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Interview with Wheresmark

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The latest news and gossip from the Fiorentina camp ahead of season 6 as Wheresmark gives his views on transfers, slags, corruption & bribery and much more. In this edition of “Bluebird Presents” I caught up with a very busy Fiorentina manager who has many hopes and ambitions for the upcoming season. Sat outside a coffee shop in the beautiful city of Florence I find out what the outspoken manager of the Italian outfit really thinks. 


Q: It was very difficult for me to get this interview with you Mark, I left several messages with your office but never received an answer. But as soon as it was revealed I was on the board of FC Slag you couldn’t get me out to Italy quick enough. Does this mean you are expecting to be doing a deal with the FC Slag Board of Directors and if so which of your players do you think are good enough to make the team?

A: Thank you for coming out to Florence at such short notice Bluebird, I have been hard at work on the phone to agents trying to wrap up some deals with pre-season drawing to a close and the transfer window about to open. I would think my biggest slag is Marquinhos, probably the best young defender in the world behind Varane, but Marqy isn't going anywhere, he loves Italy and has the world at his feet playing for Fiorentina. My team doesn't have the top end slags as I like to keep a tight ship and have a sustainable squad. Players like Welbeck, Rodrigo and Herrera are just behind the top end players so might not get interest from FC Slag, which suits us fine here as we want to try keep hold of as many quality players as we can. 

