Unprofessional Foul


October 21, 2009

The Good, The Bad, The WTF (with guest host, The Likely Lad!)

Simply the best.  But will he need a parka for Anfield?

Simply the best. But will he need a parka for Anfield?

Welcome to GBWTF… Manager’s Edition.

I’m The Likely Lad and I’ll be subbing in for umlaut75 this lovely Wednesday afternoon in Neeeew Yooooork City! Beach ball weather, amIright?!? Alright, alright… so tell me: Who’s ever been watching a game, having a nice ol’ time, nice lil’ morning of Ingerlish footy, when boom! You get hit with the touchline shot of a manager– a grown man, paid millions of pounds to lead and represent his international megaclub– in what one might only describe as an overgrown child’s Halloween costume? There he stands, a 50-, 60-, 70-year-old in a training kit, maybe even a pair of boots, as the game unfolds with his young charges rollicking about the pitch…

In keeping with umlaut’s title, I’ve broken it down three ways. You have The Good– dashing, besuited, and stylish– along with The Bad– nice look, now tough it out and take off the parka, schoolboy!– and of course, the WTF? Come get some, Martin Man-Boy O’Neill!

The Good

Good is a strong word, but these guys are pretty reliablely put-together. There’s no Mourinho in the lot, but at least they manage to pick out a new tie once in a while and don’t look like fat Spanish waiters.

Fabio Capello

I am silent killer, Don Fabio.. the Black Hand!

I am silent killer, Don Fabio.. the Black Hand!

The rest of England would do well to have a walk through Don Capello’s wardrobe. Like most of the country’s best things, he’s an import. For us, it’s the combination of plastic frames and tailored suits– even if we’re a bit put off by the club/country crest on the breast– that puts Capello atop the class.

Roy Keane

Doing well on style points.  Table is another matter...

Doing well on style points. Table is another matter…

If only he could strike the same balance in his managerial style. Keane may be the country’s foremost suit-and-scruff man, and for that we reward him here. In fact, Ned tells me that if Roy keeps it up his current run, he should be offered a lifetime contract to stay at Ipswich.

Pep Guardiola

The NEXT One?

The NEXT One?

I really tried to find an* Englishman with some class, but it was taking too damn long. So instead we look south to Catalonia, where they played the best footy of last season, and stake claim to the world’s NEW master of managerial chic. Unlike Keane, he’s ditched the fat ties. He also wins games, which counts for something. Pep is world football’s uber-pimp. Congrats.

The Bad

Harry Redknapp & Co.

All bundled up and ready for school!

All bundled up and ready for school!

Look at me. I’ve put on a proper suit and tie. Buttoned up all the way. Classy shoes. NOW I’m going to throw on this NFL sideline parka! What’s the point? If you’re gonna prowl around in one of these why not just leave the peejays on underneath? Harry does it, Arsene, Alex, Rafa… they all do it. It’s bad. Not as bad though, as what’s to come.

Tony Pulis

Take off that silly-ass hat.

Just plain rude.

Are you f%&kin’ serious, mate? That’s just plain rude.

Mark Hughes

Want to buy some diamonds?

want to sell me some diamonds?

Or insurance? Could I interest you in this wonderful, pre-owned automobile? Clearly Mrs. Hughes is knotting his tie and picking his sideline gear. Hughes wears it like a little boy forced out on Sunday morning.

WTF?? Really?

Martin O’Neill

Trick or treat!  Hey folks, look at me costume!

Trick or treat! Hey folks, look at me costume!

The absolute king abomination in all English football and my sole inspiration for putting this stupid post together. People complain about baseball managers wearing uniforms, but this is entirely worse. Why? Well, in baseball it’s a tradition. A stupid one, yes, but everyone does it. I still prefer the Connie Mack look. In football, there is choice. And Martin O’Neill, a very intelligent fella by all accounts, looks like he should be collecting bite size Crunch bars and chasing his mates around with shaving cream. Why in the world does he need to wear cleats on the sideline? (Ned suggests he may go straight from training with the reserves to the pitch. Outlandish, but even then, he should get changed. He does have an office doesn’t he?)And have you noticed that his sweat-shirt (not even a hoodie) has a number on it? He’s given himself the #31. Maybe he should change it to 47, as he is a 47 year old man dressed like a child.

