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?”
|3||Lokomotiv Leeds||Ben S||33||2|
|6||Still Don’t Know Yet||Pete||30||2|
|7||Sporting Lesbian||Ben M||27||2|
|9||Headless Chickens||John N||26||2|
|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|
|18||Vasco De Beauvoir||Stix||9||0|
|20||Wandsworth Window Lickers||Will||5||0|