The plan was simple. We placed Fabian Delph inside an office and I would go in and make my usual offer and Delph would be his usual self. This time was different though, Delph wouldn't turn this contract down. I exited the office and nodded to Roy, who picked up a small Tesco bag and walked into the room.
"D'ya think this is funny boy?". His beard twitched with rage.
"I'm just having a laugh Roy, but I'm still serious. I think I need to further my care-"
Roy opened a box of teabags, Yorkshire Tea from the bag.
"Jaysus, that smells nice, Fabian. You drink this often?"
Fabian nodded. Roy pushed the contract towards him. "Sign it Delph. Do Yorkshire a favour." Delph shook his head.
Roy tore open the teabag and Fabian winced. "I'll do it again Fab, I swear." Fabian couldn't look into his eyes, but he noticed the black granules of tea leaking across the table. Roy tore another. Delph came out of the room with a signed contract and sprinted out of Villa Park. Roy wiped his hands together. "That's that!" Delph had signed a new deal and that set a motion across the team. Vlaar joined him and I walked into my first meeting with the new chairman with top level confidence.
Phil Gartside sat down with Tom Fox. Words where said and I honestly didn't want to pay attention. I just wanted to hear how much was in the kitty so I could leave before I called Phil Gartside 'Phil Fartside'.
He says there won't be any transfer budget, but he did pay off the 15m debt to Lerner. He also says he is looking at Tony Pulis to replace me. I stand up fists clenched and knock all the claret and blue memorablilia off of the coffee table.
"Tony Pulis, really Phil? More like Tony Puh-lease. Let me do my job."
Or that was the scene in my mind. I actually just sat down and said "Ok. Thanks Phil."
Was I destined to become the next Redknapp? I imagined a life of filming commercials for Nintendo and squinting and dodging taxes (or being accused of doing so). I shake my head and get on with it.
Results needed to pick up. I could hear the axe grinding for me. Tony Pulis was sighted buying an AVFC cap.. Even beating Louis van Gaal at home wasn't enough, we'd be whipped three times on the bounce and morale was low, despite the new contracts. I look at the team sheet and scribble out Weimann's name.
Jack Grealish would be the second Irishman I trusted with my job. It's a shame Roy couldn't suit up anymore. It's all or nothing now!
Next time on 5.5 to Holte: Grealish mouths off, the axe sharpens and Tony Pulis lingers like a bad smell.