#WengerOut

August 24th 2016 – Manchester City vs Chesterfield

The EFL Cup begins only days after Manchester City’s emphatic win away at Stoke. Cosby is asked before the game just how seriously he intends to take the cups, to which his response is just to blow a raspberry whilst shrugging.

The perceived lack of commitment is somewhat reflected in the teamsheet, which is littered with youth players. This is something that Manchester City fans have been calling to see for quite some time and, ironically, playing such a weak team actually goes down rather well amongst the fanbase. Will Patching and Tosin Adarabioyo stand out as two players who have been with Manchester City through all age groups. Brand new signing, Felix Passlack, who has been snapped up from Dortmund for only £3m, makes his debut.

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The game is noticeably different to the ones which have preceded it. The team are rusty and not used to playing with each other, it’s clear to see that the fringe squad players and youngsters aren’t as capable of the fast, powerful football of the first team.

This opinion is compounded when Chesterfield take a shock lead as there’s a mix-up between Matthijs De Ligt and Donnarumma, allowing the opposition striker to latch onto the ball and tuck it away. Cosby is absolutely fuming on the sidelines, screaming at his coaching staff and throwing a bottle of Volvic at the subs. He is even seen grabbing his goalkeeping coach by the scruff of the neck, yelling into his face.

Cosby changes the formation of the team slightly, moving into a more attacking shape. Neves moves up into central midfield to sit alongside Patching, allowing the highly-rated Brahim Diaz to push up behind Iheanacho. It’s a bold strategy which leaves little cover for the inexperienced centre-back partnership of Adarabioyo and De Ligt.

The risk soon pays off. Mbappé breaks away on the left, dribbling past his full-back with ease before squaring the ball to Iheanacho, who only has to tap it into an open net. The teams go in at half-time all square, but the performance has been anything but convincing from the home side.

Microphones placed in the tunnel can hear the echoes of Cosby’s half-time team talk, which takes the phrase ‘hairdryer treatment’ to a whole new level. Various kicking, slamming and screaming can be heard from the dressing room. The players exit the dressing room looking sheepish as they trudge onto the pitch, though Cosby does not emerge from the dressing room. He stays in the dressing room for the rest of the game, which they go on to win 3-1.

August 31st 2016 – Transfer Deadline Day

City follow their EFL Cup victory with a hard-earned 1-0 victory at West Ham, with Felix Passlack scoring the only goal of the game for the team. When asked afterwards if the difficulty of the last two results were a bit of a wake-up call about how tough the job can actually be, Bill Cosby donned a pair of sunglasses, putting a gold chain over his tracksuit and smiling blankly into the distance, replying:

I’m just here so I don’t get fined.

He then proceeded to answer every remaining question in the press conference with this same answer, smirking all the while.

Transfer Deadline Day arrives and, after lubing up and tugging one out in his dressing room to footage of Andy Carroll signing for Liverpool, Jim White is out with his yellow tie in a desperate bid to convince us all that, in a world of social media, Sky Sports News is still worth watching on Deadline Day.

Reporters are gathered outside training grounds across the country, most of whom are regretting the five years they spent getting their Broadcasting Journalism masters degree as fans gather behind them in the pouring rain, taking it in turns to slap reporters in the face with dildos and yelling “FUCK HER RIGHT IN THE PUSSY”.

Not much of consequence takes place for the first six hours of the day. Wild reports circulate as random people on Twitter claim to have spotted players at airports, reports that Sky Sports News latch on to in a bid to keep people interested. Guillem Balague drops the biggest transfer news of the day with rumours of a shock return for Mesut Özil to the Bernebau.

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Of course, Balague’s journalistic credentials are highlighted when Barcelona announce that they have signed Özil only half an hour after this claim is made.

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Arsenal fans take to Twitter in their millions, with most disappointed to see Özil, a player that many Gunners would claim is world class, leave the club, although some understand why he would want to join Barcelona. Others are happy he’s left, tweeting out that one video clip of him strolling around the centre circle against Manchester City and saying how lazy he is, many justifying this with the phrase, “even Gary Neville said so”.

If Arsenal fans are disappointed now, it’s nothing on the bombshell that is about to be dropped on The Emirates. At around 18:00, BBC Radio Manchester gets the inside track on apparent contact between Manchester City and Arsenal over the signing of Arsenal’s prodigious right-back, Hector Bellerin. The initial reports claim that Arsenal have immediately responded with a “no sale” warning. Two hours later, City have had a £25m bid accepted.

Bill Cosby exits the training ground shortly after this bid is made public knowledge, driving past the reporters at 50mph with ‘Jizz In My Pants’ by The Lonely Island blaring out of his car’s speakers.

