Like everyone else, we were intrigued to see how Alan Shearer would handle the pressure of rejuvenating an ailing Newcastle United, but we were also interested in seeing what he would wear for his managerial bow.
Would he go for the tracksuit, boots and earpiece look? The monogrammed, quilted bench jacket? Or would he wear a suit and send out a firm message that he is a man who means business? The sharp grey suit he chose provoked different reactions in the Esquire office. Some argued that he had pulled off the lean, mean executive look. Others insisted the tightness of his trousers made him guilty of moonlighting as a budgie smuggler.
Esquire’s Executive Style Editor Mansel Fletcher let out an audible sigh of disdain: “The fundamental problem, from which all other problems stem, is that he is wearing a suit in an incredibly lightweight fabric, and though it probably has a price tag that reflects the fact it originates from a rare goat in Outer Mongolia, there is far too much creasing. You can see this in the knee area, his pocket and, unfortunately, his budgie.”
The perennial tightness of Shearer's suit trousers raises the wider question of why football programmes on both Sky and the BBC now make a habit of using low-level camera angles that appear to be designed to put the groin regions of the pundits directly in the eye-line of the viewers. Jamie Redknapp, a well-dressed gent who also appears to favour the tighter-fitting suit, and Ruud Gullit, who appears to be smuggling not only budgies but the cage and a year’s worth of trill, are just two of the victims of this new vogue for groin-cam.
“They would all be better off with a sturdy British cloth – a 14oz worsted, for example," says Fletcher. "Look at the picture of the Duke of Windsor (below), in this case wearing tweed, and compare the way his suit drapes to Shearer's lightweight abomination. Tweed is called sportswear for a reason and is therefore Esquire’s recommendation for all football managers.” Fletcher insists this is not his version of a ‘come and get me plea’ to the new man in charge at St James’s Park.