Who'd play who?
It's the question on absolutely nobody's lips. But give us a break: we're a little delirious after the early-season international break, and thoughts tend to swirl when times are tough.
Besides, we're just getting directors prepared. When they inevitably make a Hollywood movie about the 2019/20 Premier League season, we expect the following actors to receive a call...
Unai Emery (Arsenal) – Luke Evans
Hello. If there’s one thing we can all agree on with Unai Emery, it’s that he bears more than a passing resemblance to 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.
Instead we’ve plumped for Luke Evans, who was wasted in 2014 snoozefest Dracula Untold. Evans would surely love another chance to dress up as a vampire, this time preying on gullible virgins in N7. 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
Some would say that the increased demand for tickets at the Vitality Stadium these days is because of Bournemouth’s presence in the Premier League. But is it really a coincidence that attendances have pretty much risen ever since blue-eyed heartbreaker Howe was installed in the dugout?
Gosling is made for this role, which we imagine involves him seducing a fiery redhead (Sean Dyche?) over a shared passion for jazz music and lower mid-table Premier League finishes. We can hear the tills jangling already.
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 is busy overhauling the south-coast side’s style of play, adopting more of a he-who-dares approach after Christ Hughton’s conservatism. He’s made a promising start too, suggesting he’s anything but a plonker.
Sean Dyche (Burnley) – Jake Wood
A perfect fit. Not only does Wood also carry off Dyche’s uncanny ability to be both bald and ginger at the same time, he should also be able to nail the Burnley boss’ piercing stare (usually reserved for diving Arsenal players or the club doctor when he’s told he’ll have to make a change to his starting XI).
We’d even back Wood to nail Dyche’s dulcet tones – sand gargling, 20 earthworms for lunch and no coughing for a year should do the trick.
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 snaps 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 – people still aren’t sure whether he’s really great or really bad.
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 (Leicester) – Steve Coogan
Ricky Gervais is the first name that springs to mind for the Brent-esque Rodgers, who is most definitely a friend first, boss second and entertainer third. But as we’re talking Hollywood rather than sitcom, we’ve decided to think bigger picture – and it’s Coogan’s name inside the envelope.
The Lancastrian would bring part Patridge, a slice of Tony Wilson and plenty of neon-teethed charm to the role. Perhaps the plot could centre around a vandalism-fighting detective in Norwich.
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 600,000 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, 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, of course, by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who will no doubt proclaim himself to be the greatest actor of all time despite going missing in the most important parts of the film).
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United) – Leonardo DiCaprio
Crueller folk might suggest Anthony Serkis Gollums up one more time to play the beleaguered Norwegian. But we’re giving Solskjaer 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 p***ing money up the wall. Which sounds absolutely perfect for the Manchester United of 2019. Expect the end credits to run for longer than the actual film as official noodle and denim partners receive their moment in the sun.
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
Farke bears a striking resemblance to poker-faced ex-potter Stephen Hendry, but sadly the seven-time snooker champion has no acting skills to speak of (apart from pretending to sound interested by John Parrott’s wittering).
That’s why we’ve gone for Waltz, despite the fact he’s about two decades too old. The German-Austrian’s sibilant speaking voice perfectly matches Farke’s, so all he needs to do is brush up on his Norwich history and he’s good to go. Wait, Delia said what at half-time?
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 Southampton boss, who’s been praised by his players for his enthusiasm and charisma. He’s also 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 manager to bossing the Blades in the Premier League mirrors Bean’s journey 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, that’s on 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 isn’t 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 wonder if Alan Pardew could tell the two ageing gentlemen apart.
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.
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.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.