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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August 2005, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Sir Bobby's managerial babes
By Andrew McKenzie

Sir Bobby Robson spent nearly 40 years in the game as a manager - taking in the likes of Ipswich, England, Barcelona and Newcastle.

A number of his players and assistant managers have since followed him into top jobs of their own - three of them will be leading sides in the Premiership this season.

Here he assesses the strengths and prospects this season of his young proteges now plying their trade in the top flight.

JOSE MOURINHO - CHELSEA

He worked for me for six years, he was bright, alert and a student of the game.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Date of birth: 26/01/1963
Under Robson: Worked as interpreter at Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona
Management career: At Porto won two league titles, Portuguese Cup, European Cup and Uefa Cup. Won Premiership title and Carling Cup in first season with Chelsea
Jose was my interpreter at Porto, Sporting Lisbon and Barcelona so he worked for some big clubs.

He was intelligent and he listened, he learned, he remembered and he wrote things down.

An extremely clever lad and when he was given the principal coaching job for the first time he did tremendously.

What he has achieved in winning seven trophies in three years is unbelievable.

He came here as a highly-rated coach but he had only been working for two years.

What he has done at Chelsea is wonderful and I take great pride in it.

He has handled big players so well. He used to do that with me when I used to get him to tell certain players what they were doing wrong and what I wanted from them.

SOME OF BOBBY'S OTHER BABES
Terry Butcher (Motherwell), George Burley (Hearts), Mark Wright (Peterborough), Glenn Hoddle (Wolves), Steve McMahon (Perth Glory, Australia)
He had that authority to go to the players and tell them the same way I would tell them. He wouldn't go to the player and be nervous - he went with authority and told them how it was.

This year everyone will know what Chelsea are and they will not find it as easy.

They are capable of lifting the title because he has got a good squad and he has had the money to buy - other teams find it hard to strengthen because of money but there is no limitations at Chelsea.

Arsenal and Manchester United will not make it as easy and every team will want to beat Chelsea more than last year, but the squad he has is even stronger.

BRYAN ROBSON - WEST BROM

I am delighted he has been given a chance to get back into it at West Brom.

West Brom boss Bryan Robson
Date of birth: 11/01/57
Under Robson: Was Robson's skipper for most of his eight years in charge of England- leading the side into both the 1986 and 1990 World Cup finals
Management career: Middlesbrough boss between 1994-2000. Twice got them promoted to the Premiership and also to the final of the FA Cup and League Cup in 1997. Had brief spell at Bradford before taking over WBA last season and saving them from drop
He did quite well at Middlesbrough and then he was in the wilderness for two years.

Then he went to Bradford but that wasn't ideal for him as he did not have much material to work with there.

He was offered the job at West Brom - there were others in the frame but as an ex-West Brom stalwart they gave him the opportunity and he did well to keep them in the Premiership.

Lets hope they can build on it and he can add to his squad because he doesn't want to be in that position again.

Having to win and three other teams to lose on the last day of the season to survive - he will not want to be in that position again and I think he will make sure that is not the case.

STUART PEARCE - MANCHESTER CITY

I think Stuart Pearce is going to make an excellent manager. I loved him as a player - he was tough, authoritative, he wasn't afraid of the big matches.

Man City coach Stuart Pearce
Date of birth: 24/04/62
Under Robson: Handed his England debut by Robson in 1989 and earned 29 of his 78 caps during his period in charge
Management career: Brief spell as player-boss of Nottingham Forest in 1996/97. Took over at Manchester City towards end of last season and was given the job permanently
And I don't think he will be afraid to run a big club because what I see of him as a player I see of him as a manager.

He could also speak well and when I see him in action on the touchline and giving pre- and post-match interviews I have been very impressed with him.

l will be sending him a good luck telegram at the start of the season.

I think he will turn out to be one of our good managers.

He has had a spell under the manager in various positions and helping a club to progress.

He is in charge now and I think he will handle it well - he will not stand any nonsense from players but I think they will like him because he will be honest and fair and correct.

The more I see of him the more I am impressed.




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