Thursday 29 September 2016

The Special One, Old Big 'Ed, Bald Eagle and other memorable football nicknames

Published 09/10/2015 | 14:26

Jurgen Klopp referred to himself as
Jurgen Klopp referred to himself as "The Normal One" during his first press conference as Liverpool manager

New Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has swiftly ensured he will be referred to by a certain nickname during his time in the job after the German declared himself the "Normal One" at his official unveiling at Anfield on Friday morning.

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Here, Press Association Sport looks at other football managers who have become forever associated with an alternative moniker.

JOSE MOURINHO - THE SPECIAL ONE

Klopp made his humble declaration in response to a question that referred to Mourinho's first press conference as Chelsea boss in 2004, where the Portuguese famously said: "Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one."

He did indeed have a Champions League title on his CV at that point with Porto, and has subsequently proved pretty special by securing various pieces of silverware, including three Premier League crowns with Chelsea and the European trophy another time with Inter Milan.

BRIAN CLOUGH - OLD BIG 'ED

Another man you could say had some confidence in his own ability.

We'll let Clough explain himself: "I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one."

CLAUDIO RANIERI - THE TINKERMAN

Mourinho's predecessor as Blues boss has a somewhat less-glamorous sobriquet, relating to his habit of rotating the Chelsea team.

The Italian seems almost determined to fight against it in his current role as Leicester manager, notably making very few adjustments to his line-up so far.

TERRY VENABLES - EL TEL

Venables became known as 'El Tel' during a three-year spell in charge of Barcelona in the 1980s, but the nickname followed him home when he returned to these shores to manage Tottenham and later while leading England to the semi-finals of Euro '96.

LOUIS VAN GAAL - THE IRON TULIP

A quite dignified-sounding nickname, although not one the Manchester United boss thinks is accurate any more it seems.

The Dutchman said shortly after taking the United job: "I do not like (the nickname) because I am not like that. A tulip is beautiful but iron is saying something about my personality that is wrong - I am fair to everyone. I have now more patience because that is not my best virtue."

BIG RON (ATKINSON)/SAM (ALLARDYCE)/PHIL (SCOLARI)/JACK (CHARLTON)/ECK (ALEX McLEISH)

All men, like Van Gaal, with large personalities and considerable physical presence who are generally not to be messed with are bestowed this handle. Although Scolari does look quite cuddly at times.

JIM SMITH - THE BALD EAGLE

Along similar lines. A stern-looking figure. With very little hair.

ARSENE WENGER - THE PROFESSOR

Many would argue the Frenchman has the look of an academic - he has always come across as a studious character - and he has certainly taught the English game a thing or two about quality football since becoming Arsenal boss in 1996.

MANUEL PELLEGRINI - THE ENGINEER

This one has a literal context - Manchester City's Chilean manager does have an actual engineering qualification. But he is also regarded as someone who knows how to build at a football club. And while he has had plenty of tools and resources available to in his current post, it is hard to argue he has done anything other than a fine job of constructing a title-winning side.

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