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Martin O'Neill is top of the league with UK dads


Britain's dads see themselves as Aston Villa manager, Martin O’Neil, when it comes to parenting, according to Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks. The "good guy of football" was top of the league with almost one fifth of dads favouring his management style as the best approach to fatherhood.

The new research by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks asked almost 4,500 football loving dads which famous football manager's style of management reflected their own style of parenting (see league table below).

O'Neill, who learned his management skills from the legendary Brian Clough, romped to the title with an 8 point lead over his nearest competitor, Arsene Wenger. Dads favoured O'Neill's ability to balance discipline with a supportive environment for self-expression and development.

It was a much more tightly fought battle in the "play-off" places, with just 2 points splitting 2nd, 3rd and 4th places in the league. Studious Arsene Wenger, Arsenal's most successful manager who is known for being very protective of his players in the face of criticism, narrowly pipped the youthful confidence of Barcelona's Josep "Pep" Guardiola by just one point. The country's most successful manager, boot-kicking stopwatch hawk, Sir Alex Ferguson and cockney, wheeler-dealer Harry Rednapp finished in joint 4th place.

In a result he will hope to see his newly promoted Blackpool side replicate, eccentric Ian Holloway secured mid-table safety. Staving off relegation on the last day of the season were Fabio Capello, the man with the weight of England's World Cup dreams on his shoulders, and newly appointed Real Madrid manager, Jose Mourinho. Capello's regimented approach and disciplinarian style found favour with just 4% of dads, while just 3% would proclaim themselves the greatest dad in the World, in the style of the "Special One".

It was relegation for former Tottenham boss, "Tinkerman" Claudio Ranieri, with just 1 point as UK dads do not like to interfere too much with their child's development. Crashing out of the league was Phil Brown, famed for his perma-tan, "interesting" dress-sense and berating his team at half-time in front of the fans. Not one of the dads surveyed admitting to being as embarrassing as the former Hull City manager.

Steve Reid, Retail Director for Clydesdale Bank, said: "As a nation obsessed by football, the dream of managing your favourite team is one of the best jobs in the world, but I'm sure all dads will agree that it doesn’t come close to being a father."

Father's Premiership league table

Position Name
1 Martin O’Neill – the good guy
2 Arsene Wenger – the calm guy
3 Pep Guardiola – the role model
4= Sir Alex Ferguson – the old school authoritarian
4= Harry Rednapp – the wheeler dealer
6 Ian Holloway – the eccentric guy
7 Fabio Cappello – the strong disciplinarian
8 Jose Mourinho – the special one
9 Claudio Ranieri – the "tinkerman"
10 Phil Brown – the embarassing one

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