We’ve all heard the tripe that spills out of their mouths – but what’s really going on inside their heads? Hmmmm…
WHAT HE SAYS: ‘I’m so proud to be signing for this club today. They’re one of the game’s greatest clubs, with an incredible history and heritage.”
WHAT HE MEANS: ‘Thank f**k my agent programmed my satnav for me – I’ve literally got no clue where this scruffy little hovel is based. North West? North London? No idea.
Luckily, my agent also taught me the names of two of their legendary players, so I can say them in interviews when I need to sound like I give a s**t about this poxy club. The plan is to play out of my skin for 18 months, get a pay rise and then start whingeing until I get a move and another pay rise. Simple.’
WHAT HE SAYS: ‘I’m looking forward to getting out on the pitch and repaying every penny of my transfer fee in goals.’
WHAT HE MEANS: ‘Repaying every penny? If those gormless mugs on the terraces knew how much of their season ticket cash had actually been ploughed into the deal that brought me here, they’d storm the pitch and tear me limb from limb.
‘Transfer fee? That’s just the half of it. Don’t forget about my signing on fee, the agent’s cut, a tax-free lump sum for passing the medical, and a huge wedge of cash for my image rights.
‘Plus every time the club shop sells a toothbrush with my head on the end of it, I get two quid.’
WHAT HE SAYS: ‘We’re lucky to have some of the most knowledgeable fans in the land. If they get on our backs from time to time, it’s probably the kick up the backside that we need.’
WHAT HE MEANS: ‘I’m lucky to be playing in an era when we hardly have to mingle with the fans. Can you imagine what it’s like trying to pose for hundreds of selfies without looking as though you want to die?
It’s a living nightmare. Good job I’ve always got a bottle of hand sanitiser in my pocket for after they’ve gone.’
WHAT HE SAYS: ‘We know we’ve fallen short these last few games but we’re determined to turn it around and that means sorting it out on the training ground.’
WHAT HE MEANS: ‘It’s all gone massively t**s up. We’ve lost four out of the last five and the manager spends half of his time searching for new signings on Football Manager. Meanwhile, his assistant has sealed off a corner of the laundry room and is pretty much sleeping in a nest made from empty whisky bottles.
‘Training consists of a few laps of the pitch followed by the collective watching of mobile phone porn in the middle of the pitch.’
WHAT HE SAYS: ‘The manager knows what he’s doing and the whole of the squad are right behind him. We’re all pulling in the same direction and once we hit a bit of form, those relegation worries will disappear.’
WHAT HE MEANS: ‘Us players have got a massive dilemma. We can ride this out but we’ll probably get relegated which might mean having to move house. But if we go to the chairman and insist the manager gets sacked, he might get replaced with an even bigger twat who’ll make us do some actual work. Sometimes this job feels worse than working down a mine.’
WHAT HE SAYS: ‘I can’t believe we’ve gone down. We gave it everything but in the end it just wasn’t good enough. The lads are sat in the dressing room now, distraught. But we’re confident we can bounce back and I’m sure that we will.’
WHAT HE MEANS: ‘F**k this – I’m off. One of the promoted clubs is only 30 miles away and their manager seems like a bit of dozy k**bhead. If I can engineer a move there, I can play this whole sorry scenario out again over the next year, but with a brand new signing on fee and all the other bonuses chucked into the pot as well. Dreamed of this since I was a little kid.