Oh man, Jurgen Klopp squaring up to Sean Dyche at half-time of Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat at home to Burnley brought the best feeling out of everyone – childishness.
Football is many about things: escapism, passion, ecstasy, but most importantly, watching grown men act like kids.
Wait, what was that Scott? Oh right, we once ranked every Premier League manager by how hard they were. But that was a long time ago – there’s been a pandemic and we’ve moved to a fancy new site since – and we need a refresher.
So let’s rank the current 20 Premier League managers by how hard they are.
Poor Roy. Reminds you of your sweet granddad. But granddads aren’t hard, and would lose every scrap they were ever involved in.
Strength: Deceiving smile
Weakness: Deceiving lack of height
Do not approach this man. Or do, you could probably take him.
Strength: If his Lego head got destroyed, he could simply replace it with another
Weakness: Lego tariffs have gone up after Brexit
Being a connoisseur of turtleneck sweaters isn’t hard. I should know – I have about 12 of them.
Strength: Too crazy for boy’s town
Weakness: Too much of a boy for crazy town
Boys will be boys, eh!
Strength: Was probably tough in his heyday
Weakness: That was like 100 years ago
Don Carlo would be fine if he had a position of authority with little physical action. That’s tough.
Strength: Teenage heartthrob
Weakness: He’s literally David Moyes
Just because all men want to be with you and all women want to be with you doesn’t make you hard, Dave.
Strength: Impossible for him to be grabbed by the hair
Weakness: Has a head ripe for slapping
Trust me, I gave it a bloody good go trying not to make a bald joke. Mother nature will probably get me back someday, but not today.
Strength: Experiencing the harsh winters of Sweden have toughened him
Weakness: Experiencing the harsh off-shore winds of Brighton have softened him
There’s a cap on how high a man called ‘Graham’ can be placed on this list.
Strength: World famous The Streets tribute act
Weakness: This isn’t The X Factor, pal
Scott Parker likes wearing two-tone suits. That won’t fly round these parts.
Strength: The dirtiest fighter in the game
Weakness: We have VAR now
The strongest weak fighter or the weakest strong fighter? Either way, serial winner Jose Mourinho will have to settle for 11th place here.
Weakness: Gargantuan lack of agility
Big Brucey baby could hold his own, but he’s not going to trouble the (metaphorical and physical) big boys.
Strength: Frightens Liam Twomey
Weakness: Might not be a Premier League manager for much longer
“I fancy meself in a scrap, think I could show these fellas a thing or two! …No but seriously, I think it will be a tough ask and I’d do well to get the three points.”
Strength: Proper Brummie
Weakness: Proper Brummie accent
One of my best friends used to play for Dean Smith. Confirms he’s hard.
Strength: Has in-depth reports on every other manager
Weakness: Would be knocked out by the time he’s done reading
Marcelo Bielsa once confronted angry fans outside his home while holding a grenade. That’s pretty hard, but what does he know about fisticuffs?
Strength: Great big bushy beard
Weakness: Easy to grapple
Did you guys know Nuno was Porto’s backup goalkeeper when Mourinho was in charge? Bet you’ve never tuned into a Wolves game and heard that before!
Strength: Could drink his weight in gravy
Weakness: That’d probably compromise him
When Mourinho was asked in the mid-to-late 2000s which Premier League manager he would least like to fight, his answer was a simple one: “Big Sam!”
Strength: Can be proper moody after a loss
Weakness: Everyone’s sussed that by now
How to beat Jurgen Klopp in a fight: let him beat your team while you try and play expansive attacking football so he’s happy.
Unfortunately, Liverpool haven’t been winning much recently.
Strength: Everyone from Sheffield is HARD
Weakness: Definitely calls lunch ‘dinner’, and dinner ‘tea’
Do you know how hard you have to be to consistently rile up the manager of the Premier League champions while your own side are the worst team of all time? Klopp’s clearly threatened by big Chrissy Wilder.
Strength: Sheer size
Weakness: Always crying
On a scale from one to Daniel Farke, Hasenhuttl’s voice isn’t that un-intimidating. But it’s enough to cost him a few points at the top.
Strength: In large amounts
Sean Dyche famously doesn’t care for the Grand Canyon – the only rock formation he cares about is 4-4-f******-2.
Once he leaves Burnley, he’s going to take up the role of bodyguard for the Queen. That’s a 90min exclusive for free.
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