An entertaining package?

An ex-'manager' writes...drivel

When I first came to the club the place was in a terrible state I could tell because there were commas in the managers notes and as every modern football manager knows it's very dangerous to have commas in the managers notes I believe that sort of thing detracts from our performance and restricts our ability to provide today's spectator with the kind of entertaining package that people expect from modern football clubs in the 1990s.

As soon as I arrived here I could tell there were major problems at the club so I set about putting things right and giving this obviously backward and badly run club the benefit of my encyclopaedic knowledge of football in order to provide the entertaining package the supporters wanted even if they didn't realise it yet but then they can't help that because they're not anywhere near as clever as what I am.

Curse it! Those pesky Chairboys foiled my evil plan!

The squad I inherited was in a terrible shape and had achieved little in recent years apart from getting promoted twice in two seasons and making thousands of supporters very happy but then as the modern manager knows that is only part of the entertaining package the modern customer demands in the 1990s and there were more important things to worry about like players smiling and enjoying themselves and things which is not in the spirit of the entertaining package I want to provide the paying customer so therefore it was clear to me that changes had to be made promptly in order to avoid a continuation of the terrible run of success the club had suffered in recent years.

It was very clear to me as a modern football manager that a club like this could not continue with popular senior players who were much better known more popular more famous and more intelligent than I am no way they had to go because they didn't fit in with the entertaining package I in my infite wisdom and mercy wanted to provide the supporter no way jose they had to go and other players who might bring unwanted qualities like imagination could rot in the reserves because as every modern successful manager knows the paying public in the 1990s want to see the ball being walloped up the pitch for very fast men to chase in vain and they want to see opposing teams booted off the pitch.

The goalkeeper had to go as well because he had the temerity to question my absolute authority and there is no way a modern manager can provide the paying customer with an entertaining package if players are questioning his absolute authority is there and the fact that he was the only goalkeeper we had is frankly neither here nor there.

An entertaining package

So with the playing side falling nicely into shape and the entertaining package I'd brought to the club becoming ever more specialised as we targeted it at an ever-decreasing core of paying customers now it was time to concentrate on the off the field side I had already brought in some very important innovations like putting up notices in the changing room saying be a winner which is very important because if you get rid of all the clever players you need to remind those who are left what they need to do to provide the paying customer with the entertaining package they were by now becoming desperate for.

However it was clear to me that not everyone shared my delight at they way I had brought the club into the 1990s and provided an entertaining package for the client there were some supporters who clearly did not understand what I was trying to do and that is to be expected because basically they are not very bright are they also some of the players were simply unable to take on board the information I was giving them every week which explains why perhaps the results were not all that you would expect from a brilliantly successful modern manager like myself and not only that even some of the senior people at the club were showing signs of a lack of appreciation of the the way I had transformed this once old fashioned little club into a modern efficient business unit.

So it was time for the masterstroke I in my infinite wisdom and mercy had already noticed that supporters were dangerously attached to the frankly outdated quartered kit and I knew that this kind of nostalgia and tradition is not part of the entertaining package the forward looking sports operation wishes to deliver to its clients so therefore I introduced a new kit that strangely looked a bit like the kit from the last club I got relegated of course we let the fans decide we gave them a straight choice between one really hideous kit and another really hideous kit ten voted for one kit and five for the other so it was clear that the fans really were in favour of the first hideous kit and there you have it we now looked like the entertaining package we were.

Unfortunately one can't expect less intelligent human beings than oneself to always understand the information you are giving them or to appreciate the entertaining package you are trying to provide them with and this clearly proved to be the case here for some reason supporters were unable to see what I had achieved and they still clung to outmoded notions about good football excitement and success evidently I had overestimated their intelligence and the players were simply unable to absorb the information I was giving them it was almost as if they thought I was a weird megalomaniac from outer space or something so we went to the bottom of the league and I got the push please dont send me back to the dark place aaarggghhh

You think that's bad - here's the official version from programme notes:

1-8-95 (pre-season v Southampton) - 'I would like to thank everybody for their support for our first home match against Ipswich and I hope that during the season we can build upon our supporters to make sure that the majority of weeks the ground is full as it has a great atmosphere here at Adams Park. I think that the more people we can get to support us obviously the better and I think you will find that the players will respond to your encouragement.'

15-8-95 (Coca Cola v Orient) - 'Over the next few weeks we will be continuing to improve the package we can offer you the fans, and as I have said previously in my programme notes, I want a situation whereby when you come to Wycombe it is a special occasion and that we can offer something slightly different to the average football club.'

