The Four Horsemen: Revisited

 

Emergency meeting

Death: What in the absolute f**k is going on at Tottenham?
War: Don't look at me. I've been on annual leave.
Pestilence: How's Syria these days?
War: Positively delightful.
Pestilence: Jet-setter.
War: Where you off to this year?
Pestilence: Love Island.
War: You're brave.
Pestilence: It's fine. I've had my jabs.
Death: Gentlemen, please!

*door opens*

Famine: Yo.
Death: You're late. Again.
Famine: Soz. Got into another fight with the dispenser.
War: Kit-Kat?
Famine: Skittles. Stuck on release. Had to give it a good kick.
Death: Have we quite finished ladies. Can we focus on the PowerPoint slides please.

*auto-play of Tottenham's recent history*

Death: As you can see, everything was perfection from the moment we conspired to link Harry Redknapp to the England job. Since then, all our work has been effective and destructive. The Villas-Boas appointment. The Bale sale. The Baldini spending spree. Sherwood. Archway.  All the hard work culminating with the arrival of the supposedly underwhelming Pochettino. Key word here is; supposedly. Thoughts?
Pestilence: It hasn't quite gone according to plan. They've got a core of excellent youth and experienced players with synergy binding them together. Team spirit is priceless and is rarely bought. Pochettino is without blag. They are persistent in puncturing the top four and Champions League. Harry Kane is like a fart in a lift, you have no idea where it came from but it's killing you. Spurs are often touted as outside challengers for the title and nobody is laughing.
Famine: I don't even understand how we got here. Should we recall Moussa Sissoko? We followed the project roadmap down to the smallest detail, even projected any potential upturn in their favour. The work we did with Roberto Soldado was award winning. I even cried during my acceptance speech.
War: Maybe we've got a little bit too deliberate with this project. Soldado paved the way for Kane so maybe hand back that award yeah? It might be like that time Moses burnt the acacia tree and tripped out of his head on DMT. Those commandments were never officially approved. He practically shornhorned them in.
Pestilence: Lovely lad Moses, just no sense of direction. Stuck in the same pay-grade for years.
Death: What's the point War?
War: Maybe it's just...you know...fate? Just one of those things that's completely out of our control.

*gasps*

Death: You suffering from sun-stroke lad?
War: Hey hey, at last a complement on my colour. Got caught up in a couple of drone attacks but I've topped it up with fake tan. You like?
Death: I'm asking whether you're completely and utterly insane to suggest such a ridiculous thing.
War: Ridiculous? The fake tan makes me look orange doesn't it? Damn it, no wonder Mandy in HR was looking at me all funny. Thought she might have liked the contrast between my skin tone and my quarter length chinos.
Death: You said fate, damn it. You're suggesting this backwards ideology as a reason for their change in fortune?
War: Oh...right...I just meant, this is like one of those things that sort of kinda happens that we sort of can't...you know...control. Maybe it's being led by another department? I just feel our influence has waned.
Pestilence: It's going to wane if you persist in wearing flip-flops to work. You think maybe the God squad are involved?
War: Perhaps. Their tech guys are pretty sharp.
Death: Blasphemy!
Famine: That's the spirit.
Death: Should we give them a call? Find out if they're working on anything that might be a potential conflict?
Pestilence: Aren't they busy with their religious mumbo jumbo?
Death: They slowed down centuries ago. I think they log new requests under 'small project works' if and when one is required. They outsourced most of the BAU work to a start-up that specialise in maximising profit for the entertainment sector.
Pestilence: They still have major shareholder interest. Guess they don't want to be publicly accountable. They focusing on anything new?
Famine: Hedgefunds I think.
Pestilence: Really?
Famine: Amongst other things. Turns out that once the whole biblical thing peaked its momentum slowed down. They haven't updated the OS for a while. It's became stale. Don't think they ever really recovered from the Crusades. Overspent on budget. Turns out there's more money to be made from bankrolling oil and corporate domination of government. More in shares than prayers.
Pestilence: Oh yes, of course. I remember their lack of conviction after our hostile takeover of the Vatican. Flagship product and they let us buy then sublet to the old men and their exclusive boys only cult. You heard about their bathhouse? It's like Studio 54.
War: The Pope loves a foam party. Crusades were GOAT by the way. Never quite understood why we're the poster boys of bad when they get away with equal measures of murder.
Famine: It's down to PR and propaganda. They get Edelman we get Clifford. They just announced Steve Jobs to head their new creative department. Something about maximising royalties for Christmas.
War: Wow. Didn’t realise Jobs got transferred back up.
Death: Okay, okay...settle down with the nostalgia and intranet updates. Let's find out if there are any conflicts at play so we can devise a new action plan.

