Match Fit Reserve: Bob Villa

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 | View Comments

Editor's Note: Almost as soon as Martin O'Neill quit his post as Aston Villa manager, Bob Bradley's name was mentioned as a possible replacement. In this edition of MFR, our in-house clairvoyant Brian Mechanick takes a peek at how Bob at Villa might go...

By Brian Mechanick

The Board Room, Villa Park, Birmingham.

Randy Lerner: I’d like to thank all the board members for joining us today. It was quite a shock seeing that Northern Irish jackass desert our club, just because I told him all new transfer funds this summer would come from selling whatever leftover drugs he could find in Zat Knight’s old locker.

Anyways, I am proud to announce our new manager is the man who won a Gold Cup, got secondplace in the Confederations Cup, and was able to defeat mighty Algeria in the World Cup, Bob Bradley.

Bob Bradley: [Glares]

Board Member #1: But Mr. Lerner, why Bradley? Martin Jol and Steve McClaren both said they wanted the job!

Randy Lerner: Sorry gents, no more questions. I’m jetting back to sell season tickets in Cleveland. Seriously, since LeBron left those fans are so depressed they’ll buy anything. Our quarterback is Jake Delhomme for Christsakes! But Bob is here to answer all your questions. See you guys same time next year! [Lerner sprints out of the room]

Bob Bradley: Alright men, if there’s one thing I know, it’s winning. And not just on the international level, although my Gold Cup is displayed prominently in my trophy case. I’m a champion on the club level, I won an MLS Cup 12 years ago! Now some changes are coming around here. First issue: Emile Heskey.

Board Member #2: Bloody hell, we know Bob. We’ve been trying to get rid of him for years, but nobody will buy him.

Bob Bradley: WHAT!?!? Get rid of him? We need to build our team around him! Conor Casey single-handedly beat Honduras. Imagine what we can do with a target forward that doesn’t have cinderblocks for feet...!

Board Member #3: [Shaking Head] OK, what else Bob…

Bob Bradley: I’ve been hearing good things about this Agbonlahor kid, is he Generation Adidas?

[Board Members stare in confusion] Come on now, I don’t want to waste a roster spot on a kid who qualifies as a GA. Now I’ve heard this kid is fast. From what Brad Guzan told me, he sounds like a poor man’s Robbie Findley, but we can make do. Speaking of Guzan, he needs to start for this team immediately.

Board Member #1: But we have one of the Premiership’s best keepers in Brad Friedel, why would he replace him?

Bob Bradley: Don’t speak that name! [Turns head and whispers] I asked him once to come backto the USMNT… but he rejected me. I can’t look at him, the hurt is too bad. [A single tear runs down his face].

[Snaps Back] Now I know we have some talented players other teams are after, so who’s trying to get one of our guys?

Board Member #2: Manchester City is pursuing James Milner very intently.

Bob Bradley: Milner? That guy couldn’t even go a half with my boys in the World Cup. Let’s get rid of Jimmy, what do you think we could get for him? I bet if we play hardball we could get a first round pick and two million dollars in allocation money for him.


Board Member #3: Uh Sir, we don’t know what either of those are. But City is offering 20 million pounds for him.

Bob Bradley: 20 million pounds? That’s… [Pulls out calculator with “Gulati” written on back] 31.8 million dollars! Are you guys messing with me?

Sweet Hoddle's mullet, think of all the sweatpants I could buy with that money! I could turn into a walking Nike ad… I could fulfill my lifelong dream of joining Run-DMC!

Board Member #1: Tottenham are after Ashley Young as well. Young wants an improvement over his £65,000 wages to stay.

Bob Bradley: Oh come on, we can afford that, can’t we? I was paying Jorge Campos more than that back in the day. Why don’t we bump him up to what, £80,000 a year?

Board Member #2: Bob, that number wasn’t yearly…

Bob Bradley: A month? Jesus, only a few guys made that back in MLS. Oh well, we can afford a slight raise, can’t we?

Board Member #2: Uh, that was £65,000 a week, Sir.

Bob Bradley: A week! You’ve got to be screwing with me. I could have paid my entire Chivas team, taken them all out on the town, bought a chick a mustache ride from Sacha Kljestan and done blow off of Bianca Klajlich’s ass for that kind of scratch! Young’s gotta go!

Board Member #3: Alright Sir, who should we sign to replace the pair?

Bob Bradley: Is that even a question?!?! We’re signing the best player in the world to come here!

Board Member #1: Lionel Messi?

Board Member #2: Cristiano Ronaldo?

Board Member #3: David Villa?

Bob Bradley: Have you guys been living under a rock? We’re getting my boy Michael! He’s a star, like Pele, Beckenbauer, and Cruyff forged together into 6’2” of skinheaded beauty. I don’t care if you sell Agbonglahor and his three baby mamas to raise the funds, we need Junior! And by the way, he’s the captain now.

Board Member #2: And another player?

Bob Bradley: We’re slow in defense. There’s only one southpaw-footed baller who can right this ship and boss the left. I’m talking Jonny Bornstein.

Board Member #3: Who’s that?

Bob Bradley: Who’s that? Only the greatest Mexican-Jew of all time. The kid gets more panties wet in Honduras than David Suazo advocating civil rights.

Board Member #1: Ok, Bob, how do you plan to set this team up? The 4-4-2 formation you favored with the USA?

Bob Bradley: No, I have a new strategy: a 8-1-1 formation. Clog up the back, have Junior dominate the ball in the middle, and Heskey knock in the goals up top. An unbeatable combo! Now sorry guys, I gotta get out of here. Me and my boy Bruce Springsteen have a date to go rage in Trenton. JERZ FOR LIFE! [Kisses hands then fist-pumps]. See you guys tomorrow, and I better see Junior’s name on the roster or heads will roll here. PEACE!

Board Member #2: It’s going to be a long season.

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