Choosing the next England football manager
The role of England's football manager has become somewhat of a poisoned chalice over the last few years, with Roy Hodgson's recent failure in the Euro 2016 being only the latest gaffe from the country's coaching team. With expectations high and results generally poor, many have tired and failed to rejuvenate the squad's 'Golden Generation' into a lethal and cohesive unit. Interviews for the job have been well under way recently and a slew of analytics and data are being thrown about by the media in order to determine just who will be best for the role. Although we're no football experts we thought that we'd chip in with our own input. A large issue that a lot of pundits are forgetting is that the England team is incredibly young. Therefore we think it's best that the next manager is one who is able to deal with children in an appropriate manner. A good father figure makes a good manager.
As current head coach of the US national side, we expected more from Klinsman in this picture. He obviously doesn't know what to do with his hands and despite the hint of a low-effort smile sneaking across his face, his eyes are completely devoid of any remnants of emotion. Perhaps his experience with the US team has left him a broken man, unable to bear with the pressure of 318.9 million people resting on his athletic German shoulders. Klinsman is not the man English children need to look up to.
Known more for his dad-dancing than his dad-skills, it's nice to see Alan Pardew showing such comadery with a young fan here. His smile is sincere and the firm grip he has on the young man's hand signals a sign of strength and support. We can guarantee that Pardew was not the man who initiated the end of that clasp. He would have kept it like a vice-grip until the recipient was ready to relent. That is a leader.
As manager of the England U21 team, Southgate was many bookies favourite to take control of the national team and it's not hard to see why. Just look at the way that Gareth crouches down to meet the child's level. He is not afraid to talk to players as if they are fellow human beings, yet the firm hand he has placed on this boy's shoulder is enough of a control to make it clear who the real boss is. Gareth Southgate is like your favourite P.E. teacher from school who would let you have a kick about but always put an end to things if it ever went a bit too far. A sound bloke.
Good ol' Harry is an unlikely candidate for the job. A rightfully unlikely candidate at that. Despite placing both of his arms around the boy's shoulders you can tell the young man is experiencing incredible discomfort. The thumbs-up are an empty gesture and an obviously panicked response to being grabbed by a man of Redknapp's rhubarb-faced ilk. "Who is this man, mummy? Why does he have so many rings and smell like a Wetherspoons?"
The first thing you've probably noticed about this picture is that Tactics Tim is dealing with multiple children at once. Yes, Tim has managed to wrangle not one, not two, but three separate children for a photo all at once. Despite his priorities being spread rather thin, Tim still manages to retain his friendly demeanour, his eyes darting playfully across the camera lens to show he isn't shy of attention. If Tim Sherwood can take a decent picture with these three rapscallions then we can see no reason why he can't possibly take care of twenty three more. What's that? He's been out of work since getting the sack from Aston Villa in October 2015? Even better.
Oh, Steve Bruce. We really do love your no nonsense style of football. Honestly. We think Wigan are great. And Hull, too. But there is simply no excusing this picture. Yes, the sun may have been in your eyes and yes, the angle chosen by the pictured child was not the most flattering. But Steve, mate: you look like you're about to eat him. You look like you're about to eat that child and that's no way for a future England manager to behave. Shame on you.
Here we have Big Sam with a little man and we can confidently say that this one of the worst offenders we have included. Just why, you ask? He seems to be smiling and the child appears to be happy with the outcome. Well, the key to this image lies in Allardyce's big meaty hands. There is no contact made with the child, you see. Despite the young man's sublte lean in towards Big Sam's personal space, the Sunderland manager has both of his hands kept firmly on his autobiography (available in both hardback and paperback) with no signs of relenting anytime soon. This was probably the 43rd child Big Sam had seen on that day, and we can guarantee that he charged at least a fiver for the picture.
Lovely Eddie Howe. Isn't he nice? Look at that smile. I bet your mum thinks he's handsome. This is truly a great photo - it doesn't look staged and it seems as if Eddie is containing all the happiness in the world behind his steely blue eyes. We wouldn't be surprised if he broke out into a song-and-dance routine as soon as the picture was taken, doing it a bit too fast for a recording to be taken but just long enough for the lads to get a great anecdote for the playground. And just take a look at the dog he's got with him. He took time out of his busy day in order to snap a pic with these two lads who look genuinely chuffed to see him. Did we mention the dog? Look at it. It's adorable. And so is he. If Eddie can take such great care of animals then looking after Jack Wilshere and co. should be absolutely no trouble. He is young, caring, kind and everything the England team needs. Sign him up.