What a piece of work is Man United, with apologies to the Bard

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Courtesy: NYTimes

Wordart Jose-page0001 (2)A modern tragic-comedy with apologies to Ye Bard of Avon in the 400th anniversary year of his death

(ENTER STAGE LEFT YE SPECIAL ONE, A SMALL FIGURE IN PLATFORM SHOES WITH A HIGHLY EXPENSIVE HAIRCUT CROPPED TO LOOK CASUAL)

Special One: I am the Special One. Bow down before me and grovel.

(ENTER A PROCESSION OF OVERPAID HACKS, MOVING AS ONE, EAGER NOT TO BREAK RANKS. THEY INCANT AS ONE)

Chorus of Hacks: You ARE the Special One! You ARE the Special One! Let us shower you with undeserved praise! Let us elevate you to deity status! Let us all keep our jobs!

Special One: Let arrangements be made for my annual bag of gold, an amount equivalent to mine own weight and in value roughly to the GDP of Ethiopia. Let gushing compliments be paid to me each hour. Let the . . . (BREAKING OFF, ANNOYED BY AN INTERRUPTION) Whose shadowy figure disturbs my press conference? What strange spectre appears before me? What foul fiend is this? Banish it from my sight, I say!

(ENTER THE GHOST OF SIR MATT BUSBY)

Sir Matt: Oh! That such a wretched soul should find peace in this ravaged northland where all I struggled to achieve is now laid waste. See, I am but spirit, yet observe the sight of others whose blood doth still course warmly through their veins. Do they not also witness desolation? Are they not forced to flee this wretched kingdom whose tattered flag hangs limp in windless air?

(THREE TRAGIC MIDFIELDERS – GIGGS, SCHOLES AND NEVILLE – DRAG THEMSELVES WEARILY ACROSS THE STAGE, THEN SPEAK)

Midfield 3: Our time herein is ended. Woe! We are undone. Banish-ed! Banish-ed! Banish-ed!

Busby: (SADLY) To what place art thou banish-ed?

Midfield 3: To Salford and divers other places. (THEY SHUFFLE OFF)

Chorus of Hacks: Hail the Special One! Hail the Special One! Hail the Special One!

(ENTER THE FOOL)

Fool: Why, prithy, is he so nam-ed the Special One?

Chorus of Hacks: Fie and for shame! Hath not his own mouth utter-ed these words? Are they not, therefore, as true as wind, eternal as the sky? So is it writ . . .

Fool: Nay, verily, doth his own issue of these words not make him even greater Fool than I?

Chorus of Hacks: He is the Special One! He is the Special One! He is the Special One!

(ENTER THE GAUNT FIGURE OF SIR BOBBY CHARLTON, VAINLY ATTEMPTING A COMB-OVER)

Busby: Yet, see! A poor soul comes for whom the prospect bleak of endless torture beckons, forced to endure the dismantling of a once mighty land unlike all other, now devour-ed by the foul god Mammon

Sir Bobby: O! That it should come to this! O! O! And thrice O! (EXITS)

Fool: The ship doth sink. The band doth play! Oh joy! (SINGS)

“Triddle me doo and triple me fee

The future is Leicester City for me”

Busby: But stay! Here comes another to our merry little play. Before us stands a man beset the meantime of both sadness and hubris, whose very countenance bespeaks of grief. I’faith, he doth believe himself superior to the five acts of our play thus far, whose world is but a stage upon which those overpaid players do strut.

(ENTER SIR ALEX FERGUSON, SPEECHLESS)

Special One: Why have the hacks not spoken these past minutes? Are they mute? Verily, let their words issue forth!

Chorus of Hacks: He is the Special One! He is the Special One! He is the Special One!

Fool: (ASIDE) Methinks the saying so, so many times will no more make it true than it be true that mules wear skirts! Ha!

Busby: Yet more come! Wherefore now are these? Some mercenaries from foreign lands? (ENTER MOYES AND VAN GAAL. THEY ARE WRETCHED FIGURES LADEN DOWN WITH LARGE BUNDLES OF CASH)

Moyes: Like Caesar we came . .  .

Van Gaal: . . .we ruined . . .

Moyes: . . .we left by mutual agreement

(ENTER CHAIRMAN)

Chairman: Not so, we sacked you!

(THEY ALL EXIT)

Special One: Now shall I rule this land as never in the years before.Now shall it be rebuild-ed as monument to this Special One’s great gifts.

Busby: Speak, Special One, say how you’ll serve this kingdom.

Special One: Serve?

Busby: Shall’t be the pattern of its great monarchs, myself among them, or in the guise of those pathetic pretenders of more recent time?

Special One: Didst thou say ‘serve’?

Busby: And this great monument, as’t moves towards that misty and mysterious horizon that is its future, how long shall it last, how many years? Four score and ten, or more?

Special One: I’ll give it two, yes two will do. Depends whether the German national job doth arise meantime.

(RE-ENTER CHAIRMAN)

Chair: We are of one accord, two years. No Premier crown, no future.

Busby: Now is our tragedy all but played and we are but poor souls. . .

Fool:(POINTING TO SPECIAL ONE). Poor? This fellow? Methinks a trout be sooner a magician than HE be poor!

Busby: And so, good gentles, farewell ye now this stage of fools. . .

Special One: (TO HACKS) But soft, afore we part, repeat the words I gave thee, wretched writers!

Chorus of Hacks: You are the Special One! You are the Special One! You are the Special One!

(EXIT ALL)

 

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