I have noticed this phenomenon mostly in football managers but may well be a world spread idea. If it such a huge tactical advantage to be chewing gum then I can see how it would have seeped far beyond the beautiful game. I’m not an avid follower of sports so do forgive any accidental ignorance in this write up.

Every time I have seen a football manager in times of stress in a football match, and as I only watch the World Cup, this isn’t very often. But every time I see them in times of stress they appear to be chewing gum. And quite often this seems to the tactic lauded by the great managers of the time. Thus I can only imagine that chewing gum helps you win matches. It might be ‘the look’ that you get from chewing gum. If you can pull it off, you look like a thoughtful God, if you can’t, well you look like something far less charming. Something between a cow and an excitable dog. This must be why you only ever see the more high ranking managers engaging in this time honoured tradition. They’ve obviously been trained in how to not look stupid when chewing gum.

The follow on from this of course is looking like a leader. The most important quality of being a leader is of course looking like one. Once there is a figurehead to follow, the troops can be rallied. And be rallied they will. Any successful team will tell you that they are more likely to follow a well meaning angry looking man chewing gum, than an angry looking man not chewing gum. You have to assert your authority. So chew on, great general, chew on.

You have more time to think about you are about to say if you are constantly chewing gum. It makes you look enigmatic when you’re almost wordless. Make sure that no one realizes that you’re only almost wordless because you actually don’t have anything worthwhile to say. Make them think you’re a great tactical genius by just, chewing. And look, look hard at the field of play. Then suddenly shout, that seems to be one of the most effective ways of letting your players know what’s going on. Perhaps use something from a play book, I’m led to believe that is how it works.

Chewing gum also gives the great impression that you, at any point, are about to accidentally spit your gum into someone’s face. I find this to be the most brilliant aspect of watching football managers who chew gum. The intense face that could turn to horror at any minute as one miss-timed shout turns into shooting a ball of chewing gum straight into one of their own players face. I haven’t ever seen it happen, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t ever going to happen now does it? Blind hope seems to be one of the most important aspects of watching football, so I don’t feel that I’m particularly alone in this. And hope is not something to be easily scoffed at.

In conclusion, I think that we can all agree that chewing gum gives an obvious tactical advantage in the game of football. But it is only effective if wielded by the right person, as with any special power. In the wrong hands it can be a massively flawed tactic. But I can honestly say, in good heart, that if you want to be a great football manager. Learn how to chew gum properly first.

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