The men of mode
I get all my fashion tips from TV. And as all I watch on TV is the footer, ergo, my wardrobe is football-related.
Obviously I am too old to dress like a footballer - not got the thighs, the pecs, the money, nor time hanging heavily every afternoon with nothing for me to do except visit boutiques.
My neck is still pretty good, though I say it myself, so naturally I wear a snood in that parky weather till it gets a bit hot. I dunno how players last 90 mins in them without sweating like pigs.
Our modern players are such jessies, such drips, that I am surprised they don't resort to Babygros when it gets really cold. Or just stay in the dressing room by the radiator till spring. I'm sure that that's what their mums advise.
It's the managers who are my role models, though I cannot aspire to look like the Premier's Most Dapper Manager. "And who is that?" you cry. Why, Mark Hughes of Fulham, of course. What a contented tailor he must have. His suits are always immaculate, his shirts sparkling, his ties in perfect position. I can study him for ages. I like to think that it is a reflection of his character - neat and tidy and proper as he goes about all his business.
Arsène Wenger is also neat in his suit and tie, but then he has the figure, tall and thin with an 18-inch waist.
Fergie is usually neat and suited, but he often ruins it with a zip-up cardy if it's freezing. Frankly, this does not flatter the fuller figure, nor does it bring out his true skin tone, which is, er, flushed. It shows that he doesn't care what people think - which is also his managerial style.
Big Sam Allardyce tried hard: always in his suit, presumably put on with a struggle, and a clean shirt. Well, it would start off clean but he'd soon forget. The tie would slip, his collar would fly and, by the time he left the stand for the dugout or, even worse, to be interviewed after the game, he would be a right mess.
Steve Bruce is also unfortunate in the kempt department but he clearly doesn't care. Perhaps that's why he's doing so well.
By far the worst is Owen Coyle of Bolton. Oh my Gawd, I have to avert my eyes. What is he wearing? Surely he could afford a designer tracksuit or one from the club shop, but he insists on what looks like rip-off, street-stall gear made by child labour in some sweatshop.
Sparky and Arsène might be ace dressers, but they are traditional rather than stylish. For that, we have to look to the Italians.
Mancini is so cool in his three-quarter-length jacket and well-cut hair, but my hero is Roberto Di Matteo of West Brom. A few weeks ago, he appeared on the touchline in a black jacket, black waistcoat, grey trousers and grey scarf - all odd items, by the look of them, but so carefully put together.
One Monday morning, I rushed down to Kentish Town and searched the charity shops. Got a black jacket for £5 and a grey waistcoat for £3. I'm wearing them as I type, plus my wife's grey scarf, draped casually. What a dude.