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  • Writer's pictureWill Uglow

Imagining the alternate careers of PL Managers...

Updated: May 12, 2021

Football is a fickle industry, as any top flight coach knows all too well. No sooner are you flavour of the month than your feet are forcibly removed from under you off the back of a slightly disappointing run of results. This career path offers many perks, but long term job security certainly isn't one of them. Better keep that Indeed account handy...

With this in mind, you'd think it would be a sensible move for Premier League bosses to have contingency plans in place for if a career prowling the confines of the touchline doesn't work out. And with the variety of managerial characters currently plying their trade at the top of the English game, the results could stretch far and wide.

Cast your eye into a separate dimension where Scott Parker is the new Ben Mitchell, Ole is at a very different type of wheel, and Jose Mourinho offers the best croissants in town...

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) - Modern Foreign Languages teacher

A fairly safe career path for the Gunner's youthful coach - so fresh faced compared to some of his managerial peers, it's easy to forget he has a successful playing career behind him and isn't still sitting his GCSE's himself. For a start, he nicely meets the two main criteria - a natural passion for developing youth and an ability to speak at least 2 languages, fairly desirable in this profession. His age gives him an advantage when connecting with 'da yoof' and his expertise in handling an unruly gang of immature brats is proven. Just don't ask him to teach German - it may bring back bad memories of Mesut Ozil...

Dean Smith (Aston Villa) - Second hand car salesman

Yes, the signage is shabby and the place hasn't been painted since 1998, but you can always expect a warm and honest welcome at Smith's Garage Services. Having moved from an overperforming West London dealership to a more upmarket West Midlands franchise, it's plain to see Smith is in his element as he tries desperately to sell you a battered old Renault Clio that has 3 wheels and hasn't technically been drivable at any point in the last decade. Concerns abound that his venture is a one man outfit, however, as incomings drop by around 80% whenever star salesman Jack goes on annual leave...

Sean Dyche (Burnley) - Friendly village butcher

"Hello Mabel, pork medallions again this week?" Everyone loves a trip down to Dyche's Meats and a chat with its amicable owner Sean. Down to earth and no nonsense, he enthrals customers with tales of his youth and has an opinion on everything from beefburgers to Brexit. He's also happy to fill you in on all the local village gossip if that's your thing. There's no frills here, no genetically modified horse meat, just good old fashioned produce. Just don't say 'Blackburn' when Sean asks for your home delivery address...

Graham Potter (Brighton) - Data scientist

PE teacher was tempting, but Brighton's forward thinking coach, the archetypal modern manager in many ways, should be equally at home crunching the numbers and curating 'big data' for a national tech company. His data driven approach is driving the Seagulls towards survival and he would be in his element in this profession...

Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea) - Artisan toy manufacturer

The Blue's intense new coach somehow brings to mind strong images of someone painstakingly crafting together an accurate model of 'The Nutcracker' in a small, wooden hut in the middle of the Black Forest. No, just me? Tuchel's attention to detail and pride in his handiwork would serve him well in such a precise profession. His products are amongst the finest technical quality in the land, if not always the best to look at. Now, where's the drawings for those Hansel and Gretel figurines?

Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace) - Parish councillor

Potholes? Blocked road signs? Leaky church roof? Don't fear - 'Woy' is in town, ok, village. A wise old owl with eagle-eyed determination (sorry), Roy is a safe pair of hands when it comes to solving the many problems of provincial outfits. His journeyman career has seen him rock up in village halls across the land, even Europe. His stint at a Thameside parish went down a treat - Merseyside, not so much. He even did some work with the National Parish Council, before a bizarre incident in a local Iceland store. The ideal assistant to Jacqui Weaver.

Carlo Ancelotti (Everton) - Farmer

Beginning his career in the cattle fields of Italy, Carlo has slowly grown his empire and become one of the wealthiest and most widely renowned farmers in Europe. After winning prizes in his native Italy, England and France, many expected him to wind down but he now appears to be guiding his latest venture - a dairy farm linked to toffees - to unexpected success. Many believe that his secret is simply hard work and dedication. Why he owns cows named Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson, however, goodness only knows.

