Search your feelings, you know it to be true: every single Premier League boss has a direct counterpart in the sci-fi film saga...
If you came here for the cheap gag of us calling Big Sam Jabba the Hutt, prepare to be disappointed. We’re not here to mock. This nonsense is a galactic jump from the informed football insight FourFourTwo delivers (erm, right?) – but something has become clear.
Namely that the Star Wars universe has a stunning similarity to the Premier League managerial landscape at the end of 2017. There’s honorable Jedi, forces of darkness and of course everyone is vying to avoid being first in the Sa[rla]ck race.
“Do you mind? I’m still trying to digest Tim Sherwood”
So – with a note to say this is written before The Last Jedi, so if anyone in the new film ends up being sacked from the First Order and sentenced to manage Sunderland we won’t be up to date with it – let’s ride.
Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger: C3PO
Oh my! These two rusty professors have been around for ages and are always central to the story. Both are fluent in over six million forms of communication, but get a bit flustered when faced with heavy incoming fire. One physically loses their head and babbles incoherently, while the other is a golden robot butler.
Despite their flaws, we love both deeply - though some wish they’d listen a bit more to chrome-domed sidekick R2-BoulD2 as he beeps away on the touchline.
Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe: Rey
From humble beginnings, fresh-faced youngsters have risen to improbable heights to become the last hopes of a dying order (be that Jedi Knights or Young English Managers). They want to do things the right way; scything their way through defences rather relying on crude blasters – and both have sought out an old master's help. Let’s just hope the craggy island version of Luke Skywalker has kept himself in the same nick as Jermain Defoe.
Brighton’s Chris Hughton: Finn
Simply, the person you’d most want as your best mate in the Star Wars or Premier League universes. These two underdogs can look a bit outgunned and cautious in the face of danger, but they always display heart and integrity, win or lose. Now; just commit more men forward at set pieces and we’d love you even more (advice for Finn there, clearly).
Burnley’s Sean Dyche: Admiral Ackbar
"It's an offside TRAP!"
Orange-headed tactical masterminds who badly need a throat lozenge, this pair know all about fighting the odds. One of them is trying to take down the likes of Man City armed only with Scott Arfield and Ashley Barnes, while the other is trying to blow up a Death Star with ragtag rebels.
In truth, both are doing a superb job – although we do wish Admiral Dyche would stop grumbling about a lack of opportunities for amphibious Mon Calamari managers.
Chelsea’s Antonio Conte: Kylo Ren
Credit to the powerful Sith Lord who owns Chelsea; just when you think think he’s run out of evil genius apprentices, a new one emerges. This one has the added bonus of being furious and charismatic with a (totally convincing) mane of thick dark hair.
Frankly, Ren and Conte are so good that they make the dark side look cool, while also giving the impression they’d torch a village and stab a relative with a laser sword in exchange for three points.