Sunday, 4 March 2012

Farewell to Fashionable AVB: A Review of Managerial Style



As the news broke that the adamant Abramovich had made his decision to sack Andre Villas-Boas with immediate effect; hundreds of questions and opinions broke out. Was it too soon? Was it about time? Was AVB to blame or is it the squad? 


Whilst all of these questions were being argued, I couldn't help but feel that the Premier League had lost a real talent, perhaps the most fashionable of all 20 managers. AVB would stand in his technical area with a slim fitting suit, a thin tie and designer stubble, making the his opposites look like tramps.
He made it look all so easy...
This thought got me thinking about the other current fashionable managers of the PL, and after a short look, the division can be divided into three groups:

Regal Roberto's
Roberto Di Matteo 
Roberto Martinez
Roberto Mancini

Standard Suits
Mark Hughes
Brendan Rodgers
Harry Redknapp
Steve Kean
Alex Ferguson 
Arsene Wenger
Roy Hodgson
Alex McLeish
Kenny Dalglish
Alan Pardew
Martin Jol

Tracksuit Tramps
Tony Pulis
Martin O'Neil 
David Moyes
Paul Lambert
Owen Coyle
Terry Connor

The top 3, all named Roberto, are a class apart with their continental flair that just isn't taught over here. Martinez even says in his autobiography that he always makes sure that his belt and shoes match, a thought that I'm sure has never crossed the mind of Tony Pulis. Although with Wigan chairman Dave Whelan's recent blast at Martinez team selection, the PL may soon be losing yet another fashionable face. As fashionable as these men may be I would still say they are behind the managerial elite of Pep Guardiola and Joachim Loew.

In the next group are the managers that understand looking smart is part of the job although they may not pull it off as well as their continental counterparts, at least they try. A special mention must go to Steve Kean of Blackburn; given his apparent lack of tactical nous or general football knowledge he does appear to dress himself quite well. Though that is assuming he dresses himself...

Lastly, we have the managers who still seem to think they are players and insist on wearing tracksuits whilst managing a team. Hang your heads in shame. There seem to be two main 'styles' in this section, either a polo with a jumper on top, a particular favourite of Paul Lambert and Martin O'Neil, the other option seems to be just wear whatever training kit is left over. Owen Coyle may be the biggest culprit of this, often wearing shorts, almost as if he is expecting to run onto the pitch in case of an injury emergency.
A prime example of 'tracksuit tramps'
There a number of reasons why I show so much shock at these fully grown men wearing tracksuits to work. Firstly they are all earning a pretty penny, so I'm fairly confident they can all afford to splash out on an M&S suit instead of Sports Direct bargain bin clothing. 

Secondly, the Premier League is a global brand, with a multi-million audience, so the least they could do is try and present themselves. For training, go wild, wear the whole kit if you want, but for just 90 minutes a week, whilst the cameras are on you could you please wear a shirt at the very least. 

Thirdly, you may notice the lack of British manager in the top group, and then notice that the final group is only British managers. They are making the UK look bad and I simply won't have it. 

Sorry if my first blog in a long time wasn't its manly, sporty self. But it's all part of being the modern 21st century man...