As another Premier League weekend closed, there was more animation on the touchline than a Disney/Pixar collaboration.
Antonio Conte hung on the Stoke dugout like a zoo inhabitant after Gary Cahill’s late winner. Jurgen Klopp then partook in a highly charged high five with Pep at the Etihad, before the City manager dramatically fell to the ground when Sergio Aguero missed the chance to grab the winner.
Here are some of the latest entries from the current international directory of managerial behaviours…
1) THE MANAGERIAL FIST PUMP
Defined as an “involuntary gesture that you might do as a result of an unexpected little victory”, the mini fist pump is back with a bang. The celebration is favoured by Jurgen Klopp when trying to keep a lid on his full Panzer division of mental celebrations (witness the Anfield artillery charge down the touchline after a late equaliser in last season’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal).
This form of restrained joy is also the current preferred method of Jose Mourinho, as if desperately trying to remind himself that the Manchester United brand needs a less combustible approach. During his time at Aston Villa, Tim Sherwood owned the patent on the full throttle double handed fist pump, especially after he turned over his previous employers Tottenham in April 2015.
2) THE RONALD KOEMAN STYLE SMIRK OF CONTROL
Normally, Ronald Koeman gives the air of a man who has ice in his veins and an immunity to meltdowns. His victories at Southampton over old adversary Louis van Gaal were celebrated with a winning smile of cool revenge.
Koeman insists: “If the manager is nervous and shouting, if he is doing crazy things off the pitch, then how can you ask the players to stay calm on the pitch?”
However, we’ve noticed a slight change in this philosophy. The Dutchman ran down the touchline just a few months after an operation on an Achilles injury as Sadio Mane destroyed Liverpool with a second-half hat-trick last season.
3) THE RUN ALONG THE TOUCHLINE HAND SLAP, CONTE STYLE
Antonio Conte was already known for his wild antics as Italian national coach. After his charges scored against Spain in the 2016 Euros, Conte jumped onto the top of the dugout to celebrate and share the moment with the fans. When Diego Costa grabbed an 89th minute winner in his first game at Chelsea, the 47-year-old expressoed down the pitch, carrying out a large number of hand slaps with the home supporters before converting to his serious game face again. “Usually when my team plays I try to play with them,’ Conte said. “After games, I’m exhausted.” So are we, Antonio.
Former Blues coach Mourinho also jumped into the crowd after Fernando Torres scored in injury time to beat Manchester City in October 2013. Apparently, Jose was looking for his son but ended up celebrating with a fan called Terry instead. Funny that. The Portuguese said: “I aologise if they (Manchester City) feel I did something wrong.” Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini weren’t exactly as thick as thieves….
4) THE RAFA KEEP IT ALL IN LOOK
When Liverpool were smashing through European strongholds in the Champions League, taking a cudgel (and sometimes a Craig Bellamy golf club) from Milan to Barcelona, Rafa Benitez barely raised any eyebrow, as if any sense of public emotion would sabotage his carefully calculated tactical master plan. At one point, even ITV’s Clive Tyldesley implored Benitez to loosen up.
Rafa famously adopted the Buddha position when Liverpool knocked out Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals during a penalty shoot out in 2007. It created an aura of calm that translated to the players. Note his casual walk to the bench when Steven Gerrard scored that stunner against Olympiakos in 2004.
Even after two injury times goals which gave Newcastle a 4-3 win against Norwich, the Spaniard said: “Some people will jump or run or whatever, but I am happy inside because I think it’s something that’s difficult to achieve.”
5) THE PEP GUARDIOLA KICK AT SOMETHING IMAGINARY IN DISGUST ROUTINE
It seems like an age ago that Manchester City were collecting maximum points from their first six games. Even then, the Pep zone was getting a bit frenetic. When City were cruising against the Hammers at the beginning of the season, home keeper Willy Caballero dropped a clanger, and the former Barca boss subsequently kicked an imaginary cat high into the Etihad animal kingdom, such was his frustration. Well, on arrival, he did promise the “kick the a….” of his players to improve displays…
Nowadays, PG seems to have resorted to just crumpling on the floor whenever something goes wrong. Witness his reaction to Gabriel Jesus’s disallowed goal against Spurs.
6) THE ROTATING HAND SPIN
This was first patented by the late Graham Taylor when he was managing England in the early 90s. The frenetic hand spin, rotating one over the other in the manner of a fast tumble dryer setting, is designed to stop heads dropping after a fatal goal is conceded. It rarely works.
7) THE PARDEW/WENGER PUSH ‘N’ SHOVE
Forget Wenger’s touchline fracas with Jose Mourinho in October 2014 at Stamford Bridge. This one goes way back.
When Pardew’s West Ham stole a win in the 89th minute at Upton Park against the Gunners in 2006, Pardew appeared to give it the old “Bruce Forsyth” fist pump in Wenger’s direction. The Frenchman responded with a shove and a push to put Pards in his place.
Pardew obvously absorbed this educational lesson in playground bullying and placed an impolite hand on an assistant ref in 2012 when boss of Newcastle. He then upgraded this to a headbutt on Hull’s David Meyler in 2014 which landed him with a seven-game ban and a 100k fine by the club.
Wenger stuck to his tried and trusted P ’n’ S in January when Burnley were awarded a penalty at the Emirates and he was duly sent to the stands for four matches.