Christmas is a time for giving – though “a piece of your mind” isn’t quite in the spirit of the season however much you want to rant at your team’s gaffer now, is it?
Rather than effin’-n-blindin’ at the mug in the dugout, Paddy thought it’d be worth thinking about what we could do to help them as they insist that your keeper with two left feet takes on a sweeper/deep-lying playmaker role in their inverted Christmas tree formation.
Here’s what we think some Premier League managers could do with finding under the tree this year…
Sam Allardyce – Cash
Stuck for ideas? Just give them a few quid in a card. It’s the thought that counts.
And the money.
The newly-installed West Brom boss would love nothing more than a big wedge of dosh in his pocket to go and sign Kevin Davies, Kevin Nolan, Ivan Campo and Jussi Jaaskelainen in January as the Baggies bid to stave off relegation.
Or their 2020 equivalents if they’re too busy golfing or getting hip replacements.
Next best option – A bucket of wine
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – Polaroid camera
When you’re the OG of OT life comes at you fast. One week your beating Leipzig 5-0 and set to coast into the last 16 of the Champions League, the next you’re watching Demba Ba outpace your defence from the halfway to ruin that plan.
Ole’s just enjoying the view, hands on the wheel or not, and an Instamatic camera is what he needs to capture the highs and lows as his rollercoaster ride hurtles towards being replaced by Mauricio Pochettino.
Next best option – A framed picture of the league table with United in third because it’s the closest they’ll get to winning the league under him
Frank Lampard – Respect
The Chelsea boss let Liverpool see what class and dignity look like when he moaned about their over-celebrating of the club’s first league title in 30 years back in the summer.
What the mouthy scousers forgot was that Frank’s won three Premier Leagues, a Champions League, a Europa League, four FA Cups, two League Cups, two Community Shields, and that’s not to mention all of his individual accolades – MLS player of the month for July 2016, and don’t forget it.
He’s even got an OBE – bit of respect lads, awight?!
A stack of 500 business card-sized reminders summarising his trophy-laden career would be the perfect way to let any gobby gaffers know just who they’re dealing with when they “give it the big one”.
Next best option – Self-awareness
Mikel Arteta – Gunnersaurus suit
Pep’s ex-assistant is heading for the chop quicker than that gaggle of gobblers down the turkey farm and it will take an extraordinary intervention in the Gooners’ play to turn around the team’s fortunes.
Enter Mesut Ozil.
No, he’s not going to pull back on his boots for the Arsenal cause – everyone thinks he’s Pele now the team’s been so sh*t without him, why would he come back? – but he might talk his mate Gunnersaurus into letting Arteta “borrow” the suit for running first-team affairs.
Given the way things have gone for the Spaniard, some random bloke in a furry suit would have more credibility with the squad than the current boss.
Next best option – Train ticket to Manchester
Sean Dyche – Fisherman’s Friend tin
It’s not a new thing to note that the Burnley boss talks like a gravel driveway that smokes 40-a-day, but his rugged, raw tones have clearly hit a dog-whistle pitch to the ears of players this season as the Clarets struggle for goals looks like landing them in a relegation scrap come April.
Unless, of course, the Ginger Mourinho can finally clear his throat and get the message across that the ball is supposed to go in the goal. In.
Next best option – Last of the Summer Wine boxset
David Moyes – Some United cast-off
There isn’t an ex-Man United youngster David Moyes has seen that he doesn’t like.
Except Wilf Zaha, and he’s not going to West Ham anyway.
Imagine the joy on Moyesy’s face when he comes down the stairs to unwrap Jesse Lingard, Darron Gibson and Chris Eagles, who’ll form a powerful midfield trio as West Ham slide down the table from January.
Next best option – Marouane Fellaini
Brendan Rodgers – Botox voucher
With the Foxes flying high in second place ahead of the Christmas kick-off, the ex-Liverpool boss can justifiably keep that bleached-white grin on his face well into 2021.
In fact, he could alleviate the strain his success will cause on his facial muscles with just a couple of injections of mysterious nerve-numbing fluid. They’ll ensure he keeps smiling even as his fellow fan of competitive dentistry Jurgen Klopp streaks away to another league title.
Next best option – A recorded message from Celtic ‘well-wishers’
Pep Guardiola – Music for Airports
Anyone who saw Pep in action on Amazon’s behind-the-scenes City doc saw a man who could do with a drop of chill.
We’re not saying Pep’s too intense, but there are individuals in solitary confinement who we’d find less disturbing than the City boss when he loses the plot.
Time to mosey on down to the nearest popular music shop, assuming they still exist, and pick up some of that ambient Brian Eno stuff on a compact disc for Pep to drop into the CD player of his 1999 Toyota Corolla before training.
After a few solid weeks of listening to that even Benjamin Mendy won’t be able to wind him up such will be his state of Zen-like calm.
He might even care so little about football he forgets to muck around with City’s tactics in the Champions League and City go on and win the bloody thing.
Next best option – A new cardigan
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