach these kids, teach the players that we [00:23:00] have under us, that look at some point, you're going to get caught, but even if you don't get caught, it's still wrong.

And if we're going to be teaching and raising these people up to understand. Life in why this is important in life to understand this integrity. Because if we don't teach them, if you do the wrong thing, even if you don't get caught, it still is wrong.

These could, these guys could later in life go, well, I cheated on my wife, but I didn't get caught. So it wasn't wrong. And I cheated on my taxes, but I didn't get caught. So it wasn't wrong. is that what you're getting out there and, how do you react to that as I'm talking about it?

Clyde: [00:23:33] you know, those sort of things that you're talking about. If you go down the road in the path of life, doing that sort of stuff, you're going to get caught. And it's just a matter of when and how it's going to happen. Because like you said, if you're going to cheat on your taxes, that's a Cardinal sin, you know, in American not to do.

And if you get caught, [00:24:00] you will pay dearly for it. So we as parents and teachers, we have to make our players and students understand that, Hey, you got to do it the right way. Don't be taking shortcuts. Hey, if I'm playing football against you and I tread on your foot, it's not the wrong. So I didn't mean it.

You know? I mean, you don't blatantly go out and try to hurt somebody because, Hey, we're both from the same profession. If you take my life away from me, somebody might take your life away from you tomorrow. So, you know, you gotta be, uh, say, it's great to be honest. And that people know exactly where you stand rather than try to be a rogue and rip people off all the time, because it will catch up with you.

Yeah.

Phil: [00:24:48] How do you feel about all the diving and everything that's going on in the modern game?

Clyde: [00:24:53] I don't like it. my favorite, criticism is about the VAR. I don't, I don't like that much at all. [00:25:00] because it's such a thin line between, is it on or is it off? Is it a handball or isn't it a hand ball?

And I think football is a game. Well, it's more than general. It's played by people. People make mistakes. So let the game go on. You can put it in the machine to interpret it as the person off side or on side. And when they make a lot of those decisions, there are so minute, it's unbelievable, it's millimeters, you know what I mean?

And, um, to have somebody off side that just a toe in front of the next guy and his body behind the line to me, that doesn't make sense at all. So that would be my biggest criticism about today. when we played, Hey, we took a lot of lumps and bumps as well, but you just got up dust yourself off and go again.

And that's what the people want to see them in the stands and, uh, your [00:26:00] teammates, because there's nothing worse than having a teammate that, you know, it was going to be on the team, but it's not a team player. you're going to be a man short right off the bat, you know? So it's important that you learn those things early and, it will make you, become a better person and a better team player.

Phil: [00:26:20] Yeah, that's something you and I have talked about a lot as far as the, uh, the game back when you played and with all these guys, doing all these flashy moves and everything. And I, I basically said to you, if you try, if you try to do that, which you wouldn't have, cause you were a very different type of player, but if you would have you probably would've gotten hit by one of those center backs pretty hard.

They would've stuck their foot in and say don't want to see any of that flashy stuff. Right. Well,

Clyde: [00:26:42] I mean, if you were smart, you knew who you could do it to and who you couldn't do it too. I mean, you have people like Norman Hunter and people like, Chuck Harris, Ron Harris, you know, Dave Mikai, you know, you done things to those guys and they let you know that you've been in the game.

[00:27:00] And if you were smart enough, you would try and keep out of the way and you know, do what you have to do. Yeah.

Phil: [00:27:06] Well, and you talked about VAR, of course, you know, you, you went up, you went ahead of me cause I was, I was going to get there later on and they interviewed, but, but I'm glad you did because that's something that I did want to talk about.

I mean, you hit it on the head as far as one of my biggest criticism of it is the game involves humans. And when we take that idea and that element of human error out of the game, you know, you can, you can find a foul in almost every play if you really want to. And at one point, you know, at what point does it become that every corner kick we're calling a penalty kick because someone grabbed a Jersey at some point at the corner kick, right?

I mean, that's potentially, if you go down this. slippery slope, far enough. That's where it's going to get. And it's going to be a, take this contact sport and basically turn it into a non-contact sport, especially when you start talking about, the slow motion and everything else. But one of the things that I'm curious [00:28:00] to hear from you, I mean, on that note, I mean, yes, it is, it is a thing of, human error, but what I like to, but I've talked to a few people about on the other side of it, this idea that not only is it a game of human error and we don't want to have these referees, I mean, the, just the fact that a subjective call is brought to another referee who has a different view of that rule potentially.

