Imagining What Premier League Managers Would Be Like as Artists, Actors and Musicians

In some alternate universe, Frank Lampard is almost definitely hosting a daytime TV property show called 'The Great Gaff Spaff'.
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Photo: Rachel Torres / Alamy Stock Photo

Given that physics nerds are now telling us the objective truth is that we all inhabit a multiverse, living thousands of simultaneous lives that exist independently of one another, I decided to clamber through a tear in the space-time continuum to find out how Premier League gaffers are getting on in their alternate-universe arts and creative industries careers.


Rode the wave of an 1980s stand-up routine based on armpit-farting Beethoven’s Sixth, all the way to a two-year mid-90s stint hosting prime-time ITV game show The Mixer (catchphrase: “Let’s get it … in the mixer!”) until being unceremoniously dumped post-“Sugartitsgate”.


Spent two decades presenting Chip Shop Challenge on Dave while bossing the panto and cruise ship circuits, the latter providing a sleeper-cell fanbase for his latest incarnation as a Culture Wars provocateur “shitting truth bombs” on his YouTube channel.

His stellar comeback has stalled somewhat – the “Remoanervirus” tour is mothballed – and he was last seen deleting #DefundTheBBC Facebook posts after a Newsnight invitation to debate lockdown measures with JVT.


Opera singer, oboist, oenophile, dressmaker, dress-remover, six-time winner of Suave magazine’s Mr Sensuous award, Ancelotti is best known as a master perfumier, the scent-blending genius responsible for the celebrated “Formaggio”, “Vecchia Signora”, “Kilpin”, “Kleptocrat”, “Petroleum”, “Galáctico”, “Putsch” and “Camorra” lines.

His latest – “Nil Satis”, by Carlo – is rumoured to contain, among other things, Big Nev’s sweat, Pat van den Hauwe’s aggression and James Rodríguez’s aura.


Photo: MatchDay Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo


Intensive method-acting pupilage in Mancunia (he’s been known to shed 1cm of hair for roles) led to a decade frustratingly typecast as South American liberator-generals, until an award-winning performance as the dead-eyed General Coñazo – disappearing “subversives” as the head of Pinochet’s secret police – finally saw him break into the Hollywood B-League.

With Keg Party Calypso out next year, and Carlos and the Fluffalo Take Vegas to follow, he has become front-runner to land the eponymous lead in the Özil biopic.  


BIELSA, Marcelo

Reclusive sculptor working since 1997 in recycled kitchen utensils – whisks, mashers, skillets, sporks. Most famous for his 83,000 cubic metre trompe-l’oeil installation in the Bolivian Andes, “The Shimmering Joy of Millions Vanquishing a Neoliberal Coup”, critics have also lauded the “neo-pointillist perceptual disorientation” of “Final Eclipse of Functional Rationality” in Pontefract.

Next year, he’s set to drop 30,000 knives onto Ilkley Moor from a helicopter, in a piece entitled “Each Thrust Is a Small Death to Your Erroneous Certainties”.

BRUCE, Steve

Multi-billionaire creator of genial half-Bruce, half-zebra character “Zebrucey” (the franchise now sits at eight novels, three movies, one theme park), the fearless skipper of Savannah League champions Grazers FC, who’s went and put his snout in where others won’t put their hooves, and dreams of a Gallowgate winner in the famous No9 pelt. Currently working on Girafa Benítez and Chris Wilderbeest spin-offs for Pixar.


Photo: MB Media Solutions / Alamy Stock Photo


Roadie turned vibes man turned drummer of Gravl, who quit the band at the height of its critical acclaim to become frontman of The Honesty. Indie hits “No, Not Really” and “That’s Not Us” led to a career-ending, car-crash appearance on Jools, when he ate worms throughout an instrumental version of “Embracing Mortality (We’re All Gonna Die Some Day)”.

Now works as voice-over man for, among others, Eddie Stobart, WD-40, Fray Bentos, Jacamo and



Teenage B-boy, graffiti artist and MC (Da Portugeezer), by 23 Nuno had his own record label, apparel brand, headphone line and beard-trimmer empire. Always a child of the ghetto, the multi-billionaire navigated a prolonged identity crisis (documented on seminal LP Lobo Solitário) by keeping it real on his private island, eventually divesting of everything to open an animal sanctuary and yoga retreat outside Setúbal. 


Interior designer turned in-demand feng shui guru after being lauded for “the spiritual majesty and palpable me-flow benefits” of his “visionary” table-angle micro-adjustments. His new book, Seven Tables, No Chairs: The Future of Lounging, has sold 14 million copies worldwide, unleashing an unforeseen bourgeois angst pandemic regarding where in the house the 3kg chi-disrupting tome should reside. “So so happy,” he commented.


With mother a world-renowned mezzo-soprano and father lead violin at the Vienna Philharmonic, wee Ralphie was expected to become a titan of classical music. Instead, teenage dabblings in free-jazz were the gateway drug for a career as a polymath of electronic music: pulsating techno (as Wunderkind), minimal (Sitzfleisch), electro (Gestalt), IDM (Ü), proto-dubstep (Verboten), nu-disco (Glitzkreig), even grime (Ingsy), happy hardcore (Baron von Bonkers), psy-trance (Blob of Vishnu) and ambient gabba (Cuttlefish).


Oedipal guilt over abandoning his parents’ path was seemingly confirmed when he dropped a 32-minute segment of Wagner at Berghain (to which the crowd, thinking something seminal was happening, went batshit).


