Don’t worry lads, no-one’s expecting you to compete

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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Compare these two scenarios from the world of football.

Former England manager Steve McClaren was once dubbed the wally with the brolly after committing what some people viewed as the cardinal sin of using an umbrella in the rain during a match.

Despite the fact that wet stuff was falling from the sky at the time, fans expected him to get damp rather than bring out that tool people the world over rely on to stay dry.

Meanwhile, there’s a Roberto Mancini Scarf Appreciation Society set up on Facebook in tribute to the sartorial splendour of the Manchester City manager and what he drapes around his neck.

I’m sure if Roberto wants to pull out a light-weight, foldable umbrella during a game, no fan will snigger.

Hey, when you favour a stylish mac over the kind of portable sleeping bag others wear, what else are you supposed to do?

Somehow, blokes like Mancini and Jose Mourinho have managed to give a sport normally associated with tracksuits and thick socks a bit of catwalk credential.

And that’s because when it comes to fashion, European blokes are just head and shoulders above the rest.

You only have to take one look at Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas to swoon at the way that man can pull an outfit together.

To be honest, I’m not sure Pompey’s Michael Appleton would feel at ease with a Milan-inspired makeover. Clearly the club and its fans have got bigger things to worry about than what the manager is wearing at the moment.

But all non-football managing English blokes could learn one valuable lesson from your ever-so stylish continental counterparts – we don’t actually expect you to compete.

Secretly we love your shabby dress sense and unkempt appearance. Beards are fine by us, so long as you don’t stray into dangerous designer stubble territory.

There’s actually something deeply unsettling about an Englishman who likes to carry a bag.

If you’re a bloke and your pockets aren’t pushed out of shape – or your wife’s not complaining because her handbag is full of your belongings – you’re skating on thin ice.