Well, obviously it is different because it's a different person telling this referee, who's been calling a game a certain way on a certain day with certain players, and then you bring it to this other guy. Who's not even down on the field, watching it in real time, but he's watching it in slow motion.

There's that whole issue. But then there's the idea of. We're taking away lessons, life lessons that we can learn about life, that authority figures make mistakes, and we need to live with them. Right. That happens. That's something that you and I have learned from this game. And if we are seeing the game as teaching us life lessons, in addition to having fun and having competition and all [00:29:00] this other stuff, are we just take it?

Are we robbing ourselves of life lessons from this game by having this idea of instant replay? talk about that or anything else you want to about VAR, but yeah, that's something I've been thinking a lot about.

Clyde: [00:29:13] Yeah. I don't know if you show the game on Sunday, it was between Arsenal and Fulham.

Right. And the girl that was disallowed, um, no, that, that was counted for Arsenal now, to me. Before the was the ball when the net, one of the guys was standing off side, but they say that he wasn't interfering with the play, he's in front of the goalie. What could the goalkeeper do?, you know, to me, that's offside, you know, so I don't know what they're talking about, that when they, see that sort of stuff.

And they allow that stuff to go. It's just like, um, when you're heading the ball, the first thing they teach you, you got to use your arms for [00:30:00] elevation to get up and head the ball. Now, if you jump up, if your hands up in the ball hits your arm, it automatic kind of thing. How are you supposed to get up in the first place if you don't use your arms?

So those are some of the things that they probably need to revisit for next season and see if they can do a better job with that. Because some of the things that are happening, they're taking goals away from people that should've had goals and the log. Uh, people to have go, which when they shouldn't show it's, uh, it's a, it's a mixed up thing, so to speak, you know, and hopefully they can get it sorted out.

I would think it's here to stay. I don't think it's going to go. We just have to get used to it, you know?

Phil: [00:30:44] Yeah. It's funny too, because in your book you actually were more in favor of VAR. if we go back and look at that, basically, you said I'm all in favor of extending it to other, that was when it was only goal line technology, but you say you're extending into decisions like intentions, [00:31:00] penalties and off sides.

But I think that that goes to the point of it is it seems great in theory, But when we start seeing it in practice and that goes for a lot of things in life, right. We think in theory, it sounds great. But then when you put it into practice, you realize all of these things that, you know, it actually reminded me of when I started even talking about the human error.

I don't know if you saw the movie, Sully. It was about a pilot who landed the plane in the Hudson River a few years ago. And in that movie, it talked out the investigation and everyone's saying, well, you should've done this and you should've done that in the 20, 20 hindsight. And finally it clicked with him towards the end of the movie, spoiler alert here, if you haven't seen it, but he clicked.

And he said, you guys have not factored in that human error. That extra second or two, it would take for the human because we don't compute like a computer. And in the same way that offside call that penalty where angle and perspective comes into play, you know, that's life and life lessons. I recently had a [00:32:00] referee on the show and we talked about that, that idea of perspective and angle that you have a different perspective as me, which we do because we're two different human beings from different backgrounds from different perspectives, from different places, with different understanding of the facts of that particular situation. And you have that, you're going to have different calls. And again, that's a good life lesson, and it's something that we need to understand. But when you look at 65 different angles in slow motion and this and that, and the other thing, I mean, that's the thing, even with the offsides, it just where that angle is and where that line is drawn.

And it seems to me like, I mean, I remember early on in the season, I think it was Liverpool. And now mind you, I don't ever mind seeing Liverpool lose, but only when it just right. Like, it wasn't just to me, like there was no way I could see that gotta be an offsides in one of those games. And they lost the game and they had a goal in the 94th minute or whatever that was taken away.

And I'm thinking there's always going to be an argument.

Clyde: [00:32:53] Oh, it will be, it will be with VAR. I mean, you leave yourself open to me. [00:33:00] Um, when you see the things that are allowed. And the things yet or not, you know, you're leaving, you know, you're leaving yourself open a real lot when you do that sort of stuff and like I said, when they first brought it out, you know, I was like, let's have a look, let's give it a go and see what happens.

