FOOTBALL fans would rather their manager was honest than had a successful track record, according to research.
And although a 'winning mentality' was voted the most important managerial asset in a survey of 2,000 supporters, nearly three quarters also said he or she had a duty to set a good example to the public.
More than half (57 per cent) agreed football managers can be a force for good in society, including helping the local community (48 per cent) and being sustainable (29 per cent).
When it came to matters both on and off the field, there was a huge appreciation for Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, as well as Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp.
With the two teams closely matched on the pitch this season, research shows both managers are held in equally high regard by football fans.
According to fans, Klopp and Guardiola have the most distinctive football philosophy (34 and 33 per cent respectively), ahead of Tottenham’s Antonio Conte (13 per cent), who polled third.
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However, in the north west, where both City and Liverpool are based, it’s the Spaniard who comes out on top when it comes to who has the most attractive playing style (42 per cent), just ahead of his Reds counterpart (41 per cent).
The City supremo’s smart-casual touchline attire (38 per cent) is the managerial outfit of choice for fans around the country, beating a tracksuit (20 per cent) and a suit (11 per cent).
Guardiola is also the manager many fans in the north west aspire to be like (29 per cent), ahead of Klopp (28 per cent).
Londoners also think the Catalan tactician plays the most attractive football in the league, just ahead of the Liverpool boss (both 27 per cent) and Conte (17 per cent).
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The research, carried out by OnePoll, found nearly half the country’s football fans (47 per cent) take an interest in managers speaking about topics outside football, compared to 27 per cent who said they did not listen to managers speaking about non-footballing matters.
It also revealed a third of football fans believe managers have a responsibility to speak out on issues around the environment (33 per cent) and climate change (28 per cent).
Those figures were higher among younger fans, who appear to want managers to speak out on societal issues.
Nearly two in five (39 per cent) of 25 to 34-year-olds believe managers should speak out on the power of being eco-friendly.
And 36 per cent of the same age group claim managers should speak out about being sustainable.
The survey results follow a campaign recently launched by Nissan, “Be More Pep”, which features Guardiola on his drive to work in his all-electric Nissan Ariya, where he sees fans replicating the traits of their hero in their everyday lives.
Pep Guardiola said: “It’s nice to be recognised for playing good football, but the most important thing is to be honest, stick to your principles and have a strong philosophy.
"I also try to set an example away from the pitch to players and fans in the way I live my life.
"As part of this I’m proud to drive an electric vehicle, which has zero emissions but is also great fun to drive.”
To see Pep Guardiola in action in Nissan’s “Be More Pep” campaign, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDiE8szD_UQ
TOP 10 TRAITS FOOTBALL FANS WANT TO SEE FROM THE MANAGER IN CHARGE OF THEIR TEAM:
1. A winning mentality (42 per cent)
2. Honesty (38 per cent)
3. A track record of success (37 per cent)
4. Promoting young players to the first team (35 per cent)
5. Strong ethics (34 per cent)
6 . Someone who attracts brilliant players (31 per cent)
7. Someone with a distinctive football philosophy (28 per cent)
8. Someone with an attractive playing style (27 per cent)
9. Someone who will always defend his players (25 per cent)
10. Kindness (20 per cent)
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