Just one, Borini

He’s from Bologna, in Italy: Fabio Borini’s summer is over unless he can find the net

There was a gentle tapping at the door.

“Enter!” said the Vasco De Beauvoir manager from his desk. It was performance review day.

A gauche Fabio Borini shuffled in wearing the club’s new training kit: brown with pink lightening bolts. The Vasco manager gestured towards the empty chair in the middle of the room. The Italian gingerly seated himself.

“Do you know why I’ve asked you in?” said the Vasco boss. He glowered, visibly on edge.

Borini looked at the floor.

“That’s right,” continued the manager, starting to toy with a silver letter opener. “I’d like to talk to you about expectations.”

The last word the Vasco manager pronounced very slowly. It was imperative he dragged the team out of this rut. Ever since the 2010 treble, results had dwindled. His empire was crumbling.

The Italian knew what was coming and rallied. He rattled out: “It’s just a matter of time for me. The same thing happened last season. I scored one goal before October, then got injured for three months and after that I scored my second goal in January.

“From January until March I scored eight goals. I know from past experience that the goals will come. In Swansea I scored six goals from March until May. The goals do com….”

“January! Fucking January!” yelled the Vasco boss, stabbing the paper knife into the polished mahogany desk and springing to his feet. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed in between picking up 10 fucking appearance points in the last two months, but we’re bottom of the fucking league!

“I need you to start pulling something out your arse, Sonny Jim, or you won’t just find yourself with the knife between your teeth, or whatever that contrived goal celebration is about, you’ll find this fucking letter opener giving you a Chelsea fucking smile!”

As he delivered this impassioned vitriol, the Vasco manager had picked up the dagger, moved around the desk and ended the outburst pointing it, shaking with rage, an inch from the quaking 21-year-old’s nose.

“B..b..but..” he stammered.

“Don’t fucking ‘but’ me,” screamed the Vasco boss, spittle hitting the Italian’s face. “I spent a lot of time justifying to the board why I forked out £19m for you. I told them you’re the next fucking Aguero.”

Borini knew better than to react at this last comment. Jermaine Pennant had been dropped after one start for mentioning the Argentine’s name in a team meeting.

“Now, let’s make a deal, “said the Vasco manager in a conciliatory yet strained voice. “You start scoring goals and I won’t sling you out of here like the slovenly luxury player you want to be.”

As he nodded his assent, Borini was saved by a knock at the door. He would not be the only player to get this one-on-one motivational talk today.

“And speaking of slovenly luxury players,” the Vasco boss was genial again. The head of Tomas Rosicky popped around the door.

“Come in Tomas. Fabio was just leaving,” said the gaffer. “Now tell me: why shouldn’t I injure your other shin?”

League table

Week 7 - 9 October 2012
Week 7 – 9 October 2012

Weekly scores

    Manager Points Goals
1 Spartak Mogadishu Abdi 39 2
2 Newington Reds Dudley 33 3
3 Lokomotiv Leeds Ben S 33 2
4 Greendale Rockets Stu 31 1
5 Northern Monkeys Hugo 30 2
6 Still Don’t Know Yet Pete 30 2
7 Sporting Lesbian Ben M 27 2
8 Hairy Fadjeetas Aiden 27 1
9 Headless Chickens John N 26 2
10 Piedmonte Phil 26 1
11 Pikey Scum Jack 26 1
12 Woking Mike 21 1
13 FC Testicluadew James N 21 0
14 Judean Peoples’ Front Sholto 20 1
15 PSV Mornington El Pons 19 0
16 Just put Carles Carles 18 0
17 Bala Rinas Lewis 15 1
18 Vasco De Beauvoir Stix 9 0
19 Dynamo Charlton Alex 7 0
20 Wandsworth Window Lickers Will 5 0
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Vasco De Beauvoir

Manager: Stix (Worcestershire)

Twitter name: @jeffkennaleague

Since: 2005 (co-founder and Chairman)

Last season: 16th

Trophy cabinet: Champions 2005/06, treble in 2009/2010 (league, cup, Khumalo World Cup 2010)

Sympathies: Kidderminster Harriers

Darts music: Highway to the Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins

Outlook: People used to say that Brazil were the Vasco De Beauvoir of world football, but those heady, summer, treble-winning days of 2010 seem a Rory Delap throw in away looking at the club’s current shower. In what’s become known as the most epic Bramble of all time, £40m Sergio Aguero was replaced in the auction by Leroy Lita, but a month-long lay off with injury means not even the prolific Argentine could have dragged this bunch of misfits to anything but a relegation battle. Tomas ‘Little Mozart’ Rosicky, himself off until October with injury, should be preparing a requiem for the manager’s chances of being employed come May.

(B) = player awarded under the Titus Bramble ruling

Al-Habsi, A WIG £2.5m
Harte, I REA £10m
Nastasic, M MCY £13m
Ferdinand, R MUN £6.5m
McAuley, G WBA £0.5m
Gutierrez, J NEW £5m
Etherington, M STO £0.5m
Puncheon, J SOT £29m
Ramires CHE £12m
Ruiz, B FUL £0.5m
Podolski, L ARS £40m
 Total £119.5m

Second transfer window – 1 February 2013

Out     In
Kolorov, A MCY £19m Nastasic, M MCY £13m
Surman, A NOR £0.5m Puncheon, J SOT £29m

First transfer window – 26 October 2012

Out     In
Hibbert, T EVE £5m Kolarov, A MCY £19m
Pennant, J STO £1m Etherington, M STO £0.5m
Rosicky, T ARS £1.5m Surman, A NOR £0.5m
Borini, F LIV £19m Ruiz, B FUL £0.5m
Lita, L (B) SWA £20m Podolski, L ARS £40m
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