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  • Josh Schneider-Weiler

Interview with Michael Johnson: Black & Minority Coaches in 2018 + How to be a Centre Back

Updated: Jan 21, 2019

Today our guest is ex-professional footballer and current manager of the Guyana national team Michael Johnson.

In his nearly 20 year career he made more the 500 appearances for Notts County, Birmingham City and Derby County, the latter of which he now acts as an ambassador for.


Following his career as a central defender he went into coaching. As he discusses in our conversation, in this area he's found opportunities much more difficult to come by. He'll also talk about the art of central defending, the lesson Neil Warnock taught him and the state of coaching for blacks and minorities.


He's as an honest as he is engaging. Insightful as he is positive. Frankly, I enjoyed his spirit and personality as much as anyone I've encountered doing this podcast.


If you enjoyed this conversation and want to reach out to Michael, you can find him on Twitter @jonsarno


Listen Here

Timeline

3:43 The Chaos of the 1995 Anglo-Italian Cup

10:40 Central defending drills

16:20 The most important lesson he learned from Neil Warnock

23:00 Being a 5'10" central defender

30:50 The impact his father had on him

38:40 The moment that changed his life

45:05 His coaching influences

53:55 State of Black and Minority Coaching


Highlights

  • "You have to love that me against you scenario. Over my dead body. Whether it's blocks or tackles. I have headed balls on the floor. It's that. At all cost."  

  • "And Neil Warnock said to me 'I would rather play with 10 than put up with that shit that you just served. Sit down.'"

  • "I think there is a lot of unconscious bias rather than racism."

  • "I was going through and somebody said to me...'if you are found the guilty you are facing 20-odd years in jail.' I nearly passed out."

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