With much of the country carpeted in snow this morning, that got us thinking….
Which Premier League manager would be most likely to stay ice-cold under pressure in a snowball fight?
We look at the contenders…
The old stager of the group. Expect him to bow out of the running early as he’s got far better things to do with his time – namely staying inside in front of a log fire watching a BBC4 documentary on the history of the steam train.
Now here’s a sure-fire finalist. Physical presence, plenty of swagger, and a genuine air of menace that could cause his rivals to buckle. A thick beard adds an extra layer of protection against the elements.
A man who knows how to scrap and won’t bat an eyelid at the thought of a cold January morning snowball fight in Stoke. Plus that voice would be enough for the blood to run cold as he spots you hiding behind a wall. Will be in the final mix for sure.
Tenacious to the end. He might not have the edge physically, but unlike Hodgson that won’t stop him psyching himself up and throwing himself into the battle. Stamina could count against him, but he’s a wily operator. Will certainly talk a good game even if the execution isn’t quite as successful.
With his lively touchline antics, this is a man guaranteed to impose himself in the thick of the melee. He’ll have the attacking pincer movements down to a tee, but a slight hint of over-confidence in the final reckoning might still yet prove his downfall. Far too canny not to be there right until the death, however.
Forensic as always in his approach, don’t expect Pep to rush into battle without fully assessing the situation. He’ll fine-tune his strategy before entering into the fray.
The unknown quantity in the line-up. Age is on his side but he faces an uphill struggle to make his presence felt against more powerful rivals. His time may yet come, but it could be a waiting game until the Big Freeze of 2020 where he starts to make an impression.
One of the younger men in the field, he should be a contender, but can he mix things up once the battle cranks up a notch? Also likely to watch which way the wind is blowing and defect to the side in the ascendancy at the earliest possible opportunity.
An early faller. The Seagulls boss would make an effort to try and join the fun, but he’s just far too nice to throw himself into the proper heat of the battle. Expect him to stick it out for 10 minutes out of politeness before realising this really isn’t his scene.
An enigma in the pack. Wouldn’t rank up there with the favourites but has a definite edge if things got heated. Dispassionate and keeps his cards close to his chest – but you just have that inkling there’s a mean streak lurking inside that could help him overpower more illustrious rivals.
A man you’d want in the trenches alongside you. He might not be in the front line of the operation, but he would be the ultimate commander. Expect him to marshal the troops with military precision and play the long game – even if his holding tactics lead to the longest, most tedious snowball fight in history.
OLE GUNNAR SOLKSJAER
Unlikely to have the aggressive streak needed to stay the distance, but a useful option to bring off the bench when arms and legs are tiring, and his infectious personality would provide an instant morale boost. His Scandinavian roots also means a light dusting of snow really isn’t enough to phase him if things get messy.
His approach will be slick, enjoyable to watch and win several admirers but might ultimately not be enough for him to seize outright victory. Expect him to make most of the early running in the contest before hitting the buffers just as the fight is getting interesting.
A left-field winner? Don’t underestimate his chances of making an impact even if he doesn’t start out amongst the favourites. True Alpine grit and an uncompromising strategy could play to his advantage as others around him start to falter and he slowly builds momentum.
He might look like ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ but this man has done the hard yards in his time. There could well be a hard steel beneath that charming exterior, and he’s probably in the best shape of all the field. An occasional tendency to go cavalier could leave him badly compromised allowing more experienced rivals to outwit him.
Intelligent and would start out with a coherent game plan to power him through the early action. However, a soft underbelly could prove costly and question marks might arise about some of his strategic decision-making as the fight rumbles on.
A non-starter. Far too suave and dignified to sully himself with the rough and tumble of a snowball fight. If he did drop his guard and join the fight in a moment of weakness however, he’d easily roam around unnoticed. It’s the quiet ones you have to watch, after all…
The stealth candidate. Could easily creep up on the rails while no-one’s looking to take out more lively opponents. His strengths and weaknesses aren’t necessarily easily definable, but that could just play into his hands as the competition intensifies. And unlike some of his immediate predecessors, this is a man who can’t easily be moved.
A fiery competitor to throw into the mix, he’s got the tools to stay the distance but a lack of definitive cutting edge could well hold him back. Would probably prefer to watch the frenzy unfold from a comfortable distance with a piping hot cappuccino and a cigarette.
Dilly ding, dilly dong! Anything could happen here. With this maverick, it surely all rests on how he approaches the challenge on the day. As likely to bomb out at the first hurdle as he is to crush his rivals one-by-one with surprising ease. He’ll do it all with a smile on his face, regardless.
All image sources from PA Images
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