“No”, I sigh.
“Obviously not!” I bury my head in my hands and groan. “These are the same bloody offers I’ve been getting for 3 years! I want to step up!”
“Well it might be difficult, that’s all.” Replies Bechkoura carefully. “What with the Euros and everything.”
“We got to the semis, that’s still an achievement!” I snap. Bechkoura screws up his face.
“Is it though?” He says, slightly dickishly. I stare back in disbelief.
“Oh don’t you bloody start. Look, the-”
“Age of the squad etc, I know. And you had to stick to your principles and you hit the woodwork twice and blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard it all before, but we still should’ve gone further.”
“Oh well thanks very much. And I suppose they’re still letting you stick around as assistant to the next bloke, are they?” Bechkoura shifts uncomfortably in his chair, answering my question. “Unbelievable.”
“Some of the staff quit in protest, remember.” He offers.
“Becky Knight quit in protest. That’s one person. And I’m pretty sure she only did it because she thinks if I get the England job I’ll take her with me.”
“And will you?”
“Well it’s fucking moot isn’t it, because I’ve not heard a peep about it! Maybe once they see me rocking up at Carrow Road with my tail between my legs the FA’ll be all over me again though.” I exhale in a long, frustrated whistle and continue with forced calmness. “Have we heard back from any of the big hitters? Atléti? Monaco? Milan? These are the kind of jobs I should be looking at, not Norwich and definitely not fucking Hull.” Bechkoura shuffles through his notes.
“As I say, it’s difficult… Atléti have said no I think. No response from the others yet. Shouldn’t you have a PA or something to handle all this for you? Or an agent?” I let out another groan and glance at the door, half-expecting the word to somehow summon her, but it remains closed. I turn back to Bechkoura, relieved.
Suddenly, the door bursts open and in the doorway stands an odd looking lady. She’s fairly young with short, spiky and recently bleached blonde hair, big brown eyes and a pair of trendy looking glasses perched on the end of her slightly crooked nose. Her face, which has been gaunt and even slightly emaciated the last couple of times I’ve seen her, is back to its usual full and cheery self. “Bonjour, Monsieurs!” Beams Sylvania.
“Not a fucking chance!” I reply. “There is no way you… It… You had to be waiting out there for your cue or something.” She furrows her brow in apparent confusion. “Your timing is literally unbelievable.”
“Eet ees coincidence I am sure!” She squeaks.
“It’s voodoo.” I reply flatly.
“Non monsieur, I ‘ave just always ‘ad ze finest timing!” She giggles through her trademark cheshire cat grin. I sink into my chair.
“Have you at least got good news? Wait, are you still my agent actually?” I ask. She shrugs.
“Officially, it is unclear, but I do ‘ave something that may interest you.” She hands me a slip of paper, on which is written a name, a date and a time. Then Sylvania basks for a moment in my unhidden astonishment.
“Huh.” I take the paper and stare at it, unsure of what to say. “You got me an interview? With… Huh.” She beams again and nods feverishly. “Well we’d better get on a plane then, hadn’t we?”
“Maybe on ze way we can discuss my bonus.” She smirks.
“Sylvania,” I reply. “If you pull this off, I’ll name my fucking firstborn after you.” And with that, I crack what is as far as I can remember my first smile since leaving Italy.