Bob Bradley

Hurry this up, I am STARVING TO DEATH out here

Hurry this up, I am STARVING TO DEATH out here

Someone feed this imbecile. Actually, on second thought, don’t.

About the Author

The Likely Lad


  1. hadley

    I don’t think Mark Hughes looks bad. Jose is still the king, though.

  2. Georger

    Pep owns leather ties. Pep is disqualified.

    Right on with Pulis, guy looks like a f**king NASCAR crew chief

  3. The Likely Lad

    Im sorry, can we bring it back to O’Neill? Is it not absurd that he wears spikes and gave himself a squad number?? I know he’s not the first, but still…

  4. Anonymous

    Pep is awesome, leather ties or no.

    I agree about the suit and casual winter coat thing; Wenger’s giant puffy coat always cracks me up.

  5. Sarah

    Crap, last comment was me. My computer has decided to not save my account anymore so I keep forgetting to sign back in.

  6. The Likely Lad

    thank you, sarah. i know what women want.

  7. The Likely Lad

    and it aint pulis in his perv hat… or starvin marvin

  8. Keith

    I prefer MON’s squad number (and it’s not like anyone’s going to choose 31) to the manager’s initials, as seen on Steve Bruce, Owen Coyle, Arsene when he has a tracktop on, etc.

    O’Neill looked better earlier in his run at Villa, when his training top looked more like a jumper or a rugby, and Nike hadn’t added the odd striping to the pants. The funny thing is that he wears the standard blazer/travel tie for postmatch interviews. So it’s not like he can’t dress nice; it’s just that he chooses this.

  9. Wedel

    MON’s just one of the lads. Wears the same kit, gets into some handbags at practice. He’s keeping it really, really … well, real.

  10. whizalen

    I always get confused when I see Pulis doing post-game interviews because he takes his hat off. Every time I think it’s an assistant until they flash his name on the screen. Never fails.

    Pep looks sharp. I feel like he could play 90 in his suit without loosening the tie. And why no mention of the fact Wenger only owns one suit and tie? Gray suit, red tie. Always. Talk about a car salesman. Hughes simply looks like my boss: yeah, it’s great you wear a suit and tie everyday, but no one ever says, “wow, that’s a great looking suit and/or tie”

  11. Scott

    Maybe it’s my American eye but I don’t see why the hate towards Pulis. If the sun isn’t out I don’t understand why he’d wear a ball cap but it doesn’t strike me as terribly out of place at an athletic event.

  12. Norfolk Ned

    Lambert shows up in a suit, does press then gets in a tracksuit for games, like one of the lads, acceptable in my book.

  13. Sarah

    All this talk of Pulis’s hat reminds me of this awful picture I saw of Aaron Ramsey where he’s got a goatee and a baseball cap…he looks like a Nascar driver. Or worse, a Nascar fan.

    Some people should just not wear hats.

  14. Ben

    Good article, but one clarification, Roy Keane is Irish, not English so it should be “an Englishman with some class” not “another Englishman with some class” :)

  15. The Likely Lad

    *Ben– good call. i know keane’s nationality, just a slip of the keyboard. fixed, to intended meaning.

  16. Anonsters

    You can’t be a/the uber-pimp of world football when you mess up tying the tie, as in the pic o’ Pep. The skinny part in the back should not be longer than the fat front part. Although I do dig the disco stance.

  17. Louie Louie Louie

    Well, as a mexican, I have to say one thing im favour of MON: hugo sanchez.

    The guy (currently managing Almeria in La Liga) has this hideous habit of wearing a polo shirt with a suit jacket (he doesn’t even care to pick a sports jacket up). I know the special one does this, but hugo puts his “stylish” touch to this: his polo shirt is usually “blind-me-red” or “i’m-a-veggie-phosphorecent-green” with a black or navy jacket.

    Btw, i wasn’t buying the “wear a polo under your jacket” thing, but Jose seems to pick his on rather nice stores…he actually kind of pulls it off.

  18. [...] is the trendiest of the sideline ranters? Clue – it’s not Martin O’Neill ( Unprofessional Foul [...]

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