*phone connection made*

Death: Hello. Can you put me through to...
Jesus: Oh it's you.
Death: Er..Hi.
Jesus: Well this is...
Death: Awkward?
Jesus: Just a little.
Death: Look, about that whole crucifixion thing...
Jesus: You don't have to explain. It had to happen. Its run its course.
Death: I know...but...we didn't really catch up one-to-one after the lessons learnt workshop.
Jesus: I got called zombie boy for months after you know. Quite hurtful.
Death: Your dads humour has always been a bit harsh. Ever since the Flood he loves to take it just a little bit too far. Anyways, what you doing answering the phone? You the new PA?
Jesus: Just helping out in the office. Bit of work experience. All these delays with the production of the Second Coming. We've gone through a dozen re-writes and project managers so far. You guys over there seen the latest proposal?
Death: Yeah, we're primed for it but obvs, can't shift until you lot get all the marketing agreed. Having the rich inherit the earth instead of the meek should get sign-off in the next few weeks. You been up to anything else recently?
Jesus: Had a sabbatical in India.
Death: Again?
Jesus: You know me.
Death: You still bitter about the book edits?
Jesus: Seething. The amount of sh*t they left out...
Death: You always advocated reincarnation pretty strongly although that's one of my pet hates, doubles my workload...
Jesus: There's that and don't even get me started on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Talk about lost in translation. But life is good. Earning a fortune off image rights.
Death: Look, there's something I need to ask you. Do you know of any ongoing work that might have seen someone protect the interests of Tottenham Hotspur?
Jesus: Spurs? The football club? Christ, we haven't looked their way since the 60s. They were meant to go on to dominate for several decades, but the post-room cocked up. Memo was assigned to the scousers by mistake and nobody double checked before pushing it live. Happened before the IT freeze so we couldn't roll back. Problem?
Death: Nothing we can't handle.
Jesus: You sure? Pochettino got you sweating? You should chill. He's not the messiah, he's just a very good football manager.
Death: Too good for our liking.
Jesus: Well, I can't help you. I don't mind Tottenham. Although the whole y-word debate makes me want to blog with the swear-filter off.
Death: So you've not heard anything on the grapevine?
Jesus: We only audit natural disasters and make sure there's just enough suffering for them to avoid giving up completely and thus keeping the faith.
Death: You talking about football or religion?
Jesus: There's a difference? You know we don't really like to get our hands dirty. Not until after the relaunch. Roswell really f**ed things up technology wise. We can't pull the wool over their eyes like the old days. Look, it's been good catching up. Got to go. Spinning then yoga.
Death: How's the wine collection by the way?
Jesus: I've been sober for a thousand years.
Death: Oh sorry, I didn't...
Jesus: Relax. It's still a hobby. And dad, well, you know...glug glug glug.
Death: Laters J-C.
Jesus: Peace.

