06 October 2014

Mourinho misdials and ends up apologizing to Arsène

José contemplated the beginning of the interlull with distaste. He did not like his expensive play-things used by other managers, where they might get damaged or lose some of their shininess through misuse. Still, he understood even as he smirked that these distractions affected him less than most, having at his disposal a second and even a third squad capable of beating most clubs' first team. Still, something nagged at him. A lingering feeling wouldn't quite let him rest. Even with Chelsea riding high in the Prem, having taken 19 points from 21 to date, something felt...off. Maybe Mendes could reassure him, find him someone to add to the squad in January, if not sooner? Vexed, José scrolled through his contacts to find his agent's number and clicked to call.

     "It is strange," José thought to himself. "I do not know this ring-tone. Did Jorge change it? It is not an issue for me."
     "Allo?" An unfamiliar issued forth.
     "Jorge? Is this you? You sound...different. Perhaps you have a sore throat or something?"
     "Is this Jorge? I do not speculate on such things. Do I have a little bit throat niggle? You tell me if you have given this information out."
     José took the phone from his ear and looked at it quizzically. There it was, clear as day, on the screen: JORGE MENDES. Why then was this strangely accented voice speaking to him? What is this niggle he mentions. "Jorge, it's José. I'm feeling a bit...strung out. I—we—we haven't bought enough players yet. I need—" As he spoke, his free hand scratched compulsively as if at a rash. He squirmed uncontrollably. "I need another player, Jorge. Just one more?"
     "Who eez this? You speak to me about players but I think we need a little bit handbrake here. Is Mendes top, top quality? We shall see. For now, I must ask you. Who may I say is speaking to me?"
     Looking even more irritated, José glared at the phone in his hand. It is time to do to this phone what I did to Casillas and Mata and Cech. I will replace you, phone, for you displease me. That would have to wait until later. For one thing, a shinier, brighter, more-expensive view was not within reach, and so the current one, bought for him by Roman just weeks ago, would have to do. José noticed with distaste a miniscule scratch in the screen but managed to choke back the bile before he continued. "This is not Jorge, is it?"
     "Realistically? No."
     "Then who is this? I, the Special One, demand you to speak!"
     There was a pause. A long, drawn-out sigh could be heard. "José, it is Arsène. You have called Arsène Wenger."
     "What?! I dial Jorge Mendes. Give the phone to Jorge, now!"
     "José, there is a little bit niggle. Please to apply the handbrake. Have I seen Jorge? I do not know. Maybe. Did you let Cesc play with your phone a little bit?"
     There was something inexplicable happening inside of José. Some say that his heart grew three sizes that day. "Arsène, I—I don't know what to say about Cesc. We didn't even need him. It's just that I—well, I am addicted to the transfers. Jorge and Roman, they tell me to cut back, but there's just such a rush."
     "Yes, José, I know this too. This is why I do not like windows. All summer, I keep them closed. Does it get a little bit stuffy? I cannot speculate on such matters. I can tell you that the eyes are the window to the soul. It is for this that I thrust my face towards yours on Sunday: to see your soul."
     "And?"
     "I must tell you, I did not see it."
     At that, José's jaw dropped. Gone was the characteristic smirk. In its place gaped a forlorn frown. José's chin sank slowly to his chest. "I...I'm sorry, Arsène."
     "Hm? I'm sorry, José." At that, José's spirits soared. "It's just the quality dropped a little bit in the second half." At that, his spirits crashed back down to Earth.
     "Did you hear my press conference after the match? I said you were good, I said your players were good. It was...it was different."
     "This is very good, José."
     "You don't know what it's like, Arsène. The pressure. The stress. How the fans demand victory no matter what. Even if I win, for them it is still not enough. They want me to win with 'style'. It's—" José paused. He could hear an audible chuckle on the line. "Do you laugh?"
     Arsène collected himself. "Am I laughing? I think yes. Do you not think that I face pressure and stress? You are not alone. I feel this. So too do we all. Bruce. Pardew. Martinez. Warnock. Do you see? You are not special in this matter."
     "Then why do I feel so alone?" José's voice was plaintive, beseeching.
     "Are you a little bit boorish? Footballistically, realistically, speaking? I think yes. Soon, maybe you will learn that there is more to managing a club than simply buying players. They have video games for that sort of approach."
   
Good times, good times. If only we could arrange an intervention, we might help José address his compulsive, acquisitive behaviors. Another time, perhaps. For now, I hope you don't mind an abrupt shift towards asking you to consider voting for this blog in the Football Blog Awards, in which Woolwich 1886 vies for a Best New Blog award. If so inclined, you can click here to tweet your vote. If you're not on twitter, you can click the image on the left or here to vote via email—just enter Woolwich 1886 in the "new" category, receive a confirmation email, and confirm. Done. Dusted. Thanks!