Soccer AM/MW - the home of lively and humorous discussion from the Football and Non Leagues

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Talking Points - July 2010

Here's everything the lads have been talking about in July 2010:

Drawing the Boundaries
Nobes on Paul Dickov's challenge as he becomes player-manager of Oldham Athletic.

Up To The Mark
After Darlington appoint their third manager in 13 days, Nobes reflects on why things may turn out all right after all.

The Road to Hull
Turls tries to reason with Nigel Pearson's move from Leicester to newly relegated Hull City.

A Matter of Time
As Paulo Sousa is appointed as the new boss at Leicester, Nobes explains why he may need time to get his ideas across.

Sturrock and a hard place
Nobes talks testing times for Southend United and why Paul Sturrock may just be the right man for the right occasion.

The End of the Programme
With the news that Carlisle are to stop producing match day magazines, the lads discuss football programmes.

Red Devils playing with fire
After a heavy summer spending spree, Nobes considers the risk being taken by Conference side Crawley.

A Tale of Two Clubs
With the divisive Paul Simpson appointed as Stockport boss, Nobes looks at other managers who massively split opinions.

Football's Hotbed
Looking to solve the age old question, Turls investigates just which area of the country is the Football League's real hotbed.

Managing Expectations
Nobes on the gloomy outlook for many of the new managers appointed by clubs this summer.

The History Book
Can we draw upon the experiences of previous seasons to help us predict what will happen in the future? Nobes suggests we can.

Pre-season friendlies
The teams are back for pre-season training, so Turls and Nobes discuss the pros and cons of pre-season friendlies.

Bouncing Back
What chance have the three sides relegated from the Premier League last season got of returning at the first time of asking? Nobes considers their chances.

Conference Premier 2010/11: Preview
Nobes looks ahead to the forthcoming campaign.

In Fashion
Nobes with a humorous look at the different attire managers sport on the touchline. Can we read anything into their choice of clothing?

Conference North/South 2010/11: Preview
Ahead of the new season, Nobes takes a, slightly biased, look
at both the regional divisions of the Conference, .

Friday, July 30, 2010

Championship 2010/11: Preview

The season is just a matter of days away, and we're looking ahead to the new campaign in our own inimitable style here on Soccer AM/MW.

With people saying football is no longer a game but a business who better, we thought, to look ahead to the 2010/11 season than one of Wall Street's finest?

It's our pleasure, therefore, to introduce Enron Turlman. A man who knows his financial onions, a man who actually watches Working Lunch, a man Gordon Brown once even asked for economic advice.

We didn't hold that against him though, so here are Enron's thoughts:

Barnsley (BAR)

Last season: 18th in Championship

Manager: Mark Robins

Liam Dickinson, Goran Lovre, Jay McEveley, James O'Brien, Jason Shackell.

Enron's view: "I'm fed up of these guys clogging up the phones on Wall Street. They're tenacious little buggers, I'll give you that. The whole company is clinging onto past glories though.

"In this business, you need to be a shark. If you stop moving, you die. Admittedly, this company won't die.

"They'll probably just slum around making a decent profit but it won't be anything special. Too many 'team players' and not enough sharks."

Bristol City (BRC)

Last season: 10th in Championship

Manager: Steve Coppell

Signings: Albert Adomah, Khalifa Cisse, Nicky Hunt, David James, Damion Stewart.

Enron's view: "Bold move from these inbred hillbillies. Hired a new CEO and they look better for it. The money is never resting with these guys as they look to get amongst the big boys.

"It's in, then out. Sharp work. They've got spunk, that's for sure. How will they do? Well, it's a battle of dicks and risk. They've shown some risk, now let's see their dick.

"They'll have a good year, but it's a dangerous business."

Burnley (BUR)

Last season: 18th in Premier League

Manager: Brian Laws

Lee Grant, Chris Iwelumo, Dean Marney, Ross Wallace.

Enron's view: "There are two types of people in the world: sheeps and sharks. To make it in the business world, you need to be a shark. Shark's have no necks, so they can't look back.

