Pellegrini’s phrasebook has helpful chapter on refereeing decisions and Swedes
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini was relieved to find last night that his Basic English phrasebook had an entire section dedicated to berating match officials and the Swedish.
The Chilean has generally been taciturn in press conferences, hindered by the fact that most of the English he knows involves asking whether a stranger has any hobbies.
But after watching his City side lose 2-0 to Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium, Pellegrini impressed journalists with a linguistically nuanced rant attacking referee Jonas Eriksson and the nation of Sweden as a whole.
Speaking this morning, Pellegrini admitted that he owed a lot to his English phrasebook, which contains a 48-page section of role plays involving your team looking likely to crash out of the Champions League.
“The chapter for ‘Unexpected comprehensive last 16 Champions League defeat’ was extremely helpful,” Pellegrini told FourFourTwo.
“In [the] past I had [wondered] why [nearly two thirds of the book is dedicated to bizarre, bombastic excuses] but now I understand.”
By way of demonstration, Pellegrini thumbed to page 66, which explains the correct usage of the constructions: “I never like to talk about referees but…”, “I couldn’t see that from where I was but…” and “He’s just not that kind of player”.
Handily, the book also contains all the key phrases for launching a personal attack on referee Eriksson in the section 'I hate the Swedes' – probably a hangover from the book’s publication date during the brief Anglo-Swedish War of 1993.
Pellegrini used these phrases to rail against the allowance of a Swede refereeing such a crucial match, and to give a lengthy endorsement of the Aland Islands’ autonomous status before referring to popular vegetable the swede as “just a s*** leek”.
When asked whether he regretted his outburst, Pellegrini eventually indicated that he did not, before asking FourFourTwo’s reporter whether he had any brothers or sisters.