The England manager's job is a position wrought with pressure, expectations, and stress. The nation's hopes and dreams are regularly channeled through one man and his squad of footballers, and the weight that the media place upon the manager's shoulders are sometimes all-too-much. England expects, after all.
Take Sam Allardyce. After just one game in charge of the Three Lions, Big Sam was shown the door after scandalous claims made in private, that saw the job demeaned, the team abandoned, and the fans divided.
Allardyce isn't the only one, either. Fans were pushed to their breaking point by lackluster performances under Roy Hodgson and his predecessor Fabio Capello, while the image of Steve McClaren and his umbrella as England crashed out of the Euro 2008 qualifying stages still lingers on in the minds of many.
In truth, the England job lends itself to some pretty dramatic and often comedic circumstances - from Sven Goran Eriksson's affairs to Glenn Hoddle's offensive remarks about the disabled, there never seems to be a dull day for the gaffer. Indeed, you couldn't make some of this stuff.
Except, you probably could. The exploits of an England manager go hand in hand with some of the absurd, ridiculous, and downright surreal things that some of our favourite fictional characters get up to, so here's a list of eight that could fit right in at Wembley, and how they'd handle the toughest job in English football...
8. Walter White
Everyone loves an inspirational story, and none are perhaps greater than that of Walter White’s. The former Chemistry teacher was diagnosed with cancer not long after his 50th birthday, but that only spurred him on to acquiring the top job in English football, something which his brilliant mind achieved with ease.
His ability to find the best in his players has already earned him praise from many; young Jesse Pinkman had only ever reached the lower echelons of League One, having been dropped from his last professional team, yet White called him up to the England squad and took him under his wing. The team have never looked back, although some have accused the coach of taking advantage of the young player for his own benefit.
On the pitch, White has made a huge amount of progress. Despite some initial doubts, the gaffer has transformed the entire footballing industry around him, from the radically different blue jerseys he insisted the team wear to the excellent standard of play that has attracted scouts from as far afield as Mexico. Jokingly referred to by the media as ‘Heisenberg’ (for his intellectual similarities to the quantum physicist of the same name), Walter White has England in the best shape they’ve been in for years.
The seemingly hum-drum guy exhibits an everyman-kind of charm, where his checkered shirts and furrowed brow cut a plain, if unremarkable sight on the touchline at England games. However, behind closed doors White has a mystique that football historians will write about for decades; stories of confrontation and manipulation frequently make the rounds, and rumours suggest that White will do anything to get ahead in order to provide for his family. This becomes further compounded during bizarrely intense pre-match interviews, where the manager will claim, “I am the danger,” and “I am the one who knocks”.
Hey, at least it’s not like he’s cooking meth, right?