But to me, just go back to where we once were, was, and just play like we normally did. you know, I look at, one of the things I look at a lot on Saturdays and Sundays when they're taking the corner kick, practically every ball is outside the circle practically, every time it's outside, but they never bring it back and say, Hey, the ball was not touching the line, you know?

And, um, it's those things that make you want to pull your hair out, you know? And, um, as I said, I wish them all the best, but if I had a choice, we would just go back to the normal way of playing. [00:34:00] And without the VAR, I mean, you can't even tackle nobody today, but as soon as you look at somebody, you're getting the card.

I mean, I watch, I watch Westham on Saturday and the guy that, the is sent off rightly so, you know, his last tackle was a crazy, crazy tackle, you know? And, you probably never realize anyone was behind him and he just went in and he got sent off, you know? And, um, I just said, rightly so it was the right decision, but there are times when, people are getting yellow cards and the second yellow card normally adds up to a red card, you know, you'll make it hard for them because they're not allowed to play.

They really want to play once they get their first card, you know, so yeah, I would rather just see out the door and just carry on. Like, we've been all these years, you know,

Phil: [00:34:50] I agree with that. Unfortunately, I think we're both on the same page where we also don't think it's going away, which is my opinion, because we think we can take care of everything with the instant [00:35:00] replay.

But I just look back to, you talked about that with the Arsenal-Fulham match, where I think that's obviously interference with the keeper's line of vision. You've made him think that he, as a keeper, I know that you act differently when there's a guy right in front of you. I don't find that on your eyesight or not.

You think he's going to do something you don't know and you're thinking differently. And it's that split second for a keeper makes all the difference in the world. But also you look at a couple of weeks ago with the United-Tottenham match, where, where McTominay flicks off Son's arm. Cause Son's grabbing at him and it went, it goes through the arm and barely touches his face.

And Son of course makes a meal out of it. And. They pullback a beautiful goal. And so in what you're seeing also is, as you talked about earlier, the celebrations are muted because people are afraid to celebrate any goal because they think it might be a foul. Or if you're going to go back, how long do you go back before you, it doesn't count toward that goal scoring opportunity, right?

All [00:36:00] those are subjective decisions. But in that, in that United-Tottenham match, the referee was staring at the play. It wasn't like it was blocked by two players. It wasn't like anything. The linesmen, the AR did not raise the flag. The referee did not call it, but then when they go back and then the guy in the booth says, Hey, you should look at it.

Then you have that bias in your head. Well, he said, I should look at it and go watch it in slow Mo well, I better call it or I'll look like a fool. You take away the flow of the game. You take away the way that referee has been calling that game, you take away everything and you, then you decide in a vacuum. Well in life, if we decide things in a vacuum and not consider the context of any decision, we'd make decisions a lot differently.

Do you agree with that?

Clyde: [00:36:45] Yeah, you're probably right. Um, I remember that particular game as well. it was a big mistake by the referee, but, you know, as I said, that's what happens when you take arms and hands out of the game, you know, [00:37:00] because as a soccer player, football player, most of the times they've taught to use that for elevation, for speed.

You know, they tell you use your shoulders, you know what I mean? And to keep people off, you usually stick one hand out and block him off, you know? So you're taught that from the training menu, you know, not to let people getting into space, you know, so use your arms to keep them off. I mean, as long as he doesn't punch him or do anything drastic like that, but, as I say, it's, it puts a lot on the referees, you know, the referees are not any stock with the 90 minutes on the game. They got to look at each, contact each, head ball, you know, every sort of thing. So they're loading the referees down with a lot more than what they would have if they just let them just go there and play

Phil: [00:37:50] That's right.

I agree with that. Well, we could talk a lot longer, I'm sure about the ills of VAR, but we won't. because I do want to, I wanna [00:38:00] move on to another thing just really about specifically these life and leadership lessons from the game. And I'm curious did you learn anything as far as your perspective on the game, uh, from coaching the game that you didn't learn while you were playing the game?

Clyde: [00:38:17] Well, most of the stuff I learned in the game, I took to coaching because I had some unbelievable people that helped us. And that coached us at West Ham.   As I said, I arrived there as a 17 year old and Joan Lauer, who was our youth coach. Um, he ended up taking the first name once Ron stepped down.

