EWB’s Championship Manager Scotch Whisky XI

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Many of us have suddenly found ourselves with a lot of time on our hands during this lockdown. Some have been learning how to draw or paint, others have been brushing up on their gardening skills. More than a few (myself included) have been indulging their nostalgic side and getting back into retro video games, primarily late nineties and early noughties Championship Manager. For those unfamiliar with the game, it’s a football management simulator where you take over as the manager of a team, select your best line up, preferred formation and tactics, and play a whole season in the hope of winning some silverware, or in my case, simply avoiding relegation.

The resurgence of this game over the past fortnight gave me an idea. What would Scotch whisky’s first eleven look like if we swapped out classic players from this era and replaced them with icons of our industry? After many, many hours of obsessing over the line up (I’m not kidding), let me introduce to you my Championship Manager Scotch Whisky XI…

The Gaffer
We’ll start in the dugout with the manager. Who else could it be than Sir Alex Ferguson; winner of 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, and 2 European Cups among many other accolades. He’s seen and done it all. As has Charlie MacLean. Two Scots who have been around the block longer than anyone else. This appointment is a no-brainer.

In place of the larger than life Peter Schmeichel, I’ve gone for Ian Logan. Blond hair, ruddy nose, big personality and hands like shovels… they could be brothers. The key to any football team is building from the back – and with a man mountain like Logan between the sticks, we know we’re in safe hands.

At left back I’ve replaced Roberto Carlos with Colin Dunn. Diminutive in stature, follicularly challenged, but oozing charisma and charm, this is pretty much a like-for-like substitution. Dunn is also known to be partial to a massive bender around France (yes, yes, poor pun, but I just had to get this free kick in somewhere). In the middle I’ve swapped out the incredible defensive partnership of Paolo Maldini and Tony Adams for Mariella Romano and Becky Paskin. Italian passion and excitability weren’t traits Maldini was famous for – he was a rather cool, calm and collected head – but someone needs to temper Romano’s exuberance and with ‘communication’ being key at the back, there’s none better than industry stalwart Paskin. A defensive partnership for the ages right there. At right back I’ve gone for another like-for-like replacement, with Angus MacRaild filling the boots of Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce. There’s an uncanny resemblance between MacRaild’s general pent up rage and octogenarian grumpiness, and Pearce’s face after taking that penalty at Euro ’96.

The midfield is anchored with the tactical genius, and lynchpin of the team, Zinedine Zidane. Who else to wear the captain’s armband than Annabel Meikle? She’s also said to have headbutted an Italian for insulting her family on a recent holiday… Alongside her I’ve taken out one man who fancies himself a bit, and replaced him with a man who fancies himself more than anyone. Self-styled playboy and silver fox David Ginola is out, and self-styled tweed aficionado and going-grey-fast Mark Thomson is in. On the left wing I’ve replaced Ryan Giggs with Gemma Paterson. Giggsy was known for his mazy runs and dribbling ability; Paterson’s mazy runs were seen in her incredible performance at Dramathon last year, and her exemplary dribbling ability can be seen most weekends after a couple of bottles of Lambrini. On the right wing, it’s one heartthrob for another; David Beckham is benched and on comes Frank Murphy. Rumours circulate that Murphy also owns a selection of garish sarongs, but that seems to be pure media speculation perpetuated by an unnamed source from The Scotsman’s Food and Drink section.

Sitting in the number 10 role in place of the iconic Eric Cantona is the charismatic enigma, and all round rock star of Scotch, Dave Broom. Headline grabbing, showstopping, and always keen to kung fu kick anyone who disagrees with him in the face, Broom is partnered up front with Cristiano Ronaldo’s equally bling-worshipping replacement; Richard Paterson. Paterson’s rituals are world famous – instead of Lucozade Sport he rehydrates with 30yo matusalem sherry, his unorthodox warm up routine includes telling lewd jokes to the crowd, and his matchday shirt comes with personalised built in moustache comb holder. Between them they’re bound to bag at least 96.5 points for the team on WhiskyFun.

So there you have it, my Championship Manager Scotch Whisky XI. There are countless other signings I could have made but in the end I went with the above. There’s sadly only room on the bench for Dr. Bill Lumsden who takes the place of Ronaldinho (they allegedly both have fake passports and have both spent some time in a Paraguayan prison), and Mark Watt who is in instead of Gazza (no explanation necessary). Who would you have in your Whisky XI? Comment below or give me a shout on Twitter or Instagram!




  1. GK Asmir Ardbegovic
    DF Arran Wan Bissaka Patrick Van AnCnoc Danny Rosebank Scotch Dann
    Midfield Deli Alisa Bay Nicky Butt Jason Puncheon Lucas Brora
    Centre Forward Glen Mo Salah Tamdhu Abraham
    Manager Sam Allardice

  2. Brilliant effort Kian – I may have to do a Whisky Distillery’s XI based on your comment!

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