Scott Parker (Fulham) - Actor

Fresh faced? Cockney twang? Smart dress code that somehow looks primed to get completely ruined during a punch up? Scott seems ready made for EastEnders if the BBC ever decide to hire another acting replacement for Ben Mitchell. Anyone who saw Parker's tears following the Cottagers' 2019 relegation will know that he's a man well in tune with his emotions and surely he'd fit seamlessly into Albert Square's world of endless cheer and goodwill. Straight swap with Steve McFadden to see how Phil Mitchell gets on managing Fulham - who wouldn't want to see that?

Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds) - Hypnotherapist

Dr Bielsa will see you now... An obsessive, unyielding manager who is often quoted as inspiring a cult-like following amongst his players? It's not difficult to imagine 'El Loco' being a dab hand at mind control. For starters, he has the work ethic to succeed in such an intense profession. One can envisage him poring over endless medical journals well into the early hours, forensically scrutinising grainy video footage of his past clinics, heck, even spying on rival surgeries if need be. If you need any further evidence of Marcelo's abilities to transform the mindsets of mere mortals, just ask at anyone at Elland Road.

Brendan Rodgers (Leicester) - Door-to-door insurance salesman

"Good morning, madam, may I interest you in a brochure?" Confident in the public eye and never far from a cheesy soundbite, the Foxes' high flying Ulsterman would be living his best life trying to flog life insurance. Armed with a gleaming toothy grin for when things get tough and proven negotiation skills (he persuaded Suarez to stay at Liverpool after finishing 7th, for goodness sake), Rodgers has all the essential skills for doorstop dealing. Now, if he could just stop doing that bizarre 'both arms in the air' celebration whenever he pulls off a sale...

Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool) - Heavy Metal Rock Star

OK, so no points for imagination here, but for the man who invented 'heavy metal football', there's surely only one logical choice. The charismatic German possesses the natural aura of a rocker, from his untamed beard and baseball cap to his relaxed, unflappable style. He has a more serious side too, of course, and could easily balance managing the behind the scenes operations of a band with his trademark crazed shouting and hand whipping onstage. Failing that? Something tells me he might make a half decent football manager...

Pep Guardiola (Man City) - Tech company CEO

The Steve Jobs of football? There are likenesses. Both delivered a cutting edge, industry changing product in the late noughties (first I-Phone/ Barcelona 2008-09) that has gone on to provide the benchmark for competitors for over a decade. Both also shared a distinctly modern vibe and seemingly the same stylist. Aside from these similarities, there's no doubt that Pep has the charm and intelligence to lead a multi billion pound entity such as Apple or Google. An individual thinker with the ability to create great teams, one of football's primary innovators could make waves in any number of industries.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Man Utd) - Bus Driver

'Ole's at the wheel', as the popular refrain goes, and so what better career path for United's Norwegian coach than one where he is always in the driving seat? His cheery, chirpy demeanour is well suited to making small chat with pensioners on a day trip to Melton Mowbray and he may find this a less unruly group to handle than United's current crop. His tendency to harp back to the bus company's glory days may begin to grate for passengers after a while however, especially after they've been stuck on the same journey for 6 hours before realising that the driver is only playing songs from 1999...

Steve Bruce (Newcastle) - Pub Landlord

Following an extensive career that has seen him take charge of hostelries the length and breadth of the land, Steve is back in his native North East after accepting a job at 'The Magpie'. Several ex regulars refuse to drink in here due to Bruce's connections with a rival Wearside chain, but the landlord refuses to let this bother him. His outlet, once glorious, is now unspectacular and offers mainly only European cast off ales and a few more local varieties of dubious quality. The rumoured takeover by a Saudi chain may one day change all of this, but until then its beer from Burnley for Bruce, not Barcelona. Thanks, Mike Ashley...

