The Secret Diary of André Villas-Boas Pt. III

Posted on August 30, 2011 by

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This time it happened in the dead of night. A tap-tap-tappety-tap on the bedroom window.

Darling Joana was roused first, sensitive soul that she is, and she encouraged me from my slumber with a worried nudge. I awoke with a jolt from a nightmare about the Stoke game (oh, the humanity!), sat bolt upright – as is my wont when I sense mortal danger – and held myself perfectly still.

There it was again. A tap-de-tap-tap-tap-tippety-tap. Someone was directly outside our first-floor window.

“What is it Dré-Dré?” Joana whispered to me, casting a nervous, pleading look in my direction. I could see the moist twinkle of her bright eyes in the half-light.

“Never fear, my dear.” I replied. She tenderly squeezed my bicep as I rose from the bed.

I padded delicately across the bedroom floor to don my silk dressing gown, and I will admit that my heart was in my mouth as I approached the window. My trembling hand stretched to fondle the Venetian. As I squinted through a gap in the blind, I saw, unblinking, a terrifying, drooping, sunken eye gazing back at me. I could see a bead of sweat dripping from an auburn eyelash, lit by an eerie lunar presence, and the pupil dilated as it struggled to focus on mine.

I gasped – quite shocked – and fell back away from the window into Joana’s arms on the bed. “O! What fresh torment is this!?” I croaked, my mouth dry. Darling Jo-Jo stroked my hair, kissed my forehead and clutched me to her sweet-smelling bosom.

“Have strength, my love,” Joana whispered. “‘Tis surely but a cheerful early-morning window-cleaner. Fear not, and go forth.”

Emboldened, I arose once more, and went to draw the blind. I pulled it tight, in one graceful movement, and at once the tension all-but dissipated. I recognised the shocked, nervous, pleading face which greeted me. I went to open the window.

“Evenin’ guv’nor,” he twitched, in a surprisingly stereotypical cockney accent. “How’s about you let me in? Crouchie’s dyin’ out ‘ere.”

He motioned downwards, and as my gaze followed him I saw that my midnight visitor was perched precariously on the shoulders of a frightful beanstalk of a man. The moonlight illuminated the giant’s grinning, sweetcorn teeth, and silhouetted his comical ears. He was straining under the weight, but, gazing up at me, his smile retained an unquestioning, unfaltering inanity. All at once I was transported (mentally) to my childhood; my dear madre frightening and enrapturing me in equal measure with tales of Roald Dahl’s BFG. I was always a very literary child.

But I was brought back to the comparatively gruesome present as The Fat Redknapp reached out to grab my shoulders, attempting to haul his considerable bulk in through the window. I must admit he had raised my ire somewhat, arriving uninvited at such a frankly antisocial hour.

“I say, good man!” I exclaimed, as his chubby fingers clumsily thumbed my tousled bed-hair, trying to steady himself as Crouchie pushed him up from below. “What on earth is the meaning of this? Why must you turn up at such an ungodly hour, and why through my bedroom window? We have a perfectly good front door, you know.” I was pleased to have struck an authoritative, but mildly comic tonic.

Suddenly the look of panic returned to ‘Arry’s face. “Shhh!” he whispered, tumbling into the bedroom after tripping on the window frame. He sat up, and grabbed the hem of my dressing gown – naturally, I was naked as Jaybird underneath, so I pulled away. He stared at me once more as I turned the light on, the look of stupid terror in his eyes repulsing me somewhat, and implored me to turn it off again with a sweaty twitch of his head.

“Now look here,” I said, “you’re going to have to tell me what this is all about.”

“Be quiet will ya, I’m being followed…” he hissed back at me, glancing back over his shoulder, out the window. Crouchie was gazing in like a disinterested giraffe, so The Fat Redknapp gave him two sugar-lumps and told him to sit curled up in one of our garden shrubs, out of sight. I must admit, I was getting increasingly confused by the night’s goings on. What a strange turn of events!

Finally ‘Arry turned towards me. “You’ve gotta call ‘im off,” he said, his hands moulding together into a pleading prayer. “Please,” he said. “I can’t take it no more. I can’t take no more of it…” he trailed off, shaking/twitching his head.

I stood there, unmoved, looking down at this pitiful lump of English meat. “I’m perfectly sure I have no idea what you mean. Do enlighten me.”

“I’m serious!” Redknapp snapped back. “These Russians. It’s like the fackin’ Cold War again. It’s like the fackin’ 1960s all over again. You’ve gotta call ’em off. Please.”

“Which Russians?” I asked, concerned at this point. My irresistibly compassionate nature had taken control.

“Them that pays your wages. Them that’s trying to steal my Luka away. Please, I’ll do anything. I tried to give them Kranjcar instead, they spat in my face. I tol’ them they could ‘av Crouchie for ten-mill, they weren’t ‘avin any of it. They’re bursting my balls son! They’re bursting my fackin’ balls!!”

I reddened, as I sensed Joana reeling at his coarse language. I turned to her: “darling, would you be so kind as to go and prepare our visitor a cup of tea? I think the chamomile might be in order.” She nodded and went dutifully out the door and down the stairs.

I turned my attention back to The Fat Redknapp. I shuddered to think about what sinister torture he might have been subjected to, and my throat went dry as I recalled my own meeting with Chelsea’s Russian owner. “What have they done to you?” I asked. “Have they hurt you?”

“I don’t wanna talk about it,” he replied sombrely. “But please, I’m beggin’ ya, call them off. I can’t take any more of this. They’ve even been after my Jamie. He’s lit’rally petrified.”

My expression became soft and understanding as I gazed into the poor, pathetic man’s eyes. “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do. These people… they don’t listen to reason.”

Suddenly, we heard a noise outside. The distant hum of a military helicopter. I could sense that we both recognised it instantly. Redknapp went red. He jumped to his feet, and peered out from the curtain. He lured Crouchie back to the window with broken bits of a Snickers, then re-mounted his trusted steed and made to leave. As he turned back to me, he said “please Mr. Bowyer [I have become reluctantly accustomed to such moronic mispronunciation of my name], have you got any weapons I can use if it comes t’wit? A baseball bat or anything? These guys are ruthless. I mean totally ruthless!”

I racked my brains. As a committed pacifist, I don’t own any such thing. I was about to tell him that he should try to reason with them, talk to them on a human level… but I realised that wouldn’t be wise. I ran downstairs, and came back with the hot tea that Joana had prepared, along with a rolled-up copy of Monocle magazine for him to use as a baton. He thanked me graciously, and was away.

I couldn’t sleep, so I went downstairs to watch Dr. Strangelove and think about tactics.

***

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

Catch up with parts one and two of the diary.

And follow André on Twitter.

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