DATE: June 3rd 2013
PLACE: Directors’ Boardroom, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
Barely twenty-four hours after completing their final league fixture, Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho have gone their separate ways. The club finished as runners-up in La Liga to the mighty Barcelona and were knocked-out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage by Bayern Munich, who went on to lose in the final to… Barcelona. The Madrid board are desperate for a new man to take over at one of the world’s biggest clubs. Somehow, and no-one seems sure quite how, the CV of Mr Samuel Allardyce (Football Visionary and recently-sacked manager of West Ham Utd) has made its way through the application “weeding-out” process and he is now one of three men to be interviewed for the coveted post.
Club President Florentino Perez asks the questions…
PEREZ (P): “Hello, Mr Allardyce. welcome to our club. Is it OK for me to call you Sam”?
ALLARDYCE (A): (removes chewing gum from his mouth and throws it towards the bin, which it misses by some distance) “Cheers, Mr Chairman, nice to be here. Yeah, call me Sam and I’ll call you Florence”.
(P): (rather puzzled) “Ah, er, OK then. And how are you finding our beautiful city? I hope you like it”.
(A): “Not really. I’ve been just about everywhere looking for a pint of bitter. Nowt to be had it seems. Bloody disgraceful”.
(P): “I see, what a shame. We don’t really have that here. I can offer you a Sol though”.
(A): “Yeah, fine. Give him a three-year contract and 130 grand a week, or euros or whatever it is here in Dagoland. He was good at Arsenal and Spurs, he could do a job for us”.
(P): “I wasn’t talking about Mr Campbell. Sol is a lager”.
(A): “Don’t be daft, Florrie. I’m not drinking that crap. Could murder a bacon buttie though”.
(P): “If you would like some food we can have some tapas. You have heard of tapas, yes”?
(A): “Tapas? Sounds a bit like tippy-tapas to me. Thirty-seven passes and you end up going nowhere. Not proper football is it? No thanks, Flo”.
(P): “You will of course be familiar with our great club though? And its great traditions”?
(A): “Sure, sure”.
(P): “You’ve heard of Di Stefano”?
(A): “Not heard of her, no. Italian bird is she”?
(P): (bemused) “Puskas”?
(A): “Spanish cat food, ain’t it”?
(P): (head in his hands) “What about Hugo Sanchez”?
(A): “Oh yes, I’ve heard of him”.
(P): “Well, that’s something I suppose”.
(A): “Yeah, got one of his suits on right now. Lovely cut don’t you think”?
(P): (exasperated) “And the city of Madrid has a great history of course. Have you been to the Prado”?
(A): “Nah, I leave the shopping to the wife. She went out and did a bit earlier. I stayed in the hotel and watched Colchester v Tranmere. Cracking game, none of that fancy stuff”.
(P): “Sam, the Prado is our world famous art gallery and museum. Picasso’s “Guernica” is on show there”.
(A): “Gurney what”?
(P): “The town of Guernica was bombed in the Civil War, Sam. Many people died. Picasso’s painting sums up the pain and desperation of the people there”.
(A): “Probably not as bad as Preston on a Friday night. Load of Spanish jessies. Where is this place”?
(P): “In the north of Spain. Basque country”.
(A): “So even the northerners here are a load of lightweights? I’m starting to think this might not be the job for me”.
(P): “Strange that you should say that, Sam. Tell me, what is your perception of this club”?
(A): (quickly stuffing some more gum in his mouth) “I don’t like perception. There’s too much of it in the game”.
(P): “I see. What can you tell me about our players”?
(A): “I know you’ve got that Ronaldo bloke, the Portuguese fairy. And I had Hierro and Ivan Campo at Bolton for a bit. You must remember Campo? Looked like Shergar wearing a wig”.
(P): (Laughing) “Oh, yes. So you were in charge of the team that topped-up their pensions, were you? Tell me, Sam, what can you bring to this great club”?
(A): “Stability, mainly. A period of consolidation. Give it three years and I’ll have the place sorted”.
(P): “Three years? We don’t have that luxury”.
(A): “OK, well I’ll try to get Nolan and Jaaskelainen quicker if I can…”
(P): “You have heard of Barcelona, haven’t you? And Messi”?
(A): “Of course. They’re OK, too many passes though. Never go anywhere”.
(P): “Except to the Champions League Final most years”?
(A): “Exactly. And that Messi bloke, we had him on trial at Blackburn. No good at defending set-pieces and couldn’t kick the ball more than 70 yards. Useless he was”.
(P): “Sam, I like to be direct when I talk to people. I must admit that I have looked at your CV and I don’t really think that you are suited to this club”.
(A): “You listen to me, Flossie. I’ve won the League of Ireland with Limerick and Div Three with Notts County. How many of your previous managers could say that”?
(P): “Er… “
(A): “Precisely. And I bet none of them kept West Ham up on goal difference either. You can stick your job, Flo-Jo. I’m off to somewhere my tactics and style will be appreciated”.
(P): (picking up the phone to his secretary) “OK Sam, as you wish…”
“Miss Gutierrez, a taxi for Mr Allardyce please. Yes, going to Madrid Rugby Club. Thank you”.