Relive Emma Hayes’ introduction to Chelsea a decade later | News | Official site

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Emma Hayes’ appointment as boss of Chelsea Women, we’ve released her first interview in this role from the archives, where she outlines her big plans and offers some hints of the incredible decade of success she’s had. she would bring to the side.

The landscape of women’s football in the UK looked very different on that day in 2012 when Emma Hayes was appointed as the new manager of Chelsea Ladies, as our women’s team was known at the time.

There was no press conference, no introductory media interviews – neither external nor internal – just a brief statement on this site to reveal that a little-known coach, on these shores at least, had taken the reins from Matt Beard.

The first time Hayes addressed the press formally was for an interview shortly after his first match at the helm with one of the editors of the club’s matchday schedule, which was later transformed in his first column for the men’s team publication.

We listened to this interview a decade later and picked out a few gems which, in hindsight, gave us a good indication of what was to come from the most successful manager in the modern era of women’s football…

On Chelsea’s victory over Doncaster Rovers Belles in their first game…

It was a good result in Donny – but above all a good performance. We had worked a lot in training on our new form and technical setup, so it was crucial that we developed those ideas into the game itself.

On the new tactic she was presenting to the team…

I don’t wanna give it to Birmingham [the Blues’ next opponents], but I’ll tell you! We want to work on the strengths of the players we have, work on a game based on possession and short passing that should see us dominating the ball as a team.

On the feel-good factor around women’s football after the London 2012 Olympics…

Yes, women’s football was one of the strongest team sports at the Games. There is a greater appreciation for the quality of players involved in women’s football, and it’s all over the world, not just in the UK. Everyone was encouraged by this and collectively the players and the league have a responsibility to move this forward, to ensure that there is a lasting legacy.

On taking up his first managerial position in England…

Yeah. This is my first management position in my own country. I was assistant, first team coach and academy director at Arsenal. I mainly coached the first team during the week, but managed the academy during the day. Then I went to the United States, with the Chicago Red Stars, then to Washington Freedom and Western New York Flash. If there had been a league, I probably would have gone to Sky Blue.

I was manager at Chicago, head coach at Freedom, then with Western New York I was the technical director, so I basically built the team. I spent the owner’s money and built his team!

On his goals for the rest of his first season with the Blues…

To raise the level of play of the team so that it finds more regular performances. They made the FA Cup final and then went downhill. For me, conceding 17 goals is way too much, so making the team harder to beat is the first objective. The second is to develop a style of play that matches the philosophy of the club. They’ve played quite a long ball style before, we want to play more of a short passing game that’s more suited to the characteristics of the players we have.

On Chelsea’s place in the overall women’s game…

It is a club that does not succeed. This is the bottom line. It has the brand recognition and relative support of the club, but it should be a Champions League club. There are no ifs or buts about it. The first thing is performance – without it you can’t get results. If we can get the performance, we can aspire to the good results, and we will do it by playing a certain way. Players are ambitious and hungry.

On his playing days across London with Arsenal…

I played in midfield until I was 17 or 18, then I had a career-ending ankle injury that left me without cartilage. It just wasn’t my destiny. I took my B license at 17, so I started coaching much younger. I’m 35 and on my eighth or ninth shift. That’s how stars fall – I would have loved to have a career in football, but that’s what I’m supposed to do…