Triangulations

Great player appears, club happy. Club prefer money: there are plenty of good players. Player doesn’t want to leave: he’s young and besides he’s done more than most to win the title the club will probably win in a few months. Other club unappealing, also. The impertinence of talking meat. Club sigh, decide to wait. Player: Jonathan Calleri; Club: Boca Juniors; Other Club: Brighton Hove & Albion. Time: August 2015.

Roll around January 2016 and Boca really want that money. Brighton’s paltry £5m wasn’t going to cut it anyway (not even, later, $10m for 85% of his rights). Now Calleri’s a champion, even outshining Tevez on his oh so fabled patch. Inter Milan are interested now but aren’t willing to cough up $12m in cash for, in their view, an unproven player. Maybe he could come on loan and we’ll see? Cash, we said.

Enter the Investors: we’ll put up the cash and loan him to you, Inter. Boca smile. The Investors have their own little club, Deportivo Maldonado, in the second division in Uruguay. Plus, taxes in Uruguay are low-low. Boca grin. Inter squirm: third-party ownership is a nasty little business. You never know just how FIFA are going to react.

Although these kinds of deals have been done for years, in 2014, following up on an initial complaint from 2012 by the Argentine tax service, the AFIP, they fined a number of Argentine clubs – including Rosario Central, Racing and Independiente – and suspended a different Uruguayan ghost club, the unfortunately-named Sud América, from all transfer dealings for similar practices to the one proposed by the Investors. Yet only two weeks later, once the seven people who cared had forgotten, the sanctions were lifted. In 2015, however, they suspended a similarly small Belgian team, Seraing United, along with a real club in FC Twente. (Just this morning Real and Atlético Madrid were handed two-year transfer bans, but for signing minors, not for TPO). Boca’s face assumes the perplexed expression of one who is staring at their very own pie but their thumbs are numb and despite the room being full of people no-one will cut them a slice.

Bologna don’t care much about FIFA and would be more than happy to take Calleri on loan. Calleri grunts. Someone checks out their hair in the back of a spoon. The Investors tell Inter Moratti would have been all over this! Besides, they’ve done this before: former Estudiantes keeper Gerónimo Rulli is happily playing away with Real Sociedad. It’s win-win: Inter get their man, Boca get their cash, the Argentine tax man gets red faced, and we’ll probably get a little return on our investment down this rose-lined road of bridge transfers. Drop your face in the pie. escudo-club-deportivo-maldonado-rf_620285

According to La Nación, the men who control the company behind Maldonado are Malcolm Caine and Graham Shear, who for years served as Kia Joorabchian’s legal representative and engineered Tevez’s move from Boca to Corinthians via MSI, with all the trouble that ended up causing in Carlitos’ career. (Ariel Senosiain makes a link with Stellar Sports, owned by Jonathan Barnett, Gareth Bale’s agent; and it’s true they do own a horse, named Curbyourenthusiasm, together). The murk thickens: you didn’t need to be the world’s most acute scout to notice talent in Boca’s star number 9, but Calleri was brought to the Investors’ attention by Gustavo Arribas, who until December 9th was an advisor to Deportivo Maldonado and, according to Senosiain, was part of a group that signed players for the Israeli super agent Pini Zahavi. On December 10th Mauricio Macri became the president of Argentina, after a narrow two point win in a presidential run-off election. Arribas was Macri’s choice to be head of the new Federal Intelligence Agency, set up to replace the old intelligence service whose counterintuitive web of counter espionage led to the clusterfuck that saw Alberto Nisman pop a bullet in his temple 360 days ago. Macri was the president of Boca Juniors between 1995 and 2008, and is an important backer of current Boca president and bingo empresario, Daniel Angelici. The tax authorities now say that they have no interest in pursuing possible tax evasion by the president’s team engineered by the head of the intelligence service. Quite.

It really got our monocle flying because putting an end to precisely this type of corruption was one of the main (only?) promises in the campaign of Macri’s cheerfully choreographed, balloon-festooned, Cambiemos (“Lets Change”), a name and a movement that seems almost impossible to write without an exclamation mark. A serious government was required if Argentina were to become a normal country, a real one, where capital flows like cake and everybody wins. (The prosperous middle classes are generally convinced they were unfairly abandoned at birth in a shadowy underworld, envying Oedipus his shepherd). If any good was to come from this presidency, it was going to be some kind of systemic administrative reform. The Kirchners spent so much time fighting, in our opinion, the good fight, taking on many of the most powerful interests in the country, and abroad, and then putting out fires, that for all the good done only negligible impact was made in the boring but fundamental work of shoring up an institutionally and administratively fraught state. And then they botched an eminently winnable election. After all, the thousands of people who went to listen to the outgoing president’s speech the day before Macri assumed power showed he did not have much of a mandate.