"These boys had a bad time last term after their CEO jumped ship at the turn of the year. The new guy is a bit of a sheep, but he's got some grinders in his ranks and they'll pull him out.

"These players have got a taste for the caviar and champagne, they don't want to go back to sipping coke and crisps. They'll bring in some money and might be one of the top earners."

Cardiff City (CDF)

Last season: 4th in Championship

Dave Jones

Tom Heaton

Enron's view: "These boys are blowing. Hard. Thought they could mix it with me last season. Boy were they wrong. If finances were a hooker then these guys are sat at home playing with themselves while they watch a bit of soft porn on Five.

"Sure, they've got a few dealers in their ranks, but expect some of the big names to come swooping when the CDF bonuses start to dry up.

"Staying in business is the target for these high-rollers. If they do that, they might make a push to play at the big table."

Coventry City (COV)

Last season: 19th in Championship

Aidy Boothroyd

Lee Carsley, Lukas Jutkiewicz, Richard Keogh, Gary McSheffrey, Roy O'Donovan, Stephen O'Halloran, Clive Platt.

Enron's view: "Yet another new head honcho. These boys are shaking it up to get their stuff together.

"Their shareholders were left with a pocketful of shattered dreams and an empty bank account earlier in the year, but they've rallied around and busted some balls.

"These boys are here to party and I reckon with the brokers in their company, this former powerhouse could rock a few boats."

Crystal Palace (CYP)

Last season: 21st in Championship

Manager: George Burley

Signings: Adam Barrett, Andy Dorman, David Wright.

Enron's view: "These guys are still in business? Well blow me. After haemorrhaging money, I thought that one of the main players would come in with a hostile takeover.

"Apparently, that's not how you do it over here, so I was a little less surprised when I saw the money makers move on to bigger companies.

"It's a year of consolidation for these former high flyers. It's a tough ask, but I reckon they've got the grapefruits to make the deals stick."

Derby County (DBY)

Last season: 14th in Championship

Manager: Nigel Clough

Signings: James Bailey, John Brayford, Tomasz Cywka, David Martin, Gareth Roberts.

Enron's view: "I remember working alongside this guy's dad. He was the business. No messing with him around.

"They've been on the slide recently, and that's because they were investing in over-the-hill brokers who don't give a monkey's any more. They need people with fire in their belly.

"People who know that if they don't make a deal stick then their family won't be eating for a month.

"This guy ain't as ballsy as his dad - but who is? Expect him to continue shafting out the relics and bringing in the fresh blood needed to help him establish the firm as a solid company."

Doncaster Rovers (DCR)

Last season: 12th in Championship

Manager: Sean O'Driscoll

Signings: George Friend, Simon Gillett, Billy Sharp.

Enron's view: "This place is unbelievable. How are these guys still playing big balls poker? I've seen their accounts and I'm impressed by the figures.

"They have very little expenditure and, when you look at the quality of their brokers, I can't understand how they're still punching with the big sharks.

"Then I had lunch with their CEO. That man oozes Wall Street. He's making deals left, right, and centre. He's making deals and he doesn't even know it. The man keeps that company ticking. I might get my headhunters on him."

Hull City (HLL)

Last season:
19th in Premier League

Nigel Pearson

Signings: James Harper, Nolberto Solano

Enron's view: "New man at the helm, and his first piece of business is to stop the company from going down like a cheap hooker.

"Money is a massive issue. They spunked it all on a broker with a questionable sick record. When he's in the office, the firm is a major player. Problem is, he's rarely there. Cold this, headache that.

"If he were my broker, I'd have pulled him into my office and given him a reason to have a headache. Still, they've got some solid guys and should make a decent push at regaining their FTSE 100 status."

Ipswich Town (IPT)

Last season: 15th in Championship

Manager: Roy Keane

Signings: Conor Hourihane, Mark Kennedy.

