Original post on Goonersphere.
The dirty, funky guitar strummed him into a relaxed state. Listening to his favourite band – Coffeepot Drive – always was a precursor to his best plans, and this one was going to wreak havoc upon the Premier League and more importantly – Arsene Wenger.
His head bobbed as the bass guitar reverberated around his plush surroundings, and he swivelled around in his executive leather chair.
The last precious piece of his nefarious mental blueprint was due to walk in any minute now…..
The main doors at United’s Carrington Training complex were already primed for the new arrival, jammed open by a group of the football clubs hierarchy and training team on each side. The familiar sound of tyre upon gravel was the signal they needed to wrestle with any last minute nerves and to ensure their hair, attire and the initial words they had practised were perfect. They had all been briefed to avoid direct eye contact, so were practising their lines with their heads slightly bowed in a subservient manner.
A phalanx of blacked out 4×4’s crunched their way up toward the central doors, rapidly but smoothly coming to a halt simultaneously. In perfect unison, the passenger doors of all but the second massive vehicle swung open, and out of each clambered a suited female in black shades and tumbling golden locks.
All but one formed a line which started at the second vehicle and ended at the double doors where the dazed United staff stood.
The glorious female nearest the passenger door put one finger to her ear, as if to acknowledge either a verbal command or to comprehend an instruction from the processing chip which controlled her, and then opened the car door.
The man who presented himself to all was tall, and impeccably dressed. His dark hair was tied up into a ponytail, and he sported a soul patch below his lower lip. Although his suit hugged what was obviously a sporting physique succinctly, ink on his neck was still visible, the only sign on his outward appearance that this man may be somewhat of an enigma.
His telescopic lower limbs ate up the distance between the car, and as he walked, the army of besuited females hovered in an organised fashion behind him, all performing what was their designated roles – aside from one woman in front of the tall man, who offered colourful flower petals for the tall mans feet to step on as he walked.
The man with the ponytail stopped in front of the first member of United’s welcoming staff. This particular member of United’s backroom team offered a tentative hand and began to offer his pleasantries;
“Welcome to Manchester Un…..”
A member of the ponytailed man’s own extensive backroom team cut in sharply, ruining what was no doubt a well rehearsed line;
“Thank you, but we must speak with the Manager immediately.”
Realising they would not get their moment with this icon of football, they visibly slumped. The man who was lucky enough to utter three and a half words to the man with the ponytail began to usher him through the foyer, occasionally bumping into the flower petal girl.
The fiery voice of the lead singer of his favourite band had him entranced, but he snapped out of his reverie of plotting when the sound of knuckles rapping on his door cut through the music. He immediately grabbed the remote for his sound system, and switched it off. A quick ruffle of his silver locks, a smooth over of his own particular suit, and he bid the visitors to come in.
Working previously with this man meant he was prepared for the onslaught of demands that would be placed upon him and his workforce. He could ask for whatever he wanted, as long as he played his pivotal role in the plan, he would give him free rein.
The chain of suited females marched in, behind the tall man with the ponytail. They checked the seat on which he was expected to sit, then one of them put their finger to their ear and muttered mysterious words. Within a minute, a huge leather chair was brought up on the back of yet another suited female, who had no problems lugging this hulking piece of furniture from downstairs.
Jose walked toward the tall man, and said,
“It is so good to have you back.”
The ponytailed man whipped off his shades dramatically, posed for a photo which was snapped by his entourage and immediately sent to his modelling agency. He then spoke the first words he had given since arriving;
“Zlatan is ready to play.”
Jose walked around his oak desk, which was ornately carved with an image of his face, and fell into his own chair effortlessly. He kicked his legs up and rested them on the desk.
Zlatan sat down on the delivered chair, but not before one of his female army swiftly placed a cushion down to meet his precious buttocks. He looked around and offered a curt nod, and all but one left the room, no doubt to line up efficiently outside.
Jose began to talk.
“Zlatan, I brought your gifts to Manchester United, as I have a plan, much like when we came together so successfully at Inter Milan.”
Zlatan, not once losing eye contact with Jose, spoke, again choosing his words carefully;
“Zlatan enjoyed his time at Inter.”
A small smile crept across Jose’s face. He began to unfold his brainchild to what would be the fulcrum of his plan.
“Zlatan, in life, we meet and overcome obstacles on a regular basis. In your case, you do it effortlessly. During your life though, you will meet someone who will install fire in your belly and you will want to do everything in your power to destroy them. These people are your opposite, your nemesis.”
Ibrahimovic spoke, again with purpose.
“Zlatan has vanquished all who oppose him.”
Jose, his fingers steepled together under his chin as he hunched forward, nodded vigorously.