When Bellerin is spotted entering the Wilmslow hospital where City players are known to go for medicals, the pictures go viral immediately and Arsenal fans go into absolute meltdown. Some fans post videos of Bellerin shirts being burned, whilst many tweet abuse directly to Bellerin himself, calling him Spanish Nasri and Hect-whore Bellerin, each of which is accompanied by roughly twenty snake emojis. One fan posts a video of a new chant he’s created for Arsenal fans to sing when they next play Bellerin, saying, “You’re just a shit Kylo Ren, a shit Kylo Ren, you’re just a shit Kylo Ren”. Needless to say, this goes straight to the top of r/soccer within hours and the fan soon deletes his Twitter account.

These violent outbursts on Twitter, however, have nothing on the shitstorm that follows on Arsenal Fan TV. Troopz spends roughly eleven minutes calling Bellerin a snake before going in on Wenger for allowing him to leave.

£25m, fam? You tellin’ me dat Hector fuckin’ Bellerin is only worth £25m, blud? If Hector Bellerin is worth £25m, den Özil must be worth about £10m, and we just robbed Barca for £46m for him, blud! Ugetme? Fam, I thought after Van Persie, dese days were over, sellin’ our best players every year. Why have we sold him to Man City, blud? Why, fam? I’ll tell you why, it’s because our manager is fuckin’ spineless, bruv. For real. Dis guy has got to go. Özil leaving, I could take dat, but Bellerin as well? Nah, bruv. Nah, fam. No way, bruv. Wenger has got to go, blud! We can’t put up wiv dis any longer, fam! Da banners are comin’ out. All season long, bruv. WE WANT WENGER OUT, I SAID WE WANT WENGER OUT. WE WANT WENGER OUT, I SAID WE WANT WENGER OUT!

In another video Claude is seen screaming into the microphone about how Wenger has lost the plot completely, while Ty, who looks pretty timid as he sips from his official Arsenal water bottle, mutters something about how Wenger might have been right to let Bellerin go because he might be crap at City.

As Bill Cosby lies on his sofa that night, he takes a sip from a glass of wine, watching the chaos unfold on BBC News as clips from Arsenal Fan TV spread across the media. Before going up to bed, he sends out one simple tweet.

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A New Season Dawns

August 13th 2016 – Manchester City vs Sunderland

The week leading up to Bill Cosby’s managerial debut is quiet on transfer incomings front. Not so much on the outgoings, as Yaya Touré is sold to Bayern Munich for £13m whilst Fernando, Jesus Navas and Bacary Sagna are sold for a combined £20m.

The odds on Manchester City winning the title are slashed, with them now being sixth favourites with the bookies at odds of 19/1. Manchester City fans are under the impression that the bookies have actually been quite generous, although the saving grace is that Vincent Kompany and David Silva appear to have garnered little interest from other clubs and, if they were to remain past the deadline day, the club would have a substantially improved chance at the title.

Fans are on hand to boo him as he leaves the coach, with banners demanding his sacking lining the gates to the stadium entrance. Cosby goes viral before the teamsheet is even announced as he is filmed falling off the team coach after tripping down the steps. Within the hour, somebody has made a video of him rolling after landing on the ground, poorly edited to be flying through the air and tripping over various celebrities whilst rolling to the soundtrack of ‘Shooting Stars’ by Bag Raiders.

The teamsheet is announced and it looks strong, though very inexperienced and fans are worried by the absence of Vincent Kompany and David Silva. Thankfully the first game of the season is against Sunderland, a team that pundits and bookies alike have tipped for relegation.

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The teams come out to a strangely quiet stadium, as the attendance is only around the 9,000 mark. A large portion of the fan base have decided to stay outside the ground in protest of the new management. The faint chanting of “We want Cosby out, we want Cosby out” can be heard from outside the stadium, though Cosby looks defiant on the touchline.

The game gets off to a great start as Manchester City find themselves 5-0 up in the first half an hour. Sunderland have capitulated at the back and the players are starting to take the piss, with Ruben Neves opting to attempt a rabona when he finds himself in a one-on-one with Sunderland’s keeper.

The score remains 5-0 at half time and Bill Cosby walks down the tunnel with a smile on his face. John Stones will tell the media after the game that he gave no team talk at half time and that he simply walked into the room, shook the hands of every player in the squad and left.

Whatever he does at half time, it seems to do the trick as Manchester City come out and score another five goals, with the pick of the goals coming from substitute Kevin De Bruyne, as Gabriel Jesus chips it over the head of Lamine Koné at the edge of the penalty area, allowing De Bruyne to run onto the ball and volley it into the bottom corner.

