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New Zealand Football’s got talent

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Frank Van Hattum: “Thanks for coming along, folks. It’s great for New Zealand Football that we could attract such a wonderful array of coaching talent. Hope you all enjoyed your flights. Jet Star do an awesome raisin muffin! Did any of you partake? No? Fair enough… Well, obviously we know why you are all here. You want a realistic shot at coaching a national team at Russia 2018! As you know, New Zealand is almost guaranteed an intercontinental play-off, and that means if you are the successful applicant you could have a fifty fifty chance of becoming a World Cup manager. We love that! Means we can get away with paying you nothing! Ha! Only joking. Well, actually I’m not really joking which is good because I see you’re not laughing… Ahem… Moving right along… After the interviews we’ve got a great night out planned for you all as a token of our appreciation for you coming all this way. More on that later, but right now all you need to know is stick close or we might miss the 895 to midtown…”

Fred De Jong: “OK, so you’ve all received the questions in advance so you should be well prepared. The interview panel will consist of myself, Frank, Tommy Smith here, and independent outside consultant Rachel Hunter, who is an internationally renowned New Zealander who recently demonstrated her fantastic judging potential on ‘New Zealand’s Got Talent’. I’ll be calling you all in one by one, and without any further ado, you with the red tie, you’re up first buddy!”

Rachel Hunter: “Great, so if you could just shut the door on your way in and take a seat, that’s great… Just make yourself nice and comfy… Ready to start?”

Tommy Smith: “Cool, so I’m asking the first question… Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.”

Sir Alex Fergusson: “Well there was that time at Stamford Bridge that we were winning 1-0 after 89 minutes and the fourth official was going to add five minutes additional time! Five f***ing minutes! Can you believe it? Well, I called him a f***ing cheating **** and his mother a ******* **** ******* *** and then when he put his little board up there were only 3 minutes…”

Rachel Hunter: “You’re exactly what this competition is all about!”

Frank Van Hattum: “Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.”

Zdeněk Zeman: “When I got off the plane after arriving here they told me I couldn’t smoke in the terminal. Then I got in a taxi and they said no smoking there either. Then I got into this building and no smoking in here. They tell me you can’t smoke in the technical area in this country. IS THERE NO CIVILISATION HERE??? I WANT TO GO HOME. NOW!!!!!!”

Fred De Jong: “Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.”

Claudio Ranieri: “I… ah… Well, I…. Um….. I’ll find my own way out…”

Tommy Smith: “Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion.”

Paolo Di Canio: “I ran up to the curva and I raised my arm in the Roman salute! The ultras did it back to me and we shared that beautiful moment together in love… Then the media scum bags and leftist intelligentsia called me a racist!! This is not true! Sure, I love Mussolini and support an ideology responsible for one of the biggest racially motivated genocides in human history, but why do they think that makes me racist?”

Fred De Jong: “Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.”

Joey Barton: “I couldn’t believe it. They told me I wasn’t allowed to kick people! I told them they were stifling my artistic creativity and took to Twitter to raise my objections in a diplomatic, restrained, calm and reasonable manner by calling pretty much everyone in the game a bunch of ignorant twits. Next thing you know I was at Fleetwood Town and who was laughing then, eh? EH?”

Rachel Hunter: “Please discuss an important written document you were required to complete.”

Bruce Grobbelaar: “You have no idea how hard it is to fill out a betting slip these days…”

Frank Van Hattum: “Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks.”

Pep Guardiola: “Well… of course there was that impossible season when Barcelona was contesting La Liga, the Copa Del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, the Champions League and the Club World Cup all at the same time. We kicked the problem of what to prioritise around for weeks. We made some pie graphs, flip charts and wrote the pros and cons of each strategy up on the white board. Then we held a four day retreat with all the back-room staff and senior players where we did some bus stop exercises with butcher’s paper and post-it notes and we kept thrashing things around and around until we finally came up with a recommendation, which we took to the club president for ratification, and which he agreed to implement. We decided to win everything. And we did.”

Rachel Hunter: “That’s a yes from me, you’re through to the next round!”

Tommy Smith: “Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker.”

Arsene Wenger: “Booing, they were… Singing “you don’t know what you’re doing” from all around me! They surrounded my car as I arrived at training… banging on the hood. Saying swearing words. They even called me mean French words! They said I’d lost it… Lost my touch or something…  ME? I turned ‘boring boring Arsenal’ into ‘scoring scoring Arsenal’! But they didn’t care. They wanted my head and that was all there was to it. It was personal. So I sold the bloody lot of them and brought in new players! And if I catch anyone in my backroom staff teaching them French swearwords again…”

Rachel Hunter: “Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.”

Delio Rossi: “When I worked for Fiorentina I subbed Adem Ljajic off during a game and the little snot said something with his smart mouth… So I jumped into the dug-out and attempted to smash his smirking little face in! Now, perhaps, with the benefit of hindsight, which as we know is always 20/20, and having run the scenario over and over in my head to establish what, if anything, I would do differently on another occasion, should a similar situation present itself in the future, I see now that maybe I did miss an obvious alternative solution at the time… Yeah, so next time I’ll wait until we’re in the dressing room and pound the little biatch there.”

Frank Van Hattum: “Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.”

Rafa Benitez: “When I decided to coach Napoli it was a very unpopular decision with a lot of people. Mostly Napoli fans… They’ll get over it. They always do. Usually after I’m gone but you never know this time…”

Rachel Hunter: “This competition needs people like you! Thanks, we’ll let you know…”

Categories: All Whites

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: https://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/

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