What if..?

Andy Gray, the voice of the Premier League, is a typically eccentric Scotsman. Some of his most notorious lines include “Take a boo son” and “you don’t save those”. But what if the Sky Sports pundit had never picked up the microphone and had chosen a different career path instead, one which involved the catchphrase “Yeah baby, yeah”?

He would have fitted the role of an Austin Powers impersonator rather well, after all he’s always had a way with the ladies. With his flamboyant personality, Austin the impressionist would stick out from his surroundings just like the original. As for the hairy chest, that’s something we can only speculate upon.

It’s disturbingly easy though to imagine Gray in a crushed velvet suit and Beatle Boots. A decent wig and some large black frames would of course be required, but apart from that the similarities are striking.

Without Gray though, football just wouldn’t be the same. Although his hypercritical style can be irritating in the extreme, he has an undeniable passion and love for the game. And Steven Gerrard’s wonder goal against Olympiakos in 2005 just wouldn’t have been the same without Gray screaming: “Ahh yaa beauty…What a hit son, what a hit”.

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Argentina manager Diego Maradona has never shied away from the spotlight and he provided us with some classic moments on the touchline during World Cup 2010 in South Africa. The Argentina legend also had his moments during qualifying, most notably after a last minute victory against Peru when he danced across the pitch and then belly flopped on to the rain-sodden turf.

This got us thinking. What if Diego had become a part time disco dancer at the end of his playing days? He’s certainly got the moves and he’s no stranger to a good time either.

Maradona has a special swagger that would have made him the ultimate disco dancer.  Who wouldn’t want to see such a legend display his silky Latin moves on the dance floor? Finding a genre of music to fit his unique style may be a problem though.

One anthem that we can see him dancing the night away to is the Macarena, with both Maradona and the song having a huge cult following. The former Barcelona striker also has an uncanny resemblance to Antonio Romero Monge, one of the two singers in the band Los del Rio who made the Macarena such a hit.

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Jimmy Bullard is a refreshing change from an increasingly bland bunch of footballers. His personality is perhaps his most endearing feature and it’s clear that he just loves playing football. But what if he hadn’t  made it in the game he adores and had to take up a career in another sport, say, bullfighting?

Bullard has come across a bull-like beast in the past when playing for Wigan in 2008. After the Everton striker Duncan Ferguson had pummelled a team-mate to the floor, Bullard approached the Scotsman. Bemused by his antics, Jimmy glared nervously at Ferguson, seemingly unsure whether to laugh or cry.

On that evidence he may not be the best man for bullfighting, but his sparkling personality would make it a joy to watch.  Seeing a petrified Bullard, enticing a lethal bull to chase him round the ring would be a hilarious spectacle.

His cheeky and daring persona would surely not do him any favours either. He would naturally be intent on winding the bull up as much as possible in the hope that it would gore him somewhere unpleasant. Bullard’s commitment when playing football has led to countless injuries, so the scale of damage he would be susceptible to in a ring with a bull is rather frightening.

Bullfighting’s gain would undoubtedly be football’s loss though. What on earth would Soccer AM do on Saturday mornings without showing clips of Bullard’s bizarre mishaps? 

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If the self styled special one was English, there’s a pretty good chance that he wouldn’t be so damn special. The man’s arrogance comes from the certainty that at the end of the season he will be parading some sort of silverware around. But lately that’s not something that managers from England have much experience in. So what would Jose be like if he was English?

While not always being successful, the gold chain wearing, cigar smoking South Londoner, would still convince people to believe in his propaganda through his confident and forceful persona. A disciple of Harry Redknapp, Mourinho is a keen wheeler and dealer in the transfer market, who also has a passing interest in the motor trade. He often flogs buses to the opposition when they come to visit, but usually regrets it at about five o’clock on Saturday afternoon, when he moans about them parking the bloody thing in front of the goal.

In place of his quirky and mischievous personality is a sedate, sour and sarcastic man who is quietly fearful of the media’s capabilities. Never inclined to say or do anything controversial, Mourinho doesn’t like to over celebrate. Instead of haring wildly across the pitch to celebrate victory, a cack-handed fist pump usually suffices. 

Tommy Curran

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