Apparently, David Moyes sought guidance from Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday on the eve of the critical Champions League clash against Olympiakos.
The Manchester United manager met his predecessor in a darkened office. Ferguson sat on a leather executive chair and stroked a white cat. Moyes sat on the edge of the desk, constantly rubbing his eyes.
This is what the two men said to each other.
Moyes: Ah, Godfather, this Olympiakos game is perfect for me, perfect. I wouldn’t need to even coach, just be myself. An Olympiakos win would put me right back on top.
Ferguson: So? What’s the problem? Just win the game.
Moyes: But there’s no chance, no chance. I can’t win games, not after Liverpool. Ah, Godfather, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to.
(There is a slapping across the cheek sound.)
Ferguson: You can act like a man! Is this how a Manchester United manager turns out? A man who cries like a woman... “Oh, godfather, what can I do? I can’t beat Liverpool... Liverpool are the favourites”... What is this nonsense?
Moyes: I’m sorry, Godfather. But this job was much harder than I thought.
Ferguson: Never mind. I want you to rest well and a month from now United will give you whatever you want.
Moyes: It’s too late. We play Olympiakos tomorrow morning.
Ferguson: Look, I’m gonna make them an offer they can’t refuse.
Moyes: You’re going to hide a horse’s head under their manager’s bed?
Ferguson: No, something much more terrifying. I’m going to hide Wayne Rooney in the bed.
Moyes: Don’t you think that’s a bit extreme?
Ferguson: How do you think I’ve won so many titles in the past?
Moyes: I don’t know. This job is too big for me, Godfather. How did I get it in the first place?
Ferguson: No silly American owner can refuse any request on the day I win a title.
Moyes: You still believe I’m the man for the United job.
Ferguson: You’re Scottish.
Moyes: So? That just proves I don’t like spending money. You saw me at Everton.
Ferguson: Well, now you’ve got money. Spend it on whoever you like.
Moyes: I bought Marouane Fellaini.
Ferguson: Yeah, maybe I should handle transfers.
Moyes: You told me to make them an offer they couldn’t refuse.
Ferguson: It’s Fellaini. You could’ve offered Luis Nani and a round of drinks and still got Fellaini.
Moyes: Do you not think that’s a bit one-sided?
Ferguson: Okay, drop the round of drinks. But you still should’ve got Fellaini on the cheap. Does that scruffy man ever spend time with the hairdresser?
Moyes: I don’t think so, Godfather.
Ferguson: That’s what I thought. Any man who doesn’t spend time with a hairdresser can never be a real man.
Moyes: Rooney spends a lot of time at the hairdressers.
Ferguson: No, he spends time at the hair-weavers; it doesn’t count. You need to toughen up with men like Rooney. Use my name if you have to. Then your enemies become my enemies. Then they will fear you.
Moyes: I told them at training that they should fear me.
Ferguson: And what did they say?
Moyes: Nothing. They’d all left and gone for a shower.
Ferguson: Did anyone stay?
Moyes: Juan Mata. But I think that’s because he didn’t really understand my Scottish accent.
Ferguson: But you are letting them say too much publicly. Now you’ve got Mata blaming you for the weather, saying the sun will rise again.
Moyes: I think he was speaking metaphorically. He’s not really saying the lack of sunshine is my fault.
Ferguson: He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. This is Manchester. The sun never rises in Manchester.
Moyes: I’ll tell him, Godfather. I’ve got him training at the moment. He’s out to the right wing. I’m replicating my game plan against Liverpool. He hasn’t touched the ball for an hour.
Ferguson: You should be focusing on the youth teams, too. I’ve heard Kevin Sheedy, the youth coach at Everton, saying that you showed no interest in the Everton youth team while you were there.
Moyes: There was a youth team at Everton?
Ferguson: Yes, and we’ve got one at United, too, the best in the country.
Moyes: Really? I thought it closed when I promoted Adnan Januzaj. Look, I don’t need youth. I’ve got the perfect game plan for Olympiakos. They’ll expect me to be adventurous, but that’s too obvious. I’m leaving Mata, Januzaj, Rooney and Robin van Persie all in the No. 10 position. And I’m going to pack the subs bench with defenders, just in case I’m losing 3-0 and need to protect the scoreline.
Ferguson: You might need some tactical advice.
Moyes: Yeah, maybe. Will you come back until the end of the season?
Ferguson: Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.
Moyes: Great. I’ve got a strategy in place that has served me well in the past, one that will really boost morale against Olympiakos.
Ferguson: And what’s that?
Moyes: We’re going to play for a draw.
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