“Marco Aurélio is our best player”
I frown. “What on Earth gives you that idea Roger?” I ask calmly, as I slot a red circular disc into the left hand column. Roger shifts uncomfortably in his seat.
“Well… me and the coaches, we’ve ranked the entire squad out of 5 stars and we’ve given him 4.5, more than anyone else in the team…” he explains feebly as he slots in a yellow disc on top of my red one.
I frown further still. “What a bizarre thing to do”. I pop a red one in the next column.
“Yeah well, we need him to sign a new contract. If we don’t tie him down he’ll be off on a free in 3 months.” Again, he places a yellow disc on top of mine. “Just like me actually”, he raises his eyebrows at me. I ignore him.
“Well as long as we’re arbitrarily handing out star ratings like some poor yelp critic with nothing better to do Roger, I’ll give him 2.5 out of 5. A middle of the road rating for a middle of the road player.” I pop a red one in the next column again, Roger needs to act fast. “Besides, I talked to him when I handed out contract extensions at the start of the season, he’s not interested and neither am I. Match point.”
Roger seems confused. “Well who else are we going to play on the right?” He asks. I run my fingers through my hair.
“I don’t know mate” I shrug, “We’ve got plenty of options. Borges, Amonike, those lads that Saint Eduardo sent out on loan at the start of the season. What’s the other lad’s name? The one we signed up from the academy the other day with the Android 16 haircut?”
“Batista? He’s 15! We can’t rely on him!”
“I can’t rely on any of the wingers I’ve seen here apart from Kevin” I reply honestly, “If Batista does well for the under 19s he’ll get his chance. We’ve got quite a few promising players in the youth team now.” I see Roger’s hand hovering over the slot I’ve just used, a yellow disc held between forefinger and thumb. “Roger we’ve been over this, if you copy every move I make you’ll just stay a move behind me and I’ll win.” I sigh.
He looks up and smirks. “Oh don’t worry Franjo, I’ve got a plan.” He winks as he drops a yellow disc down on top of my red. I immediately drop a red into the next column, still staring exasperatedly at Roger.
“I win” I say bluntly. “I have successfully connected 4. It wasn’t close.”
I can see him trying to process what just happened. If this were a cartoon I’d be able to see the hamster inside his head full on sprinting on its wheel. And then he looks up at me, with a face like a 5 year old who’s just had his ice cream knocked maliciously out of his hand and onto the floor. After a long and uncomfortable pause, he lets out an anguished moan. “I was only 1 move away from winning!”
I need a new assistant.
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