Erik ten Hag's flat cap has made a comeback this winter. Photo: PA/Owen Humphreys
Dear Manchester United, please don't ban What I'm about to say is that Erik ten Hag looks a bit silly in his new hat. Forget about disgusting players, have you seen the condition of this flat cap?
The United manager apparently misunderstood his side's visit to Newcastle United last Saturday, which was not a Premier League match, Ten Haeg said. there was a masquerade party with a “northern theme”. He watched his team lose in the technical area at St James' Park but looked as if he would rather be at home snacking on Peaky Blinders.
Headdresses like these ruin a Cheltenham celebration and ruin the lucky lord on your bottle of Madry. David Beckham has a lot to answer for. This is likely the same cap Ten Hag wore last April ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against Brighton and the league match against Nottingham Forest. Both were wins, so it's clearly a lucky cap, although she was rested as United recovered from their win over Chelsea on Wednesday night.
Unfortunately, now is not the time for Ten Hag to come up with any then bold fashion tricks. Since the days of Steve McClaren's damned umbrella, any manager who dares to be different in what he wears or what accessories he uses is surrounded and suppressed by a bunch of angry fans.
Indeed, here too I criticize my own limitations. , it's a shame. What makes us better is the variety of clothing choices on the touchline. There have been great flat cap fans in football in the past, none more so than Jim Smith. Equally astonishing, although less successful, was Frank Burrows, West Brom's assistant manager in 2004, on loan from 1956.
The flat cap is a less visible piece of headgear on Premier League pitches these days, although West Brom's Frank Burrows was Fan Photo: Action Images/Michael Regan
Tony Pulis' baseball cap was so evil it was so integral part of his image is that he wore it when rendered in Fifa 18, with a suit underneath. And you can't say “Fedora” without thinking “Malcolm Ellison”, at least in some pubs in the Selhurst area.
Tony Pulis liked the baseball cap. Photo: Getty Images/Lindsey Parnaby
There is now an almost complete flattening of styles on the sideline. Managers dress subdued, falling into one of two main camps. Half opt for what might be called “smart casual,” with skinny trousers, a fitted T-shirt, expensive knits and shoes they can't decide whether they're for a wedding or a run. Another aesthetic is best described as “club store trolley.”
Eddie Howe prefers his club's official outerwear on match days. Photo: Getty Images/Serena Taylor
Managers seem afraid to do anything that would mark them out as unusual, or worse, to think outside of football. Therefore, few people risk their clothes. This is in keeping with the current state of football as a whole, a sport that has reached the “I Love Big Brother” stage, in which “Big Brother” is a well-practiced game plan for counter-pressing with inverted defenders.
Of course, there is an exception, and like many modern British footballers, that is Pep Guardiola. His success on the pitch means he can wear whatever he likes, although records show we beat him too two years ago when he wore a City jacket roughly the size of Rochdale's Spotland Stadium.
Pep Guardiola's style is his own. Photo: Getty Images/Michael Regan
The question is how we might view Ten Hag's flat cap if he was a consistent winner. What earned him praise last year is now being used against him. He was a serious man who successfully got rid of the disruptive Cristiano Ronaldo. Now he is a mindless stubborn man who has recklessly ousted Jadon Sancho. But a few more results like Tuesday's and he can afford to push the boat out. Lock up your Stetsons.