Arsenal’s interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg is a man of firsts right now.
He’s the maiden member of Arsenal’s legendary Invincibles team to take charge of the club. He’s the only Gunners boss to have a tattoo of a panther inked across his torso. And he’s the first Calvin Klein underwear model to become a Premier League head coach.
It’s quite the step-change in roles for the Swede, and a career path we are unlikely to encounter ever again. Unless David Beckham or Nicklas Bendtner suddenly decide to undertake their coaching badges, anyway.
But it got us thinking: what if it happened the other way round?
We’ve identified seven gaffers who are made for posing in their undercrackers once they call time on the training pitch!
1. Arsene Wenger
There was only person we could start with, and that’s Freddie’s former boss at Arsenal. And for bloody good reason too.
After seeing Ljungberg step up at the Emirates, Wenger has said he’d love to speak to his former midfielder to offer his help and advice as he embarks on his debut managerial role. To repay the favour, Ljungberg could pass on his own personal top tips for seductively pouting in a pair of briefs.
Wenger is paying the bills with some freelance swimwear modelling whilst he considers his next move pic.twitter.com/V8fiXxyX5H
— rossco donattelli (@rossdonnelly10) May 31, 2018
Furthermore, when you consider the fact that the 70-year-old Frenchman is in better nick than most people half his age and has extensive modelling experience already, there’s no doubt he’d be a success.
Wenger gone modelling??? pic.twitter.com/fpSqZs8kfR
— Marvin Daniel (@marvinaturinda1) May 9, 2018
So long as the pants are “com-for-ta-ble”, as Arsene would say.
2. Sam Allardyce
With Big Sam currently out of work, we’re sure he’d jump at the chance to show the world what he can do in his near-birthday suit.
It obviously goes without saying that he would only be hired by an underwear company that’s badly struggling and close to going out of business.
The fabled new model boost and extra publicity that Sam Allardici (his far more exotic-sounding modelling name) would give them then inevitably steers them to safety in the short-term.
After a few months, however, customers would begin to realise quite how unattractive the product is. Cue Allardici being released early from his contract with a handsome pay-off as a sweetener.
Some things never change.
3. Pep Guardiola
Dark, handsome, stubble, husky Spanish voice… Pep has all the ingredients to attract legions of fans when he finally gives up on winning the Champions League at Man City in favour of becoming an underwear model.
The true secret to his remarkable success would be exclusivity, with Pep only wearing underwear that’s either produced by Stone Island or made from the same material as your nan’s oversized knitted cardigans.
4. Brendan Rodgers
Back when Rodgers was flying high during his spell in the Anfield dugout, he underwent a makeover so dramatic it felt like it should have been featured on an episode of Snog Marry Avoid.
He took up boxing, shed a few stone, splashed on the fake tan and, most noticeably of all, treated himself to a sparkling new set of pearly whites.
It feels as if he’s been waiting for an absolutely magnificent underwear retailer, with fantastic character and spirit, to come calling and make his transformation all worthwhile ever since.
5. Marcelo Bielsa
If ever there was a manager who could quickly rise to the top of the pants game, it’s Leeds’ Marcelo Bielsa.
How? Well, his trusty network of spies would be dispatched to see how his major modelling competition – your Gandys, Beckhams, and Wengers of the world – prepare for upcoming shoots.
All he’d need to do next is to combine the best practices of each rival and work out how to go one better than all of them.
Before you know it, he’d be adorning advertising hoardings up and down the country, although his second campaign would likely be much more successful than the first…
6. Steve Bruce
For most people, the vision of Steve Bruce putting on his best smouldering look while tugging down on a pair of Y-fronts is something they will never be able to unsee, no matter how hard they try.
But believe it or not, Brucey would be a major coup to any underwear firm looking to nail down the, er, “portlier” demographic. Specifically, fellow fans of Brucey’s favourite healthy dinner: a large doner kebab with extra chilli and garlic sauce and a side of cheesy chips.
You don’t get an underwear model’s physique just by eating any old crap, you know.
7. Mick McCarthy
Last but by no means least, we simply couldn’t ignore Mick “Careless Whisper” McCarthy’s irrefutable modelling credentials.
He’s already nailed the Blue Steel look; all Mick needs now is a flattering pair of pants to do his own Mickey justice…