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:

It happened.

I rushed out the door, then had to slip back inside when I saw my neighbour was mowing his lawn. He still hasn’t forgiven me for accidentally murdering his dog two weeks ago. That reminds me, I must wash the dog blood off the front bumper. It’s been there two weeks and I’m getting funny looks from strangers when I park in Waitrose.

Once he had gone round the back to fill his brown bin with grass, I rushed into the car and hurtled off the drive. Got to get to Selhurst Park! I hammered the name into the sat nav while waiting for a traffic light to change and set off on my way. After a half an hour, I realised that in my haste I had actually entered ‘Selhurst Avenue’ and was halfway to Manchester. A further twenty minutes later, I had managed to turn around and was heading south to Crystal Palace.

I got my agent Julie on the phone and asked her to phone Steve Parish. Steve and I go way back, I once helped his old ad company out, when he needed a spokesperson for a business that made and sold pre cast concrete kerbs. The slogan was: ‘Robson’s Kerbs: With this C***’s seal of approval’ (Ed – the stars are to hide the manager’s identity. It is not a swear. We do not wish to confirm if we think the manager is a c***.) I also told her to meet me at Selhurst Park to wrangle through a deal if needed.

‘Alan…you’re not even in the Sky betting odds. They’re saying it’s already Hodgson’s’

I crushed the coffee cup I had purchased on my stop at the services. Well, well, well. Things just got interesting. Woy and I go way back, after all, he’s a former member of the Icarus Club after his success at Fulham. But we are now rivals, he claims after I made fun of his speech impediment. Weally Woy? Am I that wude? I think it was because you recommended that Fulham didn’t hire me back in 2010, instead, telling them to go for that ‘handshake specialist’, Mark Hughes. I admit I was weak wristed back then, but since that time I have improved my wrist strength immeasurably. I once broke Gus Poyet’s hand for Christ’s sake.

‘Get down to Selhurst on the double!’ I ordered Julie over the hands-free. ‘We got to beat that little s**t to it!’ I mounted the kerb to overtake the car in front, narrowly missing a pram. (Note to self: stop murdering/almost murdering things. It’s not good for your career).

I skidded into the car park, cranking the handbrake and punching the radio off. Sorry Marcus Mumford, but this Little Lion Man has a date with destiny. I launched out of the car and towards Steve’s office. There was a cabal of journalists stood below his window; I pulled up the hood on my raincoat to conceal my identity. I didn’t want Steve to have to announce me prematurely.

When I got into the reception, Julie was already there.

‘Hi Alan,’ she said quietly, ‘look, I don’t think this is a good idea, Roy’s already in there with Steve and-’

I saw red. Not this time Woy. I marched past the flustered receptionist and kicked open the door. Steve was stood behind his desk, showing Woy some paperwork. Woy looked up. His face grew darker when he saw it was me.

‘Alan…we meet again.’

‘Hello…Woy.’ I really enunciated the ‘W’, just to really irk him. ‘I see you’re stopping me getting jobs I deserve, again.’

‘Alan, Roy was always our first choice,’ said Steve.

‘Quiet Steve. This is between me and Woy.’ I started circling the room. I needed to get Woy out of the room and sit Steve down. If I could just explain my position to him, I was sure I could change his mind.

‘Alan…I know you still haven’t weally forgiven me for the Fulham situation. But you know as well as I do, Mark is a well wegarded manager.’ He grinned his evil grin, hatred in his eyes. Clearly, this man would do anything to get this job.

‘How do we settle this then?’ I said, slowly sitting on the chair opposite Woy.

‘Gentlemen please, we’ve already made our decision,’ Steve said. ‘We’ve already signed the contract Alan. We’ve chosen Wo-Roy.’

I couldn’t stomach it anymore. This man has devoted too much of his life trying to destroy mine. He must be stopped. But how?

‘Unlucky, Alan,’ said Woy, leaning back in his chair. ‘I weally hope you land on your feet, not on the pile of wubble that wepwesents your caweer.’

Then it came to me. I stood up with my arms held aloft.

‘What…what are you doing?’ babbled Woy. I could see true fear in his beady little eyes. He knew.

I clapped my hands together above my head.

‘HOO!’ I screamed.

Woy’s eyes widened. He lunged out of the chair and onto his knees on the floor.

After a long pause, I clapped again.


‘Please…please have mercy…’ He was beginning to weep.

‘HOO! Do you feel it, Woy? The shame and anger of an entire country? You let everybody down, Woy! You don’t even know what went wrong!’

‘I should’ve bwought Washford on earlier…I thought it…but didn’t tell anyone…’ he mumbled through his tears. ‘But please…this is weally wough…’

My clapping was now getting faster.


Woy was curled up in a little ball now, urine seeping from his trousers.

I put all my strength into one final clap.

‘HOOOOOOO!!!!’ I fell to my knees. I had defeated Woy. He will never live down that appalling performance in Nice. F***** Iceland.

‘When do I start Steve?’ I said, ready to start my new job.

‘Get out of my office,’ snarled Steve.

It was at this point I blacked out. The last thing I remember was the scent of a pensioner’s piss. The world seems to be against me. Maybe it’s time to take a different approach…