Written by Simon Saunders
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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

image for The Essential Guide To Being A Premier League Manager The most important thing to remember is that referees are always to blame for everything that goes wrong in your career

Following on from 'The Essential Guide To Being A Premier League Footballer', and in response to the literally one letter we received, here is our latest helpful guide. This time we are focusing on Premier League management.

Once you've finished your Premier League playing career you may want to consider becoming a manager. Not for the money of course as you'll already have enough of that to fund an entire US Presidential campaign.

However, an undistinguished playing career should not disqualify you from being a successful manager. Having been a top class player does not necessarily qualify you as a gaffer, neither does winning the Premier League and Champions League thirty-six years in a row with Accrington Stanley on Championship Manager. Management is a fine art that requires a steely determination to blame others for your own incompetence.

We will begin with the most important factor for all potential Premier League managers.

1) Nationality.

Under no circumstances should you be English. If you are then you will almost certainly be doomed to fail. If you are English then you should immediately change nationalities. Become Scottish or Portuguese. If you can't do that for some reason attempt to be French, but only as a last resort.

We can't emphasise this point enough. Remember the last Englishman to win the top flight of English football? Yes, it was Howard Wilkinson twenty years ago and look at him now.

2)Attire and General Appearance.

In the modern game you have two choices when it comes to attire. A stylish Savile Row suit or a tracksuit. The days of sheepskin coats are long gone so don't even consider wearing one. Wearing copious amounts of gold jewellery is also a no-no in 21st century management. You are not a gangsta rapper. Leave the bling to your players. Sport sort designer stubble. It will make you look suave.

Also, you should not sit in the dugout puffing away on a Cuban cigar. It is much more appropriate to chew on excessive amounts of gum. You can practice furiously chewing gum and making wild gesticulations with your arms in your office. No-one will understand the gesticulations but at least you will look like you know what you're doing. Whistling is also essential. None of your players will be able to hear you but that doesn't matter. It's all about appearances.

Always have a notepad with you during games. You can use it to plan your half time team talk or to draw up a rough draft of your resignation to pre-empt your inevitable firing if your team is being hammered.

3) Responsibilities.

The main responsibility of the modern manager is to deflect attention from your own incompetence. Under no circumstances should you accept that your team has under-performed or that you got your tactics wrong. The best ways to deflect attention are to blame referees, their assistants, the F.A, the weather, the pitch and your opponents rough style of play or stifling tactics. Never acknowledge that you are not up to the job (See Kevin Keegan.)

These days the task of recruiting players often lies with a Sporting Director or a Director of Football. This technique has been adopted from the continent. If you are employed by a club that uses this method of recruitment you will have virtually no say in who the club signs. If this is the case you will be known as the Head Coach.

At some clubs, the ones with filthy rich owners, the proprietor will probably select the players he wants to see in his team. They will most likely have very little knowledge of football but they are incredibly wealthy therefore they can do what they like with their plaything. If their signings are not up to scratch logic suggests that you will be responsible and you will be given the sack. Don't let it bother you. You will most likely receive a multi-million pound pay-off that will help ease the pain.

If in the unlikely event that you do have responsibility over new signings you should sign as many African internationals as you can. That way you can complain about them being away for the African Cup of Nations and use that to explain your teams recent slump in form.

Regularly mention your clubs youth system/academy. However, you should not select any up and coming players as they are clearly a liability and cannot be trusted in the same way as a mercenary prima-donna.

4) Post Match Interviews.

If your team has lost the first thing you should do is blame the referee. If one of your players has been sent off you should complain that it changed the course of the match. Obviously this is the referees fault even if the player has severed an opponents leg with a reckless challenge. Always remember to have your book of football cliches with you. You should say things like, The ref cost us the game, it was a stonewall penalty, he was five yards offside, and, I don't know I didn't see it. Speaking entirely through the medium of cliches is commonplace so make sure you do it as well.

5) Handling Players.

In the modern era players are a law unto themselves. Always remember that they are a much more valuable asset to the club than you are. Club owners will sack you on a whim, but, if one of your star players goes awol for months on end you will be forced to welcome him back with open arms because he cost a fortune and the owner won't want to lose his hard earned money.

Many players are petulant, moody, childish simpletons who do whatever they want. They are allowed to because they are extremely talented. If a player behaves unacceptably you can fine him a weeks wages. It won't have any effect on the players future behaviour but at least it looks like you've done something to control the player.

Social media networks have become increasingly problematic for your players. They will almost certainly make inappropriate remarks in the heat of the moment. Remember, most players are incapable of thinking before they speak. In fact, many are incapable of thinking at all. Once again you can fine them a weeks wages. Fifty grand sounds like a lot of money to punters but the reality is that most players have that sort of money down the back of the sofa. It's not really much of a punishment but at least it looks like you are taking it seriously.

In summary, being a Premier League manager is not a walk in the park. Unless it's a park strewn with dog muck. You will almost always end up being sacked from every job you have. If you have the time you should learn about tactics and strategy, it might help prevent these sackings.

If your management career doesn't work out you can always become a pundit. The money isn't as good but you wont have the constant hassle of dealing with idiotic players and filthy rich club owners.

We hope this guide will help you in your management career. If it doesn't, blame a referee. It's probably his fault anyway.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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