The Secret Diary of André Villas-Boas Pt. II

Posted on July 15, 2011 by


Wednesday, 13th of July 2011

This time it was a helicopter.

A terrible, raucous cacophony of whirring rotors roused dear Joana and I from our restful repose. I glanced quickly at my Krups alarm clock – it read 05:07 – and wondered wistfully whether I should ever be afforded a full night’s shut-eye while I reside in Chelsea. Sleep matters little to me – I generally arise at half-past-six to allow myself time to read the broadsheets and prepare darling Joana’s muesli, but being awoken by such a terrifically antisocial racket is guaranteed to put me in an ill-tempered mood for the remainder of the day.

I strode into the ensuite and drew the Venetians to see – yes, my ears had not deceived me – a giant Soviet helicopter (a Mil Mi-24 if my eyes were not deceiving me) landing on the patio in my back-garden, crushing our burgeoning herb garden as it did so. This, I must admit, left me thoroughly vexed.

As I donned my luxurious silk dressing gown, I flashed Joana a sympathetic look as she struggled to make sense of what was going on. The whole house was shaking uncontrollably, and our tabby-cat Aphrodite was looked deeply perturbed.

I raced downstairs, along the hallway and into the orangery to open the French windows and confront whoever was responsible for such a rude arrival at my peaceful abode. I was greeted, though, by two serious-looking men, both wearing the same impenetrably dark sunglasses and stern, cold, emotionless expression. The rotorcraft (or chopper as I believe North Americans call it) was still winding down, and the two figures in front of me seemed content to wait for the din to subside before proceeding with whatever business they were here to conduct. I must admit that I was struck inexplicably dumb, but whenever I opened my mouth to speak the larger of the two would sombrely shake his head.

Eventually, all was calm. I passively made way for the two men to step inside, the smaller fellow choosing to seat himself on the futon sofa-bed in my living room, the larger (presumably his bodyguard) elected to remain standing, observing from a close distance. They removed their sunglasses simultaneously, and, while the bodyguard fixed his cold eyes sternly on me, the smaller man glanced nonchalantly around the room, making vague noises of approval (at my collection of motorsport magazines) and disapproval (at my Tony Benn autobiography) as he did so.

I plucked up the courage to speak, though the words merely crawled, dry and creaking, from my throat. “Can I offer you two gentlemen anything? Something to drink perhaps?”

The two men looked at each other, before the bodyguard responded, “Roman will have a coffee. Black.”

“Certainly, right away. Anything for you, sir?” The bodyguard offered only a cold stare in response.

I ambled into the kitchen, my head spinning slightly, and prepared the cafetière. I made myself a strong cappuccino (it was breakfast after all), quickly had two bites of a banana (for energy), then returned to the living room with Roman’s coffee.

Neither man had moved in my absence, though the bodyguard’s demeanour seemed to have grown meaner. Still, there was no reaction as I placed the coffee down on (a stainless-steel coaster on) the coffee table. I waited what seemed like an age for the silence to break, and eventually, when the coffee had long-since gone cold, Roman spoke.

“Who you want?” He  was cold, hard and uncompromising – his voice resembled, in some ways, that of a stereotypical Soviet/Russian baddie from a 1980s Hollywood movie.

“I…” my throat was dry again. I had forgotten to swallow. “I beg your pardon?” I croaked meekly by way of response.

“Who you want?” He said again, glancing curiously out the living-room window as an outside street-lamp was extinguished to make way for the new day. Noticing that I still hadn’t caught his drift, he continued: “Modric?”

“Oh, I see.” I went red. To be honest, I had thought of a number of potential transfer targets, and had spent the last five evenings compiling extensive reports and dossiers on each. Tottenham’s Luka Modric did not feature in my plans. “Well,” I stammered, my usual characteristic coolness temporarily deserting me, “if you would like to discuss our Summer transfer policy, would you mind waiting for a second while I go and retrieve my filofax from the upstairs dresser?”

“You no want Modric?” Roman leaned forward, baring his teeth which, I noticed, were made of solid gold (or a convincing substitute).

“Oh, I have nothing against Luka Modric,” I responded, “but I don’t consider him the perfect fit for our current…”

“You no want Modric? Modric good. Modric effective in deep role while no Essien. I get Modric. You want Modric, I get Modric. You want Modric, I make the fat Redknapp squeal.”

“‘Arry no feel so t’riffic now,” the bodyguard growled, suddenly, with startling menace.

“Quiet Bulgarov. My apologies. Bulgarov get angry when people no compromise. Bulgarov get violent.”

“I see,” I gulped. “No problem.”

“So,” Roman continued, finally fixing his gaze on me directly, so that I could see the oil-black of his pupils and the blood-red of his irises. “You want Modric?”

I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out. I reluctantly nodded.

He smiled a long, thin, heartless smile. “Very good. Bulgarov, power the rotors. We must be in Minsk for breakfast.”


In the evening I wrote a note to Max and Cindy next door to apologise for this morning’s racket, and then Joana and I read Monocle magazine together.


Stay tuned for further serialisation of The Secret Diary of André Villas-Boas throughout the season.

Click here for part one of the diary.

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