18 July 2014

Poldi bids Khedira a fond farewell...

GERMANY—It was an unseasonably warm day as Sami strolled along the Rhine, wondering how it could be that water could shimmer so sweetly. Perhaps it was La Décima still ringing in his ears. Perhaps it was the World Cup celebration. Still again, it might be the ringing of his mobile as his agent again called to update him on the latest news regarding his presumptive move to Arsenal. In any case, Sami felt secure, having made a confident return from ACL surgery, and it was with that blithe confident that he answered the call without checking the caller i.d...

     "a-HA!" The voice, rendered unintelligible due to its volume, pierced Sami's ear-drum.
     "Um, who is this?"
     "Sami. Sami. Saaaammmmmiiii. Come on, now. Don't tell us you don't recognize the voice. Sami...."
     "Okay, er, um, yes. How are you?" Sami stammered and stalled, desperately trying to buy time. "I know that we are talking of a move to Arsenal. How do they receive our requests?"
     The voice that came into Sami's ear dripped with disappointment. With sarcascm. "Sami. What is it you are doing? You know you have go up the apples and pears, one at a time, yes? You are doing this much too quickly."
     "I still am not sure who it is I talk to. Jorg, is this you? It does not quite sound like—"
     "Jorg? Jorg? This is not Jorg, you twit—oh, es tut mir leid—I can't Adam-and-Eve I dropped the dog-and-bone—hold on a minte...AHA! Sami! You know now who it is?"
     "Um, Lukas? Lukas, is this you?"
     "Aces, mate! #Aha!"
     Sami felt a bit confused, adrift as it were, even as he spoke to his countryman. "I am sorry, please, Lukas, but what is this 'aces'? I'm not sure I understand."
     "Bob's yer uncle, mate. It's just dear old Blighty, innit? I rang you up once I heard you might be joinin' the Arsenal!"
     "Erm, yes. My agent and I have been discussing such a move with your manager and the board, and we—"
     "Lemme stop you right there, mate. Yer wages, they're off the charts, see? Mesut hisself is getting—what?—130 a week? And you want, what is I'm hearin'? 130 net, after taxes and commisions and what-not? Bugger me if you'd be gettin' that 'round these parts or anywhere else for that matter."
     Sami took his mobile from his ear to stare at it in disbelief. I'm Sami Khedira, after all. I just won the World Cup. I won a tenth Champions League. I shall decide my wages. "Lukas, look. Understand me. I am a very good player, one of the best in the—"
     "Sami...." The voice offered a warning.
     "—one of the best at this position. Arsenal need a physical defensive midfielder, and it is this role that I can play. With me, Per, Mesut, and you, we can show these Brits how it is that we—"
     "Sami. I must stop you there. You must listen to me. You are a very good player, it is true. I have played with you. I have practiced against you. I know what you can do. This is why you must listen to me. You can do many things, but you cannot convince Arsenal to pay you—what is it?—£180,000 a week? This is—"
     "I want only £105,000 a week, net, and I believe this to be fair enough for—"
     "Verstummen. You are talking out of your arse, as we say. Mesut and Alexis do not play for that much. You will reduce your demands (or is it Jorg's demands that we discuss? Hm?), or you will stay in Madrid. Not even those Chavs at Chelsea would pay you this much. You are 27. You tore your ACL. You expect the galáctico-wages, but those days are over. If you come to Arsenal, we will win, and you will be legend. Stay at Real, and yes, you win, but it is in the shadow of Ronaldo, Ramos, Casillas, Bale."
     "Yes, Lukas; yes, but I must feel respected, and Jorg tells me that my wage-packet equals respect. Is this not true?"
     There was a pause. Sami pressed his mobile closer to his ear. Hearing nothing, he held it up to the sky, hoping to improve the reception. If only I earned more, Sami thought, I could buy a phone with better reception.
     "Sami. This is Lukas talking. If you do not believe in the Arsenal, if you do not believe in yourself, do not bother us then with your flirtations. Podolski out."
     Bewildered, Sami stared at his mobile. "Call ended," the display read.