And yet, within a month, the new government has declared several false emergencies in order to justify ruling by decree, since they do not have a majority in congress. Bypassing the proper channels, friendly Supreme Court justices have been handpicked; the issuing of all official statistics has been suspended until further notice; the currency has effectively been devalued by 40% in order for the oligarchs with silos full of grain can get a more higher dollar, as well as export restrictions being lifted, which means the price of food goes up since it’s effectively in a foreign currency. Those who got Macri’s party into power are being repaid in kind, and at a speed that utterly undermines any credibility in the institutions the flaky, media-led opposition claimed would be the backbone of their normal administration. For Macri is not just a charismatic businessman with strong ties to the Clarín media monopoly, he is Clarín’s candidate – hence the most grievous of all the anti-democratic decisions in the last month, the dismantling, by decree, again, of the Media Law, which could have served as a model for most countries.

Among many other elements, part of the Ley de Medios the Clarin monopoly could not hold licenses in all their current areas of interests: TV, radio, newspapers, internet, paper, etc. Despite having approved by the Supreme Court, a judge issued a holding order several years ago delaying the article of the law that required the sale of assets. Time was bought; no longer content to influence government, exchanging amicable headlines for more media licenses, Clarín took it. The independent media watchdog has been abolished and subsumed into a new Ministry for Communications with a man at the helm so Clarín-friendly one fears one of these days he might actually turn into a silhouette with a little trumpet in his hand. 

Elsewhere, on Monday Uki Goñi wrote a piece in the Guardian detailing a couple of the new government’s dictatorial faux pas from a few weeks ago (in fairness, he was probably on holidays). He doesn’t even mention the derogation of the media law in the body of his article or the fifteen thousand people fired from their jobs, hundreds of whom were shot at with rubber bullets during protests in La Plata last week; nor the suspension of pay talks with the teachers, etc. Indeed, he actually claims that “On the economic front […] Macri seems set for smoother sailing”. This is because he has a “sharp team of economists at the helm.” This explains why all those dismissals were not mentioned: just a few months ago the debate was about pay rises; now the idea that you’re lucky to have a job is being put about. Rachet up unemployment a few figures and wages will come down. Those economists sure are ‘sharp’, Uki.

Yet it’s not just economists. The new government has been stocked with CEOs – real business people to cut the “fat”, in the words of the new finance minister, from the administration. Argentina is open for business, with a capital O (the joy that informs this piece is chilling). Yet conflicts of interest abound. The Energy Minister calling for an end to subsidies has just left Shell after 37 years and must now sit down with his former(?) employers to negotiate; a key appointment to the Cabinet Office until recently was the head of the Pegasus Group, which controls chains of pharmacies and supermarkets among other interests; the man negotiating with the vulture funds who bought up debt from the 7% of bond holders who didn’t accept Argentina’s default restructuring in 200 has a history with JP Morgan and Deutsche bank; the Minister for Production already organised tech-related tax breaks for former employers Clarín and HSBC while serving under Macri in the City of Buenos Aires, not to mention having vested interests in companies whose potentially incriminating documents were incinerated in a fire that saw twelve firemen die; while the heads of the money-laundering agency have previously defended some of the companies – again including HSBC – who have ongoing cases with the money-laundering agency. The list goes on and on. Experience, of course, is a damn fine asset for any job; yet the state is supposed to look after the interests of the People. With these appointments, that looks next to impossible, to the point that it doesn’t even seem to be a concern. Nevertheless, the Wall St. Journal’s Taos Turner is, like Uki Goñi, delighted with the new regime: Macri’s uttering soundbites at press conferences already means this government is far more transparent.