And, a lot of stuff we learned from people like him and Ron Greenwood. So normally, we said that they, if it's good for them, You know, it's gotta be good for us because we're all a [00:39:00] part of it. Then we saw it. So the natural progression would have been to carry on what they were doing because at West Ham we've always had a reputation of developing young players.

I mean, Manchester United do it at home, but, we done it years and years ago because we never had money to buy big, big players. So they always develop their home-grown players and had them in the team. I mean, when I played for West Ham, practically, every player was from the East End of London, you know, one or two might've been from Scotland or Newcastle, but everybody else was home grown.

And I believe in that because why go down the road and have to pay hundreds and hundreds of pounds. And when you might have somebody on your doorstep, we had Willis stand. We've got a problem now with the captain. Now everybody wants him, but he's been playing for us for the last four or five years and [00:40:00] playing very well.

Now, all of a sudden, everybody wants him. It's like, the boy that's coming in from United all those years at United, they were sitting them on the bench right now. He's come to us and he's really displayed his ability. I've always liked Jesse Lingard. I always thought he was a good player when he was at United come to us and he's been given a new lease of life and now United want to put the price up on him because he scoring goals again.

But you know, that's a part of the game that you learn, you know, as you're going along and you're making progress, especially if you're going into the coaching side, at our club, when we were still playing. One, our responsibilities was to go around to one of the local high schools and help, you know, the PE teacher and take some sessions, with the children and myself and Bobby, how he used to do it all the time.

[00:41:00] Um, you know, Bobby, who I consider was a good, good coach as well in Seattle. As a matter of fact, you're still living there today and Clive for lovers, you know, that's what we'd done, you know? And, um, that's where we got all our information to carry on to other people. Because as we said, if it was good for us, it's gotta be good for you and good for the game.

And they said they didn't call us a school of science for nothing, because that's what it was like. And that's the way you were taught, you know? And, um, it's good that we could pass it on to other people, you know, because the more the game grows, the more entertaining it becomes, but that is for everybody because every fan that you speak to tells you they like to see a good game of football.

Phil: [00:41:46] Definitely. So with that, with, with the, you talked about one of the things you love about West Ham, is the developing the youth. what's like one thing, it could be more than one, but what's one thing that [00:42:00] you love that I'm talking about the current West Ham United club, current 20/21 club. That what's one thing that they're still doing today that they were doing when you were there, that you'd love. And what's one thing that you wish they'd bring back that maybe they're not doing. When you, when you were a part of the club back in the early seventies.

Clyde: [00:42:20] No, we've never been a club that has tons and tons of money. So you have to develop your own. They're still doing that now. Declan Rice, started at Chelsea. Chelsea, let him go. We took him. You look what they've done with him. The way he's matured and the type of player he's become. If you look at, one or two of the other younger boys there's so one plane back on Saturday, you know, he had a, got to get a full game.

he came through our ranks. He was at West Ham as a seven year old. So we all have always had an affiliation with the community because it is like a [00:43:00] community club. I mean, everybody in West Ham area supports West Ham didn't support. Nobody else. You might find one or two that might say Spurs or Arsenal, but majority of the people, there are West Ham supporters. And if we find out you're from Arsenal or Tottenham, they might chase you, keep it to yourself, you know? But, um, as I said, you can't really explain. How important the club was to all of us and the community and the group of people that live in that area.

As I say, it's, um, I just spoke to a friend one day on the phone this week, and he's always been a West Ham fan when he was there. When we were playing, hanging around with his, going out with his, and he's still there today. And what I do like about the football in England, very seldom, you heard people changing teams, the team could go down to the [00:44:00] fourth division and they will still support that team.

So that tells you how important the community and the area of the teams, where they come from, how important it is. I mean, you've got to Liverpool. I mean, that's a crazy place to go play football because they are so dedicated and they loved their team so much. I mean, You can't believe it when you go there to play and you hear the crowd singing, you know, it makes tears come to your eyes because that's how important football is.

Not only at a place like West Ham [inaudible], you know, and that's the way it is, you know? And that's the good part about having been involved in that profession over the years. And as I said, the most important thing is to pick up what you learned from them and pass it on to somebody else, because I [00:45:00] know that's what Ron and John would want to see that we're passing the game onto other people.

Phil: [00:45:08] Do you see anything at the, at the club that you you'd change? If you were in charge?

