Premier League Diary: New Year’s resolutions for all 20 managers, revealed

Unless you bought our book from two years ago — in which case you know everything worth knowing — you may not be aware that Premier League managers are contractually obliged not just to make New Year’s resolutions, but to submit them to the Premier League. They are then locked in a safe until the end of the season, at which point all the managers meet up, get drunk, and laugh at one another’s hopes and dreams.

You might accuse us of recycling a tired riff. The police might accuse us of breaking and entering. But information, like Juan Mata, just wants to be free, and so it is that we can present to you all 20 of this year’s managerial resolutions, for your reading pleasure. Happy New Year.

Arsene Wenger: “Everything’s working. It’s all just working. Even Olivier scored. I’m touching nothing. Nobody move. Steve, sit back down. Nobody move.”

Claudio Ranieri: “Send more drawings of cocks and balls.”

Manuel Pellegrini: “Assuming the inevitable happens, then it’ll be a quick one-two of winning the league, then hiding a large salmon down the back of the radiator. Tiki-taka that, Pep.”

Mauricio Pochettino: “I will continue to play entertaining football with an exciting young team. I will qualify for the Champions League. I will resist overtures from larger clubs over the summer. I will do nothing to alter the fact that I have a really rather dull public persona, which means that when it comes to lighthearted and whimsical Diary features, my entries tend to be a bit rubbish.”

Louis van Gaal: “Still here, you bastards! Still here! They tried to break me! They tried to beat me! They tried to replace me! But I’m still here, and I’m going nowhere, and I’m going to do … er, I’m going to do whatever Wayne tells me to do. Yes, Wayne. Sorry, Wayne.”

Slaven Bilic: “This year. This year, I’ll do it. This year, I’ll properly nail the solo from Stairway.”

Alan Pardew: “Bamford down. Zaha and Jedinak to go. By the end of the season, I will be the most handsome man at Crystal Palace, or I’ll have taken everybody else out with me.”

Jurgen Klopp: “Just one cupboard left to clear out. How many envelopes does one man need?”

Quique Sanchez Flores: “I’ve just noticed. We’re nicknamed the Hornets, but we’ve got a … what is that? A moose? Why is there a moose on our badge? Might look into this.”

Mark Hughes: “It’s getting a little unwieldy, so rather than just simple alphabetization, it’s time to reorganize the List of Enemies by genre. Will need to buy some new stationery. Or is it stationary? I can never remember.”

Roberto Martinez: “I’ll be honest, I find this tradition slightly unnerving. As long as everybody has a pleasant year and enjoys themselves, what does it matter whether we’re right or wrong? Winning or losing isn’t the point. It’s about personal growth. It’s about happiness. I just hope we all end the season smiling.”

Tony Pulis: “Finish above Stoke. Obviously. Also, I’m thinking it might be time to expand my style palette. Perhaps a flat cap.”

Ronald Koeman: “This has to stop. I will talk to somebody. I went to the toilet the other day and we’d flogged off all the toilet paper, then when I got back to my office somebody had sold my chair. I tried to ring somebody about it, but they’d sold my phone too.”

Guus Hiddink: “If it’s not too late, I’d like to delete Jose’s submission — “SACK THEM. SACK THEM ALL. SACK THE CORNER FLAGS.” — and put in something else. ‘Not get relegated,’ that’ll do.”

Alex Neil: [No, no, just can’t picture him. Scottish, I think. Possibly bald? Maybe just put something about Delia Smith in here. It’s not like anybody knows anything else about Norwich.]

Eddie Howe: “There is space on this shirt for at least four more sponsor logos, and that is my white whale.”

[Swansea City’s manager]: [Who on earth is in charge of Swansea City at the moment? Is it Bielsa yet?]

Steve McLaren: “More work on the accent. If I haven’t got ‘Why aye, man’ down by the time I get sacked, I can only view this season as a failure.”

Sam Allardyce: “The England job.” [Note: We believe that Sam Allardyce has submitted the same piece of paper every year since his first in the Premier League. It is now very creased, smudged, and ever so slightly yellow.]

Remi Garde: “Find the receipt.”

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