Speaking of soundbites, on Monday morning pegamequemegusta, early-riser always, was anxiously awaiting Victor Hugo Morales’ radio program to start, eager for his analysis of the weekend’s events. When we turned it on, he was saying goodbye: he had just been fired. Even many non-Spanish speakers know Victor Hugo as the commentator for Maradona’s Goal of the Century. Long before the Kirchners were in power, he was a fierce critic of the Clarín media monopoly, as well as its judicial wing (the price of which is two thirds of his salary embargoed after same found against him in ¡a defamation suit! filed by Clarín’s Murdoch/O’Brien/William Martin Murphy/Mr Burns, Héctor Magnetto). He was fired once before as the radio station he worked for, Continental, was part owner of the very interests, TyC’s, he was attacking, until mass protests, and sponsor pressure, brought him back. Back then his was technically only a sports show (such a neat distinction is impossible, especially here). Since the Kirchner’s raising of the Clarín Question, however, he became a vocal supporter of the attempt to forge, at the very least, a playable field (not one with a great big monolith planked in the centre stretching skyward to poke God himself in the eye). This time, however, with Macri/Clarín in power, the radio’s own sponsor income was threatened. Bouncers were put on the doors of the station to stop him getting in. However, he had come in early to prepare the show we were so eager to hear. A confused while later, minutes before nine, when it was clear he would not be allowed on the air, he burst into Paulino Rodríguez’ program:

  • Paulino…

  • My dear Victor Hugo…

  • Sorry for the interruption..

  • No problem, how are you?

  • I’m getting fired from the ra…

Cue jingle. Ads. Music.

Now Paulino’s program, while very serious indeed, is, like all the others on Continental, very anti-K (VH’s show was an anomaly, leading to legendarily tetchy handovers between shows). No journalist (or, now, hardly any), however, can accept such a personal and malicious attack on a fellow professional, so after the initial surprise Paulino let Victor Hugo back on. He spoke for about ten minutes, until just after his own show would have started so that he could say goodbye to stunned listeners like yours truly. He expressed sympathy for the very directors of the radio who were firing him (again): with a troika of executive, legal and media powers united, what choice did they have?

Later that day it emerged Victor Hugo had not been the only victim of the purge: Matías Canillán, one of the foremost journalists and football commentators on Continental, had also been given the boot. Just as Macri has called to an end for political programming on state tv, preferring bland cultural ones instead, the head of programming at Continental has suddenly decided all this talk of FIFA and AFA on the radio is a drag – girls just want to have fun. For in football, too, the changes shall be rung. Macri repeatedly stated over the years that if elected he would immediately abolish Fútbol para todos, the free-to-air broadcasting of Argentine football that in 2009 took the rights from Clarín-controlled TyC, indicted in FIFA-gate last year. It has been spared so far (maybe because we’re being gypped elsewhere) and looks set to continue, but with much heavier involvement of sponsors – a boon for those who consider public service announcements propaganda but insurance ads chicken soup for the soul.

Just as the swiftness and brazenness of Clarín’s revolution, the slowness of reform at the AFA in the year and a half since don Julio Grondona died has been surprising. No power vacuum, no real upheaval; it’s as if the clubs presidents feared he might come back. When elections were eventually held, hanging chad-type irregularities with ballot papers meant no winner could be named. Both of the main candidates are reprehensible puppets, so we’ll spare you the details. The skinny is that as both candidates square off, the real sticking point in negotiations (after all, a unity candidate could be proposed) is legalised online gambling – not whether, but how –, which is unregulated as yet in Argentina. Under the last government, Grondona pushed successfully for a rather tame pools game to be introduced. The new version – balloons ‘n’ all, no doubt – promises to swamp the winner’s hypoteneuse in cash. If it’s to succeed, of course, us workers will have to have a few pesos to spare. Macri’s CEOs will have to spare us that much.

Pegamequemegusta apologises for any queasiness this post may provoke. Yet save your real sympathy for 22-year-old Jonathan Calleri, who has been triangulated into a footballing netherworld. After further speculation about him being shipped off to Brazil came to nout, for now, he was officially released by Boca into the loving arms of Deportivo Maldonado for $9.5 m rising to $12m. Olé report: Asked by a fan on his last day of training with Boca where he was headed, he replied: “I wish I knew.”

Tevez v Mancini? Part II

Dear handsome, oh so lonely fellows, welcome back on this VD day. After spending the post earlier today complaining about meeja laziness and sloppiness, it was brought to our attention that one of our barbs at the Guardian was incorrect: we had accused them of fabricating a quote by paraphrasing the gist of what Tevez had said, which we’ve caught them doing before. The line in question, which we have since removed, was “The club statement protected the manager.” The quote originally came from the on-the-fly translation of our esteemed colleague @MundoAlbicelest. He did not enjoy the comfort – and, indeed, the shocking indolence – that allowed us to listen back a few times.