Clyde: [00:45:14] Well, we've always had a problem with money. You know, we can't get that much money to be able to go by who we want, you know, um, if we could get more money into the club, I think it will be a better club still. I mean, we're playing right now at the Olympic stadium, the team itself, I think they're doing a superb job.

We're in fourth position right now looking and knocking on the door for Champions League place. we've gotta get one or two players back now from injury, like, um, big boy up front Antonio. I mean when he's playing for us, he's a beast. And he's able to him and Jesse seem like they have a good understanding already, you know, so if we can get him back, we can [00:46:00] get our left back back.

I think we're going to be, we could be in the Champions League next year, if we can get them people back on the playing field. So I think club, you know, has done a great job so far, and I just hope they continue to make progress. You know, Dave Moyes is a nice guy. I know him from years ago and he turns out to be a coach coach for West Ham.

And we needed somebody like him to come in and stabilize the club. You know, we've had one or two players in the past that have been there making good money. But if you're making all that money, you got to show that you want to be there. Don't be there taking the money and running off and not doing what you got to do.

And that's what I like about this team right now. They look like they enjoy what they're doing, speaking to pre-cool. They tell me they all have a. Good understanding of one another, they all respect one another. So that gives you a good notion that, you know, it's not long before [00:47:00] you can be doing something pretty

Phil: [00:47:01] big, you know?

Absolutely. All right. A few more questions as we finish up. the first is we talked about this last time you ran a dry cleaning business for, for a while there. what lessons did you take from the game from playing from coaching as you ran a business? What were some of those things that, were important to the business?

Clyde: [00:47:22] Well, not just the one I had. Anybody in business. As I said, you treat people, decently respect, people, let them know that you appreciate the work you're doing. And, um, you're never going to have a problem, but if you come in and grumpy every morning and shouting at people and giving them work that they shouldn't be doing, you're going to have big, big problems.

So one of the first things I done when I got into that business was to treat people decently and it goes back to what I said in the beginning, you treat people the way you want to be treated. You don't want to grumpy boss [00:48:00] every morning coming in and shouting at you, or even his wife had an argument and he's bringing that to work.

You don't want that. You know, so as I say, three people with dignity respect, make sure they're happy with what, again, look after them at Christmas time, how the lead time, you know, when it's time for them to go on vacation and you, don't have problems, you know? And, that's what I find by doing what I done that little short period while in California, you know?

Phil: [00:48:28] Absolutely. And I know you've talked a lot about this just in the, in the answers, and I'm assuming most of these answers are based on this, but how does your faith play into your, your playing, your coaching? She's everything you're doing in life.

Clyde: [00:48:42] Oh, you know, I've still got work to do on that. You know, it's not something that, you know, I have been just like that, you know, you gotta work at it.

You got to take time, you gotta do a lot more reading, you know, look at the book and everything like that. But I do believe [00:49:00] that there's somebody that has more power than me and that fellow father, you know? And, um, as I tell people now with this pandemic, that's the only person that has control right now.

None of us have control, not the scientists, the doctors, nobody, the almighty is a man that will determine when enough is going to be enough. And, um, like I say, I got work to do, keep doing it. And, um, I do believe that there's somebody that it has more power than all of us put together. So I'll be on that side one day.

I can guarantee you, Phil. I can guarantee.

Phil: [00:49:40] All right. So we talked about in the business now, your beautiful wife and your beautiful daughter. have you used the lessons you've learned from the beautiful game in your marriage and in your parenting over the course of your marriage and over the course of Kimberly's life

[00:50:00] Clyde: [00:50:00] there again, you got to remember, it's not just, you, you have other people with you, so you gotta be caring.

You gotta be a person that likes to share. Don't be selfish, you know, you can be stern, gotta be honest. You know, I think that's one of the most important things, because Joe blow runs down the street and like you said, and it was with a girl, doesn't say you have to do that. You know, you gotta be staying through the wicket as we say and put up with what comes along with being in a position like this.

Again, if your upbringing of your children, you got to be honest, you gotta be stern. You got to let them know that, Hey, I'm the one in charge. You're still learning. Once you learn some of the things teaching that I passed on to you, then you can go on and do what you got to do, But it's important that you have to have discipline.

You know, a lot of people, you know, are in denial when it comes to a lot of children, [00:51:00] you know, and, uh, you can't be that way. You know, you gotta be firm and you gotta be honest and you have to let them know, especially today because children with all this, high tech stuff and they they're LA, they were ahead of a lot of us, you know, because I mean, I had a, one of my brother's granddaughters, she was here a couple of months ago when I watched this little girl pick up a telephone.