“Yes Zlatan, and that is EXACTLY why you are here. You see, I have come across my own nemesis, and I have defeated him many times, but no matter how many times he is beaten, he fails to yield. He has never acknowledged that I am his superior. He has yet to fall on his own sword. I MUST end him. He does things the wrong way. He puts faith in youth. He believes his players are the answer, rather than money. He simply must be ended. I believe that YOU can help me do this.”
Zlatan watched intently as Jose circled his oversized desk. When Mourinho stopped directly in front of him, to beckon a response, he did so with the same flat tone.
“Zlatan is listening.”
Jose stopped short of clapping himself on the back, but he was pleased with how things were going. He had Ibrahimovic right where he wanted him.
“I’m so pleased you are on board with this. You see Zlatan, this man who attempts to obstruct me at every turn has wronged you too. Can you remember your glorious beginnings at Ajax? Where you started this historic career you are now enjoying? Well, this man offered you a trial. You refused, and look where your decision has got you. You made the right choice, and your refusal is testament to this fact.”
Zlatan gave his first flicker of emotion, and it was a snarl.
“Zlatan does not do trials.”
Jose began again.
“Yeees Zlatan, I am with you. How could Wenger even think that you were not worthy of playing for him? The blind man could see you deserved a bigger stage, and with this putrid offer, he slapped you in the face. Now, I’m offering you the chance to bury this man, this idiot. You see, in my wonderful time at Chelsea, he seemed unable to comprehend how to stop a player of mine, Didier Drogba. No matter who he installed into his defensive lines, Drogba would best them. This meant that he was never able to shut out my teams. Now I have you, and we can again hurt him. This time though, with his position under duress from the fans, his position is delicate, and I want it to be MY sword that kills his career.”
Jose had gotten into the zone, and his top lip carried a layer of sweat and spittle. The sheen it created, allied with the sunlight shining through the windows, gave him an evil looking moustache, a la Dick Dastardly.
Ibrahimovic did not speak immediately. He stood up, and went to the window, showing his massive back to Mourinho.
“Zlatan remembers this offer, and how it angered Zlatan at the time. Zlatan has since won titles and gathered millions of adoring Zlatan fans. The world now knows Zlatan’s name. Zlatan cannot forget this act however, so Zlatan will be the one who destroys Wenger.”
Jose beamed a toothy smile, as in his mind he could see the wonderful culmination of his plan coming together. This was it, he had finally…..
The smile slipped away, and his eyebrows lowered.
“No, no Zlatan. You have misunderstood. It is I who must be the Destroyer. I have concocted the plan, he is MY nemesis. Of course, he has wronged you, and for this he must pay. You are the handle of the sword you see, but it is I who is the blade.”
Zlatan swivelled around to meet Jose’s crazed gaze.
“Zlatan is ALWAYS the destroyer. Zlatan will crush him for you.”
Jose now jumped up and down on the spot with clenched fists, much like a tanned baby in a suit.
“NO, NO, NO!!! I AM THE DESTRUCTOR!! IT IS ME! IT IS ALWAYS ME!!”
Ibrahimovic walked towards the desk and swung a meaty fist down onto a champagne flute which had Jose’s initials engraved on the side. Crystal splintered everywhere as he spoke.
“ZLATAN IS THE ONE. ZLATAN GETS THE HEADLINES. ZLATAN IS THE ONE THEY PAY TO SEE.”
This tantrum exchange went on for another five minutes, each one getting louder.
It ended with Ibrahimovic striding out of the room, taking the door from its hinges in the process. His entourage hurriedly followed, all the way to the line of cars. They swept into the vehicles and promptly vanished.
Ed Woodward, United’s Chief Executive, had been summoned by a panicked member of staff. They had heard the elevated voices and saw their star player leave the complex hurriedly, and called the man who took care of such things. He walked into Jose’s expansive office to see a mess on the floor, as all the books had been swept from the bookshelf, and the desk which Mourinho had so treasured, now had a comical moustache in marker pen on the wooden engraved face of the man who was now crying in a ball in the corner.
Ed walked over to the Manager.
“Jose, what in the hell happened? What can I do to make this right?”
Jose, his eyes stained red through tears, just gave him a bottom lip sticking out, and shrugged.
Ed pondered, then spoke again, this time in a lighter tone.
“Do you want me to bring you your Arsene Wenger dartboard? Then we can go and get icecream?
Jose’s frown was turned upside down. He beamed a smile.
Ed smiled back, another crisis averted.
“Who is the best manager in the world?”
Jose jumped into Ed’s arms.
“I am! I am the Great One! I am the best manager in the world!”
Everything would be just fine. He was going to have strawberry icecream. With sprinkles and chocolate sauce.