The victory is tainted slightly as Jermaine Defoe finds far too much space in the middle of the penalty area, allowing him to slot the ball past Donnarumma and get a consolation goal for Sunderland, wiping out the clean sheet in the process. Cosby is livid on the sidelines and he is clearly seem to be mouthing the words, “for fuck’s sake Stones” in the immediate aftermath.

The game ends 10-1 to Manchester City, with debut goals from Sané, Jesus, Kimmich, Bakayoko and Neves. An emphatic answer from Cosby to his many pre-season critics. Manchester City fans, even those who boycotted the game, celebrate temporarily. Despite the difference in opinion regarding the transfer window, could this be the start of something special at the club?

Within minutes of the game ending, however, it becomes abundantly clear that this is not going to be something quite as special as they might have thought, as Bill Cosby refuses to shake the hand of the Sunderland manager, David Moyes, on the final whistle, opting instead to run out into the centre of the pitch and dab repeatedly, giving the middle finger to the television cameras.

He attends the post-match press conference, however, instead of the typical club attire or suit a manger would normally be seen in, he wears a KONY 2012 t-shirt along with Hawaiian print shorts and flip flops. He spends the entire conference holding the microphone to his mouth like a rapper with his feet resting on the table as he leans back in his chair.

During the conference he calls David Moyes a fraud who got lucky by managing ‘a team of scouse shit-houses who were grateful to just be in the league at all’ and claims he has never amounted to anything since. He also brushes off any criticism from the fans, saying the following:

When you win your first game in charge scoring double-digit goals, you can do whatever the fuck you want. This is my club now. These are my players. I will be here until the day I die.

That evening, Cosby tweets out his post-match thoughts.

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The fans are torn between the scintillating football which was on display and the laughing stock of a manager they’ve found themselves lumbered with. An interesting season lies ahead for the blues.

August 20th 2016 – Stoke City vs Manchester City

Manchester City take to the field again, this time against Stoke City. In the last week, Cosby has managed to get away with only a warning after his post-match conduct against Sunderland, with the FA citing inexperience and a willingness to give the benefit of the doubt as reasoning for not taking further action against him. It is clear, however, that this is a last warning before more severe punishment should something similar happen again.

The line-up for the game at the bet365 Stadium sees a little bit of rotation with Kimpembe coming in for Elvedi and Zabaleta being forced out of the side with a hamstring injury that will keep him out for the next few weeks. Sterling comes into the squad in place of Mbappé and De Bruyne swaps in for Bakayoko.

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The line-up looks more experienced than the one seen in the first game of the season and fans are hopeful of another high-scoring game.

The game doesn’t disappoint as Sané opens the scoring within the first ten minutes, bursting into the box from the right before cutting in on his preferred left foot and curling the ball around Jack Butland into the far post. Just before the half-time whistle, Raheem Sterling latches onto the ball amidst a scramble in the box, poking home to double the blues’ lead.

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In the second half the game really opens up as Mark Hughes encourages his team to try and salvage something from the game. This plays right into the hands of Cosby’s boys, who annihilate Stoke on the counter. Gabriel Jesus bags his second brace of the season and makes the score 4-0 before Mbappé is brought on. In the 92nd minute he breaks away from the Stoke defence, calmly rounding Jack Butland and tapping the ball into an empty net for his first Manchester City goal.

The game ends 5-0 but this time there is no wild celebration from Cosby this time. He refuses to shake the hand of Mark Hughes (he would later go on to describe Hughes as ‘bitter’ because he couldn’t handle the pressure of the job Cosby is finding so easy) before applauding the away fans who have arrived to this game at maximum capacity, filling the away allocation.

There is a sense that, even this early on in the season, Cosby is starting to learn what it means to be a football manager and the decorum that is required to succeed. If Cosby can keep the flowing football ticking over while keeping his disciplinary record clean and fan aggravation to a minimum, this could actually be the start of something special.

Pre-Season: Part 2 – Aguero-A-Go-Go

July 18th 2016

After having time to sleep on the signing of Kylian Mbappé, Manchester City fans have become slightly more optimistic about the future. If this is the calibre of player they’re going to sign, the future is bright for the club, provided the club also finds a new manager in the process.

The following day two more signings are completed. Presnel Kimpembe is robbed from PSG for a meagre £7m, whilst Nico Elvedi is taken from Gladbach for £5m. Two of the world’s highest rated young centre-backs and one of the most exciting young wingers in the game have been brought into the club for less money than they sold Otamendi for.