Enron's view: "Bumpkins. The lot of them. And the guy in charge? Show pony. Thinks he's got mettle, but his game is coming to an end. He is new world and it doesn't suit him.

"They're a former big player, but too many rash decisions have cost them. They've got some bright trainees on their staff and they've taken on some graduates.

"They look good, but can the CEO put it all together to make it work? If he doesn't, he'll be working at Burger King before the year is out."

Leeds United (LDS)

Last season: 2nd in League One

Manager: Simon Grayson

Signings: Fede Bessone, Neil Collins, Paul Connolly, Billy Paynter, Lloyd Sam, Kasper Schmeichel.

Enron's view: "Now this is a company I can get on board with. Renowned for taking big risks, they played the game and, for a while, it made them feel like Gods.

"But, what the Lord giveth, he taketh away. These fellas are a shining light of how the broker business should work. Spunk it all on some risky buys and, if it don't pay off, you find yourself cleaning cars for a living.

"On their way back to the top, but I think it'll be another year before they get to eat sushi from a hooker's naval."

Leicester City (LEI)

Last season: 5th in Championship

Manager: Paulo Sousa

Signings: Tom Kennedy

Enron's view: "Continental CEO? What's the world coming to? This industry is for city slickers in pinstripe suits who'd sell their aunt for a piece of silver and a hug. In fact, sod the hug, just give me the silver.

"This cardigan-wearing Porto-geezer knows his onions though. It takes a while for him to get his loafers under the desk - but that's because he's too busy having a siesta.

"No room for naps in this biz. I haven't slept in 13 years. He'll get them going in his own way - and should have them pushing for a step up to the majors."

Middlesbrough (MBR)

Last season:
11th in Championship

Gordon Strachan

Nicky Bailey, Kris Boyd, Tarmo Kink, Kevin Thomson.

Enron's view: "This company has been on the slide for the past couple of years, but it looks like they're on the up. They had their day in the sun, but they didn't capitalise. Now they hope to pull their opponents' pants down.

"Some solid brokers have been hired and they look much stronger in the bull pen. These guys are definitely making a bid to return to the FTSE 100. In fact, they will probably be this year's highest earners."

Millwall (MLL)

Last season: 3rd in League One

Manager: Kenny Jackett

Signings: Shaun Batt, James Henry, Steve Mildenhall, Tamika Mkandawire, Liam Trotter.

Enron's view: "These wheelers and dealers have been making a mug of me for a few years now. I remember when they tried to take over Europe and how they control through fear.

"It's working for them though, the dirty beggars. They're climbing the rankings and working hard. Nothing outstanding, but they're posting some consistent figures and they'll be looking to have another solid season.

"Could have the balls to make a push, but I reckon they'll settle for stabilising their profits."

Norwich City (NOR)

Last season:
1st in League One

Paul Lambert

Signings: David Fox, Simeon Jackson, John Ruddy, Steven Smith, Andrew Surman, Elliot Ward.

Enron's view: "A philosopher once mentioned the strength of bouncebackability and these boys have shown spadefuls of that.

"They took their eyes off the prize a couple of years back. They looked in the mirror after that and saw an overweight, balding man who didn't look like he cared anymore.

"They were sickened by it. Now they're a lean, mean, deal-making machine. They look sharp and shark-like. Watch out for this one. They'll sell you their mother for an escort's phone number."

Nottingham Forest (FOR)

Last season: 3rd in Championship

Manager: Billy Davies

Signings: N/A

Enron's view: "These sharks got their wangers out last year and had a p****** contest with NWC and WBA. They fell short - their CEO blamed the wind - and they failed to break into the FTSE 100.

"They know what they need to do and with the CEO agreeing to stay on, for now, they fancy their chances. They've got some good dealers and a fair wedge of cash to risk, so I reckon they should make a push again."

Portsmouth (POM)

Last season: 20th in Premier League

Manager: Steve Cotterill

Signings: N/A

Enron's view: "I was offered this job. When I went for the interview, I asked to look at their financial records and they started to look a little sheepish.

"Needless to say I declined the offer, but they have a new CEO in who is a solid face in these parts. Problem is, he's got to get the company making money again.

"Some of their top brokers are leaving, which means they won't be getting back into the big leagues anytime soon. It's a year of trying to stay afloat for these sailors."

Preston North End (PNE)

Last season: 17th in Championship

Manager: Darren Ferguson

Signings: Wayne Brown, David Gray, Paul Hayes, Craig Morgan,

Enron's view: "Well, spank my ass and call me chuckles - what have we got here? These boys are a right handful. For years they were playing at the top table, but not anymore.

"These guys have been punching above their weight for a while now. Problem is, a lot of crazy stuff is happening recently and I haven't got a clue whether they've got a fistful of dollars or a vault full of gold.

"Either way, these boys are going to entertain us year round. Their CEO is a bit of a dick though."

Queens Park Rangers (QPR)

Last season: 13th in Championship

Manager: Neil Warnock

Signings: Shaun Derry, Clint Hill, Paddy Kenny, Jamie Mackie, Bradley Orr.

Enron's view: "My kind of guys run this business. The type of people who wipe their arse with fifty. Who light a cigar off a hooker's chuff. Top notch.

"They've not been spending their billions though. No Grade A brokers in their ranks. Instead, they're left with a bunch of halfwits who think keeping hold of Goldman-Sachs stock was a good idea.

"It's time for a change, and I reckon these pin-striped banknotes are going to make good on their promises."

Reading (RDG)

Last season: 9th in Championship

Manager: Brian McDermott

Signings: Andy Griffin, Marcus Wiliams.

Enron's view: "I like these guys. They ooze class. They've got a chef as CEO and they've got a superb catering deal with Waitrose. Very swish.

"They had a dreadful first and second quarter, but they started to turn it around for the back end of the last financial year.

"They are definitely a company on the up, but it'll be interesting to see if they've got the strength to up their profits even more."

Scunthorpe United (SCU)

Last season: 20th in Championship

Manager: Nigel Adkins

Signings: Michael Collins, Chris Dagnall, Bobby Grant.

Enron's view: "These guys are sharks in a fishbowl. Or are they fish in a shark bowl? Either way, they're playing stickball with the big kids and they're not backing down.

"They're swinging from the hip and hitting cleanly. Problem is, fatigue is bound to set in. It'll be another battle for these plucky b******* but they'll give it a go. Might drop a level though."

Sheffield United (SHU)

Last season: 8th in Championship

Manager: Kevin Blackwell

Signings: Daniel Bodganovic, Johannes Ertl, Rob Kozluk, Steve Simonsen.

Enron's view:
"The FTSE 100 was out of reach again last year, and I reckon they might miss out this time as well. They've got spunk, that's for sure, and I reckon they'll get the most out of the brokers they've got.

"I just don't see any pizzazz coming from this firm though. They're solid, but there is some jazz missing. No flair. A lack of spangle. You get what I'm saying, don't you?

"They'll crunch some numbers, but I can't see them tampering with funds to secure a big deal."

Swansea City (SWA)

Last season: 7th in Championship

Manager: Brendan Rodgers

Signings: Scott Donnelly, Neil Taylor.

Enron's view: "A new CEO in charge here after the last one was caught doing something completely disgusting. Something no man should ever do.

"Sleeping with your boss's daughter? That's encouraged in Enron's world. No, what this guy did was... wear a cardigan! This is the world of money, slick. There is no room for cardigan-wearing.

"It's strictly pin-stripes and lap-dance dinners. In terms of performance, they'll probably slide down the charts a bit, but they should have a stable season of trying to reaffirm their stance on no cardigans."

Watford (WFD)

Last season: 16th in Championship

Manager: Malky Mackay

Signings: Tom Aldred, Rene Gilmartin.

Enron's view: "When a bee stings, it dies. Well, these bees were packed full of stingers a few years back and since then it's been a slow death.