9-9-95 (Peterborough) - 'It is no coincidence that we have won our last two games without one of our players being sent off and in fact throughout our three wins this season the players performed in a disciplined manner, standing on their feet and carrying out the instructions that had been given.' WWFC 10th in Div 2

19-9-95 (Coca Cola v Man City) - 'We have shown more stability on the field in our last few performances and the players are steadily growing in confidence and taking on board the information we have given them, and the three new signings have given a better overall balance to the club.'WWFC 7th in Div 2

23-9-95 (Wrexham) - 'Over the last few games I have taken to sitting in the stand for some of the time and whilst I find this difficult it has given me a better view of the overall pattern of the team, with David Kemp being on the touchline, although I am gradually wearing out the stair carpet running up and down - and perhaps that modern technology of a telephone may be installed, but I do not want you to stop chanting for the team, if at various stages I am trying to look at the tactical side from a higher angle.' (probably saw more of the bloody ball up there)

28-10-95 (Hull ) - 'I must remind everyone that many clubs would be envious of our record and the way this football club is run - and it does seem to me, as a newcomer, there is too much criticism on minor matters that are not important and there should be much more positive thinking given towards the success of this football club.' WWFC 7th in Div 2

18-11-95 (Bristol R) - 'I have now been coaching for just under 20 years at both Youth Team and First Team level and have attended numerous management and business courses, which I have tried to put to good use both in my private and professional life. But like most managers I will get letters telling me that I have made a wrong decision without really the writer being able to know the whole global view and the in depth reasons why decisions are taken. WWFC 4th in Div 2

1-1-96 (Rotherham) - 'If we can show a marked improvement in our home form for the second half of the season I am sure we can finish very strongly and bearing in mind we have always had 5 or 6 players injured this season things will improve, and as players go through the learning curve everyone will benefit from our progress.' WWFC 9th in Div 2

27-1-96 (Brighton) - 'Simon Garner has gone on loan to Torquay United, but again he is training with us daily and as a senior professional I like to call on him and others for a word of advice.....Our new signing from Grays Athletic, Matthew Lawrence, who has been highly recommended.....we are now starting to get our passing game right...' WWFC 11th in Div 2

24-2-96 (Stockport) - 'Despite peoples views on the matter, the true fact is that we have not scored enough goals, especially at home, and whilst we have created many chances they have not been taken and there are too many players in the squad who have failed to score a goal. In most teams it is not only the responsibility of the forwards to score but you hope that defenders will come in with 4/5 goals per season, midfield players 9/10 and you are looking for the forwards to certainly get in excess of 20 goals a piece.' WWFC 14th in Div 2

2-3-96 (Swindon) - '...I hope our own fans will continue to give us the excellent support we had last week and also appreciate that things change quickly and that the club is bigger than any one person in it.' WWFC 12th in Div 2

27-4-96 (Carlisle) - 'I was told by someone who had worked closely with the team when I arrived eight months ago that the side would need a radical overhaul if it was to avoid relegation.......Whilst our pre-season was successful, I saw early warning signs of our poor mental approach to matches......I had already been warned about the lack of physical fitness in the team when I arrived.......We have lost too many games through lack of character, although there have always been a handful of players I could rely on and it is no coincidence that they were the ones who did not miss a days training from Monday to Friday, and were prepared to give a full weeks work.....I have seen mention in this programme of "my style of play" but I can only say that My Style is the one when we had performances against Bradford, both home and away, Stockport, Burnley and Oxford away and I will not accept that players personal pride should not make them play the same as this each week, when the instructions they are given are no different...The fitness and preparation for matches left a lot to be desired....Whilst I sympathise with your frustrations, I can only say that from someone who knows, the picture was painted for me early on, and I suspect some of the character of the team did come through last season.' WWFC 12th in Div 2

The second season...

24-8-96 (Gillingham) - 'Welcome to our first League match at home this season and as I have said in my previous notes, I hope you will enjoy and appreciate the enormous changes that have been made during the close season..........with several new players in the squad we need to settle things quickly, but in general we now have a young team who are enthusiastic and hard working....'

3-9-96 (Reading, Coca Cola) - '18 teams in the three divisions failed to score this Saturday and I am sure that the hunt is on each Monday by the respective Managers to find players who have the art and craft to put the ball in the net. One should never underestimate the opposition and whilst the team and I were very disappointed with the result against Bury last Tuesday I am sure it went unnoticed that they went on to beat Bristol City 4-0 on Saturday and I believe had our concentration been much better for the free kick, from which they scored, we could have gone on to win the game. It is mistakes like this that prove costly.' WWFC 20th in Div 2

7-9-96 (Luton) - 'I genuinely believe that if you work hard and have faith in what you are doing you will eventually succeed, but it needs conviction from everyone at the club. I can tell you that in the world of football we are one of the most respected clubs for the achievements we have made both on and off the field. We should not be so critical when things don't go exactly as we like it as there is always someone much worse off than ourselves.' WWFC 20th in Div 2

21-9-96 (Brentford) - 'Despite the fact we dominated the second half of the game (Burnley) we were unable to put our superiority into goals and the truth is this has been the problem in all of our League games so far this season. We have been defensively sound with one of the best records in the division, but our hard work and organisation is not matched by our ability to finish relatively simple chances and obviously this is an area which must be looked at.' WWFC 23rd in Div 2

1-10-96 (Rotherham) - 'Good evening and a warm welcome to you all. No doubt you are surprised to find that these notes are being written by your Chairman after the Board of Directors decided to release Alan and David.'WWFC 24th in Div 2

Are you sick of hearing the Evil One wheedling away on Radio 5 Live about what a good manager he is? Why not email BBC sport to complain?

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