Who would play every Premier League manager if they were cast in a Hollywood film?
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.
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.