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Daniel Levy’s Imaginary (Managerial) Shortlist: Ted Lasso

I mean, why the hell not?

Subject: Let us help you! (Manager search)

Dear Dan,

Don’t read this email.

Yours etc.,

Dustin George-Miller
Cartilage Free Captain

The Basics

Name: Ted Lasso
Age: 47
Team: AFC Richmond
Nationality: Extremely American
Cumulative ELO rating: What’s an “ello”?

The Specifics


NCAA Football Division II National Championship (Wichita State)


When we talk about Ted Lasso, things like “tactics,” “formations,” and “a plan” are just concepts that don’t really apply. Ted understands football tactics in the same way I understand Sanskrit: those are definitely symbols on that cuniform tablet that mean something, and they’re probably important, but I couldn’t begin to tell you what they mean. And anyway, does it really matter? They’re old.

Lasso has no idea how to set up a formation, and he has a better idea of who killed Kennedy than what the offside rule is. His aversion to ties means his teams tend to overextend and can result in defensive frailty and lots of goals conceded. He is, however, an incredible innovator. Who else but a Division II gridiron coach could come up with trick plays such as The Sandman, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Loki’s Toboggan, The Dirty Martini, Midnight Poutine, and The Exorcist (about controlling possession). That’s not to mention, of course, the Lasso Special which was used to such great effect last season against Manchester City.

Lasso has incredible belief in his players to identify tactical situations and find solutions without his direct instruction (or even awareness). What tactical innovations that exist at Richmond were mostly derived by former assistant Nate Shelley before his departure, and now are the responsibility of Coach Beard and Roy Kent. Ted appears to be mostly there for the vibes, a “tactic” that backfired significantly in Lasso’s first season when he was relegated on the last day of the season, but which can prove impactful in certain circumstances

The loss of Shelley to West Ham this past summer seems to have been overcome by the inexplicable signing of Zava, who appears to be single-handedly catapulting Richmond up the table. How much of that is down to Lasso... is an open question that we may not know the answer to for a few more weeks.


Lasso is a master motivator and reader of the human condition. Behind that aw-shucks American optimism lies a person who really understands people, and who is able to find creative ways to fully unlock their potential. He believes in people, and even former people — ghosts just need to believe in themselves, you know? Lasso’s ethos is firmly centered not around Xs and Os, but around the players under his care. “For me, success is not about the wins and losses,” he said once. “It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field.”

That motivation extends to his interactions with the press, who despite being initially hostile to him have come around and see him as an authority figure worthy of respect, if not admiration. Lasso has also proven to be an introspective and honest leader, both traits that have served to defuse any potential negative press that has emerged from his actions, particularly with regards to his unorthodox coaching methods and his admission that he was struggling with anxiety and mental health.

Team building and motivation often doesn’t trump actual talent and ability on the field, but it does foster an incredible sense of team unity, and that unity can carry a team a long way. The man does love a locker room — it smells like potential. #Believe.


He already had the Spurs job once back in 2013. He was very bad at it.

The Verdict

Likeliness of being hired:

Slim to none. The way this season is going, Richmond is likely already heading for a likely title run behind Zava. Should that happen, what more is there for Lasso to do? The narrative of his tenure is such that I would be surprised if he would want to take on such a significant rebuilding job at Spurs after alienating Gareth Bale to the point where he was sold that same summer. My guess is, win or lose, Ted will take one final victory lap at Richmond and return to the States, either to a comfortable Division 1 college football job, or perhaps to the Chicago Fire who could really use some cheering up.

Grade if Hired: [redacted]

I want Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach Ted Lasso to come in every day and give me a big hug and a box of biscuits along with some of his folksy wisdom and tell me things are going to be okay. Under Lasso, Spurs’ football would be abysmal, but at least the club would go out like Willie Nelson — on a high.

He’s still a wanker, though.