Diego Maradona: I must leave you, Milito, for the beauty of the English countryside beckons. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Diego Maradona has made his intentions known about wanting to be considered as manager of Aston Villa. While this is not a rumor--it's pretty clear that he really has said that he wants to manage in England--there's nothing indicating that Villa actually want the Argentine prowling the touchline. So rather than write a huffy piece about how much I do not want Maradona anywhere near my beloved Villa, I thought I'd give a little snapshot of what the club would look like if Diego got his wish.
With the news of Diego Maradona being appointed as Aston Villa manager, Villa supporters went wild. After all, their club was going nowhere under caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald, who obviously had no idea about the best way to create a roster or use bench players. Maradona, on the other hand, is a spectacular tactician, and never leaves a clear talent off the field.
When Maradona arrives in Birmingham, he is ushered into his first press conference. When a journalist mentions "Hand of God," Diego pulls out an air rifle and starts firing into the crowd. Fortunately, only Stuart James suffers an injury. Maradona then proceeds to tell the assembled press that they can "suck it and keep sucking it" before walking out of the conference.
On the drive to Bodymoor Heath, Maradona manages to reverse into a photographer, producing yet another tirade from the Argentinian, who then curses all press and bans them from both the training ground and Villa Park. English tabloids respond by continuing to ignore all reality when creating their stories.
During Maradona's first day as Villa manager, he spends the morning with the official Villa tailors as they attempt to simultaneously shorten a pair of trousers and create a nice roomy training top. With DM10 proudly emblazoned upon his chest, Diego's next move is to announce that John Carew is being transferred to River Plate.
In a vision of genius, Maradona starts Emile Heskey at center back during his first match, pairing him with James Collins, in front of Elliot Parish in goal. Diego leaves Richard Dunne on the bench, where he joins Stewart Downing, whose hat-trick in the previous game was not enough to earn him a spot as a starter. However, when Carlos Cuellar re-triggers his hamstring injury, Maradona beckons Downing, installing him at right-back. Although the Villa manage to begin the second half with the score at 1-1, Maradona's insistence on having Gabriel Agbonlahor attempt to track back and monitor the oncoming offensive onslaught, combined with the utter helplessness of Downing at right back, leads to Birmingham hammering Villa 1-4 at Villa Park.
After the match, Maradona is summoned to a meeting with Randy Lerner, who had flown to Birmingham to watch his first managerial appointee. Not thrilled with the hammering his club took in the Second City Derby, Lerner demanded to know why Diego had made these managerial decisions. Maradona whipped off his training top, revealing a tee shirt emblazoned with the word Chavista, and announced that he hated everything that came from the United States, before running from the room yelling, "Viva Cuba Libre!"
And so ended Maradona's short reign as the manager of Aston Villa. When later asked why he had accepted the position, Maradona answered, "Aston Villa sounded beautiful, full of trailing ivy and babbling brooks. And I thought Bodymoor Heath would be my private cottage in the English countryside. What is this crap? I'd piss all over the city but that might make it less dirty. I'm going to apply for the position at Swindon Town. The fresh mountain air has got to be better than breathing in curry fumes all day."
The Argentine also added that he was disappointed in the team's performance, stating "I deeply regret that I could only take this proud country to the quarter finals of the World Cup. I thought Aston Villa had the talent to win it all."
Note: This piece by Richard Farley is pretty amusing as well, but I'm hating its timing.