Rethink, reskill, reboot: Five football folk and their new careers

    Date published: Wednesday 14th October 2020 12:55

    Mauricio’s next job could be in Manchester (he just doesn’t know it yet)

    It shows you just how tough the current job market is – what with Brexit and the rona and all – that even a football manager as qualified as Mauricio Pochettino cannot find work. He appears to have all the necessary skills and qualifications to be Manchester United manager, apart from one: he has never played for Manchester United and thus lacks the United DNA crucial to make a success of the job.

    Based on the current incumbent, this is in fact the only qualification required for the job. Pochettino therefore needs to undergo a short retraining programme that will enable him to become a Manchester United player and acquire that all-important DNA. Yes, he may be 48 years old now – which is traditionally considered quite old for a player at the elite level – but he is also technically a free agent, and probably quicker on the turn than Harry Maguire.

    The only other alternative is some kind of Jurassic Park scientific wizardry in which the mad boffins get so caught up in whether they could inject Phil Jones DNA into a former Tottenham manager that they never stop to consider whether they should.

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    The experiment is an affront to nature and God and places in our hands the kind of power that mankind has shown itself time and time again to be ill-equipped to handle or control, but does produce a marked uptick in United’s results.


    Dele’s next job could be in TV (he just doesn’t know it yet)

    Coronavirus is killing off all sorts of jobs. Mainly the ones that bring anyone a moment’s joy or escape or relief from the crushing reality of the idiots’ hellscape we have created. All sorts of careers are no longer viable: musician, actor, dancer, comedian, traditional number 10 who doesn’t really occupy a fixed position in modern high-pressing formations but rather floats in and out of games looking for pockets of space to exploit.

    Sadly for Dele Alli, his football career does appear to be doomed. We cannot save every job. Luckily, he has already demonstrated a gift for saying sort of amusingly whimsical off-kilter things when seemingly only half-aware that he is being filmed. Whether that’s about how to brush your teeth, which chocolate bars are good, or how shit Jose Mourinho’s long-ball tactics are.

    He will need little retraining having showcased these skills as recently as last month, building on his excellent work with Eric Dier on Celebrity Gogglebox. Indeed, those two becoming full-time Goggleboxers has the added advantage of nipping in the bud Dier’s laudable but flawed insistence on retraining as a centre-back for a top-six club and also England.


    Mesut’s next job could be in dinosaur protection (he just doesn’t know it yet)

    The harsh reality is that the economic viability of many jobs was already under the microscope long before the Covid. Does it really make financial sense in the current or indeed any climate to pay someone several hundred thousand pounds a week to occasionally sit on a bench wearing a tracksuit?

    With a very small amount of retraining, Mesut Ozil could turn his fondness for saving man-made dinosaurs from extinction into a full-time role at the Dinosaur Protection Group, a group of wide-eyed idealists whose noble yet flawed plans to save these creatures are co-opted by a small cabal of evil, wealthy narcissists, with disastrous consequences, which definitely doesn’t serve as an allegory for anything happening in the real world at the moment.


    Marcus’ next job could be in politics (he just doesn’t know it yet)

    As well as playing football for Manchester United and England, Marcus Rashford MBE has managed to do what so many people in full-time politics have not and make a tangible positive difference to the lives of those most vulnerable. Imagine what he could do were he to take up such a role full time.

    First, of course, he would need to undergo extensive retraining in order to remove the likability, humility, work ethic and passion for helping others that would currently hold him back.


    Jordan’s next job could be at the circus (he just doesn’t know it yet)

    You know, like a juggler. Because he fumbles drops balls quite a lot of time. You know, Jordan Pickford. Goalkeeper. Keeps making mistakes. Yeah. Everton, that’s right. Even though juggling actually involves mainly catching balls repeatedly. Dunno.

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