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The return of Alex Taylor

Bloke that used to kick a ball about now in charge of people who kick ball about
Started on 26 October 2017 by ninjaskill
Latest Reply on 2 November 2017 by mgriffin2012
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Alex was more bemused than concerned by the comment about his flight, “What, are we in some awful spy film. The trains often run late in Italy. Is that my code phrase?”

“Okay, I admit that was cheesy” Whoever was at the other end responded “but, I just feel that if I were hiring a manager I would make them my first priority. Like being in the airport to try and convince them at the last minute to get a different flight.”

“See now we’ve gone into a cheesy Rom-com I would say, you could pretend to board the flight and just as I think I have gotten there to late you appear through the crowd.” Alex then realised he had said the last sentence to himself as whoever phoned had hung up.

“Hello” A man who had just walked in the V.I.P. lounge appeared in front of Alex and said. “We were just talking on the phone.”

Alex wasn’t really in the mood for chit-chat. “Who are you?” He asked cutting through any small talk.

“I’m Alejandro Rodriguez, President of Club de Fútbol Tigres de la Universidad Autónomoa de Nuevo Leon. Or just Tigres if you’re in a hurry. We’re currently looking for a new manager and I think that you fit the bill perfectly to be honest, except the whole about to sign a contract with a Chinese team bit. That I admit is less than ideal.”

As much as Alex just wanted to get onto a jet and fall asleep some more there was no jet so he figured the least he could do was listen to whatever Alejandro had to say. “Well as you point out there is a contract on the table in China that I doubt you could match and a big signing would appear to be coming to them.”

“Well you’re 1 for 2 there” Was the response “Yes, we can’t pay as well as China but, there is no new signing about to join.”

“And you know this how?” Alejandro seemed confident and if there wasn’t a big signing about to be coming he would be annoyed at being left at the airport. Although it wouldn’t take a genius to work it out so maybe it was a bluff and…

“I know” Alejandro said, limiting how much Alex could overthink his last comment. “As the player they are trying to get is Javier Hernandez as I hear his agent offered him to the club but, said they would have to have him in China A.S.A.P. or else he would go ahead with a move to West Ham. However, by the time the jet gets their it seems likely that Javier will have changed his mind. Well actually he won’t have as he never knew he was considering a move to China.”

“And I’m guessing that you were somehow involved in orchestrating this?” It was a bit annoying that it had left him stuck in the airport but, Alejandro seemed to have a great deal of influence which was a bonus for a chairman.

“See that is the sort of insight we like in our managers and why we want you, give me five minutes to sell you on the team and if you aren’t willing to join then I will have the jet from China moving back here and you can disappear of the map of football relevancy.”

The last comment was harsh but, fair and Alex had nothing better to do he agreed to a five minute sales pitch. They moved into a more private office area as Alex tried to think about what he knew about Tigres, they were Mexican, he was pretty sure Andre-Pierre Gignac played for them and he was also pretty confident that he remembered them losing a Copa Libertadores final, maybe to River.

There was only one chair in the room which Alejandro insisted that Alex take and so he spoke half sitting on a desk and half standing. “I think that we are at the perfect point for us to meet and work together to make something great happen.” Alex felt the speech seemed a touch pre-rehearsed but, was willing to hear it out. “Tigres have taken on and gotten into being one of the top four clubs in Mexico, however as we lack the history people say that we still aren’t one. We, the board and myself, desperately want a continental completion in the trophy cabinet we have reached three finals, one of the Libertadores and the other two the North American Champions League, and lost them all. We think that you tended to do well in knockout tournaments and just have that extra bit of nous about you that our previous manager lacked. Mexican sides aren’t in the libertadres any more but, a North American Champions League win would mean a lot to the club and fans. We have passionate fans who follow our club home and away which due to the size of the country and the wealth is rare, they will help roar the team on to victory and we think they would love you.”