"They've seen some top dealers go and have replaced them with mindless automations who don't know to spell 'sell' let alone do it. This bee is dying and, with no stinger in place, it could be a difficult year for this firm.

"Hang on... This company's logo is a Hornet? So that makes my entire comment pointless. Thanks for the heads up, you jerk."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Conference North/South 2010/11: Preview

Our build-up to the new season continues as Nobes looks ahead to the 2010/11 campaigns in both the Conference North and South.

I can't lie, any preview, particularly involving the Conference North, will involve some kind of bias on my part. How can it not? After years of regression into the depths of the Non Leagues, my own Boston United are back.

We were here in 2007/8, until the Conference decided to enact their final bit of revenge for our wrongdoing at the start of the Millennium and booted us down to the UniBond.

We came perilously close to dropping right down to the regional divisions of that league. Fortunately, things are now moving in the right direction. So much so, not even the authorities could find a way to prevent us taking our place in the division.

If truth be told, too, and these may turn out to be famous last words, I don't see much to fear ahead of the new season. We're the biggest club in the division, even if AFC Telford might edge out attendance wise at the moment. They don't have our history.

We'll get some of the biggest crowds, and have the most loyal and passionate away supporters. We also have a winning mentality, promotion momentum, and a very capable young managerial duo.

The impressive form of the promoted sides last season such as Corby, Ilkeston, and Eastwood also gives me confidence that the step-up in quality is not that big. We have the players more than capable of breaching it. A top five challenge is my expectation.

Now that the bravado is out of the way, who do I fear in the division? The aforementioned AFC Telford, although under a complete rookie in Andy Sinton, should be up there again.

Alfreton and Droylsden were two of the sides who lost out in the play-offs last term, and both should figure towards the top end again under their respective experienced bosses Nicky Law and Dave Pace.

Hinckley are seasoned campaigners, and Stalybridge are a constant presence in the top half. Both will hope to make the extra step and claim a play-off spot this time around.

It was a season of over achievement for Workington last season, and one of underachievement for Stafford. The latter will expect to improve, the former can only hope to keep punching above their weight.

It will be interesting to see whether our big spending neighbours Gainsborough, with the ex-Premier League boss Brian Little in charge, can turn their money into actually challenging.

Money, as at all levels, is of vital importance in the Conference North, and last season saw the sad loss of Farsley and Northwich demoted because of their financial record.

There was a close call for Hyde United, too. They will hope to avoid another relegation scrape. Expect to see the likes of Vauxhall Motors, Blyth, Redditch, Gloucester, Harrogate, and Solihull towards the wrong end of the table though.

Coming up with us are Guiseley and Nuneaton Town - the phoenix club of Nuneaton Borough. Both should be competitive. Lastly, Worcester make the move across back to the North after struggling last term in the Conference South.

This year's division has the looks of being a very even one. While Southport and big-spending Fleetwood always stood out last term, there are no obvious teams who stand head and shoulders above the rest.

I'm hoping they'll be a specific one come May though.

Perhaps the most interesting club to watch in this year's Conference South will be Ebbsfleet United.

The outfit bought by the MyFootballClub website consortium were relegated from the Conference Premier last term.

Was it the first sign that this radical new approach to football club ownership is, ultimately, doomed to fail? Or was it just a temporary setback and the Kent team will be challenging for an immediate return from whence they came?

They'll have a tough challenge on their hands to, though. Newport ran away with this league last year, but it's unlikely that'll happen again.

Many of the teams appear well matched, and the likes of Woking, Eastleigh, Chelmsford, Braintree, and Havant & Waterlooville will all be hopeful about their chances of challenging.

Dover have had a summer of upheaval with the loss of their boss Andy Hessenthaler, then his successor Ian Hendon soon resigned too. Martin Hayes will look to keep the Whites' recent forward momentum going.

The sides with promotion momentum coming into this campaign are Dartford, Boreham Wood, and the reformed Farnborough. They will all hope to consolidate their position.