The transfer policy at Manchester City has undertaken a serious change since the arrival of Bill Cosby, yet the fans still seem loathed to acknowledge any potential involvement of his in this. Cosby remains silent throughout the business, but that’s all about to change in the coming days…

July 20th 2016

Rumours begin to circulate that Manchester United have made enquiries about the availability of Sergio Agüero, which City fans immediately laugh off. Selling the club’s talisman and star player is one thing, selling him to a local rival would be absolute madness.

Any concerns regarding the future of Agüero are quickly swept aside as the club announce the fourth signing of the transfer window. After recent speculation, Gianluigi Donnarumma has said arrivederci to sunny Milan, opting instead for the blustery rains of Manchester. For a fee of £15m people are starting to take serious notice of the negotiating skills of Manchester City.

Bill Cosby finally snaps when Talksport’s Adrian Durham says that Cosby has the easiest job in management. On his DriveTime show he says:

Bill Cosby doesn’t really have a job, does he? He just has to sit there, pick a team and say ‘go on, play football’. That team is good enough to do the job without a manager. Simple as that. He doesn’t even have to do any of the transfers, the director of football just does everything for him. I doubt he has a hand in a single one of those new signings and any fan who thinks that he does is deluded. That’s right, I’ve said it. This is Talksport.

Cosby takes to Twitter in a spectacular rant, before taking a pot-shot at Adrian Durham himself.

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Manchester City, of course, decline to comment.

July 27th 2016

Manchester City fans wake up to worrying news. The Sun has managed to get the inside scoop on a story that suggests that Sergio Agüero to Manchester United is all but done, with a medical being the only thing in the way of the deal being completed.

The signing of Joshua Kimmich is announced literally five minutes after The Sun break the Agüero story, but it does nothing to halt the heavy fire the club is coming under. Pictures emerge later that day of Agüero being led into Carrington and shaking hands with Jose Mourinho.

BlueMoon goes into absolute meltdown, with some calling it the worst decision in the club’s history and others claiming that Cosby has effectively handed Manchester United the title by sanctioning this sale. Cosby reportedly has to be talked out of creating a BlueMoon account by the club’s Head of Communications.

At 20:00, Manchester United finally announce the purchase of Agüero. The hashtag #AguerooooOOOOOOOOOOO dominates the media for days and Manchester City fans across the country feel sick.

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Cosby’s tweet which follows the announcement tips fans over the edge and mass brawls take place in the city centre that night between City and United fans.

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Bill Cosby has gone too far.

August 4th 2016

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In the week that follows the £70m departure of Sergio Agüero, fans protest in their masses. Never before has a football club seen so much disgust from fans within just a pre-season. Social media is rife with Manchester City fans imploding whilst fans of every other club in the league laugh at them. The oil-rich success-buying plastics are finally getting their come-uppance.

The media has a field day, with Duncan Castles frequently being told by Jorge Mendes to tweet his absolute joy at the chaos unfolding within the Etihad.

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Other journalists have their say on the matter, with Robbie Savage appearing on BBC Radio 5 Live to make the bold claim that he would rather pay to watch Michael Carrick than Kylain Mbappe. Paul Merson and Phil Thompson release a 53 minute-long YouTube video in which they bemoan the lack of English talent being bought by the new City boss, with Merson making the headlines with this particular line:

There’s too many young, black French players in this league. Why are City combing the French league for young talent when they could be looking at Portsmouth or Accrington Stanley? Who the fuck is Gimpembo? Kimpembo? Kimpemby? I can’t even pronounce his name for fuck’s sake, we don’t know nothin’ about this boy. But we know he ain’t English, and that’s good enough for most managers these days.

Brexit supporters across the country call in to Talksport to defend Merson after he comes under attack from large sections of the media for his seemingly racially-charged outburst, with many saying that they aren’t racist but they also think there’s too many young, black foreign players in the league, one fan even pointing to Raheem Sterling as a prime example.

During this period, the transfer business being conducted by Manchester City goes almost unnoticed by the mainstream media, as the club sign Alex Grimaldo, Ruben Neves, Matthijs de Ligt and Tiemoué Bakayoko for nearly £40m combined.

There is now a week to go until the 2016/17 season begins and it’s safe to say that all eyes will be on Bill Cosby as he takes charge at The Etihad Stadium for the first time as they take on Sunderland.

Pre-Season: Part 1 – A Long Road Ahead

July 1st 2016

Manchester City announce their new manager after a frustrating season helmed by the talking head from Art Attack, Manuel Pellegrini. Many expect Pep Guardiola, especially since the club themselves announced the appointment on Deadline Day of the previous transfer window. However, in a bizarre twist, this turns out not to be the case, as Manchester City reveal the appointment of Bill Cosby.