Photo: Andrea Spinelli / Alamy Stock Photo


Dabbled in watercolours (“fields, horses, pine cones”), had three haiku published in The Croydon Review, but shot to acclaim when buzzVIBE mag splashed his verité photos of 1970s greasy spoons, praising them for their “unflinching, understated honesty”. New exhibit, “Pine Cones, Svenska”, is due this summer, with whisperings of a new photorealism project afoot. “I have always rather enjoyed exploring the liminal, Ballardian spaces of post-industrial Croydon and its environs, if I can say that,” said Roy, saying that.

KLOPP, Jürgen

Feted Creative Director of Yeah! ad agency (“finding solutions, yesterday”), whose mid-life crisis prompted hair, teeth and a pivot into documentaries. Started out with Wanderlust, a series of (very) hands-on travelogues exploring vice hotspots, then moved through cults, plastic surgery, crime, conspiracy theory and narcotraffick, finally winning an Oscar for Hug Me, Tough Guy, which saw him heal strongmen politicos and sundry psychopaths by reducing them to tiny puddles of blubbing vulnerability they no longer needed to run away from.

“So, the idea was we would break down their personalities a little bit, if I can say it like this,” he said. “Then, ja, in that moment we are rebuilding them with hugs and empathy. It’s not so difficult.”



Safe-hands lifestyle TV presenter who cut his teeth on daytime property shows, Something Cottagey and Wow Factor! The expertise gained from having stood inside several houses saw him poached by Channel 5 to front Grand Designs rival, The Great Gaff Spaff, canned after one series. From there, he fronted Back of the Net Worth, purring over ludicrously expensive things in footballers’ mansions, before buddying up with you-know-who on Lamps and Lovejoy Do Dubai, also in the wealth-fetish sector.

“Don’t get me wrong,” explained Lampard to Graham Norton, “I think there’s a place in society for the poor – I’m a big believer we should respect all cultures, that diversity, y’know – but you probably don’t really want to see them every day! No offence.”


Temperamental starchitect whose buildings’ “hyper-functional interiors, undoubted charisma, yet disproportionately overbearing relationship with their surroundings” have bankrupted three cities and earned him as much acrimony as admiration. Current project is the 912-metre-tall, four-metre-deep Burj-Mourinho (AKA “The Selfie”) in St Albans.


Photo: Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley / Alamy Stock Photo

MOYES, David

Precocious tailor who graduated from button-making to kilts before informal repairs for friends at The Dungeon Club led to him becoming – with a little help from his bubblingly enthusiastic appearance on The Apprentice – the world’s foremost S&M couturier and fetish wear designer. Famous for razor-lined leather mankinis that sell for £250,000 a pop, the Mo’Yes brand is now the leading supplier of gimp suits to the Sullivan/Gold empire.


Meme intern working the Triffik Shizz and Clickbantz platforms under ledge memegineer Connor (a 31-year-old incel) while being routinely abused by his “Jean-Marc Bossman” Steve, 24, who docks 10 percent from his £6/hour “great opportunity to get your name out there” wages for every 10k engagements short of his 200k per month Traction Target.


POTTER, Graham

Sole contributor to the first 138 issues of Oasis ‘zine Fly to the Sky, Potter then landed the coat correspondent gig at Garçon mag, writing seminal features on the parka and puffa. Abandoned this to write a novel, Coat Man, about a man working the cloakroom at Stringfellow’s, which received rave reviews in Garçon and Fly to the Sky, but was panned elsewhere.

Depressed, he turned to his first love, music (and also to cocaine), with new band The Coats’ vibey jangle-pop demo (forthcoming on Echobacon) portending big things.  


Photo: Action Foto Sport / Alamy Stock Photo

RODGERS, Brendan

Went from a twice-weekly DJ gig in Hinckley Yates’s, MCing over UK garage, to a place alongside his idol Guetta on the A-list circuit. Brodge now plays $200,000-per-night gigs to Botox-paralysed ghouls from a special pulpit-booth in Vegas hotels, UV-lit teeth visible from outer space.

Life is an increasingly neurotic careen through Hed Kandi: Beach House CD covers – infinity pools, palm trees, bikinis – while staving off coke-induced burnout and the nightmare of introspection by taking more coke and filling five-star hotel rooms with his own piss-thin productions: pop-dance anthems (“U R da 1 4 Me”, “Samba Tequila”, “Dance for Tomorrow”) with melodies that sound like car alarms. Good old Brodge!


Loveable, dungaree-wearing kids’ entertainer whose balloon-sculpture virtuosity – pièce de resistance: the Parthenon in four minutes using three balloons – took him first to the final of Britain’s Got Talent, then a stadium tour, his Helsinki gig alone attracting 17,000. The fickle bubble of fame was soon punctured, though, and Smith returned to his old life, bearing “crazy” stories but also the unmistakable hue of sadness that things would never again fizz as much.


Twinkle-toed former child prodigy of Nordic cinema who eschewed first loves, football and ballet, to star in Viking Nursery at 13, then Viking Nursery II. Three years later, he had a three-gram-per-day crystal meth habit (“Assassin-Faced Baby” roared the Trondheim Tribune), falling in and out of rehab through his twenties, until being saved by the magic of interpretative dance, eventually becoming chief choreographer at the Theatre of Dreams, where his hands-off direction is gaining cautious plaudits despite no one being quite sure what he’s doing. 


Artistically unfulfilled by roles (Plumber, Stepdad, Cable Guy) in a string of gonzo porn smashes, yet subsequently inspired by his part as Decorator in Spunk Canvas, Wilder reinvented himself as an abstract expressionist “action painter”, using the drip technique (with a twist). Dubbed “The Jackson Pollock of Jizz”, his pieces now sell for $5 million+ in LA.