Boskamp was Stoke’s manager for a season a couple of years ago, an iterregnum between two bouts of Tony Pulis. Here is an extract on him from the current work-in-progress.
For all his flakiness, I never heard Boskamp barracked, though home attendances dipped slightly: some were too disgusted and embarrassed to set eyes on him as he sulked in the dugout. That was their decision, though they missed certain highlights, like the time he nodded off for ten minutes during a second half. That is the sort of thing from which I derive pleasure, because for a great deal of the time Championship football, as the old second division has come to be called, is neither very accomplished nor particularly riveting. The principal characteristic of the game as played at that level is functionality. Managers who fall out with people and who fall asleep in dugouts at least provide a distraction, of a sort, from that. My admiration for Boskamp was based on his not being a dullard: life is tedious enough without football mangers joining in. I reviled Pulis for being the temperamental opposite of Boskamp. The last thing you want as you approach your weekly live fix is the knowledge, the foregone conclusion, that the match will turn out to be completely predictable because your manager only does the one same thing week after grinding week, month by dismal month.