Revealed: What Premier League managers get up to during the international break

They aren’t just simply putting their feet up, you know…


Ah, the international break. How we loathe to see you again.

These dreaded interludes dotted throughout the season see the Premier League’s top players jet around the world for a heady mix of completely pointless friendlies and only slightly more interesting tournament qualifiers.

For fans, it represents a glorious chance to undertake a root and branch review of their fantasy teams while making a good fist of feigning interest in the national side’s fortunes. And by that, we mean suggesting going to a pub which may have their game on in the background.

But what about the managers? What exactly are top-flight gaffers getting up to with most of their squads scattered across the globe?

We’ve conducted an exclusive Paddy Power investigation to find out…

Score your football punts at

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

You’ve got to feel for Man Utd fans – just. Back when Ole took his place behind the wheel at the start of the year, it was like learning to drive again in a Formula 1 car with Lewis Hamilton as your instructor. Now, however, it’s like having some nobody teaching you how to negotiate Spaghetti Junction in a rusty old bicycle.

It’s been an epic fall in fortunes for the Norweigan, and so Solskjaer is making the most of his free time by going on an intensive two-week driving crash course.

Ironically one focused on learning how to stop crashing quite so spectacularly.

Mauricio Pochettino

Pochettino (a manager who has won nothing) and Tottenham Hotspur (a club that wins nothing) appeared to be a match made in heaven when they were wedded together in 2014.

But after an unusually long honeymoon period of five years, their relationship is going to pot quicker than Harry Kane trying to claim a teammate’s goal.

With Spurs’ form on the rocks and the Argentinian’s job looking increasingly insecure, Pochettino is set to spend several days in couples’ therapy with club chairman Daniel Levy.

Here they can talk openly and honestly about each other’s failings, what they can do to improve their relationship and, most importantly, how they can justify to fans going yet another season trophyless.

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Champions League Final

Jurgen Klopp

Played eight, won eight, and eight points clear: life is pretty good for Jurgen Klopp up at Anfield right now. But as last season’s experiences show, things can change at the top of the table very quickly indeed.

That’s exactly why the German will be filling the interlude with a work experience placement at a bottle bank – the thinking being if he can understand the psyche and thought processes of a literal bottle job, he will be in a much better position to negotiate the tricky title race when it comes to the crunch.

Which is all well and good, although it won’t be of much use when Liverpool’s obscene luck on the pitch runs out…

Unai Emery

Unai Emery

A game every few days, training sessions, tactical planning, video reviews, contract renewals, practising how to say “good ebening” in English… being Arsenal manager is undoubtedly a relentless gig.

So as things calm down at London Colney and Unai Emery finally gets some time to himself, the Spaniard is putting it to good use by planning a cute surprise summer holiday for his BFF Granit Xhaka before he heads off to Euro 2020.

Of course, the fact Xhaka will only end up going to the wrong airport anyway before landing himself in trouble for two-footing someone in frustration is patently obvious to literally everyone apart from Emery himself.

Marco Silva

Marco Silva’s reputation for always planning his next career move precedes him given what unfolded during his spell as Watford manager, as he attempted to engineer a move to his current employers at Goodison Park.

That trait hasn’t changed, which perfectly explains why the Portuguese is spending this particular international break familiarising himself with the route to his local job centre. After all, he won’t want to get lost when he finds himself needing to visit it after Everton’s next humbling defeat.


Steve Bruce

After registering his very first victory as a manager against Manchester United – the club at which he made his name as a player – at the 22nd time of asking, there is only one thing on Steve Bruce’s agenda during this international break.

And that is treating himself to a very well-earned large mixed doner kebab, with extra chilli and garlic sauce, plus cheesy chips and a box of spicy chicken wings on the side. Every night.

Lovely stuff.

Shoot over to now for all the latest football odds