Stranger Things and Pep

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola has an outstanding record as a manager, twenty one trophies in seven years, as he never ceased to tell the media when appointed. I often wondered how the Manchester City board dealt with Pep in their behind the scenes discussions at the start of the season and propose my version of events (Thanks Emeli) of how these conversations may have developed. In the era of news and fake news (Thanks Donald), you the reader decide where the truth lies.

Dramatis Personae

Pep Guardiola = P

Khaldoon Al Mubarak = KAM (Chief Executive)

KAM – Good morning Pep

P – Good morning. I would like you to stop calling me Pep. I feel it is very disrespectful.

KAM – I do apologise. What would you like me to call you.

P – I prefer a name that reflects my achievements in the game.

KAM – Do you have any ideas?

P – Yes, I do. I am a big fan of the programme Stranger Things, which is set in the 1980s , like many things in English football.It is on Netflix – have you seen it ?

KAM –No.

P- The lead character is a girl. Only she does not have a name. She is simply called “Eleven”.

KAM – You want us to call you “Eleven”?

P – No, no, no .I have told you. I keep telling you that I have won twenty one trophies in seven years. I want you to call me “Twenty One”. And I want that number on my tracksuit as well. Thank you. Names are so English, numbers are the future. You need to be re-educated. Next season, you can call me “Twenty Four”.

KAM – Okay “Twenty One.” What are your plans for the goalkeeping position?

P – Okay, let’s talk. You need to understand that the role of the goalkeeper has changed dramatically under my tutelage. The idea of a goalkeeper saving shots is so English and so last century. The modern custodian must have the ball at his feet all the time. He will be the fulcrum of all our attacking movements. I expect that he will touch the ball more than any other outfield player. Hands are officially redundant.

KAM – Have you explained this to Joe Hart yet?

P – No need. He won’t be playing. He makes me nervous. He saves too many shots. He never passes the ball. He organises defences. I don’t need that type of player anymore. Even worse, he is under the age of thirty.

KAM – But he is our best goalie!

P – Did you watch the European Championships this summer?

KAM – Yes

P – Answer me this. How many goals did he create? How many times did he play one-twos with his defenders? How many passes did he make? That is why England lost. Joe Hart simply did not create enough chances.

KAM – So Joe has to go?

P – Yes. And another thing. He advertises hair shampoo. No player in any of my clubs is allowed to do that. It is a very touchy subject for me.

KAM – So who takes his place?

P – Claudio Bravo of Barcelona and Chile. You must know him. In every game he played last season, he played an average of ninety passes and spent at least ten minutes each game dribbling past opposition forwards in his own area. And he was never required to use his hands. He is the epitome of my brand of futuristic football.

KAM – Are you sure?

P – Look at the statistics. Last year he went four games without having to save a shot. He exudes such an aura of invincibility that forwards are scared to shoot at him. He will win us trophies.

KAM – Will we need a strong defender to support him?

P – Undoubtedly. I have been watching a certain player who defends in exactly the style of play I look for in my team.

KAM – John Terry?

P – No. This player is renowned for not being able to tackle. We have no need for defenders who can tackle. I have won twenty one trophies without having defenders who can tackle. He always chooses the more complicated option. I like that. He will try to dribble past forwards in his own penalty area. He makes Cruyff look pedestrian.

KAM – Who is he?

P – Name is John Stones. Even better he has been coached by that renowned footballing guru and fellow Catalan, Roberto Martinez and he is available for less than fifty million. Buy him now and we will win at least three trophies this season.

KAM – Thanks, now can we set a date for a review meeting in January?

P – Yes , of course and by then we will be ten points clear at the top of the table and every team in the league will be trying to copy my methods.

To be continued…..