Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was named as the team leader most fans aspire to be like, due to his playing style, football philosophy and touchline attire
Football fans would rather their team’s manager was honest than had a successful track record, according to research.
Although a “winning mentality” was voted the most important managerial asset, in a survey of 2,000 supporters, nearly three-quarters also said the manager had a duty to set a good example to the public.
More than half (57%) agreed football managers can be a force for good in society, including helping the local community (48%) and being sustainable (29%).
When it came to matters both on and off the field, there was a huge appreciation for Manchester City ’s Pep Guardiola, as well as Liverpool ’s Jurgen Klopp.
With the two teams closely matched on the pitch this season, research shows both managers are held in equally high regard by football fans.
According to fans, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have the most distinctive football philosophy (34% and 33% respectively), ahead of Tottenham ’s Antonio Conte (13%), who polled third.
However, in the north-west, where both Manchester City and Liverpool are based, it’s Pep Guardiola who comes out on top when it comes to who has the most attractive playing style (42%) – just ahead of Klopp (41%).
The City supremo’s smart-casual touchline attire (38%) is the managerial outfit of choice for fans around the country, beating a tracksuit (20%) and a suit (11%).
Guardiola is also the manager many fans in the north-west aspire to be like (29%), ahead of Klopp (28%).
And Londoners also think Guardiola plays the most attractive football in the league, just ahead of Klopp (both 27%) and Conte (17%).
The research, carried out by OnePoll, found nearly half the country’s football fans (47%) take an interest in managers speaking about topics outside football – compared to 27%, who said they did not listen to managers speaking about non-footballing matters.
It also revealed a third of football fans believe managers have a responsibility to speak out on issues around the environment (33%) and climate change (28%).
Those figures were higher among younger fans, who appear to want managers to speak out on societal issues.
Nearly two in five (39%) of 25- to 34-year-olds believed managers should speak out on the power of being eco-friendly.
And 36% of the same age group think managers should speak out about being sustainable.
The survey results follow a campaign recently launched by Nissan, “Be More Pep”, which features Guardiola on his drive to work in his all-electric Nissan Ariya, where he sees fans replicating the traits of their hero in their everyday lives.
Pep Guardiola said: “It’s nice to be recognised for playing good football – but the most important thing is to be honest, stick to your principles, and have a strong philosophy.
“I also try to set an example away from the pitch to players and fans in the way I live my life.
“As part of this I’m proud to drive an electric vehicle, which has zero emissions but is also great fun to drive.”
To see Pep Guardiola in action in Nissan’s “Be More Pep” campaign, visit here.
TOP 10 TRAITS FOOTBALL FANS WANT TO SEE FROM THE MANAGER IN CHARGE OF THEIR TEAM:
- A winning mentality (42%)
- Honesty (38%)
- A track record of success (37%)
- Promoting young players to the first team (35%)
- Strong ethics (34%)
- Someone who attracts brilliant players (31%)
- Someone with a distinctive football philosophy (28%)
- Someone with an attractive playing style (27%)
- Someone who will always defend his players (25%)
- Kindness (20%)