One upside of this shut-in world is the discovery and re-discovery of old television, books, films. Having tried and failed with so many new television series, my wife suggested we rewatch “Entourage,” a show which - like a Jose Mourinho management stint - experienced two brilliant seasons, only to precipitously fall off in its third. Also, like Mourinho, it falls into the guilty pleasure category. “Band of Brothers” it is not.
I’ve enjoyed reacquainting myself with the friendship of Vinny, E, Drama and Turtle (bonds that echo those of the characters in one of my all-time favorite films, “Diner”) and revisiting a world in which flip phones were what’s hot in the streets. But my biggest takeaway from rewatching has been, “What Premier League clubs would these characters have supported?”
As I wrote, it turned into more of a character to club converter. But these are the times in which we live.
Vinny Chase - Manchester United. Global powerhouse. The most recognizable name in his field. Seasons one and two of “Entourage” were akin to the Sir Alex years. Meteoric, inexorable rises, where neither could put a foot wrong. Vinny seemed to embody the beauty of Beckham. The god-given gifts of Scholes. And the unshakeable cool of van der Sar. Even United and Vinny hit fallow periods (their LVG, “Smoke Jumpers” years), their return to the top seems inevitable and undeniable.
E - Arsenal. Oscillate between innate brilliance (“Head On,” Ozil) and hubris-laden impotence (“Medellin,” Ozil). When they’re the former, they’re always the first one to tell you about it. When they’re the latter, they don’t hesitate to point fingers.
Ari - Manchester City. Shrewd. Cutthroat. Undeniably successful. When Pep does depart from City, I can see him calling an emergency meeting at Manchester’s equivalent of the Hamburger Hamlet (Wings?) to see who’s coming with him.
Drama - Tottenham. Lovable. Poised for brilliance. But so often their own worst enemy. Before there was “Spursy,” there was Johnny Drama. The gent who turned down a role in “The Brothers McMullen” to do a three-episode arc on 90210, harassing Tori Spelling. I can easily see Harry Kane in a Viking Quest remake.
Turtle - Everton. Less God-given talent than the rest, but all heart. Always punching above his weight. Schemes that seem so obviously flawed, except to those who hatch them. Sam Allardyce.
Lloyd - Liverpool. Peerless. Uncategorizable. Capable of a range of emotions that the others just aren’t capable of. Deserve the title, even if they cancel the season (Okay, that’s just Liverpool.)
Sloan - Chelsea. Fashion-forward. Like Chelsea in the title race. One season she’s involved. The next she’s not. Then she’s back. Then gone again.
Billy Walsh - West Ham. Blur the line between where Art ends and straight up pugilism begins. Willing to destroy what is theirs to make a point. Billy would’ve HATED London Stadium.
Mrs. Ari - Wolves. Don’t get a lot of screen time. But every time they’re on, you realize how they’re as good, if not better than, everyone else in the series.