Q: After losing Barry Bannan a few seasons ago, how has your team recovered from this and do you think you can ever challenge for the title without him?
A: To be honest the team has never recovered from the loss of Barry, I don't think any team in the league could lose a player of Barry's calibre. I often compared Barry to Andres Iniesta, but I think Barry is actually the better and more rounded player. I can't see me ever challenging for the title without a player of his ability, I think mid table would be an achievement here. Maybe one day we will see the return of Barry Bannan though, I know the fans would be over the moon.  
Q: You have a reputation of putting high values on your players when selling them, where did this reputation come from and do you think it’s fair?
A: Yes I think that's been a fair comment in the past Bluebird, I always ensure we have a tight group here and this forms a very strong bond with my players; every time I sell a player it's like losing a part of me. I also like to think I buy players who hold a decent value within the transfer market often paying a high price myself for the players, this is one of my transfer policies. I will be changing my transfer policies somewhat this season though and have already seen Luc Castaignos leave for Cagliari for a bargain fee of £23million.
Q: Who do you think will be challenging for the title this season and do you think there are any dark horses in the division that could cause a few surprises?
A: I think the title will be closely contested this year. Slick, Big Boss and Roberto Larcos are always tough opponents, but it remains to be seen how they will cope with having to sell most of their players with the new FFP regulations introduced this year. Muk, Goat and Lam are usually very good and the new format will suit all of them so they could challenge as well. Sham is the most difficult opponent I have encountered, so he also could be in with a shout but if I had to choose anyone as the favourite to win then I would choose Clark. I think the two main surprises will Venom and Chucka, Venom is usually a title challenger but I think his team could be involved in a relegation battle this season; Chucka is an unknown to the league, but has shown how adept he is as a manager in friendlies, if he is equally astute in the transfer market then he could be a dark horse. 
Q: There is some unrest within the PEN community as some managers feel it is unfair that you are in the Premier League despite finishing bottom of the Premiership last season with the record for the lowest number of points ever in the history of PEN. There are also photos surfacing on Twitter of you having meeting with Davo a few days before this was announced. How do you explain this?
A: These claims are unsubstantiated, and have had a damaging effect on me and my family. Yes the photo's came out and it does appear I hand Davo brown envelopes on a few occasions and it's also being suggested in one of the photos I'm eating a frankfurter in a provocative manner, but appearances can be deceiving and the claims I have given any kind of sexual favours in return for a league place are absurd and false. I can understand managers feeling hard done by my league status, I think some are just relieved they don't have to play against Danny Welbeck next season. 
Q: There are a lot of new managers this season all with new squads. Are there any players you have your eye on or maybe you have even agreed a few deals?
A: Come on Bluebird, as a manager yourself you know I will give you a list of names here that are unrealistic targets or I don't really want to put you off the scent of my real targets. We do have a couple of deals on the table and expect a few to be completed but we will remain tight lipped until they happen as anything can happen in football.  Having said that, there are some fantastic players coming into the leagues.  
Darren Fletcher is a very useful midfielder who has played at the highest level for years now,
Gameiro will surely be in big demand again and Juan Pablo Pino is a fantastic little striker.  Joey Barton and Slimani will have some tasty offers made for them as will Townsend and Floccari.  The team to look out for though are Elche, with many players in the team able to command a high transfer fee.  Gago, Arouca, Areola, Bolasie, Narsingh, Kerzakhov, Tosic and Ings are all top player, Elche already have one of the best squads in the league. 
Q: You have had a few run-ins with your fellow PS4 Premiership manager and Yorkshireman Bridgey. How would you respond to comments coming out of the Braga camp this week that he doesn’t think you have the managerial capabilities to survive in the top flight, and that Herrera is only half the player that Mollo is and isn’t fit to clean his boots?
A: Well Bridgey is a grade A pookeynoodle so I take anything he says with a pinch of Bradford salt. I would suggest he takes a look closer to his own squad if he wants to judge managerial ability; he has already seen Fabio Quarliarella walk out of the club since his arrival due to the manager's abrasive demeanour. Mollo is a class player and a fans favourite here after giving 2 seasons of quality entertainment, but he isn't of the same stature of Herrera or ability, his weakness for shiny tracksuits and cheap male hookers made him a perfect fit with his new manager, so I hope he can rediscover his form. After many emails between the Braga manager and myself I think it's fair to say that we don't always view things the same way, I'm sure if we ever saw each other in person or picked up the phone though any previous altercations would be forgotten, almost. 
Q: The fixtures have been released this week for the upcoming season 6. Which was the first game that you looked out for and why?
A: I honestly haven't checked my fixtures yet. We prepare for any team in the same way, any preparations we make for individual teams and players are usually made in the fortnight preceding the match, so we don't look at our fixtures until then.  Now after so many seasons as a manager, every game nearly has some kind of extra bite to it for one reason or another. Playing anyone who you have a good or not so good relationship always adds an extra dimension to the game, as does playing against former team members; add this to any title race, relegation race or games that have serious permutations to the league and every single game is like a derby game or cup final. This is why this is the best league in the world. 
Q: And finally, if Davo offered you any player from the dungeon in return for an anal fisting (dry), which player would you choose?
A:  I would bend over his lap to take Rooney off of his hands and would suck him dry and beg him to fist me to take poor Lionel Messi out of his dungeon. 
Before we end this conversation Bluebird, I'd like to pose a question to you if possible
Q: You have now been announced as a member of the advisory panel of FC Slag, are you excited at this opportunity or did you take the job as you didn't want to it to fall in the wrong hands? And which players will you personally be chasing or putting to the other members of the board? 
A: It was a job that I couldn't turn down really if I'm honest. I know I'm not known for my transfer skills like others such as Oz, Spragga, Bridgey and yourself but as soon as Boss asked me to take the job I accepted it straight away. Boss said he would have asked you to do it but there isn't enough money in the league to pay the prices you quote so he turned to me. I will probably make an offer to the BOD at some point in the future but I want to concentrate on the job in hand first before thinking about my own squad. The players I will be looking at will probably be players of Cardiff city such as Whittingham who is a personal favourite of mine.
Well that concludes the interview, I'd like to thanks Weheremark for taking the time out of his busy schedule to meet with me. I'm sure some of the other manager's will have something to say about some of these controversial points. Watch this space for the next instalment of "Bluebird Presents"
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