“So we think we would get trophies from you, however we also think that we are a good move for you. We are outside Europe however, the league is far more respected than China and if you did well you could easily find yourself a job in Europe again especially if you won the Champions League. Monterrey is a wonderful place to live, it doesn’t have anywhere near as much of a crime rate as elsewhere in Mexico and is a beautiful highly educated place. We would love it if you had a long relationship with us but, realistically I think you will want to go back to Europe at some point and unlike China we offer you a chance to do that. We can’t pay as much as them obviously but, we do have a low tax rate and the cost of living is cheap.”

Alex mulled over what he had heard, China didn’t overly appeal to him beside the money and from his payoffs for his last two jobs and the tax free money in Qatar he was more than comfortable financially. “Oh” Alejandro said interrupting Alex’s thoughts “We would also be willing to allow you to stay at this house free of charge for the duration of your time as our manager.”
http://www.christiesrealestate.com/eng/sales/detail/170-l-78048-1501291221042809/monterrey-carretera-nacional-monterrey-nl-64984

Alex took the phone that he was offered and flicked through some pictures of a very nice house that seemed a lot nicer than the apartment in the middle of the city he was going to get in China and had far more space around it for his kids and family. Now that he though about them Rachael hadn’t been overly keen on China so maybe she would appreciate the chance to go to Mexico instead.

“Safety definitely won’t be an issue in Monterrey?” Alex enquired.

“There is crime there of course, just like everywhere else in the world. It is not to bad for Mexico and in the area that we will put you up in it will be no problem, we will ensure that the property has enough security to put anyone off trying something.” Alex felt the answer was evasive and still wasn’t convinced that Mexico would be a better choice than China for him. Professionally it would be the better choice but, for his family he still wasn’t sure if it was the best choice.

Alex still had one big question that needed to be addressed. “What sort of budget would I have, and how attractive is the club to European and South American based players?”

“I’m glad you asked that” Alejandro said “I forgot to mention in selling the club to you that if you join you would have Enner Valencia joining. If you want him of course along with ex-Sevilla man Timothee Kolodziejzcak and Vargas from Hoffenheim.” He added quickly. “Most South American players, unless they have a nailed on offer from Europe, would happily move to Mexico as we pay well and on time. European based players it can be harder to get and it will usually take a lot of time and effort to convince them that they should come to Mexico. But, as I’m sure you are beginning to learn I can be very persuasive.”

Alex had to admit that Alejandro was very good at selling the club and he liked the passion he clearly had for the club and that he was willing to back it with money. Trying to bring a first continental title there would be a very nice challenge but then he could also have the same challenge at Shenzen while earning a lot more money to boot and likely being safer at the same time.
Mexico!! A much better footballing culture than China! Your name is about to be made
Mexico is a good move I think and it's a very competitive league so there is bound to be a lot of challenge within the job which should make things interesting.
Mgriffin Should be fun league and playoffs means end of season drama is guaranteed

ScottT Should be competitive for sure Tigres should be involved at the end of most seasons or else Alex will have to lower his sights some more for his next job
Alex made a quick call back home and the decision had been made quicker than he thought he would and he was perfectly happy about it. Sitting aboard the plane about to take off for Mexico Alex made what he planned to be a quick call to his agent Graeme, “Hey mate I’ve had a small change of mind and will actually be going to Mexico to join Tigres so you can just let everyone knows who needs to know and rubberstamp a contract once you get to Monterrey.”

“Yeah, okay that’s fine” Alex was stunned by the lack of fight by Graeme, usually he would be dead against anything that could cost him money.

“You doing okay, this is going to lose you money you know?” Alex enquired.

“I actually think it will make me money, see I flogged Shenzen some players of mine on some very high salaries and once they fail to live up to the hype they will likely see whoever the manager is sacked so if you do well at Tigres it will be better in the long run.”

Alex wasn’t happy that Graeme seemed to have been setting him up to fail but, before he could register his discontent the call was ended and Alex couldn’t be bothered to phone back and complain. A call to the moving people that he would now need all his stuff shipped to Monterrey instead was made and he also let his parents know about the last minute change of location and his dad seemed pleased he wasn’t going to China as he was never a fan of footballers and managers following money as they didn’t do it back in his day, although he did have far less complaints when Alex’s money from Qatar had allowed him to buy his dad his dream car for his 60th birthday.

