In an age where football can’t escape the grips of tactics, philosophies and the importance of results, the quirks of the game are often overlooked.
Gone are the days of tracksuit managers, barking orders from the touchline and batting away any ideas of single pivots and underlapping runs. It’s all about making the game complex, eking out the fine margins. That’s how you get to the top.
Well, that and dressing smart. Seriously. A manager with a solid handle of their dress sense is more than likely destined for a shot at the top. It’s just the rules. Fashionable football is all the range, and it starts on the touchline.
GIVEMESPORT has decided to pay homage to those coaches who value the simple things such as dressing well. Here are ten of football’s smartest looking managers.
1. Roberto Mancini
The Italian has been setting the pace for years now. If it’s not well-styled scarves paired with long coats, it’s a suit and tie with a blazer held effortlessly over the shoulder. Mancini is a true touchline style icon. He keeps his work simple, but boy does he pull it off. The height of fashion.
2. Erik ten Hag
Manchester United have been lacking style and substance in just about every department for as long as we can all remember. Even if Erik ten Hag is unable to change that on the pitch, he’ll most definitely bring a sharp improvement to their touchline approach. Smart coats, scarves, suit pants and shirts – he’s a traditionalist, but he means business.
3. Pep Guardiola
One simply cannot be the best manager in the world without backing it up in the fashion department. Fortunately for Pep Guardiola, he absolutely does that. Not afraid to move away from the status quo of a suit and tie, the Manchester City boss throws in some tremendous outfits that involve cargo pants, t-shirts and even high-brow fashion pieces such as Stone Island jumpers, if he’s feeling fancy. Has to stand out, does Pep. And he does it well. Subtle, but very different.
4. Mikel Arteta
It’s all well and good praising Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal for being super slick at football now they’ve had the time to get a style of play bedded in, but what bought Arteta that time, exactly? A well thought footballing philosophy nurtured under Guardiola, combined with affiliation to the Gunners? No. The answer is fashion. He’s not silly, is Mr. Arteta. Understands the formula. Dresses smart, looks the part and is now reaping the rewards. The Gunners are on their way back and they’re doing it looking dapper.
5. Diego Simeone
Controversial one, this. Diego Simeone’s all black attire that so often dons the knockout stages of the Champions League actually isn’t the height of couture that he might think it is. He’s a strapping chap, though, and an even more entertaining manager to watch on those big European nights. Simeone without that black suit just feels wrong. He makes it work. Textbook Diego, it is.
6. Paul Tisdale
A first British entry, Paul Tisdale might be managing down in League Two with Stevenage, but his touchline attire is worthy of those Champions League lights. Honestly. Tisdale isn’t afraid to express himself in style, and has just about every accessory on offer to go with a varied selection of formal wear. Flat caps, hats, sunglasses, leather gloves, you name it. Bond villain levels of charisma.
7. Julian Nagelsmann
If Tisdale was in Germany, there’d be a lot of mutual respect between himself and Julian Nagelsmann. The Bayern Munich boss has made waves in the game for a variety of reasons, one being his nauseatingly intelligent understanding of football tactics for such a young coach. But that’s boring. The 34-year-old expresses his youth in a number of ways, freshening up the touchline with everything from cropped pants and t-shirts, to three-piece suits you’d expect to see on a red carpet.
8. Scott Parker
In a similar school to the one that Arteta has seemingly graduated from, Scott Parker hasn’t quite yet beaten the ‘is he good, or does he dress well?’ suggestions. He’s passed with flying colours in the fashion department, though. There might not be another person on the planet with a better, more unique rotation of coats and jackets than Parker. Premier League made.
9. Sinisa Mihajlovic
Not only is he a fine manager and an absolute warrior, Sinisa Mihajlovic outclasses just about everybody that he shares a touchline with. Often rocking a suave blazer and jumper combination, Mihajlovic wraps up for the cold with slick scarves, leather gloves, and a flat cap that very few would pull off. The icing on the cake, though, is his sneaker collection. The Bologna manager has a fine collection of sneakers, famously wearing a pair of Off-White Jordan 1 highs against Napoli in 2021.
10. Luis Enrique
Taking fashion to the international stage, Luis Enrique compliments his attractive, patient footballing philosophy with a subtle yet daring fashion sense. Not afraid to move away from the bores of a suit, Enrique regularly shows some ankle in cropped pants, pairing them up with a clean pair of sneakers and an often simple, sometimes expensive t-shirt or sweater.