After disappointing campaigns last time out, Lewes, Hampton & Richmond, Bishop's Stortford, and Maidenhead will all be looking to figure a lot higher up this time.

Such is the tight nature of the division, going one from end to the other is not that much of an ask. Hampton's struggles against the drop last season came just 12 months after losing in the play-off final.

With a place in the top five offering a shot at promotion via the play-offs, it even means the likes or Dorchester, Basingstoke, Bromley and St Albans will be confident that a consistent term can see them compete.

Thurrock, Welling, and Staines narrowly missed out on the play-offs last season, the latter will do particularly well to match last season's efforts though.

Finally, after being rescued again by other team's troubles, can Weston-super-Mare offer anything more than another bottom three struggle and hoping they can avoid the plunge?

The Somerset club's struggle is probably one of the more predictable features of the coming campaign.

With the past two titles going to the revitalised Newport and AFC Wimbledon respectively though, which club in 2010/11 will be looking forward to an equally bright future?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In Fashion

Part of the excitement of any new season is the launch of new kits.

What will your team turn out in this season? Which side have decided to go back to their original kit to mark an anniversary?

And which club have ridiculously chosen two kits which will force them to invent a third one later in the season to avoid a clash?

While tempting to do an article about the best and the worst of the 2010/11 season's kits, I decided against that.

Instead, I thought I would continue my unhealthy interest in managerial wear.

In the past I shared my fascination with the baseball cap which, in my mind, is the biggest indicator that a manager likes to play a long ball game.

What different coaches wore on the touchline also seemed to create great interest during this summer's World Cup.

From Joachim Loew's blue cashmere sweater to the open necked shirt and grey suit combo sported by the Dutch coaching staff, a manager's fashion sense was scrutinised almost as much as his tactics and substitutions.

Indeed, it could even be argued that the stylish appearance of Germany's manager was translated to their play on the pitch. Sadly, England's dull grey suits also matched their performances.

I will never forget, too, the uber cool Marco Van Basten's dress sense in 2006 when he sported a jumper tied around the waist.

It's a style I still champion myself - and will argue is not only practical but, yes, cool as well.

So, with eyes firmly on domestic matters, can we learn anything similar from the managerial chic on display on touchlines up and down the country?

Here's my guide to the different managerial attire - and whether we can read anything into it.

The Managerial Suit

The ultimate statement that you're managerial big fry. Particularly popular in the top flight, more and more managers across the leagues are choosing to go down the suit route.

Is it because they think it makes them look important?

Maybe it helps to create an aura of professionalism and, particularly for a younger boss, separates them from the players?

For extra fashion points, you can combine it too with the latest fashion item - the thin tie. Who knows exactly why they've suddenly become all the rage.

However, if Preston manager, and notorious toss pot, Darren Ferguson is wearing them, then you can count me out.

Fancy Dan

You don't have to be called Dan and you don't even have to be managing a glamorous club to be able to dress up for the occasion.

Take Exeter boss Paul Tisdale, for example.

Whatever the game, he can always be found dressed up to the nines. Having been to the county town of Devon, I can confirm that he would stand out like a particularly sore thumb wearing that kind of garb.

Not that that deters our Paul. Here he's sporting a suit, jacket and there appears to be some kind of extravagant tie/cravat sort of thing going on, too.

Personally, I think it's all part of an ingenious plot to stand out from the rest of the crowd.

His performance at Exeter in the last four years should really have earned him a bigger job by now. Maybe standing out from the crowd clothes-wise will draw the attention of a club with Fancy Dan ambitions of their own.

The Tracksuit

The ultimate in non-pretension, it's the managerial-wear which shows you mean business.

No prancing around worrying that your expensive Italian shoes are going to get a bit muddy in the technical area.

Oh no, you're wearing your very own club's tracksuit - and, in the case of Derby manager Nigel Clough, gleaming white trainers which could blind somebody if the floodlights reflect off them at an unfortunate angle.

In fact, I'm not sure that, were he to go into a local shopping mall dressed like that, he wouldn't be tailed by a security guard. He'd certainly be told to put his hood down.