Dear handsome, oh so lonely fellows, welcome back on this VD day. After spending the post earlier today complaining about meeja laziness and sloppiness, it was brought to our attention that one of our barbs at the Guardian was incorrect: we had accused them of fabricating a quote by paraphrasing the gist of what Tevez had said, which we’ve caught them doing before. The line in question, which we have since removed, was “The club statement protected the manager.”  The quote originally came from the on-the-fly translation of our esteemed colleague @MundoAlbicelest. He did not enjoy the comfort – and, indeed, the shocking indolence – that allowed us to listen back a few times.

The difference is minimal but important; it’s a subtle difference. We were convinced the original quote was not accurate as it seemed surlier than his demeanour in the rest of the interview. It turned out it appears right after the video we put subtitles to, so lovingly, ended. So what could we do to rectify the situation? Simply remove the line after a whopping pub-at-eleven-in-the-morning-ful of people had read it? No, a retraction was necessary, a retraction and a clarification. So, wallowing in our own free time, we found the audio in question and scribbled out the transcript for you. An act of love.

It is important, however, as this part of the interview is arguably the cornerstone of Tevez’s defence as it justifies to a certain extent his subsequent flight. He claims that everyone at the club supported him in the investigation into what happened in Munich – everyone testified that he had not refused to play. The problem was that Mancini came out after the game, in a pretty understandable rage, and declared that Tevez had refused to play. That meant that, given the findings of the enquiry, the club was going to have to contradict the manager. This could cause all sorts of problems. In the event, the club chose not to do that. Tevez, therefore, had to leave.

Ol’ pegamequemegusta don’t have the tools to find out whether there is any truth to this or not. Tevez’s version of it, however, is coherent, free of equivocations, and he is not pushed along by the interviewer at all. (In fact, he changes tack, annoyingly enough). Moreover, he displays a level of understanding of the difficulty the club found itself in that we would not have expected (“The club found itself between a rock and a hard place”). We would love to know if there is any truth to what he is saying as it’s quite a compelling argument. 

Picture it. Mancini, thunderstorm raging outside, a fire doing its elemental best to attract his attention like a poor juggler at a porn convention, brandy goblet sloshing in his palm like the fates of men, with the richness reserved for kings, his faithful scarf tucked into his collar. A messenger enters and states timidly that the enquiry has found that Tevez never refused to play. An owl hoots hoarsely; a waxwing coos at is reflection in a window as it glides past cooly. Give me pause, sirrah, quoth the Italian. He pets his pet giraffe. No, nevermore will that shit-stirring, disrespectful little tyro interfere in my plans! Not even that lanky elf Edin is a afraid of me anymore! He thinks i’m going to be the one to fall here? Not on your mother’s barnet, Carlitos. You’ve lost some of your stuffing now, me boy. No, the club can choose – it’s him or me. He looked down at his glass. The rolling waves of souls in the brandy parted to reveal a sunken city. And a penny. Mancini straightened his epaulettes. Still got it. 

Tevez Fox interview continued [part one here]:

– So after that, they decide to fine you and you make a certain decision, no?

– Yeah, well I was okay with the fine but we still had to sort out how I was going to come back to the club. ‘Cause the manager wouldn’t even look at me. And I was worried, too, about how I looked in all this, as I was getting knocked around by everyone, everyone was having a go. In England, In Argentina, even in China, for jaysus’ sake. So I said: ‘Look i’m an employee of the club, just as Mancini is. You have to look after me just as much as you do him, as another employee of the club.’ But Mancini had said something that wasn’t true so the club was between a rock and a hard place. “If we go and say that Mancini lied, he might have to step aside.” That’s when I fell out with the directors, with the club management, ’cause they were saying that they weren’t going to put that in the statement. The thing about the statement was it had to find a way of saying that I hadn’t refused to play but that I had refused to warm up, all the while protecting the manager,  without saying straight out ‘No, Carlitos didn’t refuse to play’.

