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06th Nov 2015

Stevenage players should know better than to even try to bullsh*t Teddy Sheringham

Calling their bluff

Mikey Stafford

Stevenage boss Teddy Sheringham insists his time playing poker has benefited him since making the move into management.

Sheringham was 42 when he finally stopped playing and, in an interview with the Guardian, the former Manchester United and Tottenham striker says he needed an escape from football, an escape that poker provided.

However, once he decided on a return to football he had to move fast, which is how he ended up managing Stevenage after a spell coaching West Ham’s forwards.

“Some people will have their own team for a couple of years as a youth team or reserve team manager, or they’re an assistant manager,” said Sheringham. “If I did all that, it takes me into 56, 57 and then you have a real short shelf life.

“Coming in now, jumping in two-footed, it’s a massive leap into League Two. I’d never managed anyone before – only myself. Now here I am, managing a football club and managing people. Everyone is under my leadership and it’s a massive change for me.”

While he scored over 300 goals in a 25-year career, Sheringham always had a reputation as someone who could also have a good time off the pitch. That pedigree, plus his successful spell in the world of professional poker, give him an impeccable radar for bullshit.

“As a poker player you have to study players. People’s movements and their psyche, what they’re doing. What do they do when they’re bluffing? What do they do when they’re telling the truth? How do they speak? That’s little things you can take in as a football manager. It’s like: ‘Cheeky fucker, I know you’re lying.’”

Having recently registered himself as a player, Sheringham may have an opportunity to show his charges how it is done.