*puts phone down*

Death: Nothing. There's no conflicting project.
War: What do we do now?
Pestilence: We've got to get Poch out of Spurs? Want me to WhatsApp Florentino?
Death: Madrid? Madrid? Madrid is your answer to everything. Where should Luka go? Madrid. Where should Bale go? Madrid? Bore off with Madrid. It's lazy. What next? Kane to Madrid? We could get an interim to handle Madrid it's that easy.
Famine: How about we do nothing? 
Death: What? First it's fate and now 'let's do nothing'. The reason Spurs are Spursy is because of what we do here in the office and out in the field. We invented Spursy. Do you realise how much we pay for the license? Brand and legal are like vultures over a dead carcass with it. The SLA's are a bitch, they have to be upheld at all times.
Famine: Maybe they've been conditioned to always fail no matter what - no matter how good they're perceived to be. We're always there to lend a hand but what if the expectancy has become part of who they are? Maybe they falter not because the Gods look the other way or because of our due diligence but because they instinctively don't know any better. Don't shout about it, but perhaps our influence has waned. It doesn't mean it's detrimental to this department.
War: Interesting theory.
Pestilence: Maybe get Kane and Dele, Eriksen too, transferred to La Liga? 
Death: *looks at Pestilence*
Pestilence: Did I say Madrid? Did anyone else hear me use the M-word? Did I? Maybe I was referring to Barcelona. There is another team in Spain you know. 
War: So we let things be instead of trying to force things to happen?
Famine: Exactly. Look at previous seasons. We tampered with the transfer window, left them light and now they're swaggering like heavyweights. In 2010 we gave them injuries and a fixture list from hell and they still qualified for the Champions League. We got Kane to swap red for Lilywhite as a practical joke; talk about egg on face. We've had this contract since the mid-80s. Irving Scholar was my brain child. We appear to sometimes inadvertently give them a platform to overachieve. Maybe we've tinkered too much. Made them more robust. But that makes them pure in terms of their humanity. Which means they're susceptible to morality.
Death: They could naturally self-implode?
Famine: *chews skittles* All on their own without outside interference. It will be even more spectacular than any orchestrated diversion.
War: And we still get the credit and 15% on our bonus.
Pestilence: And what if it fails? What if not doing a thing is the worst thing we can do? What if no outside interference is the exact type of fuel they need to reach uncharted territory? The logic for their potential failure just seems...I don't know...flawed.
War: We could appoint Moses as their new director of football? You know how klutzy he is with finding the promised land. Or maybe revisit Daniel Levy - drop an inception when he's dreaming? Get him to offer a couple of insulting contract renewals?
Death: That means we're still involved. It's also still a risk just stepping back. The last time we didn't interfere Genghis Khan destroyed Baghdad which was the paragon of civilisation. We got all the credit for that. None of us were even in the office. We were at that LAN party, playing Quake. Hmm. Maybe the logic isn't flawed. Maybe it's worth the risk. Screw it, let's do it. Let's do nothing. Let's wait for Tottenham Hotspur to destroy itself.
Famine: Just send the Ghost of Christmas Future to Levy. Not the real Ghost, he’s been working as a male escort for the past six decades. Send whatshisface, you know. 
Death: ?
Famine: Lucifer. He loves a fancy dress. Get him to show a desolate stadium in N17, tell him he’ll end up doing a Leeds. He’ll become even tighter with the transfer budget. Everyone else spends money, if he doesn’t then no amount of coaching will get them into a position of contention when other clubs spend untold millions. They will be stretched too far this time. They'll have reached a breaking point.
Pestilence: Didn’t we just agree to do nothing? Surely this constitutes doing something?
Famine: *chews more skittles* Yeah, sure. But this is agreeing to a centre-point and also allows us to create an audit trail. All we are doing is tasking the man at the helm to do nothing on behalf of us. We are simply outsourcing and not a penny extra has to be spent from the budget. Levy doesn't do anything when their fans demand him to spend. This makes certain he does exactly that again. It's the perfect middle ground.

Sometime later…

Pestilence: The new stadium looks pretty lush.
Famine: I ain’t gonna lie. The cheese room will be dope. Don’t even get me started on the micro-brewery. 
War: You’ve always been such a hipster. 
Famine: It’s style mate.
War: I know what style is.
Famine: Laugh out loud what? Your concept to start World War Three is a reality tv show host.
War: Is he or isn’t he the President of the United States of America because of me thank you very much?
Famine: Fake news. Everyone knows you were backing Hilary. You got smashed on Tennents and dared one of our Russian IT guys to change the result.
War: You have no idea how politics work.
Famine: Ooh, look at Dr Strangelove over here. Half the time you luck out or just f**k up.
War: F**k up?
Famine: Bay of Pigs. That went well.
War: Now hold on a second. I made up for it. I shot JFK.
Famine: That was improvised! You were on your way to paint-balling with the finance team, you took a diversion because you needed a p*ss. How about the ending to the second World War? Such a huge disappointment. I read the original script. I mean Russia in the winter? How could you possibly think that would be a viable alternative?
War: That was on purpose! It was Machiavellian. You never heard of Operation Paperclip?
Death: ENOUGH !

