Saturday, 22 November 2014

HE BLEEDS FOOTBALL

Written in response to Mick McCarthy's appointment as Sunderland boss. I dust it off today because of recent events at Wigan involving Dave Whelan (who sounds so much like Hilda baker these days you half expect him to say 'He was sat sitting there, legs akimbo, proffering me his vital curriculum') and 'A Good Football Man' . Both chairman and manager appear to have worldviews that belong in a 1970s sitcom, incidentally.



There were excited scenes this week when the predictions of the PR wing of the Big Club were proved correct and A Football Man was unveiled as the Big Club's new manager. A Football Man succeeds A Man the Fans Could Never Really Relate To who left the club 10 days ago by mutual sacking.

Speaking for the first time from his freshly designated parking place, A Football Man, whose appointment has been an open secret with local bookmakers ever since his name appeared in the frame after he threw his hat into the ring following a six-month sabbatical to pursue unemployment and other opportunities outside the game, said he was delighted with his new role.
"Everyone knows that the Big Club is a real football club," he said. "The whole place lives, breathes and sweats football. It's 110% wall-to-wall solid football through and through from the carpet tiles to the tea lady's hair and the heavens beyond, and you can't beat that in mine or anyone else's book.

"Make no mistake, the job here is massive but that is what attracted me to the salary. The players' heads are down, their tails are between their legs and the crowd is on their backs. I don't make promises but one thing I will promise is that I will bring back effort, pride, character and high-stake card schools to this football club.

"It's a pressure-cooker situation. But I love a pressure cooker. I love a battle. I love a Chinese-style steamer pan. I love being up the creek in a hole with my back to the wall and a corner to turn and a mountain to climb. People who know me will tell you that I relish a challenge."

"He relishes a challenge," A Man Who Knows Him said. Asked what he thought The Man He Knows would bring to the challenge he relishes, A Man Who Knows Him added: "Football Man is a great motivator. He knows when to put his arm round your shoulder and when to kick your backside and when to put his arm round your backside and kick your shoulder and sometimes both at once, if he deems it necessary so to do."

"I don't suffer fools gladly, and that applies to myself as much as anybody," Football Man continued, "but I come in with no preconceived ideas - except about bringing back hanging to protect Britain's kiddies, obviously. All the players will start with a clean sheet but if they blot their copybook I will mark their card and they will be on their bikes showing me a clean pair of heels before their feet touch the ground".

This was believed to be a veiled reference to Want-away Striker, who earlier in the week issued a come-and-get-me plea in an attempt to end his English nightmare.

However, last night Want-away Striker moved to distance himself from himself, saying: "You shouldn't believe everything I say in the newspapers. Most of it is just paper talk and the rest is an old story I rehashed from mistranslated quotes that I made up a long time ago. What is happening Signor Capello? Did you lose my mobile number? No, I never said that."






Supporters of the Big Club had never warmed to A Man The Fans Could Never Really Relate To, but they were ecstatic about the appointment of Football Man. One excited season-ticket holder, who had once met a reporter at a party and given him his telephone number in case he ever wanted any plumbing done, said: "Although he has never actually won anything Football Man is a 24-carat winner. He will put a spring back in the face of this football club and smiles in a few bellies. Ever since he walked through the door there has been a buzz about the place, which is probably because he brought his beehives with him."


A widely respected former player, who now works for local radio in between pubs, concurred: "Except when it is all about results, the game is all about confidence. Football Man will get the dressing room behind him and he will get the dressing room bubbling again. And everyone in football knows that if you have a bubbling dressing room behind you and pulling in the same direction when it comes to turning things around, then that is half the battle. But half a battle does not win a war when you are in the trenches and Football Man will know that better than anyone, even me probably."

In all the elation surrounding Football Man's appointment one voice sounded a note of caution, however. An Embittered Ex-pro commented: "I wish him well, but nothing is as good as it was in my day and there are far too many foreigners. Did I tell you about that time Nozzer, Snozzer and me got in the bath with Miss Felixstowe Maplin's 1972?"

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