MON The Football Manager – No not that one!
Martin O’Neill turns around and unveils his latest purchase.
It’s a copy of ‘football manager 2010’. He turns to John Robertson:
MON: ‘SO then John, ready to give it a try?’
JR: ‘Yeah go on then’
Approximately an hour passes with MON really struggling to get the thing loaded onto his works laptop. He twice has to close down the ‘Randy-NoComputergameGame-Lock’ which ensures MON can’t play games or view porn during office hours.
MON: ‘Ok, manager setup screen. Age, 36’
*JR raises an eyebrow*
MON: ‘Club – Villa. Ok, lets have a look at the squad and get some tactics sorted’
JR: ‘We’re having tactics?’
MON: ‘Don’t be foolish John, how can we play football manager without tactics!’
*JR raises his other eyebrow*
JR: ‘hang about Martin, you’ve somehow put Gabby at right back’
MON: ‘Yes, and?’ JR: ‘um, nothing’
MON: ‘right then, transfers.. I’ll filter the players, hang on’
MON spends about 5 minutes whittling down all the players in the world using the following criteria: Nationality – English, Age: under 24, Flair: less than 3, preferred position: right back, work rate: 20.
Approximately 1 player emerges as a potential target – some unknown Scunthorpe reserves player.
MON: ‘HE’s THE ONE!!’
JR: ‘Quite realistic this is isn’t it!’ Mon places a bid of £10m which he’s convinced will prize him away as it’s a tad over the asking price of £20k.
MON: ‘right then, lets see what our scouts are doing… hmm…. scouting only England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man! Pfff, that’s pathetic, how can it only send scouts to the UK!’
JR: ‘Well actually Martin, as a matter of fact…’
MON: ‘sweet is a silent tongue John, as I usually say to you on about the 60 minute mark when you suggest a substitute’
JR: ‘That’s a stupid idea Martin’
MON turns and stares at JR for a good 30 seconds, and then slowly turns round, clicks onto the ‘staff’ option in the game, and one by one sacks each and every staff member, including JR who he leaves to last
JR: ‘hah, you know you couldn’t manage without me Martin – remember, when we had the um chicken problem?’
MON: ‘Oh good grief yes, that was a fowl issue entirely. Now then, lets play’
The first game starts to play which happens to be a friendly against Colchester at home. MON dances and jumps around the room, occasionally threatening the virtual linesman, and jumping up excitedly when villa attack. Eventually, the final score is Villa 1, Colchester 7.
MON: ‘What a completely unrealistic game… 7-1 hah’
JR: ‘I know it’s unrealistic, Heskey scored for us!’
MON: ‘I was referring to the scoreline you imbecile! Anyway, Heskey is doing a sterling job as my flying winger down that left flank. 7-1, we would never lose 7-1 in reality!’
JR: ‘um, probably not’
Martin clicks through the post match conference screens, and crowd reaction before looking at the news page. The news is that Nigel Reo-Coker had been injured in training – scuffed toenails, out for 6 months. MON screams at the computer and starts to wrestle the monitor:
MON: ‘HAW DARE YOU DEFY ME… I’LL GIVE YOU CLIPPED TOENAILS YOU AWFUL ROTTER!’
JR Finally pulls Martin away kicking and screaming at the monitor, closes the game down and carefully stuffs the CD into the waste basket marked ‘Martins secret summer plans for 2010’. The CD just happens to obscure a scrap of paper which, in very illegible handwriting you can just make out ‘Bid… Messi, Rooney, Jason Scotland’