Strewth mate, have you seen the news?
Robbie bleedin’ Fowler has taken his first proper steps into management, after it was confirmed he’d signed a two-year deal to take charge of A-League outfit Brisbane Roar. It marks the Englishman’s first full-time role in the dugout, following a brief stint as player-manager of Thai club Muangthong United in 2011/12.
He’s certainly got his work cut out for him Down Under – Brisbane are set to finish the season second bottom in the league table – but Fowler is determined not to be another managerial Drongo.
“Just because I’m not experienced as some of them, doesn’t mean I’m going to do as bad a job,” he explained during his unveiling. “You could have Jurgen Klopp here, you could have Pep Guardiola, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to be great managing Brisbane.”
Which is entirely true, of course. So what does Robbie Fowler bring to the management table?
1. Toe the line
One of the very first things any new manager needs to install in his squad is discipline. Trying to teach, instruct and motivate a squad of professional athletes (or Australian football players for that matter) is simply impossible without having their respect from the off.
Ergo, the former goalscorer extraordinaire will have to utilise his experience of some of football’s darkest corners – including in some place called Wales – in order to hit the ground running (or crawling) in his first major coaching role.
Fortunately, Fowler isn’t one to sniff at an opportunity when it presents itself as gloriously as this…
2. Dress to impress
If there’s one thing Fowler is highly-regarded for aside from his lethal instincts in front of goal, it’s his faultless fashion expertise.
This was typified by his pre-match appearance at the 1996 FA Cup Final with Liverpool, when Fowler lit up Wembley in his white Armani suit. Quite literally – the glare coming off that blazer was something else. And, according to a rumour that we are literally making up right now, Fowler was the fashionista mastermind behind the team’s outfit that day. As a result, expect him to take a hands-on role in ensuring his players dress extremely smartly come matchday.
How fitting it is that in the same year the Spice Girls make their long-awaited comeback (subject to did-they-didn’t-they arguments), one of the original Spice Boys is back in football’s headlines. It’s 2019 and the 90s are still well and truly alive. Embrace it, kids!
Despite growing up as an Everton fan, Fowler switched allegiances when he started banging in goals for Liverpool’s youth team – ultimately going on to be nicknamed “God” by the fans. However, this level of adulation didn’t stop the striker moving on the two of the club’s rivals, Leeds United and Man City.
Despite those hints of disloyalty, it all came full circle when Fowler rejoined the Reds in 2006 for an 18-month spell. What’s the lesson to be learnt here? Well, if it all goes well for him at the helm of the Roar, expect him to swan off to a couple of A-League rivals and do a decent job before coming back “home” to Brisbane.
4. Capital gains
There has quite rightly been a lot of debate recently over how ludicrously overpaid footballers manage their wealth in this day and age.
Do they carefully invest it for the sake of their long-term financial health? Or simply spunk it all on frivolous things like buying your parents a new house, like some crazy Man City players?
Well, courtesy of his unique holistic training regime, Robbie will be certain that players learn the benefits of both those financial tactics. Previously listed as one of Britain’s 1,000 wealthiest individuals courtesy of his shrewd investments, Fowler reportedly owns over 80 properties, so he knows what he’s talking about. It’s inevitable that a man as economically switched-on as Robbie is will lay on compulsory property investment sessions as part of his players’ training regime.
Admittedly, we don’t exactly know if players in Australia are remunerated with bumper pay-packets or simply guest slots on Neighbours. But regardless, Robbie Fowler will make sure they’re prepared.