The Stupendous Adventures of Bale and Bentley episode nine
Conference room 23...
Pestilence – Calamity.
Famine – I thought we’d agreed to refer to them by their actual names. Gomes or Crouch?
Pestilence – I’m referring to you lot. We’ve exceeded the allocated slot assigned to have this project completed by. Finance are on my back which means no more budget increases so I’m having to cut back on anything that isn’t project essential.
Famine – Damn it, is that why there’s no more Jaffa Cakes?
War – Okay, so we’re over budget and missed launch by what? A month at best? It’s hardly a disaster is it? Everything is still in place. It’s still all playing out as per the forecast.
Pestilence – Risk assessment would point to a less positive outlook. Do you have anything to offer to this discussion?
Pestilence – Can you place the iPhone down for a second and pay attention please?
Death – What? Oh, sorry. Angry Birds. There’s this one pig, I can’t get the son of a...
Famine – Seriously how exactly are Jaffa Cakes classed as non-essential? Can we not cut back on stationary? We hardly need pen and paper, everything is soft copy. It’s the electronic age people. Reminds of the time during the Black Plague when I got a warning from HR for using the back of a diseased farmer to carve out my to-do list. I personally thought I was being resourceful.
Pestilence – Hush.
Famine – Soz.
Pestilence - Death. You’re the project lead with finalising closure of roadmap outputs. I can’t remember you highlighting any potential threats in the last PowerPoint presentation.
War – Great presentation by the way.
Famine – Yeah, loved the way you slipped in the slide of your wife in a bikini.
Pestilence – SILENCE. ENOUGH OF THIS AMATEURISM!
Pestilence – Now let us please go over the minutes from the last meeting and work out a contingency plan to fix this in time for the summer break. Death, you had the agenda last time out, so War...your turn please. Death, I suggest you get your notes in order I want answers when we conclude.
War – Right, so first up, problems at the back. Some wonderful work on Woodgate and King.
Pestilence – I’m efficient. Unlike some.
War – Gallas has signed a new contract. Hutton is out injured for the season.
Death – Yeah, massive shame with Hutton there. Not so efficient Pesty with that other one. Gallas has not had a single meltdown.
Pestilence – Regarding Hutton, I kept him in the team for as long as possible. You can hardly expect me to perform miracles. He’s Scottish. As for Gallas, it was always a calculated risk. There’s still time.
War – Moving on, we actually placed more resource on the forwards in the last quarter.
Famine – So that's where our budget went?
Death – Hey at least someone is splashing out their money on forwards. Memo to Levy, memo to Levy!
Famine - Zing!
War – Defoe can’t score for toffee, Pav is in and out of the team and Crouch was imperative to dumping Spurs out of the Champions League.
Pestilence – Impressive.
Famine – Thanks.
War – There’s also the Stratford thing.
Death – I really don’t get the big deal about that.
Famine – Yeah, I know what you mean. A club, its history and its traditions, it’s not quantifiable by its location. Games, players, silverware...it doesn’t suddenly become devalued or disappear from memory if you up and move. A club, it’s defined by its supporters and progression allows for new chapters to be written.
Death – Exactly. If they moved to Stratford it would still be Tottenham Hotspur. Geography should not get in the way of history that is forever unchangeable in the books that chronicle it.
War – I don’t agree. It’s Tottenham which means its N17. Otherwise why not just up and move them to any part of the South East? Why not just have every club do the same and we can rename the place the USA and call it franchised sport?
Death – Most Spurs fans don’t even live in N17. What is it with you pro-N17 anti-whatever lot? Are you blind? Without those extra seats the club will never compete. It’s the only option available.
War – Now steady on. Only option? What if the OS bid was won by Paris? What then?
Death – Weak argument. Much like those demonstrations outside the ground. Pathetic. Could you not muster up anything better than a couple of hundred people with banners?
War – I had nothing to do with that. My idea of having an army of 20,000 on horseback with sub-machine guns got vetoed by the historical inconsistency panel. Something about it being out of context. They're so anal.
