Koeman, please stop winning
Pellegrini issues desperate plea on behalf of the 'Big Four'
With Southampton hosting Manchester City tonight, Manuel Pellegrini is rather embarrassed by his billionaires sitting beneath the South Coast bumpkins in the Premier League table.
According to a source living in the Liverpool area with a Northern Irish accent and really white teeth, Pellegrini met with Saints boss Ronald Koeman this week to make an urgent request.
Here is the exclusive transcript of that meeting.
Pellegrini: Thanks for agreeing to meet me, Ronald, I'm here on behalf of the Big Four. Why are you laughing?
Koeman: That's a joke right? South Americans are famous for their sense of humour, right? They think Silence of the Lambs is a comedy about Luis Suarez.
Pellegrini: I'm serious. I'm here as a representative of the Big Four.
Koeman: What Big Four? The Beatles? Have you seen the EPL table lately?
Pellegrini: I have a signed petition here with the signatures of me, Louis van Gaal, Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers.
Koeman: Oh, I see. When you say Big Four, what you really mean is Big Twelve.
Pellegrini: That's precisely my point. You've upset the status quo.
Koeman: The rock band? Are they still going?
Pellegrini: Look, we've spent millions on our clubs, billions in my case, and you're making us look bad. We tried to do it the fair and honest way by poaching all your best players.
Koeman: How are things working out at Liverpool?
Pellegrini: Brendan says everything is outstanding. He said the players are outstanding, their work-rate is outstanding and the performances have been outstanding.
Koeman: He's really got to stop using the word "outstanding" when Liverpool have been crap, hasn't he?
Pellegrini: We keep telling him. Right now he's trying to work out Southampton's old secret of getting the best out of Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana.
Koeman: Try playing them together.
Pellegrini: That's what it was! I knew it would be something complicated. If you're not careful, you'll end up having my job at Manchester City.
Koeman: No, thanks. I'm ambitious.
Pellegrini: Fair enough. Any tips I can pass on about Dejan Lovren?
Koeman: He prefers playing with good defenders and a real goalkeeper.
Pellegrini: Wow, it's like talking to the Confucius of coaching. That's why we all respect you. But you're making us look bad. Having Southampton in second place is like having an amateur playing in the Champions League.
Koeman: How's it going with Eliaquim Mangala?
Pellegrini: Terrible. His legs flail around like a newborn giraffe.
Koeman: At least you didn't spend much money on him.
Pellegrini: You see. That's exactly what I'm getting at. You're mocking us. Your performances and players are making fun of us. Your defenders are better than our defenders. In fact, your defenders are better than Liverpool's strikers.
Koeman: Are you talking about Nathaniel Clyne?
Pellegrini: Of course. Do not be surprised if Rodgers comes calling in January.
Koeman: He wants to replace Glen Johnson?
Pellegrini: No, Mario Balotelli. He's looking for a swop deal.
Koeman: For Balotelli? For a Southampton player? I wouldn't swop him for a Southampton programme.
Pellegrini: Look, we're asking if you could ease off the accelerator a bit, just to give Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United time to find their feet again.
Koeman: How much time do they need?
Pellegrini: About five years.
Koeman: Forgive me if I tell you and the rest of the Big Four where to go. Do you even have any idea how ridiculous it sounds calling yourselves the Big Four? It's like Tuvalu, Nauru, Tokelau and Gibraltar calling themselves the Big Four.
Pellegrini: Do they play in Southampton's youth team?
Koeman: No, they are four of the world's smallest territories.
Pellegrini: Really? I'll tell Manchester City's owners. They're always looking for new weekend places to buy. But getting back to the point, we can't have players like Ryan Bertrand and Shane Long in the top four. It's ridiculous.
Koeman: You'd rather have Mangala, Paddy McNair, Nacho Monreal and Simon Mignolet?
Pellegrini: OK, fair enough. Just take it easy over the Christmas period. I'll stop now because I think Rodgers wants to have a word.
Koeman: He's not having any more Southampton players.
Pellegrini: No, he wants you to show him how to defend corners.