And hit the telephone and to look at her cartoons and she wasn't two years old then. So it tells you how far the young people are and you gotta let them know when they're doing something great. Let them know when you gotta, let them know they're doing something wrong. You gotta tell them, you know, you can say, not my son, not my daughter.

If they've done it, you got to look into it and find out for sure. You know? And, um, if you don't do that, you're going to have problems. If you, won't not at problems in your life. As I say, [00:52:00] be honest, be stern, be fair. And you're not going to have the problems, you know?

Phil: [00:52:07] Absolutely. Okay, last question is, you know, this is like a bittersweet, you know, we're getting close, we're getting close, but I love having these conversations with you.

But what have you read, watched or listened to that has most impacted your thinking on how soccer explains life and leadership?

Clyde: [00:52:26] Well, I look at lot of the people that I been with over the years, and I've been in my time with some of the best people in the world when it came to playing soccer, Pele was one, Johann Kryuff was another Bobby Moore was another, played with Franz Beckenbauer, against him.

These are the four greatest players of all time. So being on those people, you know, Taught me a lesson of all the things that we've talked about [00:53:00] just now, you know, so I've had some really great teachers. I'm thankful that I had the opportunity. The Lord picked me to put me in that position to do that.

And, um, and would always be thankful and grateful for that opportunity and all the people that I've learned things from. I mean, George Best, and I say, [inaudible] and all these guys have been great, great players in the world of football. And you go back to the Dutch, you go back in English and you can, they have list of players that, uh, been world class players, but not only world world-class players, but the world-class human beings.

And that's what life's all about.

Phil: [00:53:53] Absolutely agree with that is something that, uh, you know, we learned so much from others, um, [00:54:00] who can teach us so many things if, if we have that posture of learning, right? Cause if we have the posture of out, we know it, we know it all. We don't need to learn anything, then we will miss so much along the way.

And so, because the thing is when you played against those guys, some of them, yeah, you probably knew they were the legends that they were, but other people, you have no idea. It could be the 17 year old that you're playing against or with the guys that were playing with you, you know, to, to know you are this, this source of mentorship and you're the source of wisdom.

They could have looked and just gone. Oh, just this kid knows nothing, nothing to learn from him. If we don't have that posture of, we can learn something from anybody, whether it's the janitor, whether it's the president, whether it's the mechanic, whether it's the accountant or lawyer, whatever, you know, just because society says this person has a better status doesn't mean anything.

It means that they're up another human being that we can learn from. And that's how I, that I know I have a [00:55:00] lot from people that other people would have written off. And I know you same, right?

Clyde: [00:55:04] Well, as I've always said to you, you can learn something from a drunk on the street if you're willing to listen.

So don't ever turn your back or your ear against a person that wants to say something to you because you never know what he's going to say. So just be prepared to listen. And then it's up to you to take it in and do what you have to do with it. But. Don't brush people off because you'd be surprised what they could be telling you or willing to tell you.

Phil: [00:55:35] Absolutely. Well, Clyde, thanks so much again for, uh, for this conversation for being a part of this show. I absolutely am, am honored to be your friend to call you friend and, to have you as my coach, um, you know, always be my coach, whether you're actually coaching me or not. So thank you.

Clyde: [00:55:53] Thank you, buddy.

Um, uh, there always, do you see a little mum and dad and all the guys and let's keep in [00:56:00] touch, not let it slip away like we did before. Let's just keep in touch and keep this going.

Phil: [00:56:04] Absolutely. Thanks again, folks. very much appreciate you taking the time to be a part of this show and I look forward to you, uh, jumping back on with us next week.

Thanks for joining the Facebook group. If you haven't done that already, you can do that. If you have any other guests that you think would be good for this show, please reach out to me, phil@howsoccerexplainsleadership.com. You can send any questions, recommended guests. If you are that person that you think should be on the show.

Let me know that too. And we'll be able to hop on a call and see if it's a fit. So thank you everybody. and most importantly, as we're winding this down, I just hope that you take everything that you're learning from this show, and you use it to help you in your life, your leadership, you use it to help you understand how soccer really does explain life and leadership.

Thanks a lot. Have a great week.