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Captain Cooked

by | 13th, September 2002

”’I’M not just tired, I’m cooked. I can hardly stand up at times. My back hurts, my legs hurt, I hurt everywhere. I am going to see the manager because he must give me some rest.”

The crowd were stunned when Vieira suddenly fell asleep

The manger is Arsene Wenger, the player is Patrick Vieira and the excuse just might work. If it does, then write it down and use it the next time you want a few days of work.

And for an added bonus, tell the team leader of your call centre, or whatever hellhole you work at, that you fear that your performance has begun to suffer and that you are ”unnerved” by your loss of form.

The bet is that you’ll be given short shrift and will end up wishing you’d just got your girlfriend/boyfriend to phone you in sick; and if you don’t have one, just call up and say that you’ve got the runs.

Diarrhoea is no laughing matter and although it might cause the less brash among you to grow redder than a constipated nun, it does guarantee a short conversation.

But you just might have enjoyed success with the candid Vieira manoeuvre. Of course Vieira has played a lot of football, but not nearly as much as he might have done had France not been knocked out of the World Cup in round one.

Had they got to the final, the languid Frenchman might well have reason to bemoan the lack of a break. But France were knocked out with the tournament proper yet to begin, and with no energy sapping jaunts to Madrid, the Frenchman had time to put his feet up.

And he has more time to do the same since he was sent off for putting his feet up a couple of Chelsea players.

As it is Vieira has little to complain about. Indeed, if he is looking for an example of how to be, he could do worse than take a glance to his immediate left. And there he would see Gilberto, the new Silva lining in Arsenal’s midfield who played in the World Cup’s winning team and has moved from Brazil to London.

And does the Brazilian complain? Possibly, but only a few people at his club speak any Portuguese, so the chances are high that any grumbling will fall on deaf ears.

And that is exactly what Arsene Wenger should turn towards his captain. Can it be that his captain has played too much? No. It could be that he has had enough of football, and that is something else.

Better to just excuse Vieira from training for a few days. Stan Bowles and Johann Cruyff were not the most dedicated trainers in the world but still managed a few decent performances.

In fact, the closest Bowles often go to sports lush pastures was watching horses run on them on a TV set in an Uxbridge Road bookmakers.

Anyhow, if Vieira want a break he can always do what he used to and get a red card and then spit at Neil Ruddock. Although, these days, that reaction might increase his workload – after all, when you’re cooked a lap of honour is no small thing.



Posted: 13th, September 2002 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink