The story continues… and indeed concludes.
When we last left our heroes – click here – tempers were beginning to fray. Redknapp had all but eaten the turkey and Papa and Niko were still in the car park admiring their new car. Would Harry stay sober enough to deliver his ‘End of Year’ speech and would Matty Taylor finally find something to suppress his hunger.
Next into the Grotto was the worse for wear number sixteen Noe Pamarot. Noe was handed a sheet of paper with the letter ‘L’ printed on it together with a message that read ‘To complete your Christmas’. Noe examined the paper from all sides before screwing it up and aiming it at the turkey scoffing bar steward.
Next up was number seventeen. Surprisingly, John Utaka’s gift of a heater to break him out of his cold streak was gratefully accepted “I’ll put this to good use” he commented thanking Sacha.
“Make sure you do!” shouted Richard Duffy who had just arrived with his mate Richard Hughes. “Sorry we’re late boys, we’ve been watching a film, ‘The Lost Boys’ pretty good I can tell you.”
“Eighteen, eighteen, who is eighteen” screamed Sacha Claus. “Arnold Mvuemba” the over indulged Redknapp bellowed from behind the bar. Sacha enquired as to the description of the player he’d never heard of “What does he look like Harry?”
“No idea”, advised Redknapp, “That’s why, he never got an invite. Suggest you move on”
Number nineteen Niko Kranjcar and his ‘partner’ Diop could be heard arguing in the car park outside.
“I want to be the first to drive!”
“No it has to be me” sulked Niko “After all, it is my car first and foremost, I’m the Golden Boy and it has my name on the registration plate. Look!” He said pointing to the front of the car.
The number plate read ‘NK19’
“Strange, it has PFC123 on the back plate” said a confused Diop. “Anyway, I’m driving first”
The disagreement carried on a while longer which resulted in Kranjcar missing the opportunity to receive a card from hrvat wishing him ‘Sretan Bozic’ – Which after a great deal of research the drunken Linvoy Primus announced meant ‘Merry Christmas’ in Croat.
The party was now getting very rowdy. Poppers were popping, balloons were ballooning, even fireworks were being let of by the mischievous Sean Davis.
In the melee, very few noticed Martin Cranie collect his ‘Get Well Soon’ card and Jamie Ashdown his Bible, which had been gift wrapped by Pentonpompey with the message ‘You may need this as you haven’t got a prayer of displacing David James’ neatly inscribed on the inside cover.
Next up to receive a present was Richard Hughes who collected the ‘Pompey player writing the best column in the local rag’ award. The fact that Hughes was the only entrant didn’t seem to bother him. He was just pleased to be remembered.
Back at the bar, Matt Taylor had convinced Rug to employ the tactfulness of Tracyc to try and appeal to Redknapp’s better nature to leave the turkey alone.
“Harry darling?” Said Tracyc softly, “Please babe?, stop eating the turkey, they’ll be none left for anybody else soon. Sacha Claus is nearly finished and with the amount of Gleamer the players have drunk they are going to need something to eat, sweetheart”.
Redknapp grunted in response, picked the skin off another part of the bird, and as he popped another piece into his mouth, smiled, then winked at Tracyc.
Kanu meanwhile was being ushered from his seat by elf Tony. “But it’s not yet my turn” he exclaimed “I’m number twenty seven”. “We know that” replied elf Adams, “but if you start your walk now you might reach the Grotto in time to collect your present”. Kanu rose slowly to his feet and started the long walk toward the Grotto.
“And now for El Capitan! Number twenty three Sol Campbell” announced Sacha Claus, as he handed Sol a specially selected gift from pompey4me.
Known for his fine couture, Sol examined a rather strange pair of trousers containing huge pockets. “What are they for?” he enquired of Sacha. Sacha Claus read the message “To keep all the centre forwards you mark out on the game in.”
Still a little mystified Sol neatly folded the strange leg gear and retreated to the bar, (where the barman was on his mobile attempting yet another loan deal), for another pint of Gleamer.
After Richard Duffy, collected his promise of a first team place ‘one day’. It was Benjani’s turn.
Sacha offered Benny a sledgehammer to break his recent duck, but the somewhat tipsy African was unimpressed and snatched the present from Sacha’s hand and walked away muttering “I am stillthewhizz! I’m Benjani. I come from Zimbabwe; I’ll score again one day.”
Kanu arrived at the Grotto just in time to receive his bag full of goodies from Sacha. “That’s not fair” whinged the famished Matt Taylor who for the past ten minutes had been trying to convince Hermann that his present, a parcel of food from Iceland, could be eaten even if it was still frozen.
Meanwhile, Harry interrupted another of his phone conversations, this time with an agent called Tantona, and shouted “Stop your complaining Taylor, you know full well he’s my favourite, now just be quiet as I’m trying to sign a left winger called Jimmmmy Toronto and all I can hear is you, whinging.”
“You`re trying to sign Toronto-4-Pompey? That’s brilliant” said Utaka, “we need somebody to play on the left to match my ability on the right”
Just outside the Grotto Kanu was still trying to open his bag of goodies. So far he’d managed to open his new ‘work when you feel like it’ contract and had even managed to undo his shiny new Zimmer frame, but he struggled with identifying an object contained in a box with ‘Livestock’ printed on the side.
“What can it be?” he asked of Distin.
“I think the English call them Tortoises, hang on there’s a note.”
Distin read the note out loud “To Kanu, we couldn’t afford a new striker, but thought you’ll like ‘Midge’ as a new training partner. He’s not that fast and should provide you with a least a little competition for your sprint training – Best wishes, the boys from Vital Pompey”
Kanu was incensed. So incensed in fact he decided he’d go to the toilet to calm down, even if it took him all night to get there.
Finally, the last two players received their gifts from Sacha Claus. Sean Davis got a cardholder to hold all the different cards he’d collected throughout the season, whereas Pedro Mendes unwrapped an empty bottle, which on closer inspection showed there was a note inside. It read ‘To Pedro, we hope this replaces the bottle you seem to have lost since the Ben Thatcher incident.’
Neither player was happy, Davis volleyed (well sliced) his card holder across the room so hard it took out the chandelier on the way and Mendes threw his bottle against the wall and exclaimed “Bottle! bottle! I am Portuguese man-o-war. I show them who needs bottle”
Sacha Claus, his work finished for the evening, surveyed the room, there were broken chairs, smashed glasses, and trodden in turkey bones all over the place. The plush refurbished ‘Vital Arms’ seemed light years away from what it looked like now.
Sacha looked towards the bar and observed yet another argument between Redknapp and Taylor.
“Well, if you still not going to let me have any of that turkey, I`ll have to have four pints of Gleamer, a Gin & Tonic and an Orange Juice. How much is that” demanded Taylor
“£4.51” came the reply.
“£4.51! £4.51! last time it was £4.33” said Taylor rather argumentiveley.
“£4.51 or £4.33 it’s all the same” laughed Redknapp chewing on what was left of the Parsons Nose.
Annoyed and devoid of any nutrition Taylor had had enough “I’m leaving for Villa,” he announced to anybody that happened to be listening. Which in actual fact was only Noe Pamarot who was still trying to work out what to do with his ‘L’ “Bye then” waved Noe, as Taylor, leaving his yard of pace behind him, slammed the pub door shut never to be seen again.
Upon hearing of the Taylor tantrum, the drunken and still incensed Mendes was next to leave. “If he`s going to Villa, I’m going to Villa? come to think of it, I must get there before him to guarantee a place in the starting line-up” he was heard to utter as he stumbled over the broken Christmas tree on his way out through the door.
“Wait for us Pedro! We came together, we leave together. That was the deal. Remember?” cried a panic stricken Pamarot and a bumbling Davis collectively.
At last, Redknapp put down what was left of the turkey and stood on the bar to deliver his ‘end of Year’ speech.
“Firstly, before I thank what’s left of the squad for coming. I’d like to announce that I’ve failed in my attempt to bring in new players for January, but I have done one deal. I’ve managed to get a tenner for Duffy from a Greek team called Lysimachus. So Richard, thanks son but you’re off in the morning.
“Also, I’ve had Bertie Vogts on the blower and Kanu darling; you and John have to leave on Boxing Day. Oh! and Sulley. I’ve thought about what you suggested and I think you are right. Nobody will know Benjani is from Zimbabwe so if you want to take him with you and try to get him a game please feel free.
“I’ve just received a text form Papa and Niko. They are headed for Gretna Green and apparently Hughsie in the boot. He understands he has no role to play be has gone along for the ride anyway.
“Well, thanks for a terrific year fellas I’m really proud of you, well those of you that are left anyway and despite the lack of players we now have at our disposal I’m confident we can push forward and secure at least a top ten finish. Who knows we my even make Europe! Oh! and one final thing. Nuge, you’ve got your place in the team son, you can play sweeper while the others are away and you can start by clearing the mess in this bar up”.
As Harry climbed down from the bar to rapturous applause a shout of “Got any of that turkey left gaffer” was heard from the floor.
Harry looked solemnly towards Sacha and then turned to the players. “Nah, sorry fellas, I’m down to the bare bones” he replied.
Written by eastneydave and Chix.
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