Mr Wenger’s Epiphany

The following is courtesy of strange bOUnce,a site dedicated to fiction,satire and verse,all lightly brushed up with sport.

Mr Wenger smiled.  “Not at all.  The cacophony of boos when I took Alex off just serves to highlight what a good manager I am.”

The young journo’s reply was a quizzical expression.

“It shows how highly the fans rate him, and means I was right to sign him in the first place!”

Mr Wenger bounced out the room and was soon in the car park.  There, he saw some young boys kicking a tennis ball between themselves.  One of them spotted the Arsenal manager and alerted his mates.

“Hey, look who it is!  Mr Wenger, sir, when’s Abou Diaby back?  He’s always injured these days.”

Mr Wenger smiled.  “It’s hard to tell these things, we must just wait and be patient.  Soon though, I hope.”

The boy looked sad.  “Do you think maybe he was a waste of money, Mr Wenger?  We really need a strong, consistent midfielder but you keep your faith in him and that Czech one with perfect hair, and they’re never fit.”

“Indeed.  But their combined absence today just showed what a good manager I am.”

The boys all replied with quizzical expressions.

“The gaping hole in our midfield shows how much we missed them, and what good signing they would have been if they had two working legs between them!”

Mr Wenger bounded past the boys to his car.  Driving along the motorway, he tuned into Radio Five’s 606.  The phone-in was focused on his club.  DJ Spooney and Jason Roberts were saying some less that complementary things about his tactics.

Mr Wenger phoned in — using a hands free set, of course — and immediately he was put through.  

He smiled self-assuredly as he spoke to the presenters.  “My instructions to the players were a little off, perhaps you are right, yes.  The fact we only lost by the one goal though surely serves as an indicator of what a good manager I am?

The presenters responded with a stunned silence, quizzical looks wasted on their listeners.

“What good players I must have picked, if they can perform like this and almost earn a point, even with such a poor strategy and weak leadership.  I should be a scout–”

Mr Wenger stopped mid sentence.  His smile turned into a furrowed brow.  He hung up, not listening to Spoony and Roberts’ responses.  

The epiphany had hit him.  He punched a number agitatedly into his phone.

“Mr Hill-Wood?  Yes, it’s Arsene.  Yes, fine.  Yes.  No.  No.  No.  No, we can’t afford.. No… Listen, can you get an errand boy — yes Andrei will be fine — to get me the following, for first thing tomorrow?  One cardboard box, big enough to clear my desk, one notepad, big enough for the names of six hundred African midfielders, and one long, warm, winter coat.  I’ll be needing to keep warm in my new calling, and the flimsy little thing I have at the moment’s no good at all.”

He hung up abruptly again, not giving the Arsenal Chairman a chance to answer.

Arsene smiled again, as he ripped up his half empty tactics book.  This time, however, for the first time in years, his smile was a genuine one.

Jude Ellery

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