During the flight Alex was told that they would be making a quick stopover in Veracruz as the Chairman of the company that owned Monterrey, a concrete one Alex wasn’t overly interested to learn, wanted to meet him as soon as possible and as he paid not only everyone’s wages on the plane but also for the plane itself he managed to get his way.

During the flight Alex had a brief look over all the information that he was given about the club and Mexican football in general and the first thing that jumped out at him was that it was basically a playoff system so the league campaign was all about getting into the playoffs and how a club did in the knockout games defined how their season went far more than where they finished in the league which was generally considered irrelevant.


When going by private jet it is much shorter.

Alex had a sleep and when he woke up the flight was descending into Veracruz airport. After they landed Alex asked if he could borrow Alejandro’s phone as his had died in the flight and he realised he had forgotten to phone one person. His long suffering assistant Philippe.

“Philippe it’s me had to borrow a phone as mine died hence the odd number, anyway you know how you were having a hard time selling China to your wife? No need to bother now I’m in Mexico and would love to have you here with me, I’ll be taking charge of Tigres and would feel much better if you were there with me.”

“I don’t think it will be a much easier sell, the only time you ever see Mexico in the news tends to be due to drug cartels which hardly makes it seem inviting.” Alex thought it might be a hard sell and deciding that he would play a little loose with the finer details of his argument.

“Oh come on Philippe I’m here at the airport looking over a beach and the Gulf of Mexico at the airport and Monterrey is a very safe place to be and I’m sure you could get somewhere to stay off of the club for no rent that was very secure, could make it a clause of your contract. Anyway isn’t Tequila your wife’s drink of choice and she does love Mexican food and I’m sure they make it a lot better here.”

“I will try” Philippe conceded “The beach and sea part will likely help”

“Well now” Alex butted in and tried to think of something to say so that the lie would only attract Philippe to the job and not lie to his wife as well “Why not leave the beach and sea that I can see here, from the airport, as a bonus for when you arrive. Yeah, that would help make a very good first impression.”

“Will do, good thinking nothing better than a good surprise when you go somewhere new, talk soon and hopefully it’s good news.” Phillipe then hung up and Alex returned the phone to Alejandro who looked as though he had wanted to interrupt the conversation but, Alex had stopped him with a look and now awaited the inevitable question.

“I thought I told you Monterrey is in the centre of the country it’s in the mountains there is no sea for hours we are only here to see the owner of the team.” Alejandro said offering Alex back the phone so he could correct his mistake.

“I never said that I could see the sea in Monterrey, just that I could at the airport that we are at which is true and I know Philippe he won’t look up Monterrey to figure it out and he will be happy enough once he is here without the beach. Well as long as he does keep it secret as if he doesn’t both of us will never hear the end of it.” Alex felt his lack of providing all the details was fair enough, he had constantly told Philippe to look into things before he decided on what to do and if he somehow misconstrued Alex’s comments that there was a beach in Monterrey he couldn’t be blamed for that.



After a short meeting with the owner, who seemed decent enough, they jetted off again away from any large bodies of water and into Monterrey where Alex would soon sign a contract and be presented to the press and fans.

Alex stepped out of the car that had picked him up from the airport and dropped him off at his house and tried the gate of the house the club had promised him before realising a minor oversight, no one had given him the code to open the car gate and the front gate couldn’t be opened from the outside so he couldn’t get in as he didn’t fancy getting caught on any of the somewhat decorative spikes that were on top of the fence posts.

After a couple minutes standing outside and wondering about crime if he couldn’t have gates that were opened from the outside with a key he then noticed a small side gate right by the front door and after a couple of failed attempts found the right key for it and was then able to get into the house. It looked as nice as it had in the photo’s and Alex couldn’t believe that he was getting it rent free on top of his very fair salary. He unpacked a little and tried to settle in to the new place.
Seems an extremely long flight and hopefully you manage to convince Philippe!

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