Ralph Hassenhutl (Southampton) - Chef

Well regarded for an exciting, modern pallete in his native Austria, Hassenhutl was recruited by an upwardly mobile seaside restaurant on the Solent in 2018. After a couple of disastrously undercooked meals for clients from Leicester and Manchester, Hassenhutl is now rustling together some of the tastiest dishes around, expertly combining an eclectic and cheaply sourced range of ingredients into effective recipes. In a volatile year for some of the larger restaurants, Michelin Stars could soon be on their way to Chez St Mary's.

Chris Wilder (Sheffield Utd) - Construction Site Manager

OK, OK, cheating slightly, but Wilder's distinctive persona is too good to leave out of this pack (unlike his former team, perhaps). Gritty, no-nonsense, tough as bricks, don't be caught messing about in Wilders workyard! Having earned his crust on the unforgiving (green)fields of the North, Chris has excelled since moving into management and his work with his favourite Steel City firm saw them rise into contention for big European contracts before a recent downturn. As stubborn as a mule, Wilder knows what he wants from his employees and isn't afraid to boot out any time wasters. Critics are divided on whether overlapping bricklayers have been a success, however.

Jose Mourinho (Tottenham) - Café Owner

"Please don't call me arrogant, but I am a European champion" arrogantly boasts Jose, at the launch of his new patisserie 'The Special Buns' in North London. At first, locals are somewhat bemused and visitor numbers are low. Jose doesn't worry however, creating an 'us against the world', siege mentality amongst his most loyal customers. "You see that artisan deli across the street? They want us to fail! They want us to perish!" Jose barks at one confused 89 year old woman tucking into a slice of victoria sponge. For a while, success begins to flow. When a new generation of baristas and coficionados start sweeping up business, however, Jose snaps: "I have sold more mochas than the rest of the cafe's here COMBINED! RESPECT! RESPECT!"

David Moyes (West Ham) - Accountant

Reliable, financially prudent, but somewhat on the dour side, envisaging the Scotsman forging out a successful career in the financial sector isn't too much of a stretch. His constantly overperforming Everton side were assembled largely on a sixpence and a handful of pocket lint, and the only environment he perhaps failed to live up to expectations was an Old Trafford where keeping the purse strings tight wasn't exactly high on the priority list. Moyes isn't your man for excitement. If it's risk free, reliable sustainability you're after, however, the Scot is a safe pair of hands. Just ask West Ham fans, well, on a good day...

Sam Allardyce (West Brom) - Fireman

Well, let's be honest, it wasn't going to be interpretive dance teacher, was it? Big Sam lives up to his - rather tedious - nickname, a reliable old rock willing to come to the rescue of anyone, regardless of how desperate the circumstances may be. He loves nothing more than taking charge of his sturdy, efficient truck which he admires for having "a good solid shape to it". Has been criticised before for simply parking said truck in the way of a fire and hoping this will solve the problem. Proudly boasts a record of never having been burnt on the job. He may have his work cut out to keep that record after clambering into 'Hawthorn House'.

Nuno Esperito Santo (Wolves) - Celebrity Survival Instructor

One of the league's most colourful characters, Wolves' Portuguese former goalkeeper has the aura of a survival expert cut out to thrive in the wild. An illustrious playing career. The pride of the Black Country. Also a relaxed attitude to facial hair and the look of a man who survives on a daily diet of raw leopard meat. Move over Bear Grylls, Santo is in town! Watch in awe as Nuno traverses a swamp of ferocious alligators, before fending off, rather ironically, a pack of wolves, armed with a mere can opener and DVD footage of Wolves' shocking 2012/13 relegation season. Not to be missed.

Agree with these selections? Think Jose Mourinho is cut out to be an international peace envoy instead? Ok, strange but fair enough. Let us know your alternate careers for Premier League managers in the comments section below...

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