The appointment is met with a lot of confusion, largely because Bill Cosby is a 58 year old man with no prior experience in football management of any kind. The fans are immediately outraged by their new manager because many of them think that it is the alleged child-molester and former American television personality, Bill Cosby. For legal reasons, I must point out that this is NOT the alleged child-molester and former American television personality, Bill Cosby. This is Manchester City manager, Bill Cosby.

The Etihad’s press room is packed to the rafters that morning as the media have questions to ask the new manager of one of the world’s biggest clubs. Will he be the new media darling? The new ‘Special One’? Or will he be immediately marked for hatred? It was time to find out.

Q: You sit here in charge of Manchester City, quite the first job in football management. A lot of the fans are understandably concerned about your lack of experience, what do you have to say to those fans who doubt your credentials?

A: I don’t need to prove myself to anybody. The only person I had to prove myself to is the chairman of this club. My CV speaks for itself; I once took Plymouth to the Champions League on Football Manager, signing a 34 year old Neymar in the process.

Q: So what would your response be to those who don’t think that Football Manager is an accurate barometer of your managerial acumen?

A: I would invite those people to play the game and then tell me how good at management they think they are. If they still disagree, then they can work it up their arse.

The Manchester City Head of Communications shakes his head in the corner of the room as photographers take numerous pictures of him putting his head in his hands. It hasn’t been a good start for Cosby.

The rest of the conference is met with stock responses, almost all of which are direct quotes from Football Manager itself. That is, until the final question, when Cosby goes off track.

Q: With new management comes new ideas for the squad and the style of play. Do you have an idea of who you intend to bring into the club and who you might look to move on?

A: I want to address the fans directly for this question, where’s the camera? Right – I have a great respect for the history of this club, particularly the last ten years, which I think we can all agree are the most important ones. The senior players in this squad have nothing to worry about under my management. I value their experience and selling them would be an absolute madness. Be ready to see an injection of youth into this squad which will help compliment the fan favourites we all know and love.

July 2nd 2016

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Fans revolt almost instantaneously, crowding outside the Etihad in mass protest. Over 20,000 fans stand in the pouring rain with banners and signs as Sky Sports get a hold of an email sent from Bill Cosby to Txiki Begiristain with a list of players he intends to sell, a list which alarmingly includes almost the entire squad.

Only Leroy Sané, Kevin De Bruyne, İlkay Gündoğan, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, John Stones and Kelechi Iheanacho survive the transfer list. Cosby is rather foul-mouthed and dismissive of the current playing squad in his email.

“The lot of them can fuck off, I refuse to keep anybody over the age of 22 from this decrepit squad. Only Kev, Ilkay and Pablo will be the exceptions to this rule because I’ve become quite attracted to the three of them.”

Manchester City refuse to comment on the matter, leaving fans incredibly frustrated and making Cosby a hate figure from the get-go.

July 3rd 2016

Cosby stuns and aggravates fans even further by deciding to get Twitter. Whilst this is not a new phenomenon, almost all managers’ Twitter accounts are run by their own PR people or agencies, however it quickly becomes apparent that Cosby is in full control of his own account. On top of the controversial decision to follow only Donald Trump and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, he also inexplicably tweets out his response to the fans who have been very vocal in the first couple of days of his appointment.

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Manchester City refuse once more to comment. The club is a shambles within a matter of days.

July 17th 2016

Manchester City complete their pre-season tournament and win it, ironically mostly due to the old guard that Bill Cosby is intending to get rid of, as Silva, Toure and Aguero manage to drag them to the final, with Vincent Kompany remaining solid at the back. They stomp Juventus in the final and take home the prize money, all the while boosting their image in Abu Dhabi.

Cosby’s Twitter is much less controversial after the initial outburst, with the two weeks that follow littered with tweets bemoaning the lack of 4oD access in Abu Dhabi, which is resulting in Cosby missing his favourite television show, Gogglebox, as well as frequently professing his attraction to Arya Stark.

On the morning of July 17th, Manchester City announce their first signing of the transfer window. Kylian Mbappé is brought to the club from Monaco for a fee of only £7m. The transfer is seen as a huge coup by the club and the fans are actually very happy with the signing, especially as it follows the departure of Nicolás Otamendi, Willy Caballero and Fabian Delph for a combined £40m. However, the purchase is mostly credited to Txiki rather than to Cosby himself.

Cosby responds to this lack of credit with a not-so-cryptic tweet.

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Manchester City fans remain pessimistic about the season ahead and, with the start they’ve had, it’s hard to blame them. Many are convinced relegation beckons under this mentally unstable manager they seem to have appointed, though only time will tell…