A former Premier League manager approached us here at Tales and asked that we publish his diaries, so he could show the public what life is like out of the game. His only request was that he remained anonymous. Below is this week’s entry:
I’ve been on holiday this week. Now I know that I am a man out of work, but searching for work is tiring too. Writing pros and cons lists, arranging meetings and making various television appearances take it out of younger men, never mind someone pre-mid-life such as I. Also, as any man with a girlfriend/wife/partner knows, you can never give up your game. Every day should be a day you treat your other half, whether it be with romantic gestures, gifts or buying them holidays out of your West Ham compensation package. What amazing holiday can you purchase with a figure believed to be circa £2.2m, you ask? A holiday cottage in Dorset.
Now hear me out. Carol likes quaint little cottages. This is an important factor to consider when reviewing my choice of holiday destination; I started by thinking about what she wanted. Secondly, when we were courting we had a lovely weekend break to Dorset that is a particularly fond memory for both of us. But most importantly, I need to be in Britain in case a high profile Premier League job becomes available. I had my agent Julie primed to send me any news of managerial changes. Frank De Boer has had a terrible start to life at Crystal Palace so she’ll be watching him like a hawk, or maybe more appropriately, an eagle.
We arrived in the cottage at night. I noticed that the cottage next door had a car parked outside and their lights on; we were going to have neighbours. I was ready to go out, a bottle of wine in hand to introduce ourselves when I recognised the dents in the driver’s side door. They were arranged in the shape of a hardened penis. I recognised these dents because I created them. This was not just my neighbour’s car now; this car is always my neighbour’s car. My nemesis had come on holiday and was next door to me. He just can’t help himself, the bastard.
I crept back in and warned Carol. As usual, she rolled her eyes and told me not to overreact and do anything stupid. Carol gets on quite well with my nemesis’ wife (they do a steps class together) and doesn’t understand why I hate his guts. I’ve tried to explain what an awful man he is, but she just says this is like the time I spent months moaning about Mick McCarthy, only to realise the man I was mad at was Micky Adams:
‘You’ve got him wrong Alan. He’s a nice man and you both share several interests. Maybe if you stopped ringing journalists to tell them what a bad man he is and talked to him, you might make a new friend.’
That advice was as wrong now as it was in that situation. I’m not friends with any of Mick McCarthy, Micky Adams or this awful neighbour.
I had quickly formed a plan to get back at him for whatever it was I was angry about. I could carve a shallow hole in the ground adjacent to his car, fill it with water then wait for him to be about to get in. Then I could drive past him at speed and soak him and his wife in water. I could even claim in court that this was an accident, provided I left no evidence I dug the hole.
I dressed completely in black and combat crawled over to behind his car. I started digging using only my body: hands, feet, teeth and face. This way I could wash off any dirt afterwards and no one would be any the wiser. The ground was incredibly soft so I finished digging very quickly, and then I crawled back to the porch where I had left a full bucket of water. This time I crouched and did a sort of hunched over run to the hole, where I then began slowly pouring out the water, careful not to make any noise.
At this point, I was sure I could feel a presence outside with me, but looking around I couldn’t detect any movement and heard no sound. It was a very similar feeling to when a cross comes in at the back post and you’re pretty sure the man you’re meant to be marking is behind you; chills you to the core. Once my task was completed I turned to return to the house, only to see my nemesis’ dog urinating at the bottom of our drive. I shooed it away as I closed the door behind me, trying and failing to get a swift kick in.
I got Carol up at 6 a.m., telling her I had found a lovely walk we could both go on. She was slightly perturbed that I had woken her quite this early, but nevertheless was happy that I was showing commitment to throw myself into the holiday. I had found a walk, this wasn’t a lie, but we had no need to leave quite this early. No, I needed to be sat ready in the car, waiting for my nemesis.
At about 8.40 a.m., the moment had arrived. Carol was now back asleep, but Alan was poised and ready (that’s me, reader. I’m using the first person for effect. There’s not a man called Alan with us that I’ve neglected to mention this whole time. That would be ludicrous). My nemesis came down his drive, holding a deckchair in each hand with a big bag over his shoulder, his wife behind him (A deck chair? It was overcast, the foolish man!). I waited until he was nearer the foot of the drive, then I got the car in gear and punched it. We hurtled towards the puddle, the plan was going to work! He would be drenched! His day would be ruined and Carol and I would zoom off over the horizon, cackling with glee!
I don’t know if you’ve ever committed murder, dear reader, but in my experience, it is a hollow feeling. Just as I hit the puddle, laughing out the window at my neighbour, two fingers protruding skywards, there was a horrible bumping noise at the front of the car. Shocked, I turned to see my nemesis’ yappy dog soaring through the air in front of us, its body crumpled and misshapen. We were still speeding away, Carol was now screaming, while I was just desperate to leave the scene of the ‘crime’. In my haste I actually caught up to the canine corpse, in fact, it landed on my window. I tried swerving to throw it off, however, it didn’t budge. Grimly, I turned on the windscreen wipers, finally sweeping the lifeless pup off the car and onto the road behind us.
I realised that I had done a very bad thing. Despite hating this dog, it didn’t deserve this sort of death. I had traumatised my wife, my nemesis and his wife, by committing a graphic murder in front of all of them. Also, prior to slaughtering my neighbour’s pet, I had laughed out the window at him and put two fingers up. It would be quite difficult to say I was only meaning to hit the puddle. Oh well, I thought as we sped off towards our destination, at least I had ruined a bad man’s holiday. Plus, Palace had just lost 2-0 at home to Swansea. Maybe things were looking up?