– Now, Carlitos, you’re a guy who’s been playing football your whole life, who’s always wanted to play, so I imagine what was bothering you was – whatever about the personalities involved or the club – was that there was this unresolved conflict. It looked as if you had refused to play but what you were really annoyed about was this situation which hadn’t been cleared up properly.

– Yeah, that’s what I was annoyed about. The fine didn’t matter, nor did the suspension. I don’t care about two weeks wages. Just tell people the truth. Nothing else. But they weren’t able to do that.

– That’s when you decide to come back to Argentina. You think about your family, your loved ones. Just like all the players abroad who want to play there but are always thinking about Argentina. And apart from everything else, you surely wanted your people here to know what had really happened.

– Yeah, and besides that, just leaving the house in Manchester, to bring Flor to school, meant having five journalists following me. I’d go for a round of golf and there were ten more in every hole. I couldn’t live a normal life as it was all ‘Where’s Carlos Tevez? What’s Tevez up to?’ And then training 20 or 30 days with the reserves, with the youth players, 14 and 15 year olds. The kids were looking at me and they couldn’t believe what was going on.

– More autographs than training, I imagine.

– The team would train in the morning and when they were leaving at one i’d just be arriving. It’d be uncomfortable for anyone, no? So all that stuff, plus the fact I wasn’t in a good way, meant I came back here.

– So you came back here to get away from the situation over there and spend time with your family here.

– Yeah, but imagine I left without even telling anyone from the club. I was getting different legal papers, summonses, every day. I still am, asking me what’s wrong, why won’t I come back, saying I have to go for a medical…

– With Manchester City’s doctors?

– Yeah. The whole thing was really draining, exhausting, and I needed to get some solace with my family… Though they were saying I was fine and nothing was stopping me from going back to training with the club.

That’s enough of that. You get the drift.

Tevez v Mancini?

Too often with Tevez, the narrative is that of the charming wisecracker from the hood (over here) or the brooding, egotistical simpleton (over there). In this interview we get a fine example of the former but Niembro doesn’t try to go any deeper. It’s a shame as pegamequemegusta reckons that a different interviewer – an Andy Kusnetzoff, for example – could have done a lot more for Tevez. The inane, PR-orientated question of an apology would never have arisen. We might have got a real insight into what this guy’s all about and the root of his destructive tendencies. Such are the limits of sports journalism, however, never mind the bollocks the newspapers print.

Always with the scoops, pegamequemegusta. Indeed. Yet we needed a reason to return and the latest instalment to the latest Tevez truth-respect-don’t-ask-me tale, despite being covered in great detail by our compinche Seba García, would be incomplete without our standard yes-but-no-English-media-argh response. Plus it has a video. With subtitles. So bear with us.

Tevez’s account of what happened in Munich reminds us of some of the reasons he’s so loveable. He tells his story well, showing a comic’s sense of timing and, occasionally, the studiously arched brow of a mime. He also displays a Johnny Giles-style totall recall of the events, which boosts his credibility considerably. Few players in recent years combine both his success as a player and his skills as a raconteur. (Messi? Iniesta? Ibrahimovic? Mr Lowe got a good flow out of Xavi alright, but he’s still too nice). This, however, later found us lamenting that we don’t get to hear Carlitos talk much about football anymore.

That is down, of course, to the never-satisfactorily resolved question of his ownership/representation. It’s unquestionable that his career has been messed up by his continued alliance with the snake Joorabchian, whose tendency to hiss in the ear of the directors of whatever club he’s at inevitably brings dudgeon of the highest order. His blindness in this regard over such an extended period, however, means that Tevez himself is responsible. His circle of advisors even seems to be expanding, new ones briefing the media every month. These tend to stand in direct proportion to the sanity of the advised.

(We wonder how things might have been if Tevez had had Jorge Mendez as an agent. Manchester United would almost surely have seen less of a problem with the fee to ‘sign him up’. Similarly, if Liverpool had pegamequemegusta as a scout, they might have Maxi Moralez on the left wing instead of the Downer; Suarez and Evra would probably never have fallen out, two popular South Americans there to mediate – ay but the world would be a happier place).

Nevertheless, the world does not seem a particularly dark place in this interview. Indeed, the Man City bench sounds like an unruly classroom. An unruly classroom, arguably, with an inexperienced teacher quickly losing the rag and lashing out. Tevez’s maturity and professionalism may not be what they should be but his account of Mancini’s behaviour on the sidelines is certainly convincing. Neither behave very well but, we must say, we ended up liking both more.

