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 will admit that last week I may have embarrassed myself. A paparazzo caught me descending down the side of the Lowry Hotel, looking hot, sweaty and defeated. I quickly grabbed all the tabloids the following day, in the hopes they hadn’t used the photo. Thankfully, they hadn’t. Part of me did wonder why the editors decided to discard such an explosive document, but hey, if they want their industry to continue to die, they can carry on the way they’re going.
Despite making a fool of myself, I remained marooned in the north of England. Yes, I missed out on a meeting of minds with Jose Mourinho, but I still had another appointment in Manchester. The Manchester Derby.
Although when I say appointment, I am being slightly facetious. I mean appointment viewing. Strangely, I was unable to acquire tickets to the game itself. The ticket office said the fact that I started a fire at the stadium meant I was barred from entering. I tried to explain the circumstances that led to that fire, but they were having none of it. But hey, if they want their industry to continue to die, they can carry on the way they’re going.
So rather than go to the game, I watched it in the hotel bar. Sadly, the bar didn’t have a television showing the game, so I instead hunkered down and watched it on my laptop. I won’t be the first to say this and I won’t be the last: Sky’s online player is an absolute disgrace. Why doesn’t it have a full screen mode? Why can I not adjust the resolution of the image? For the love of God, why do you need to download an external player in this day and age!? It’s a travesty that it’s easier to watch the game on my phone than it is on my laptop. I look forward to their reply to my strongly worded email.
Where was I?
Oh yes, what a game we witnessed! A game of two halves if I ever saw one! Two great teams managed by two legendary managers! I’ve been poring over every tiny bit of coverage since the end of the game and there was a major incident that this wily old fox noticed that I’ve not seen any pundits referring to.
The City fans were cheering ‘olé’ for each pass their team made as early as the first twenty minutes. Big, big mistake. Like a man looking down the wrong end of a hen, at the end of the day they had egg on their face.
I had a similar situation myself as Charlton manager way back. We were 3-0 up and cruising after fifteen minutes, against some good for nothing team when we were still in the Championship. Our fans started oléing each pass, my players started bringing out the skill moves and taking the piss of the opponents.
But I knew how much hubris can come back to haunt you. I had lost too many Monopoly games from such a position of strength. So I ran up and down the touchline, telling the fans to stop. I waved my hands as much as I could, I pleaded with them to just think for a second, but to no avail. It wasn’t long before we were 5-3 down and the game was lost.
After the game, I came out and addressed the crowd. There were murmurs that my tactic to put more forwards on, to crush the weak opponents before us, was for some reason deemed ‘a poor decision.’ But I knew the truth and decided to address the issue head-on.
‘HUUUUUUUUUUBRIS!’ I screamed. Channeling The Rock, I then let the word hang in the air, turning my head and raising one eyebrow as I looked at the whole crowd around me. There was a stunned silence.
‘All of you in here are far more responsible for our defeat today than I am!’ More silence. I had grabbed their attention. Grown men, their faces burned red by their tears, turned to take notice.
‘Never, ever start pissing about like that in the first half! At this club, we don’t belittle opponents by chanting. We do it by beating them on the pitch! Had you not all given it the big one that early, we would have strolled to victory! I hope you learn from this!’
There was a great scream of approval from the stands. The fans were so overjoyed that they began hurling objects towards the pitch. Some of them tried to storm onto the field in an attempt to personally thank me for my glorious words. It was a truly amazing speech. The only shame was that the poor bloke who tried to write ‘winner’ on my car was so heavily dyslexic.
It is my belief that if Guardiola had come out at halftime and put his fans in their place, City would have won that game. The fact that he didn’t, shows how poor a manager he truly is. All season his team has been praised, some even calling it the best Premier League team of all time. But if you can’t come out and berate your own fans when your team is 2-0 up at halftime, you’re not worth your weight in salt.
With that, I realised that I had been pursuing the wrong manager. Mourinho isn’t the one I needed to help. Guardiola is the one who clearly has problems. With my tutelage, I’m sure I could take him to the next level.
Time to make my move.