The armchair is the real hotseat of football management

Neil Warnock

A new study of football fans has revealed how Brits are increasingly becoming armchair managers: from screaming tactics at the TV, to thinking about team matters during even the most intimate moments.

To offer some pre-season advice, TalkTalk TV has created the Armchair Managers Association, launching with a hilariously honest tutorial video by the experienced and outspoken Neil Warnock.

In the video, Warnock - ex-QPR, Crystal Palace, Leeds and Sheffield United gaffer - offers his expert advice to would-be football bosses, who watch their favourite team from the comfort of their sofa.

Famous for his own explosive touchline antics and a management career that has spanned more than 1,000 games, Warnock advises on everything from pre-match preparation, tactics, referees, disagreements and how talking to deer in Richmond Park helped him to unwind.

According to Warnock: "Whether you are watching from an armchair or in a dugout we all go through the same emotions. It's exactly the same for armchair managers as it is for us professionals, except you don't have to deal with a chairman, agents, players wearing headphones, FA Disciplinary Committees or Mark Clattenburg.

"At least with TalkTalk's Sky Sports Season Pass I don't have a long-term contract, if only it was that easy being a real-life manager."

As a nation of armchair managers it seems our passions are spilling over, with half of football fans admitting to screaming tactical instructions or motivational advice at the TV during games. A further one in four have stood up out of their armchair following a poor refereeing decision, while one in five has stormed out of the room after a bad result and one in ten fans celebrated a goal by running outside.

With the new season fast approaching, fans up and down the country are taking every opportunity to plan tactics, line-ups and compile fantasy teams during work (36%), in bed (25%) and on the loo (16%). One in 50 fans even admits to thinking about managing their team while making love – a figure that rises to one-in-20 in the North East of England.

With armchair fans adopting the behaviour of real managers during matches on the TV, fans were asked to choose the Premier League manager their armchair style most resembled. Making up the top spots were:

• The calm, thoughtful Eddie Howe of Bournemouth (16%)
• Liverpool's eccentric, passionate Jürgen Klopp (14%)
• The all-knowing, sarcastic, volatile nature of Manchester United's Jose Mourinho (13%)
• Leicester City's jolly, happy-go-lucky boss Claudio Ranieri (12%).

Aleks Habdank of TalkTalk TV, said: "We believe fans should be able to watch what they want, when they want, without breaking the bank that's why TalkTalk TV homes have access to every major televised football match - including all Premier League and Champions League fixtures – on a single platform.

"The Armchair Managers Association is a great way to recognise the millions of devoted football fans who watch at home, living and breathing every moment of the beautiful game."

Neil Warnock's Top 10 Tips to Armchair Managers:

1. Be optimistic – Everyone should start the season believing this is their year even if it all falls apart in the first minute of the first game.

2. Eat early – Eat a good few hours before the nerves kick in.

3. Go to the loo two minutes before kick off – Don't get caught short and miss a crucial piece of the action.

4. Avoid a fixture clash – There's no point preparing for a big game if the other half and the kids have taken a vote to watch Big Bang Theory.

5. Watch your language – Don't get sent to the spare room or fined by the other half as it will cost you a fortune.

6. Keep calm – Make sure you have a cushion handy so you can thump it if you have to.

7. Choose your viewing partner wisely – You wouldn't want me and Jurgen Klopp sat next to each other on the sofa.

8. Don't celebrate until the final whistle – You'll only end up with egg on your face.

9. Clear your head in-between games – Have hobbies, go for a walk or a bike ride among nature, or talk to animals (deer worked for me).

10. Enjoy it – The Premier League is the best in the world to watch at home (and be thankful you don't have to deal with chairmen or agents).

New and existing TalkTalk TV customers can take advantage of the Sky Sports Season Pass at a discounted price of £11 per month (from 1st August – 1st October 2016) for 9 months. TalkTalk TV homes also have access to BT Sport with no ongoing commitment meaning they can watch more sport than ever before, live on a single platform, whether it's for a tournament, a season or a full year of action.