Famine – I still think Spurs are best off remaining in N17 because...
Pestilence – SILENCE!
Pestilence – Keep the banal chit chat down to a minimum. You’ve all got Twitter accounts. Use them. Now, what of Stratford?
War – We gave it to West Ham United.
Pestilence – Was that a prudent choice? Sending Tottenham to Stratford would have further fragmented support.
War – Not the case sir. See, we basically did some market research.
Pestilence – Research?
War – Online poll.
Pestilence – Okay.
War - The only people vocal are ones who frequent blogs and message boards. More or less split down the middle. People that attend games remain sat on the preverbal fence. So it would have been a positive to have the club move to the OS site and maximise revenue. Everyone would have followed regardless and any dissidents would have been easily replaced with new fans. This way, with West Ham winning the bid, Levy will continue to bicker through the courts with the politics and accusations whilst they remain stuck in the not so viable N17.
Famine - In other words. You're sleeping with Karren Brady.
War - You're out of line 'mate'.
Famine - Say it's not true.
War - Okay, so we're dating. It's nothing serious.
Famine - Yeah, yeah. First it's dinner, then the theatre. What you going to get her for your one year anniversary? Removal of the running track from the legacy?
Death - Isn't Brady married?
War - Small technicality. Costs a bomb in hotel charges but she gets free access to porn.
Pestilence – <points to watch> Good work, now can we please move it along and ease up on the unnecessary commentary. I’ve got a ten o’clock. Botox. Let’s try to wrap this up quickly.
War – Okay, okay. So we’ve got van der Vaart still carrying the extra pounds.
Famine – Don’t look at me.
Pestilence – Anyone?
Death – Not me either.
Pestilence – We’ll mark that one down as luck.
War – Fixture list making it an uphill struggle for cementing 4th again. Also, as a fail-safe we’ve managed to organise a Man City v Stoke City FA Cup final. Meaning that if Man City win the cup and have yet to secure fourth spot it’s in Stoke’s best interest to lose when they meet in the league three days later. European qualification complexities. Very tasty this. And if Stoke win the Cup they will hardly bother to turn up for the league game all things considering. Win, win for us and Man City.
Famine – Genius.
War – What else, what else? Okay, so obviously as we all know they got dumped out the Champions League. Harry continues to be linked with the England job and I’ve also set myself up as a writer for countless news feed blogs and sites so I’m really drilling home the Modric/Bale/van der Vaart ‘off in the summer’ initiative.
Pestilence – Perhaps remove van der Vaart from that equation. Just saying.
War – And I think that's it.
Pestilence – Okay. Thank you War. Death, anything you wish to input at this juncture?
Death – I’ve been speaking to the creative department and have pencilled in a bitter sweet twist for the conclusion of the Prem league. Plenty of people drawing parallels to last season’s run-in. You’ll have noticed that Spurs need to play Arsenal, Chelsea and City again.
Pestilence – So, you’re suggesting what exactly?
Death – Arsenal to avenge last seasons 2-1 and this seasons 3-2. Chelsea to avenge their 2-1 defeat. And City owe Spurs payback for the 1-0.
Pestilence – I see nothing but dust on your scythe. Explain.
Death – Arsenal are gunning for the title.
Famine – Hold up, hold up. Just got a push notification from Eurosport. Jesus Christ, Liverpool got a penalty in the 112th minute to equalise! It's finished one all!
Pestilence – I’m sick of that God boy interfering with our business. Wenger’s team will be deflated now. Especially if Man Utd beat Newcastle.
Death – Okay, well, not all is lost. That's just one part of a triple threat. City will not want to make the same mistakes again. They are three points clear of Spurs. They only need to equal or better Tottenham's results and then beat them or even draw at Eastlands what with superior goal difference.
