Unai Emery (Arsenal) – Luke Evans
Good evening. If there’s one thing we can all agree on with Unai Emery, it’s that he looks a lot like Count Dracula. Sadly, doyen of Draculas Christopher Lee died in 2015, while Count Duckula’s agent hung up on us when we couldn’t match Mesut Ozil’s wages.
So let’s pick Luke Evans, a fine actor wasted in 2014 snoozefest Dracula Untold. He might like another go as a vampire, this time on the hunt for gullible virgins in north London. We’d start with AFTV.
Dean Smith (Aston Villa) – Brendan Gleeson
Two peas in a pod. Smith is hardly a glamorous Pochettino type (no offence), just as Gleeson will never be mistaken for Bradley Cooper (no offence). Yet look under the bonnet of these family saloons and respect the engines beneath.
Smith plays a progressive style of football, just as Gleeson plays everything from hitman to Paddington sidekick with flair. Just get some One Direction berk to make his acting debut as Jack Grealish and – at last – Aston Villa: A New Hope is ready to start shooting.
Eddie Howe (Bournemouth) – Ryan Gosling
Thought it was top-flight football that was responsible for the rise in ticket demand at Dean Court in recent years? Wrong! It’s clearly the allure of blue-eyed heartbreaker Howe on the touchline.
Gosling is clearly the only choice here. For the film: we’re picturing an LA-set song and dance flick in which Howe seduces a feisty redhead (Sean Dyche?) over their shared love of jazz and Premier League survival. Start polishing the Oscars.
Graham Potter (Brighton) – Nicholas Lyndhurst
The 58-year-old Lyndhurst may have to go back in time a bit to play the 44-year-old Potter, but he’s familiar with that. A bit of hair dye and this casting is spot on.
The Brighton boss has risen from unlikely origins to reach the top tier, just as Lyndhurst – nobody’s idea of a traditional leading man – became one of Britain’s biggest TV stars. Potter is currently a south-coast sweetheart but football can make fools of anyone, so it’s useful that this actor can portray a plonker with ease.
Sean Dyche (Burnley) – Jake Wood
Pictured above in the scene when Dyche discovers where Burnley 0-0 Bournemouth has been scheduled for Match of the Day. Jake “Please don’t call me Max Branning” Wood has the Dyche thousand-yard stare (reserved for a collapsing Arsenal midfielder) down easy.
The only issue is how a Londoner can nail the Burnley manager’s dulcet tones. Sand gargling, 50 worms for breakfast and don’t cough for five years – sorted.
Frank Lampard (Chelsea) – Mike Myers
Cheeky grin, star power and, well, let’s call it a gift for at least attempting British accents. Myers would ideally be a bit younger to play the 41-year-old Lampard, but he doesn’t mind the prosthetics and is a dab hand with appallingly misdirected “fat” jibes.
On top of this, Myers loves a sequel; right on cue for Frank’s return to Stamford Bridge. He also isn’t shy of a massive career misstep (The Love Guru, anyone?), which may be useful when it comes to portraying Lamps taking the Chelsea job as well.
Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace) – Ian McShane
Twinkly-eyed English gents, although the ageless McShane will actually be playing younger as 72-year-old Hodgson. The actor came to fame as Lovejoy, a dealer in dodgy antiques – handy in the scene where Hodgson signs up, say, Gary Cahill.
However, really crucial is that while McShane can be a crinkly charmer, he can also flip into Deadwood mode and start dropping intimidating f-bombs with the best – just like Uncle Roy (opens in new tab).
Marco Silva (Everton) – Keanu Reeves
Appropriately handsome, yet the key thing with Reeves is that there’s an air of enigma to him. Namely – just like Marco Silva – nobody is entirely sure whether he’s really good or really crap.
Reeves veers between the two (Speed, Matrix, John Wick – good. Replicas, Siberia, Mnemonic – good lord, no). Similarly Silva sometimes appears a coaching ace, other times a total dud. At least Reeves’ famed bullet-dodging skills should come in handy, judging by Silva’s career so far.
Brendan Rodgers (Leicster) – Steve Coogan
Ricky Gervais is the obvious pick for Mr “My biggest mentor is myself” and his Brentisms. But while Gervais is a great sitcom comic, he’s not been too successful on the big screen. And, for Brendan, we must think big picture; as big as his own living room portrait.
So let’s open the envelope and pull out Coogan, whose transitioned seamlessly to cinema. He can bring a bit of Alan Partridge, a dash of Tony Wilson and a lot of neon-teethed charm. His version of The Trip with a fully Red Bulled Jamie Vardy would be great TV. Episode one: Glasgow.
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool) – Chris Hemsworth
OK, everyone gets a bit of a looks upgrade when it comes to their biopic. Leo DiCaprio as J Edgar Hoover, anyone? Also, we’re sure this is how Jurgen looks in the eyes of Mrs Klopp (plus about 500,000 Liverpool fans) – and in every other way, Hemsworth is ideal.
The 6ft 3in, blond, bearded, larger-than-life Thor star is an action hero who also has a gift for comedy. Just slap on a pair of specs, leave off the gym for a bit and practice grabbing Jordan Henderson – played by Chris ‘Captain America’ Evans – in a teary embrace.
Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) – Jason Statham
It’s not just the chrome dome and designer stubble. Surely only Stath can properly replicate the intensity, charisma and physical exertion of Manchester City’s resident genius/Crank (sorry), while looking perfectly at home in some naughty Stone Island gear.
Worth casting purely for the film’s climactic martial arts showdown with a vengeful Zlatan Ibrahimovic (played by Zlatan Ibrahimovic).
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United) – Leonardo DiCaprio
Crueler folk might suggest Anthony Serkis Gollums up one more time to play the beleaguered United boss. But we’re giving Ole the ultimate A-lister who, as Titanic showed, knows a thing or two about portraying someone massively out of his depth.
DiCaprio was Hollywood’s baby-faced assassin back then, but now leans towards meatier projects such as The Wolf of Wall Street – a film about a load of men pissing money up the wall. Not sure why that springs to mind when it comes to modern-day Manchester United.
Steve Bruce (Newcastle) – Zac Efron
Robert De Niro. That was our first thought on which titan could do Steve Bruce justice. Picture De Niro living in Newcastle for months, wolfing down brown ale and stottie cakes, getting the accent down pat. A few facial prosthetics – Raging Bull style – and boom! It’s Bruce.
But what about his Dirty Grandpa co-star Efron? Hollywood hunks love shedding their pretty boy image with some “real acting” – and this is all too real. Get practising your power drinking/fireplace management skills for that meet-the-chairman scene, Wor Zac.
Daniel Farke (Norwich) – Christoph Waltz
Two issues. First, Farke bears a striking resemblance to poker-faced ex-potter Stephen Hendry. Second, Waltz is 20 years too old for this role.
However, the seven-time world snooker champ has no acting skills beyond pretending to listen to John Parrott. No mean feat, but he can’t match Waltz’s sibilant speaking voice which perfectly matches Farke’s – an actual Bond villain playing a nice man (who sounds like a Bond villain). Slap a wig on, Waltz, and get learning your Canaries’ history.
Ralph Hasenhuttl (Southampton) – James McAvoy
Range. That’s what McAvoy brings to any role. The Scot can play soldier, psychopath, mutant, criminal or flute-playing fawn and not miss a beat.
Perfect for portraying the ‘Alpine Klopp’. After all, players speak glowingly of his enthusiasm and charisma and he’s got the fans on side, yet his press interviews can be remarkably monotone. Bring your Split personality, James (but leave the fawn legs at home).
Chris Wilder (Sheffield United) – Sean Bean
Too easy. Both are gravelly, no-nonsense Yorkshiremen whose gruff exterior belies their success. Wilder’s unlikely path from Halifax Town manager to bossing the Blades in the Premier League mirrors Bean’s travels from ITV dramas to wielding blades in Hollywood epics.
Now, if someone could just convince lifelong, die-hard United fan Bean to take the role… (What do you mean he’s already in Halifax method acting this part 24 hours a day?)
Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham) – Oscar Isaac
An early Indiana Jones version of Harrison Ford would be ideal for playing the Spurs dreamboat, but we’ll have to make do with his The Force Awakens co-star instead.
Like Poch, Isaac is a charmer with swarthy good looks and is, in the Star Wars universe at least, the best pilot in the galaxy able to steer a hunk of junk to incredible new frontiers.
If you want to equate that to Spurs’ Champions League final run, it’s down to you. We said nothing.
Quique Sanchez Flores (Watford) – Hugh Laurie
First we were thinking Matt ‘Bourne Identity’ Damon; an actor who keeps reprising a role – playing a man who knows he can be replaced at any time by shadowy powers-that-be.
However, the similarity between the lanky, bearded Hugh Laurie and Quique is clear. Maybe, like Laurie in Blackadder, Quique will keep returning as a different era Watford manager in the future. Picture Roy Keane’s face when he returns in 2023 in a powdered wig and ornate codpiece.
Manuel Pellegrini (West Ham) – Ian McDiarmid
You mean the photo above is not Pellegrini? The force is so strong between the Chilean gaffer and acclaimed Scottish stage actor McDiarmid – AKA Star Wars’ Emperor Palpatine – that we’d often assumed they were one and the same.
We’ll believe that they’re not (for now), despite the similar, soft-spoken tough-guy act. Plus there was the time on the touchline that Pellegrini shot 4,000 volts of lightning through his fingertips at Raheem Sterling for tactical fouling. The evidence grows.
Nuno Espirito Santo (Wolves) – Liam Cunningham
The beard. That’s what you need to get right with Nuno – and Liam ‘Ser Davos’ Cunningham boasts salt-and-pepper bristles, receding pate and a steely stare. Ideal, even if Cunningham’s native Dublin is some distance from Nuno’s Sao Tome and Principe origins.
Still, Cunningham is the right man for this impassioned touchline gesticulator. Not least because, in scenes where his team play badly, this Onion Knight has plenty of experience with dire Wolves. And with that, we’ll get our coats and head off beyond the wall.
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