Monday, April 18, 2011

The only thing a British football manager needs is hair

The majority of the twenty managers in the Premier League are over forty-five. Five of them – Ferguson, Wenger, Redknapp, Hodgson and Houllier – are over sixty. All of those senior footballing citizens have plenty of the one commodity that blokes in their sixties frequently mourn the loss of, which is hair. Only four managers in the division - Holloway, Kean, Pulis and Martinez - have anything less than a luxuriant thatch. It seems likely that a couple of those four may be slipping out of the division at the end of the season. If they do they may be replaced by Norwich's Paul Lambert, Cardiff's Dave Jones or QPR's Neil Warnock. What have these three got in common? Hair.

I realise there are leagues where it is possible to prosper without hair. Pep Guardiola seems to manage in Spain, though it helps to be ostentatiously handsome. But over here we seem to have difficulty placing our destinies in the hands of anyone who doesn't have plenty up top. I'm not saying this is right. I'm merely observing the odd fact that whereas pressure seems to visibly thin the pates of our serving politicians when they're in office, with football managers it seems to have the opposite effect. I'm surprised no enterprising shampoo company has got round to capitalising on this by launching "Prem - For Men Who Thrive On It".


  1. "If they do they may be replaced by Norwich's Paul Lambert, Cardiff's Dave Jones or QPR's Neil Warnock."

    or Reading's Brian McDermott!

  2. At international level it appears to be the other way round. World Cup winners Enzo Bearzot, Vicente del Bosque, Alf Ramsey, Helmut Schön, Sepp Herberger, Mário Zagallo and Luiz Felipe Scolari were all thin-of-thatch, while Franz Beckenbauer and Carlos Bilardo were heading that way. Mind you, Marcello Lippi had a lovely head of hair. And still does.

  3. Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis follicle to be wise...