I always had a lot of time for the outgoing Manchester City manager, Stuart Pearce. Well his press conferences and musical tastes, anyway.
However, I have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that, in seven weeks, Manchester City Football Club are going to appoint a foreign manager.
This appointment will come after the City board initially go after ‘big Sam Allardyce’ and offer to rename him ‘MASSIVE’. City are shocked to be rejected by Allardyce who has already signed up at Newcastle and is merely arguing over additional ex-gratia payments in brown bags to be exchanged at Washington services on the A1.
Unabashed, the chairman glibly assumes that timing of Paul Jewell’s resignation at Wigan is more then coincidental and quickly arranges a meeting. Paul Jewell tells him: ‘Look - I am at the end of my tether. The relegation battle left me a broken man. My doctor says I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I have been advised to take a 2 year break from football. I would have to be completely mad to take over at City’. ‘Oh so I take it that’s a ‘No’ then, is it ?’
The City board of directors then appoint Francis Lee to lead the increasingly urgent hunt for Pearce’s successor. His first effort is rebuffed by a City old boy - Steve Coppell. ‘Err - I only lasted 6 matches in 1996 for ‘personal reasons’ and, in any case, I’m working for a big club now.’
In desperation, the vice-chairman suggests a radical strategy - appointing the untried Joey Barton as player manager to instill some much needed ‘fighting spirit’ in the team. This is opposed vehemently by City fans who conclusively vote 23-6 against in a poll conducted in the Manchester Evening News.
An emergency board meeting is convened to discuss with just two items on the agenda:
- Is Sven Goran Eriksson fully paid-up by England yet ?
- AOB - Noel Gallagher’s offer.