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Today's edition imagines a phone call between the new PSG signing and the former QPR man, while Andre Santos pours his heart out as Arsene Wenger decides to get rid

As imagined by Alex Hess

BECKHAM REQUESTS FRENCH LESSONS FROM BARTON

With A-list underwear model David Beckham on his way to France to grace the catwalks, bus-stop billboards, and football pitches of yet another glamorous metropolis, Goal.com can exclusively reveal a transcript of a telephone call which Mr Posh Spice himself made to a certain Joseph Barton this morning…

ASK ALEX
I don’t understand. This morning the boss called me into his office and told me I am free to leave.

"You’re a nice guy, Andre," he said. "But you just can’t keep yourself away from Burger King, can you?" He has a point, I suppose.

"Watching you get taken to the cleaners by Brighton was bad enough," Arsene told me. "But last night, seeing you being given a run-around by Stewart bleeding Downing, was the last straw. I’ve decided to call Nigel Winterburn out of retirement. He’s got more pace than you."

His words stung me, but I am now looking for a new club.

Surely someone will take me. I’ve been capped by Brazil – honestly!

- Andre, 29, Colney

Interior. Joey Barton’s house. daytime. A telephone rings. Barton, puffing on a pipe, mutes the CD playing Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, lays down his copy of ‘Philosophy Quotes for GCSE Students’, and lifts the receiver

JB: Bonjour. Joey Bartoinette speaking.

DB: Joey! It’s David. David Beckham. How’s it going? You busy?

JB: Hello Becks! No, not busy at all, good sir, just relaxing. Reading. Educating myself. The usual. You see, the unexamined life is not worth living, David, just in case you were wondering. And the best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination. Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself. I think, therefore I am.

DB: *sighs* Yes, yes, you're very clever, Joey. Listen. I’m heading over to Paris this afternoon.

JB: Paris?! No kidding. Nice one. You got a modelling gig there or something?

DB: Modelling? No! Why is that the first thing everyone says? No – I’m a still a footballer, Joey. I’m signing for PSG.

JB: Seriously? You’re still playing football? I didn't realise. Well, congratulations on the move. Do you need to brush up on your French, joli garcon?

DB: Yeah, actually. In fact, that was why I rang.

JB: Then you came to the right place! Plants are shaped by cultivation and men by education, David.

DB: Enough with the philosophy quotes, Joey, seriously. Let’s just stick to what I might need to say on the pitch, eh? How about, "have you never heard of ‘Beckham territory’? Leave this free kick for me, Zlatan?" I expect I’ll be needing to say that a fair bit.

JB: Really? I’ve never needed that. My favourite is, "intercept one of my misplaced passes again, sunshine, and you’ll be picking my studs out of your shinpad". Why don’t we start with that?

DB: No thanks, Joey. Can you teach me, "kit man, make sure that my eyeshadow, blusher, and spare Alice band are ready at half-time."

JB: Nah, nah. You don’t need to know that. Listen, I’ll tell you how to say "cheer up sweetheart. Have something to eat – even just a single slice of toast. You are well-respected in the fashion industry, I promise."

DB: What? Who the hell would I need to say that to?

JB: Ummm, no-one. Never mind.

DB: Look, let’s just leave it. You’ve not been much help, Joey, but thanks anyway.

JB: Okay, fine. But it’s not my fault that you’re not willing to learn. And that the England national team has never utilised my talents, and that the British media are constantly out to get me, and that referees and the FA are always picking on me.

[Long silence]

DB: O-kaaaay. Look, I think you have some issues to settle, Joey, so I’ll leave you. I’m going to try Alan Pardew instead, I hear he’s fluent in French these days. Cheerio Joey!

JB: Ta-ra, old sport! Don’t forget - the ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival. Bye now!

WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT

TODAY'S BIGGEST RUMOURS

Spurs launch Lisandro bid

Barca ponder Vorm move

Stoke eye Bent switch
Luis Suarez: "I hope [to be at Liverpool] for a very long time because it's a massive club that kids dream about playing for."

Decoded: [Cancels yet another incoming call from ‘Florentino’] "If I’m ever named in the same line-up as Brad Jones again, I’m outta here."


Juanma Lopez: "I know [Sevilla] have spoken to Everton but there is no way [the transfer of Alvaro Negredo] will happen."

Decoded: "David Moyes is in Seville plying Negredo with sangria as we speak and waxing lyrical about the superlative quality of Merseyside tapas bars."


Mario Balotelli: "For sure I will remember my brilliant team-mates, the manager and all the supporters. They are the best, they were great with me and I will always have a very special place in my heart for Manchester City."

Decoded: "I am sickened that Mancini didn’t recognise my brilliance. Who is he to shout at Balotelli? Scott Sinclair deserved that tackle, anyway. The most valuable thing I learnt in the last three years was how to put on a training bib."

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