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John Nicholson and Alan Tyers look at the Premier League's gaffers and how they come across on the telly. This week, it's Burnley bruiser-with-brains Sean Dyche
Business-like but understands that getting along with the media is a part of the job - and canny enough to know that it can be a major factor in getting, or holding on to, a managerial position.
Blunt. Confident. In control. Self-aware and seems keen not to indulge in too many well-worn expressions to explain why his club are almost certainly going to get relegated. Has a dry sense of humour that belies intimidating appearance.
Suit, tracksuit or other
Looks like the sort of man for whom the suit is only worn for court appearances - indeed he himself has admitted that he "looks like a nightclub bouncer". Has a vaguely Louis C.K aspect, looking slightly bewildered at life and dishevelled in whatever clothes he's fallen into that day. The suit is always of the non-fashion sort, the tie strictly of the club variety, al of which suggests a man not concerned with the peacockery of life.
Can he talk the English?
Clearly in possession of a sharp mind and, just as importantly, a voice which sounds like a sheet of glass paper being rubbed on a badger's arse. But Dyche is no ordinary clogger-turned-gaffer. We imagine he is a tremendous motivator and an intimidating physical presence. The dressing room spirit was said to be superb last season because of his ability to cohere and inspire the players as a unit. Getting Burnley promoted on a budget of less than half a million quid over 18 months is little short of remarkable, so whatever words he uses they must be bloody good ones.
When speaking of his remarkable promotion with Burnley he did so without resorting to any clichés at all. Indeed, he seemed almost astonishingly rational and calm about it all. Has been tagged, somewhat inevitably as the Ginger Mourinho, itself a cliché of sorts, but seems keen not to indulge those sort of easy notions. Self-aware enough to know he looks like a head-breaker, but keen to disprove such notions by being intelligent and well-spoken.
Proper football man?
As an ex-centre back who plied his trade in a series of lower league English clubs and being a working class English boy made good, he is by almost any definition a proper football man to those who seek out the PFM as an icon of the game. So in that respect he's not just proper but is elevated to the higher status of 'pwoper'. So pwoper that soon enough some English sofa-dweller will suggest he should be England manager.
At 43 he will also be inevitably regularly referred to as a "good young English manager". The Proper Football Man remains a good young English manager until he is 57-years-old. May be docked a couple of PFM points for being a little too articulate and measured and not relying on ridiculous, unproven assertions about football based on little more than something half remembered on a night out with Peter Reid. Also seems to lack the chippy paranoia required for Premier League PFMery, which has deprivation of opportunity based on nationality as page one in a book of many grievances.
You'd hope not, although the struggling newly promoted side ditching the manager that almost miraculously got them promoted in the first place is straight out of the "we're desperate and have no feckin' clue what to do" handbook. Dyche should have enough capital in the bank to survive a relegation, but testing days lie ahead.
John Nicholson and Alan Tyers
Check out John's new series of crime novels about life, death, sex and UEFA Cup football.
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