SPFL Managers XI: Which bosses would form Scotland's "gaffers select" team?
"[Steven Gerrard] would walk into that Rangers team. He’d run it. He’d boss it. He’d be humble and say no… but he’s still in his thirties. If he put his boots on against Celtic, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if they won and he got the winner."
So said Danny Murphy, echoing the claims that legions of keyboard warriors and pub drunks have been making since last May.
The rational reaction to Murphy's pointless claim should be an eye-roll, a click of the mute button, a turn of the page. But the ex-Liverpool midfielder's claim got us thinking, what would an SPFL manager's XI look like?
Here's what we came up with:
Goalkeeper, Tommy Wright
Tommy Wright earns our SPFL manager's XI number 1 shirt by default (just don't tell him that).
The Northern Irishman is the only SPFL manager who spent his playing career between the sticks, embarking on a nomadic career which saw him play for Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest and Manchester City.
Centre back, Craig Levein
The former Hearts and Cowdenbeath centre-back earns a place in our squad so that fans can enjoy his pre and post-match press conferences more than anything.
We decided not to hand Levein the captain's armband for fear that he would appoint himself manager and utilise the abundance of former central midfielder managers on offer to implement a 4-6-0.
Centre back, Ian Murray
Airdrie manager Ian Murray gets the nod over fellow centre back Gary Caldwell who has been left in charge of team bonding months after his decision to take the Partick Thistle side on an SAS training day. The outing reduced some players to tears.
Caldwell also earns a place on the bench to step in when Murray inevitably picks up an injury.
Left back, Paul Heckingbottom
Hibs' current boss Paul Heckingbottom slots into the left-back position of our SPFL manager's XI.
The Barnsley-born manager played at full-back for Norwich, Darlington, Sheffield Wednesday and Bradford before moving into management. The Easter Road man reportedly boasts BSCs and MScs in Sports Coaching and we hope this intelligence rubs off on his fellow player-managers.
Right back, Robbie Neilson
Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson earns the right back title in our boss side.
In his pomp Neilson possessed a throw-in ability that Rory Delap could only dream of.
Central midfield, Steven Gerrard (captain)
Of course, Steven Gerrard is first on the teamsheet.
In fact we reckon if he put his boots on against Celtic, it wouldn’t surprise us in the slightest if Rangers won and he got the winner.
We reckon he’d run it. He’s boss it. He’d be humble and say no… but he’s still in his thirties!
Central midfield, Neil Lennon
Admittedly selecting Lennon alongside Gerrard could cause problems given their allegiances.
But it's worth the risk for the touchline celebrations, tantrums and theatre.
Left midfield, Jim McIntyre
Jim McIntyre played much of his career up front, but was also utilised on the left midfield, hence his place in our side.
Beggars can't be chooses though; being played out of position in a ragtag SPFL manager's eleven is surely more appealing than managing a side who have won just three times in 24 fixtures under McIntyre.
Right midfield, Kevin Harper
With three league wins on the bounce, Albion Rovers are no longer favourites to finish bottom of Scotland's fourth tier, and Kevin Harper is the man behind the turn in form.
We do have slight concerns over whether John Robertson - one of our chosen strikers - would be able to keep up with the former Hibs flyer.
Striker, Stevie Crawford
Dunfermline's manager racked up more than 150 goals during his career, turning out for the likes of Hibs, Raith and his current employers.
The striker played alongside Jim McIntyre during his second spell at Dunfermline and we're hopeful that they can rekindle their partnership which saw them score - *checks notes* - eleven goals in two seasons.
Striker, John Robertson
The Hammer of Hibs completes our 11-man lineup after he proved his fitness by wildly celebrating a Scottish Cup Quarter-final winner for his side, Inverness Caley, recently.
With 229 goals in 569 appearances, we're confident that the Hearts legend can lead our manager's XI to glory.