Ranking every PL boss by how much we’d like to be in lockdown with them
The coronavirus lockdown has forced us into close quarters with partners, family and flatmates. But could you share your quarantine with a Premier League manager?
Mrs Brown’s Boys with Nuno Espirito Santo. Making a “life planner” with Nigel Pearson. Rationing loo roll with Sean Dyche. Yes, going into self-isolation with a Premier League manager could be terrible, but it could also be quite pleasant.
From nightmarish to nice, we’ve ranked the 20 PL bosses by how much you could tolerate having them in your COVID-19 prison.
20. Mikel Arteta
In normal quarantine circumstances — like a gas leak or meteor strike — Arteta would be at the other end of this list.
He’s smart, he’s charming, and he probably doesn’t eat many snacks.
But since he tested positive less than two weeks ago, you should leave him alone for another few days.
After that? Can’t think of anything nicer.
19. Roy Hodgson
For his sake, you’re better off staying in your respective homes.
18. Jose Mourinho
Will just leave this here…
17. Chris Wilder
Tired: Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United “might play a little direct at times”.
Wired: Chris Wilder’s overlapping centre-backs are a tactical innovation.
Inspired: Chris Wilder re-signed Ched Evans.
16. Pep Guardiola
In 2017, Guardiola actually lost the plot because Nathan Redmond, an opponent, wasn’t playing with enough creative freedom.
He’d be climbing up the walls after, I dunno, three rounds of Scrabble?
15. Nigel Pearson
I love Nigel Pearson and would go for a drink with him any day, but he’s clearly insane, and that’s a pretty important factor in this little thought exercise.
We’re not even quarantined together yet, but I already feel like he’s gaslighting me. Why does he keep alternating between wearing glasses during matches and going without?
Contact lenses, perhaps, or a loose canon who needs to be left well alone.
14. Sean Dyche
Hard to tell if Dyche has even heard of coronavirus, birthed as it was outside of the British Isles, and you can’t help thinking he’d slip off to the pub, closed or otherwise, while you were taking a nap.
On the plus side, he can sustain himself on the common earthworm.
13. Jurgen Klopp
This is a tough one. Klopp seems fairly tidy, and he can talk on a range of subjects. He even knows his board games.
But he’s too intense. Too intense even from 50 metres away in a stadium. You can almost feel his breath on your face.
12. Ole Gunnar Solskaer
Never mind this small selection of 20 people, is there anyone in the world with a narrower range of conversation topics?
By all means, dig out The Treble on VHS and let the man give his director’s commentary, but what then? What then?
A small consolation: he’ll back you, however bad you are at salvaging toilet roll.
“It was a great effort from the lad, and he’s going to keep improving. Even if he’s not found any toilet rolls today, he’s getting in the right supermarkets. He’s got a great attitude. He’s got quarantine DNA.”
11. Nuno Espirito Santo
Not thrilled about this prospect, but I’d rather die at the hands of a maddened Nuno than pneumonia.
10. Frank Lampard
The best thing you can say about super-isolating Frank is that he’s quite boring and predictable these days, and that’s completely fine.
In fact, you get the feeling this arrangement would suit him. Bit of PS4. Cup of tea with a plain Digestive. Quick Skype with Ash and JT.
9. Ralph Hasenhuttl
Hasenhuttl has dealt with more troublesome #19s than COVID, including current Southampton winger Sofiane Boufal, who injured himself in November 2019 after kicking a table.
“Boufal hit his toe at home on the table, the big one,” Hasenhuttl said. “He [ran] through the kitchen and hit [it] against the table, or something like that.”
You, too, will soon be running into tables as you try to stay sane and active, and it’s nice that Ralph won’t blame you for it.
8. Brendan Rodgers
It wouldn’t be so bad, would it?
Rodgers has his foibles, but he’s a legendary man-manager who could motivate you to get off the sofa for at least 10 minutes a day.
7 & 6. Eddie Howe / Graham Potter
Inoffensive to the point of invisibility, Howe and Potter would be tolerable bunker guests.
They could be furiously arguing with each other, and the noise would barely surpass the buzz of your empty fridge.
5. Carlo Ancelotti
Use the lockdown to learn a skill, they say.
When he’s not singing opera from your bathroom window, Carlo could teach you Italian — or how to cook that 20 kilograms of penne.
He might even be enthusiastic about spending intimate time with a local.
“[Liverpool] is an informal city,” he said in a recent interview with Corriere della Sera.
“It’s not big and the people are friendly. I get on well here because I don’t like formal cities… In Liverpool, as in Madrid, you don’t have to dress up for dinner.”
Not anymore you don’t.
Carlo Ancelotti keeping a safe distance from a horse pic.twitter.com/jkfoTEcDdB
— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 17, 2020
4. David Moyes
This might not sound ideal, but if the 2013 summer transfer window taught us anything, it’s that Moyes won’t spend money — even if he wants to.
Drive to Costco for a big crate of Leighton Baines? No, Moyes will have to survive on your pathetic back-of-the-cupboard Alex Buttner, and he won’t say a word.
3. Dean Smith
This isn’t anyone’s dream scenario either, but Dean Smith will be out on the streets of Marbella, defying the authorities with his shirt off, if you don’t rein him in.
Take one for the team. Adopt Dean Smith.
2. Daniel Farke
One of the few Premier League managers you’d admit into your isolation cell without a gun to your head.
Farke has a magnificently soothing voice, which is exactly what you need during the apocalypse.
Better still, he’s driving over from Norfolk, the most accidentally isolated place in the country, so you know he’s healthy.
1. Steve Bruce
We’ve used this quote before, and we’ll use it again:
“It’s when I’m under pressure that I open the fridge and help myself: beer, pork pies, anything.
“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.”
Steve Bruce: Football Manager pic.twitter.com/KjVLsGIiZL
— GDSL (@LGoodsall) February 17, 2020