While Carlitos’ initial list of grievances is petty and somewhat disingenuous, there comes through an image of Mancini as being particularly vindictive. As Tevez says in another part of the interview, the manager is in a stronger position now following the signings of Aguero and Balotelli, and he’s content to have Tevez warm up all season long. Carlitos doesn’t seem to resent it, though. Far from the brooding, ‘bashing’, ‘swiping’ Tevez presented in many quarters, we get the impression that he actually respects (key Tevez term) the fact that Mancini is such a hardass. His smile when recounting the Dzeko-Mancini Bust Up bespeaks genuine fondness for a bit of an auld ruckus. In the Guardian today, however, – never mind the cutting and pasting of quotes to change their order – he is presented as a baby: “Mancini said some horrible things to me”, he said before taking out a hanky. Almost coming to blows with the manager last season he regards as perfectly normal in a dressing room. Mancini is not his teacher after all, and there are few things as retarded as a media apology. Things only get messy, he says, when they’re out in public. That’s when image and standing come into things, stories get twisted, spin spun, and players run.

Saying things in public, hmm. It’s hard to know what Carlitos was thinking exactly when he decided to do this interview, for it clearly wasn’t to make an apology. Even if it was, why would he do so in Argentina? At least one of his 50 representatives surely must have pointed out the English media’s tendency to twist and deform the message and the tone, when their errors don’t just stem from laziness and incompetence. (The supposedly highbrow, high standard, noble Guardian is arguably the worst in this regard; they should know better).

No, Tevez most likely decided on his own, as always, that he wanted to ‘tell the truth’, be honest in his usual hands-up, bemused manner. Even if he’s not particularly contrite, shall we say, neither do we think the interview contains as much scandal as some have claimed. More than anything else, it gives us an intriguing insight into the relationship between Tevez and Mancini, one that, given the character of each, we reckon could really work if given a(nother) chance. Neither are PR men.

The interview is arguably as interesting for what is not said as it is for Carlitos’ colourful account of events that night in Munich on the world’s most expensive bench. There are aspects to Tevez’s frankly silly career of the last few years, however, which go far beyond this sordid affair and which are never probed by anyone. Fernando Niembro, the interviewer, does a fine job here keeping him on track, coaching him through the story and, strangely enough, even trying to get a tamer version at times (“You were surprised?” instead of “You were pissed off?”). He’s a chummy, jocular fellow is our Niembro; he likes to be mates with his interviewees (we recall a memorable pre-WC interview with el Diego where the two are strolling around a pitch, with cones and everything). He does not press much, however. He does not seek to get to the bottom of Tevez’s problems. These, in our opinion, besides the Joorabchian stuff, appear to have gotten worse.

Carlitos has clearly never ‘adapted’ to life in England, repeatedly stating his desire to leave over the last year and a half. We struggle to have sympathy in that regard, however, and his new baby’s illness last year notwithstanding, most of his problems (such as breaking up with his missus) seem to be of his own making. Yet his revelation last August that in the Copa América (where played prett-ty badly and missed the penalty that saw Argentina knocked out) he had gone on a binge where he was so anxious he could not stop eating must give pause for thought. He gained five kilos in a few weeks – not the behaviour of a man in his right mind. Think Alan Partridge with toblerone. Again, his own problem, but it seems rather foolish on the part of City if, buoyed by new signings, spiteful perhaps at perceived slights past and eager to assert themselves after several years of not being taken seriously at all and even suffering a few humiliations (Kaká, Robinho, etc.), they neglected him because, as he says, he was no longer indispensable. No doubt the changes in the club’s hierarchy had something to do with it, but it was arguably a inopportune time to start getting tough.

Too often with Tevez, the narrative is that of the charming wisecracker from the hood (over here) or the brooding, egotistical simpleton (over there). In this interview we get a fine example of the former but Niembro doesn’t try to go any deeper. It’s a shame as pegamequemegusta reckons that a different interviewer – an Andy Kusnetzoff, for example – could have done a lot more for Tevez. The inane, PR-orientated question of an apology would never have arisen. We might have got a real insight into what this guy’s all about and the root of his destructive tendencies. Such are the limits of sports journalism, however, never mind the bollocks the newspapers print.

Here’s the most interesting part of the interview. Let us know what you think. And try to find the part where he says Mancini treated him as a dog…