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Football Man takes on massive job at Big Club


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Football Man takes on massive job at Big Club


Harry Pearson

Friday August 11, 2006

The Guardian



There were excited scenes this week when the predictions of the PR wing

of the Big Club were proved correct and A Football Man was unveiled as

the Big Club's new manager. A Football Man succeeds A Man the Fans Could

Never Really Relate To who left the club 10 days ago by mutual sacking.

Speaking for the first time from his freshly designated parking place, A

Football Man, whose appointment has been an open secret with local

bookmakers ever since his name appeared in the frame after he threw his

hat into the ring following a six-month sabbatical to pursue

unemployment and other opportunities outside the game, said he was

delighted with his new role.

Everyone knows that the Big Club is a genuine football club," he said.

"The whole place lives, breathes and sweats football. It's 110%

wall-to-wall solid football through and through from the carpet tiles to

the tea lady's hair and the heavens beyond, and you can't beat that in

mine or anyone else's book.

"Make no mistake, the job here is massive but that is what attracted me

to the salary. The players' heads are down, their tails are between

their legs and the crowd is on their backs. I don't make promises but

one thing I will promise is that I will bring back effort, pride,

character and card schools to this club.


"We are in the trenches. It is a time for the players to roll their

sleeves up, dig deep and say, 'Just deal the cards, fat man' in a Clint

Eastwood voice. That way, even if they fail, they can at least look

themselves square in the mirror and say they gave it the best shot with

the hand they were dealt, because if they don't they will kick

themselves for the rest of their lives and they'll deserve to.


"It's a pressure-cooker situation. But I love a pressure cooker. I love

a battle. I love a Chinese-style steamer pan. I love being up the creek

in a hole with my back to the wall and a corner to turn and a mountain

to climb. People who know me will tell you that I relish a challenge."


"He relishes a challenge," A Man Who Knows Him said. Asked what he

thought The Man He Knows would bring to the challenge he relishes, A Man

Who Knows Him added: "Football Man is a great motivator. He knows when

to put his arm round your shoulder and when to kick your backside and

when to put his arm round your backside and kick your shoulder and

sometimes both at once, if he deems it necessary so to do."


"I don't suffer fools gladly, and that applies to myself as much as

anybody," Football Man continued, "but I come in with no preconceived

ideas - except about bringing back hanging to protect Britain's kiddies,

obviously. All the players will start with a clean sheet but if they

blot their copybook I will mark their card and they will be on their

bikes showing me a clean pair of heels before their feet touch the



This was believed to be a veiled reference to Want-away Striker, who

earlier in the week issued a come-and-get-me plea in an attempt to end

his English nightmare.


However, last night Want-away Striker moved to distance himself from

himself, saying: "You shouldn't believe everything I say in the

newspapers. Most of it is just paper talk and the rest is an old story I

rehashed from mistranslated quotes that I made up a long time ago. What

is happening Signor Capello? Did you lose my mobile number? No, I never

said that."


Supporters of the Big Club had never warmed to A Man The Fans Could

Never Really Relate To, but they were ecstatic about the appointment of

Football Man. One excited season-ticket holder, who had once met a

reporter at a party and given him his telephone number in case he ever

wanted any plumbing done, said: "Although he has never actually won

anything Football Man is a 24-carat winner. He will put a spring back in

the face of this football club and smiles in a few bellies. Ever since

he walked through the door there has been a buzz about the place, which

is probably because he brought his beehives with him."


A widely respected former player, who now works for local radio in

between pubs, concurred: "Except when it is all about results, the game

is all about confidence. Football Man will get the dressing room behind

him and he will get the dressing room bubbling again. And everyone in

football knows that if you have a bubbling dressing room behind you and

pulling in the same direction when it comes to turning things around,

then that is half the battle. But half a battle does not win a war and

Football Man will know that better than anyone, even me probably."


In all the elation surrounding Football Man's appointment one voice

sounded a note of caution, however. An Embittered Ex-pro commented: "I

wish him well, but nothing is as good as it was in my day and there are

far too many foreigners. Did I tell you about that time Nozzer, Snozzer

and me got in the bath with Miss Felixstowe Maplin's 1972?"

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