A former Premier League manager approached us here at GSITM 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:
You might have noticed that I have missed a few deadlines recently. I haven’t updated you on my career since September 5th! That feels like it was aeons ago.
You won’t be surprised to know that I am an incredibly busy man. All those enquiries that Julie was sending out are now coming back. I am inundated with consultancy requests. In fact, I am getting so many that I literally can’t answer all my emails. It is time for C********* Management Consultancy to expand. Like a failing marriage that’s trying desperately to spice up their love life, we’re going from a twosome to a threesome.
Julie sent out a clarion call to all the retired and out of work managers across the world. No one could be too experienced, I wanted the very best of the very best. After all, they would be working for a company adorned with my name. They will effectively be extensions of me, almost like Michael Keaton’s clones in Multiplicity.
After burning most of the CVs (sorry Pardew, there’s no way I’m hiring you), we narrowed the candidates down to a shortlist of three. I invited them all round to my office for an interview. One of them would be successful and join the greatest management consultancy firm that I have heard of!
The first candidate was my old friend, Big Sam Allardyce. I couldn’t pass up the chance for some good old-fashioned nepotism. I didn’t even read his CV, he’s a former England manager with a 100% win record, that is too good an opportunity to pass up.
Sam sauntered into my office and sat on the sofa, arms over the back cushions, legs spread to keep his balls cool. A fine figure of a man. This was a formality unless something strange happened.
‘So, Sam. Why are you willing to work for me? You could be doing this yourself, couldn’t you?’
A nice easy opener for Sam, since the answer would definitely be ‘because it’s you.’
Sam sat back and pondered this for a few seconds.
‘You know what, Al. You’re right! I should go and do this myself rather than work under someone far less qualified!’
He then leapt up and strode out.
What a bastard. He is dead to me. All those Keys and Gray interviews should have been a clue that he was a Grade A c***. My new assistant and I will crush him.
After a furious lunch consisting of Betrayal Salad (a recipe Sam had previously given me that I have now renamed), I welcomed my second candidate, one Arsene Wenger.
Now, if I am hiring someone on merit, it has to be this man. He won three Premier League titles, including that famous season when they went unbeaten. Yes, there was over a decade of pathetic underachievement, but you can’t ignore the period before that.
Arsene glided into my office looking resplendent in a dark suit. Retirement was treating him well. The look of terror that had been permanently etched on his face in recent years was gone. Instead, his expression was one of quiet confidence.
I decided to take the same approach with Arsene. He was a far nicer man than Sam. There was no way he would let me down in the same way.
‘So, Arsene. Why are you willing to work for me? You could be doing this yourself, couldn’t you?’
‘Oui, that I could, Alan,’ he said, looking wistfully out of the window. ‘But, why work? I have so little life left compared to someone like yourself. I want to read, to make art, to make love.’
‘Arsene, you can’t be going around making love while I’m paying you to be a management consultant.’
He looked shocked. I probably did too.
‘Why are you here, Arsene?’
He looked at the floor for a second. When he looked back, the look of terror had returned.
‘I hate retirement, Alan! I don’t like reading, I can’t draw to save my life and I have been impotent for years!’
Did he really need to tell me that?
‘This wise Frenchman persona is all a front. When I’m at home I sound like Ray Parlour! I just need somewhere to be so I don’t go insane!’
Then he collapsed to the floor and broke down in tears. Julie escorted him out. It was sad to see, but I couldn’t have someone so broken, so pathetic, so dead inside representing me on a global scale. I crossed Arsene’s name off the list.
The final candidate was the only one I hadn’t previously heard of: one Alan Wedrap. According to his CV, he had been doing some exciting things out in the American lower leagues. At least, his glowing reference from Steve Parish told me that. Plus, he’s halfway there sharing my first name! God, how did the bar fall so low!?
He was quite a sight when he arrived at my office for the interview. Fully adorned in a Stetson hat and boots with spurs, he strutted in with his head down and his hand on his belt. However, the most striking thing about his appearance was his huge moustache. It had a ‘stache span of at least two feet.
Once he had settled down on the sofa, I started the interview.
‘You seem to have a lot of experience out in the US. Could you go into more detail about your time at the Wisconsin Shotgun Lovers?’
‘Darn tootin! I like to embue ma players with the spirit of Uncle Sam, if ya catch ma drift?’
He sounded like a drunk Yosemite Sam. Sometimes I was certain that the accent was dropping and sounding a little bit cockney, but maybe he had been over in England long enough to pick up the accent?
We talked for what felt like hours about all manner of things: football in America, football in England, Trump, tacos and even the 2nd amendment. The only thing we didn’t agree on was gender politics; Wedrap has some rather alarming opinions about women.
That aside, he was the perfect candidate: he clearly had some great ideas when it came to football but was also very much inferior compared to me.
I offered him the job and he accepted it on the spot. I told him he could work out his salary with Julie, but stressed that it had to be over email and under no circumstances could he be alone in a room with her.
Once he had left, I made myself a coffee and put my feet up on the desk, satisfied with a job well done. Julie came in to give me the post and stumbled slightly on the way in.
She stooped down and picked something off the floor.
‘What is it?’
She stood up and held out the two-foot moustache.
My God. Who have I hired?