What Prem players’ pubs would be called – and what they would be like
Quarantine has got us all nostalgic for itbox, crisps and sticky toilet floors. So let’s imagine top Premier League stars as pub landlords.
It could be a long, long time before your next Super Sunday at the local.
It’s why you’ve been opening bags of Salt & Vinegar down the spine, spilling crisps across your dining table and confusing the other members of your household.
It’s why you’ve been silently drinking over Football Manager. It’s why we’re buying gift cards for our local pub even though we have no idea when they’ll re-open – well, that and the fact that the Budweiser Brewing Group are matching every gift card bought with a donation to the pub in question, helping make sure our favourite establishments are still able to open when all this madness is over.
In short, not being able to go to the pub hurts. Football debates are just more fun over a pint with mates.
So to pass the time, we’ve been thinking about football and beer (again), and about what these Premier League players would be like if they owned a pub.
Mason Mount & John Stones: The Masons Arms
As England trounced Montenegro 7-0 in November 2019, an unlikely friendship was born.
Yes, two players with rock-themed names, playing their first and only match together, decided to open a pub.
Stones, a Yorkshireman, would go down well behind the bar with the regulars, while Mount could add some friendly West London quirks — like £20 entry and VIP booths for oligarchs.
G&T on the rocks, please!
Note that Harry Maguire — “Slabhead” in this specific context — owns 10%.
Hector Bellerin: Big Chill Highbury
Loveable fashionista Hector Bellerin is about two injuries away from putting his millions into a pedestrian East London boozer.
Second-wave gentrification is the vibe; elevated are the prices.
You can easily picture Hector working the bar, maybe with a few more tattoos and thicker facial hair after retirement.
The establishment is marketed at young twenty-somethings, obviously, but its £10 Corona Happy Hour puts it squarely in the sights of bankers clocking off early.
Eden Hazard, Diego Costa & Cesc Fabregas: The Three Rats
The three Chelsea heroes aren’t recording Paddy Power adverts to pay their mortgages.
Instead, Fabregas has used his untaxed Monaco millions to buy a shuttered tavern, with Diego on the door and Eden pulling pints.
The pub would be a mishmash of styles.
Craft beers would complement Cesc’s legendary tapas, while actual rats would give the place some grimy old-world authenticity.
Olivier Giroud & N’Golo Kante: The Horse and Jockey
Getting misty-eyed just thinking about this.
You can picture strong and loyal Olivier, barrel on each shoulder, aiming a wink at N’Golo, who is diligently filing his tax return behind the bar.
The wink goes wide.
There’s a real French bistro vibe, of course, with wicker chairs spilling out onto a leafy Brompton side street.
Frank Leboeuf pops by to read the paper over a Pernod, ashing his pipe into a crystal tray. Marcel Desailly cycles by.
Paul Pogba: The Paul Pogba
PP beermats. PP taps. PP condom machine. PP pie & PP pint. PP quiz night.
— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) March 18, 2020
Toby Aldeweireld & Jan Vertonghen: Het Witte Hert
A taste of Flemish life in the heart of N17, Toby and Jan’s White Hart serves up tripels like Harry Kane hat-tricks.
The Belgian defenders are genuine pals, too.
“Toby, since the day I met him in the Ajax first team, has always been a very grown-up player,” Vertonghen revealed in 2017.
“Even back then when he was almost 20, he was very grown up. Obviously he’s improved a lot and it’s a pleasure to play alongside him.
“Because we have the same education in football, we know how we want to play and how to protect each other. It feels like we’ve been playing together for 20 years!”
It was meant to be.
Troy Deeney: The Grapes
A pretty old-school place, this.
No Rekorderlig or pan-fried sea bass to be found. Just Stella and Boddingtons on tap and good old Premier League coverage with Russian commentary.
What’s more, Troy has — out of pure malice — opened the establishment next to Hector Bellerin’s cocktail-lounge-cum-exhibition-space.
Needless to say, it’s the best pub of the lot.
Marcus Rashford & Jesse Lingard: Bar Football
The year is 2040. Two beloved local heroes fail to read the room and proceed to demolish Salford Lads’ Club, replacing the redbrick building with a chrome behemoth that reaches high into the polluted sky.
“Finally, Manchester has a pub for ordinary people,” says Jesse.
Seriously though, these two would make pretty nice landlords — if Rashford’s generation even goes to pubs these days. Who knows?
I’m picturing J-Lingz bar mats, a range of fancy gins, maybe a Playstation in the corner. It’s the only place where Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams get served.
Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, brewer of well-loved beers including Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, have launched the Save Pub Life initiative to help communities support their local pub during the Covid-19 closures.
The programme, open to pubs, bars and restaurants across Great Britain, encourages pubgoers to buy a gift card now and spend at their local once it re-opens. Budweiser Brewing Group will match the value of the gift card up to a combined total of £1million, and the full matched amount will go directly to businesses within two weeks, when they need it most.
Purchase a gift card today at SavePubLife.com.