Hypothetical XI #22: Roald Dahl Characters


The False Nine’s Dave Hughes imagines an XI comprised of Roald Dahl characters…

Roald Dahl created some of the most imaginative, eccentric and well-loved characters ever seen in children’s literature.

Here’s would have happened if he had opted to remove his creations from the fantastical worlds of his novels and thrust them into the harsh landscape of professional football…

Manager – Roald Dahl

Dahl was a complex and conflicted character, which is reflected in his books, which constantly veer between the whimsical and the vicious. However, this split personality could prove ideal, given the task he faces reconciling the various characters and species within his line-up.

His superb sense of humour and genuine love of children would certainly help him to coax the best out of players such as James Trotter and Matilda. However, he could be a vicious, short-tempered bully to those who crossed him – The Independent once (hilariously!) referred to him as “Big Unfriendly Bastard”. This uncompromising, hairdryer approach would surely keep disruptive influences such as Mr Twit and The Grand High Witch in check.

He has frequently been accused of anti-Semitism, and eventually had to remove racist undertones from early editions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which depicted Oompa-Loompas as a tribe of black pygmies. It therefore seems likely that Dahl would adopt a narrow (-minded) formation, with a compact midfield diamond. Continue reading