Ranking every 19-20 Prem manager by how much you’d fancy a pint with them

Quick Reads

Steve Bruce knows how to relax, but Ole Gunnar Solskaer needs to get his shit together. The Premier League manager pint rankings are in.

How much would you fancy a pint with each Premier League manager?

When we first considered this issue, in November 2018, the managerial landscape was very different to what we see today.

We were able to include illustrious names like Javi Gracia and Slasiva Jokanovic, while Neil Warnock topped the list — for reasons not made particularly clear by the article.

Today, only seven bosses remain from the old list, so it seemed like a good time to evaluate the cordiality of Graham Potter, Mikel Arteta and Dean Smith.

20. David Moyes

You would probably choose to avoid socialising with the Chosen One.

Just after Moyes was sacked by Man United, a group of 20-somethings vocally abused the Scot at a Lancashire wine bar, prompting a physical retaliation.

Given that you would probably vocally abuse him too, you might as well forget it.

19. Jose Mourinho

Like Rekorderlig and ‘sliders’, the once-novel Jose Mourinho has probably outstayed his welcome in popular culture — and your local.

A half of Sagres, and not a sip more.

18. Graham Potter

A smart and methodical man who closely studied the coaching techniques of Roberto Martinez.

Not for me. Probably not for you either.

17. Ralph Hasenhuttl

“I don’t drink beer that often,” said Ralph Hasenhuttl after Southampton gave free drinks to season ticket holders last year.

He’d presumably get the round in but order himself a Red Bull, which would be awkward for everyone.

16. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskaer is lively and talkative. The problem is that he only wants to chat about one thing.

Spending an evening with the Norwegian is like hanging out with a mate who only ever talks about your school days.

It’s enjoyable once a year on Christmas Eve, but on any other weekend? Give it a rest, Ole. Grow up.

15. Carlo Ancelotti

Our only real window into Carlo Ancelotti’s personality is that eyebrow, which may in fact signify nothing at all.

Sarcastic? Funny? Flirtatious? Do you really have the time to find out?

14. Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola gets away with a lot of his bullshit because he’s Pep Guardiola.

The trouble here is that, if were you to associate with the actual Guardiola in a pub, people would — justifiably — think it was a lookalike.

Once you’re in that territory, the Spaniard’s beige cargo trousers and heavy-knit jardigan become a lot less acceptable.

And that’s not even taking into account him getting everyone’s attention — guysh! guysh! — as he clinks together two San Miguels to knock the lime into the beer.

It would be embarrassing, basically.

13. Chris Wilder

Two facts about Chris Wilder: one, his facial features are too small for his head; two, he shouts and swears a lot.

When it comes to going for a pint, only the second of these facts is relevant, but it’s down to personal preference whether you’d fancy it.

12. Mikel Arteta

A better manager than Guardiola? No. A more appealing collaborator for a quick pint? Unquestionably.

He dresses like an adult.

11. Nuno Espirito Santo

‘Nuno Espirito Santo’ is an anagram of ‘to urinate in Spoons’, so make of that what you will.

Having a pint with Nuno Espirito Santo wouldn’t be uninteresting. The question is whether he would want you there.

An intense man. An alone-at-the-bar, don’t-make-eye-contact sort of man.

10. Jurgen Klopp

Fine but predictable. Jurgen Klopp tells you what you want to hear.

9. Dean Smith

There are some red flags here.

Dean Smith spends a lot of time with John Terry, and is also under a lot of pressure as Aston Villa manager, which would surely make him difficult company — at least in the immediate future.

On the plus side, Smith wouldn’t be guarded in the least, since nobody in Birmingham or elsewhere can truly remember what he looks like.

8. Frank Lampard

In the 2000s, there could hardly be a proposition less appealing.

Copy of Super Goals under his arm, sex tape on his flip phone: Frank getting a round of WKDs would have been too much to bear.

Now, however, Lampard is a man of the world. He’s lived in New York, played under the captaincy of nice guy Vincent Kompany and seems like an all-round good egg.

Pint of expensive cider with Frank Lampard. Why not?

7. Eddie Howe

You have to feel sorry for Eddie Howe now that Bournemouth are sinking like Charlie Daniels on a lilo.

The silver lining, however, is the way this nightmare season has physically aged the manager, once so glowing and fresh-faced.

Yes, Howe actually gets served now, and he’s incredibly excited to see the inside of a pub for the first time. Go and share that joy with him.

6. Roy Hodgson

Old but gold.

5. Brendan Rodgers

Is he as nice as Jurgen Klopp? No. Is he as clever? No!

But Brendan Rodgers’ thirst to prove himself — at football management, at drinking — would surely make for an interesting night.

Feel like turning in? Rodgers notices… and orders tequila slammers!

4. Sean Dyche

Last year, Sean Dyche would have been the loudest, brashest voice at the bar, that familiar rasp cutting through the din like a weak header slipping through Nick Pope’s hands.

Things have changed, clearly, but perhaps a chastened Dyche is a good thing.

Not for Burnley; they’re going down. For you, though, now could be a nice time to reminisce with the manager about Michael Keane or whatever.

He eats worms.

3. Daniel Farke

Sometimes you want a mellow one, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Nothing wrong with hearing Daniel Farke’s gentle voice regaling stories of Westphalia, its bustling university, its magnificent 17th-century town hall.

Have a pilsner with Farke, and tell him everything will be alright. Because you know what? It will be.

2. Steve Bruce

“It’s when I’m under pressure that I open the fridge and help myself: beer, pork pies, anything,” Steve Bruce revealed in 2011 while managing Sunderland.

Sounds like a date.

“I do like a pork pie with a can of beer, and the one thing I missed when I was away was pork sandwiches with mustard, pease pudding and crackling.”

Keep talking, Steve.

“But all that will have to stop because I’m sick of being called a fat b*****d wherever I go.”

Oh. Still, if anyone can tempt Bruce back to the beer and pork pies, it’s you. And what could be better?

1. Nigel Pearson

This. This is the only thing better than beer and pork pies with Steve Bruce.

Before getting the Watford job, Nigel Pearson had been on a sort of gap year — not in Thailand, obviously, but in a remote part of Scotland, with, according to the Mail, “only a local fisherman to ferry him from the pub and back”.

He’d also completed half a history degree through the Open University, which has now been put on hold.

Fleshing out his reinvention as a liberal arts student, he once described himself as “bloody annoyed” with the result of the Brexit referendum.

Most importantly, Pearson is an expert on the matter at hand.

When managing in Belgium, he found himself living in the birthplace of Stella Artois. “It’s interesting, because it’s the weakest beer I’ve drunk here,” he joked.

See you there, Nigel.

By Benedict O’Neill


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