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