2nd February 2021
‘Flower of Scotland‘ rang out tinnily throughout the office. Marcus put down his Irn Bru and clicked the intercom. “Ey, boss, the wee big man is comin’ doon, an’ he’s fair scunnered” . Marcus killed the connection. What the hell was Davina on about?, he thought. “I think she meant that the owner is coming and he’s annoyed” said Johnny, sat in his usual spot. I hope he’s not going to be too long, said Marcus, reminding Johnny of their meeting with the Head of Youth Development. “I know, boss. But we need to pacify the owner if he’s annoyed” Marcus shrugged, downed the rest of his drink and waited.
Farhad Moshiri stormed through the door, pulled a chair out and sat down heavily, glaring at Marcus. “WELL?” He thundered? Marcus was bemused. Silence ensued. “I think Marcus is confu..” started Johnny. “SHUT UP! I’m talking to the organ grinder, not the monkey” said Farhad, angrily. Marcus then stated that he had no knowledge of what Farhad was angry about. “I’ve been checking our scores. Do you remember the standards set before the season started? Specifically, the one about making the Carabao Cup Fourth Round? Why did we go out in the Third Round to a lesser team???” Marcus conceded that, yes, a poor performance had contributed to a 1-2 defeat by Sky Bet Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, but they had only lost to a 93rd minute goal and, more than that, this had happened months ago!
“Well…I’ve been busy” said Farhad, somewhat mollified. “How are we doing in the league, anyway?” Marcus proudly reported that Everton were right in the hunt for a UEFA Champions League spot, as they were currently 4th after 25 games. Farhad nodded. “Europe?” Marcus stated that we were on course there too, with a UEFA Europa League First Knockout Round tie against Borussia Monchengladbach. “OK. What about our transfer window?” Marcus explained that it had been a quiet one and passed Farhad a copy of the balance sheet
Alex Iwobi had been champing at the bit for more game time and didn’t like being told that he couldn’t get anymore, so he had been sold to Leicester City for £35m. Josh Bowler hadn’t developed enough to fight for a place in the first team and Liam Higgins was a deal that was too good to ignore. Incoming, Marcus said, we only needed a little cover for the departing Iwobi and Joe Willock’s brother Chris Willock was available on loan from SL Benfica, so we snapped him up.
“Excellent! I can’t say I’m happy about the Carabao Cup exit, but we seem to be on course for the rest of the season. Carry on” And with that, he got up, shook Marcus’ hand and exited the office. Marcus exhaled loudly. Johnny spoke. “I know, boss. That wasn’t needed. However, we have finished in time for our meeting.”
They both got up and walked down the corridor to the office of Bryan Klug, the Head of Youth Development for the club. Bryan was a relatively new hire for the club, after the last incumbent to the role was found to be in a hotel room, off his tits on good Scotch heroin and haggis everywhere. The club had to fire him, obviously.
“Boss! Johnny! Welcome” Bryan stood up, shook their hands and showed them to a seat. “I assume you’re here about the 2021 youth intake?” Marcus nodded his assent. Bryan handed them both a copy of his report.
“As you can see, we’ll have a decent intake of player this season. I know we’re pretty set for full-backs at the minute, but Seamus Coleman isn’t getting younger on the right and Fabian Delph isn’t a long term fit on the left” Marcus nodded. “We’ve also got more hope coming through at centre-back. We have a large glut there, so we could look to profit on a few of the 19/20 year olds, if that’s your idea, as they’ll be the ones hardest hit by the logjam” Marcus grimaced and made a so-so motion. “Yeah, I’m not comfortable with that either. There are always loans and our partnership with Crewe” piped up Johnny.
Bryan smiled. “Of course, boss! We also have some hope up front with a few attacking prospects. As we’re set with Haaland for an number of years, it’ll give these prospects the time to hot-house in our U-18’s and U-23’s, before going on loan and then being ready!” Marcus smiled. This was definitely good news. “My only issue with this intake is that we’re very weak in the middle, with no midfielders looking like they’ll make the grade right now. But this is something we will be working on for future intakes! Right, thanks for coming, boss!” Bryan stood up, shook their hands and showed them out.
“Right. boss! Time for training?” Marcus nodded and walked towards the main complex doors.