Manager Appointment Standing Committee
The Football Association
Wembley Stadium
PO Box 1966

Dear Sir Greg and everyone at the FA,

I write again to apply for the position recently vacated by Sam Allardyce.  I have lit a candle for him and sent him an invoice, as he would have wanted.

Since you most likely have my CV on file since the last time I applied for the position and the four previous applications I have made, I shan’t burden you with it here.

Suffice it to say my GCSEs (4A*s, 4As, 2 Bs and a C) and my A-Levels (B,B,C) have ensured that I can tell the difference between a Sheikh from a country which does exist from a man with a teatowel on his head from a country which doesn’t.  This will be helpful in our future deliberations.  Further, I have learned recently to begin every conversation with someone unknown to me with the phrase “if you’re from a national newspaper, please realise that everything I say from this point on is a colourful, whimsical comedy routine and not to be taken seriously.”  However, unlike Roy Hodgson, I will begin every conversation with players with the phrase “please realise that everything I say from this point on is an instruction or direction as a football coach and not to be confused with a colourful, whimsical comedy routine.” Every conversation I begin with Gareth Southgate will begin “Hello Gareth, how is it in the West Country?”

Since my last application, my approach to football has changed slightly.  Whilst I still favour putting the fast, wiry men with decent ball control on the flanks, the surly psychopaths with gambling and cocaine addictions to the back of the field and the hyperactive cretins with narcissistic personality disorder at the front wearing the 9 and 10 shirts, I have recently determined that the best place for people called Southgate is somewhere in the West Country (see above) and that Alan Shearer should be employed to shout pithy epithets at the group of millionaires we have assembled to represent the country in what is our national sport.

I would, as manager, bring some new disciplinary ground rules to the training regime.  First of all, no player would be allowed to arrive in a car which cost more to purchase than a small housing estate. Second, no player would be allowed to bring pro-forma contracts, fake passports, disguises or golf clubs to training. Thirdly, any player passing to Wayne Rooney would be sent to the reserves.  Wayne Rooney is to be employed totemically only from now on.  If a ball happens to ricochet off him into a net and put him on the score sheet, we will take that disappointment stoically.  He will be played in every match until 2024 for the full regulation ninety minutes and serve as a lesson to other players.

I would employ Paul Gascoigne as the team trouble shooter. In the event of any family crisis or problem for a player, Paul would be summoned with some chicken and a fishing rod to stare wistfully at the player until he returns to full fitness.

In all, I think you can see my absolute seriousness in my application. I know the offside rule, I know that they’re “referee’s assistants” and not “linespersons” and that the flag they hold is not a signal for a slice of Battenberg Cake.

I hope this application is successful.  I believe I have Des Lynam’s endorsement, but he won’t return my calls.  Did you know he was born in Ennis, Co Clare?  Blew my fucking mind.

Ben Archibald