….

Death: Thank you gentlemen. Back to the running order please. Pest..
Pestilence: So to summarise recent events; The new stadium will not be finished on time. Harry Kane won the Golden Boot at the World Cup whilst Spurs had a huge contingent of players present. Everyone in the Prem is splashing out millions on players. Even Fulham, Everton and West Ham are leaving Spurs behind. This is going exactly as we er...agreed not to technically get involved...haha
War: Excellent.
Pestilence: …Poch is still at the club. At the time of this meeting, no transfers in. Not a single one. Not even sure they’ve sold any players. Poch is also banging on about the club being active in the market and looking to sign new blood. He’s drinking the Levy Kool-Aid. Either that or he’s making sure he has an exit strategy for next summer.
Death: So…?
Pestilence: So, it would appear Levy was haunted successfully. Whilst others increase depth, Spurs will have to anchor onto Erik Lamela’s new contract and the risk of another solid season with no silverware edging closer to their key players leaving next summer. They might even keep Dembele. As a security blanket any players Spurs bid for, Chelsea will double the offer.
Death: Brilliant. We did nothing by getting Levy to do nothing which is what he does every summer transfer window anyways. The season is kicking off soon and they are languishing on a US Tour with no new injection of players.
Famine: Can we wrap this up. There’s two kettle-bells waiting for me in the gym. 
War: You still doing that intermittent fasting diet?
Famine: Yeah.
War: You look buff mate.
Famine: The ladies always swipe right.
Death: *cough* Back on topic please. We good to go?
War: Yes, but…
Death: What?
War: Fate. It still sticks in my throat. 
Pestilence: Nah. Let Levy kill them from within. I made sure he won the CEO of the year award. I'll also push up the Twitter bots to churn out pro-ENIC statements about financial reports. They will eat themselves. Spurs Twitter will turn into a human centipede. It will be glorious. 
Death: So we just wait until the season starts and the windows closes. Then job done. We can then crack open that 800 year old bottle of baby Seal blood in celebration. 

Last day of the 2019 season

Death: F**king hell.
Pestilence: How.
War: Well this is different.
Famine: Tottenham Hotspur. Champions. Daniel Levy with a positive net spend. Scousers jumping into the River Mersey like Lemmings. 
Death: We interfered by not interfering yet someone still managed to interfere. They didn’t sign a single player. They still won it. They actually won it. 
War: Can I suggest we flick the switch?
Famine: Really?
War: Yes. Just scrap it all and try again.
Pestilence: You realise we’re over budget already?
War: Yes, but we had this all tied up perfectly and we someone endeavoured to lose it all. Let’s go back to where we had this in the bag and this time…make no mistakes.
Death: I’ll get it approved by upper management. 
Famine: Jheee…


November 1997


“I want this to become my ticket to the dreams”


Death: This better work.
War: Of course it will. Just look at his face. I made sure he got the train here.
Death: What if it doesn’t?
War: We could revisit 2008 and see if we can save Ramos from getting the chop? Make sure Redknapp doesn't get the job. Get them relegated. Haha, I can't believe he's waving his tube ticket, this guy is nuts.
Death: They’ve been relegated before you know.
War: Let's worry about the future at a later date. We are trying to change it by consolidating misery in their past. This appointment should have them suffering in mediocrity for decades. They'll probably never be in a position to appoint Ramos in the first place. Haha, look at Sugar's face haha...


Last day of the 2019 season. Again.

Death: F**king hell.
Pestilence: How.
War: I can't believe it all played out the same way again. 
Famine: Tottenham Hotspur. Champions. Positive net spend. 
Death: They didn’t sign a single player. They won it. They won it. Again. Do we revisit Ramos then? I can book it in for the afternoon.
War: No. That isn't drastic enough. We’re going to need to go further back. All the way to the start. We need to end this once and for all.

 

1882. Night time, Tottenham High Road. 

Death: Is this the lamp post? The actual one?
War: Yes. Hurry up and help me. They'll be here soon.
Death: Help you what?
War: Dig it up. This and every other lamp post in sight.
Death: Would it not be easier to just break Bobby Buckle's legs?
War: Logistics mate, logistics.