In my experience, I've noticed the tracksuit is particularly popular when new managers take over at a struggling club to give over a message that the new man is on the training ground trying to tighten up that leaky back line and get those misfiring forwards scoring.

The Polo Shirt

There's something slightly strange about a man in his sixties wearing a polo shirt. I don't know why.

Shouldn't he be wearing a cardigan and slippers, not a young guy's shirt?

However, it's the popular touchline attire of QPR's Neil Warnock.

Although, from what I've been told he's shouted from his car in the past, he probably still thinks he's a young guy about town.

Like the managerial tracksuit, the simple polo shirt and tracksuit bottoms give off the impression of a no-frills approach to the game.

Polo shirted managers produce sides full of running and hard-work. You won't find Warnock in a suit - and you won't one of his sides playing it around like Spain.

The Club Jacket

A classic, an absolute classic. Indeed, I would hazard a guess it is the most popular managerial style that you will see up and down the country on a touchline this season.

As displayed here by Swindon boss Danny Wilson, the club jacket offers any manager the best of both worlds.

It's the perfect combination of smart and practical.

You have the freedom to choose a suit of your own but can also show your club loyalty - with a warm jacket perfect for those chilly Tuesday nights in Grimsby.

It's always Grimsby, isn't it?

The official club tie, or at least one in your club's colours is also an essential element of this style though - particularly with your jacket covering up most of your suit.

The Shorts

Nothing says "I'm a down-to-earth manager" like the wearing of shorts on the touchline. Even more so than a tracksuit.

Some might argue it's the act of a manager still clinging onto the belief that he's a player.

Others might simply wear shorts during the warm periods of weather at the beginning and end of the season.

Some, like Sheffield Wednesday's Alan Irvine, even wear shorts on more cold and brisk evenings.

He is Scottish, so perhaps it's no surprise, but shorts can't help but give off the image of a hard man.

Hardly Premier League class though. You can't imagine Arsene Wenger striding out at the Emirates in shorts, can you?

Let's move quickly on from that image, however.

The Rest

Some managers' choice of clothing on the touchline simply can't be labelled. That's mostly because nobody else would even dream of being seen wearing some of their choices.

Step forward Leicester boss Paulo Sousa, infamous for the pink cardigan which he could be seen sporting, sometimes under a jacket, at old club Swansea.

Maybe it's a Portuguese thing? Perhaps it's his own individual tastes?

Sometimes his dress sense was so garish it was more entertaining than watching his goal-shy Swans team.

If Leciester do well this term, expect him to dress down.

Also famous for his appearance in the dugout is Keith Hill of Rochdale.

The straight-talking Lancastrian has worked wonders at Spotland, but his dress sense often leaves a lot to be desired.

Sometimes dressed up, sometimes dressed down. It's difficult to believe these images are of the same manager.

One day a smart coat and scarf, and the next turning up as if he's just arrived at the ground after filming a cameo role on Emmerdale. Maybe he just looks after sheep in his spare time?

This next ensemble of boots, football socks tucked into jogging bottoms, and club shirt combo I like to call 'Homage to O'Neill.'

It's difficult not to think of the current Aston Villa and former Leicester manager Martin O'Neill when you see Norwich's Paul Lambert on the touchline.

The two worked together at Celtic and indeed, both have the Canaries and Wycombe on their managerial CVs.

Perhaps that's why the young Scot has chosen to follow his old master's dress sense on the touchline.

His results and climb up the football ladder is certainly mirroring that of O'Neill's.

This final miscellaneous example of managerial attire comes from our old friend Mr Tisdale.

When it comes to head wear, his commitment to playing attractive football rules out any possible baseball cap.

So when he needs to keep his head warm, Exeter's gaffer goes for something altogether different.

It's hard to imagine him having warn something similar in Malta - where he was born. However, for creativity and originality, he receives full marks.

Touchline attire - you'll never look at a manager the same way again.