Ranking Premier League managers as potential PMs

Dave Tickner
Frank Lampard Jurgen Klopp Chelsea Liverpool

As Premier League managers continue to provide more clear-headed leadership and advice than actual elected officials, we’ve ranked them in order of who would make the best emergency Prime Minister to steer us through a crisis, with the obvious number one, Sam Allardyce, sadly ineligible because no Premier League club had the good sense to appoint him before this all went off. He would have saved six clubs, too


20. Jose Mourinho (Tottenham)
Refuses to leave his hotel room bunker where he has stockpiled 5000 toilet rolls, 50kg of pasta and every bottle of Carex in the country for his own personal use. Yet still complains constantly about lack of hand sanitiser and remains adamant no emergency PM could cope with such meagre resources. Blames everyone else as the crisis deepens. Refuses to name names but insists: “I needed more from the over 70s.”


19. David Moyes (West Ham)
Nobody can quite believe he’s been handed a job for which he is patently wildly unsuited on a technicality, which just makes him and everyone else even more miserable.


18. Dean Smith (Aston Villa)
Has one truly exceptional scientific adviser who just about keeps the whole show on the road, but you know deep down it’s still going to end badly.


17. Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)
Would have been far higher on this list a couple of years ago, but links with top jobs have rather dried up recently and there has to be a reason for that. Tousled blond hair also a turn-off.


16. Graham Potter (Brighton)
Delivering broadly similar results to the previous incumbent isn’t going to cut the mustard here, even if the overall approach and style seems more encouraging.


15. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United)
Would just keep banging on about the war and the Blitz and, even more inexplicably in this situation, Fergie’s parking spot. No other top country would even entertain the idea of swapping leaders with us.


14. Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)
Exceeding expectation against the odds a useful skill right now, but is he ready for the step up in pressure and expectation? You just worry he might not be a big enough character to handle the greater spotlight and attention.


13. Ralph Hasenhuttl (Southampton)
May very well actually be one of the best and most progressive candidates around; given time and the right opportunity, would very likely prove it. But we need instant results here, guys.


12. Nuno Espirito Santo (Wolves)
Probably deserves a higher spot in the table, but life isn’t fair.


11. Daniel Farke (Norwich City)
Impressive man and impressive character. You’d probably think everything was going to be fine with Farke in charge. But then it turns out it isn’t.


10. Carlo Ancelotti (Everton)
We were top of the pile once upon a time but those days seem an awfully long time ago now as we watch others disappear into the distance. Frankly, it would now be a huge coup to get someone of this calibre in to lead us.


9. Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace)
Unrivalled knowledge of how things work across the continent gives him a head-start. Primary tactic of f-bombing the virus into submission less helpful. Also, would be quarantined.


8. Sean Dyche (Burnley)
Big appointments like this are very often a direct corrective response to the previous manager. Just as Spurs lurched from one extreme to the other when Redknapp led to AVB led to Tactics Tim led to Mauricio Pochettino, so too would the country in going from a lightweight dimwit toff who thought it was all going to be fun and japes to a no-nonsense, gravel-voiced, disc-bearded man of the people. Would almost certainly be an improvement.


7. Brendan Rodgers (Leicester City)
Claims to have envelopes containing the names of all those who will refuse to self-isolate properly.


6. Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Has defied the doubters to create history across a lengthy career in the top job. Still talks a lot of sense about a lot of things but reputation irreparably damaged by a couple of high-profile blunders towards the end there. The tribal nastiness of online discourse has reduced him to a caricature based on unflattering nicknames and weak puns on his name. Alas, his time has passed.


5. Steve Bruce (Newcastle United)
Reads some nonsense on Facebook about how drinking warm water kills the virus by washing it from your throat down into the stomach where the acid just instantly kills it. Insists that this becomes official government policy. Miraculously, against all logical and scientific evidence to the contrary, it proves quite effective.


4. Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
Young and inexperienced and unavoidably Tory, but clearly has a brain in his skull. Manages to swiftly allay fears about learning on the job during difficult times and is, if anything, now starting to make some of his more senior colleagues look a bit shit and past it by comparison. Probably too early for him to have the top job but he’s Chancellor of the Exchequer and, with expectations and the bar at an all-time low, there’s relief as we look around the other contenders for that role and realise it could have been far, far worse.


3. Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)
Calm, sensible, thoughtful, good hair. How we would love to once again see these qualities in a Prime Minister. Realistic and pragmatic, he’s shown a willingness – eagerness, even – to learn from established experts. Won’t promise any miracle cures or overnight solutions, but would bring people together, heal the acrimonious divisions that have been growing ever wider in recent years and would definitely flatten the curve. Although it is early days with a long and difficult road ahead, there are reasons for optimism.


2. Nigel Pearson (Watford)
Not sure we really want him as Prime Minister, but would definitely make a superb leader of the opposition.

When not calling out Boris Johnson, Pearson has also shown a rare ability to deal with actually impressive leaders, which brings us to…


1. Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Might not want the job and believes himself unworthy of it, but in a neat twist, that is what makes him the ideal emergency Prime Minister. A proven winner with a history of absorbing apparent crushing setbacks to come back again stronger each time. Also delivers the clear and decisive leadership the people are crying out for with his daily address to the nation in which he bellows his catchphrase (“Put your hands away, you f***ing idiots”) before criticising the Covid’s negative tactics.

Dave Tickner