Pestilence – Only? They only need to? Goal difference? What if they slip up and Spurs win their other games? Is this how you plan to end Tottenham Hotspur once and for all? You're losing your edge. Far too much annual leave in the Bahamas has turned you soft and weak. And the rest of you, did any of you not stop to think that perhaps this FA Cup thing will be a distraction for Man City? Well? I also had twenty quid on Utd to do the treble for the love of all things dead...
<scratching of heads>
Death – Calm down, I did say all is not lost. There’s always my secret weapon. Torres. I got him transferred over there from Liverpool simply to be in a position to shoot down Spurs and ruin any possibility of a second successive CL placement what with Chelsea being involved in the Top four battle.
Pestilence – Torres?
Death – Yes.
Pestilence – Fernando Jose Torres Sanz?
Death – Er...yeah. That's him. Why?
Pestilence – For the love of... <shakes head despondently)
War: Do you even watch football dude?
Pestilence – How exactly did this monumental screw up happen?
Famine – Sorry guys. I was doing a little bit of outsourcing for a scouse friend of mine. I did tell you Death.
Death - Tell me what? Has Torres not scored for Chelsea?
Famine - No. He hasn't.
Death - Why did I not know about this?
Famine - I said I told you.
Death – No you didn’t.
Famine – I did. I poked you on Facebook. I set up a website for you to track.
Death – I only periodically log-in to update my status, could you not have sent me an email or a diseased farmer with a memo carved into his back?
Famine – Ha! There you go! I'm not the only one! Speak to HR. It isn’t just Jaffa Cakes they’re cutting back on. And honestly, whilst we're at it, could we not order in another plague or disaster to deal with all this rather than working through all these intricate details?
Death – Gross. Comolli. Ramos. The board of directors are in agreement that a disaster is a short team win only. And that last one, they made t-shirts out of it for crying out loud.
War – 'Two points, eight games' did have a good ring to it. I bought one. Rather fetching.
Pestilence – SILENCE! ENOUGH! ENOUGH! Let’s just reconvene this afternoon. Also pencil in a lessons learnt session for post-end of season. In the mean time, all of you brainstorm with your teams. I want ideas to end this push for fourth sooner rather than later and not have to rely on a set of variables that might or might not happen whilst we sit back slouching on the sofa. We need to be proactive not reactive. We’ve got shareholders to answer to people. So I want to see some fire in your bellies.
War – Actually, hold up a sec, before you all leave. There’s one final agenda point I’ve got here.
Pestilence – What’s that?
War – The PFA Player of the Year awards.
Pestilence – This was fixed back in December. We manipulated the votes. Close it off. It's done.
Pestilence – Please tell me someone, anyone...one of you...manipulated the votes? It’s down as completed on the roadmap on the shared drive. Anyone?
Pestilence - <holds head in hands> Unbelievable.
War – Looking at the general company newsletter sent out this morning, it says Bale will win it. Didn’t we agree at the last meeting that building him up would weigh him down in the long run? This is a good thing right?
Pestilence – That was an error of judgement. He’s stronger than we expected. Anything positive feeds him to do better. This is going to have a damaging effect on our bonus.
Death - Hey, let’s look at the bright side. He’s had a really really crap 2011.
Pestilence – That’s not the point, is it? Is it? Nobody down there is capable of grasping the poxy voting system any ways! They will debate and discuss and the hype will continue to build. Twenty-four games, twenty-four games without a win and now he’s player of the year!
Death – You really do suck with the anger management since you got your promotion.
Famine – I know I sound like I’m banging on about it, but what really? No agenda point covering supply of Jaffa Cakes to aid team meeting moral? Just that, I get Rich Tea are perceived as classic biscuits, but man look at them. As plain as a field with not a single blade of grass.
<conference room door opens>
David Baddiel – Hello chaps. Sorry I’m late. Got this cracking idea for you, cat amongst the pigeons tactic. You’re going to love it. Been sitting on this baby since the 1980s.
Pestilence – See! This is what I’m talking about. Some geninue get up and go initiative to do some proper damage! Go on David, I’m listening. What you got for us buddy?