Stoke boss Nathan Jones has admitted that there’s something odd about new recruit Marcel Bielson, who joined the club for training today, but can’t quite put his finger on it.
Bielson professed to having been signed in the January transfer window before taking part in drills with Stoke players, occasionally pausing to raise an eyebrow, murmur ‘interesting, very interesting’ and scribble notes in a small notepad he secreted in his sock.
Despite appearing oddly out of shape for a man who insisted he was 34 years old, the wizened defender impressed with his tactical nous and pointed, strangely insightful questions for boss Jones.
“To be honest, when he first pulled on a bib and began making stuttering banter with the rest of the lads, I wondered who the hell this guy was,” Jones told FourFourTwo.
“I’m still getting used to all the faces in the squad, but I reckon I’d have remembered him, given that he looks 30 years older than the other lads and was wearing glasses.
“I didn’t recall signing anyone called Bielson, and when I pushed for more details on his former clubs all he said is that he definitely didn’t come from Leeds, had never even been there and in fact hated the club.
“That pretty much won me over. And I mean, let’s face it, who on earth would trick their way into playing for Stoke City?”
When Jones began outlining his plans for Saturday’s clash with Leeds United, Bielson went completely silent, save for occasionally mumbling ‘well we’ll see about that’ and ‘that’s what you think, you fool’.
“To be fair to the new lad, he really seemed to know the Leeds squad well – in fact, he even referred to most of the players by their nicknames and corrected me on their likely formation,” Jones told FFT.
“I’d really be tempted to start him at the back but his moustache fell off during the sprints which must have hurt, and he did keep sitting on a bucket whenever I turned my back.”
Oddly, Jones discovered that Bielson had vanished into thin air after the tactical session and nobody at the club had any record of him ever being signed.
“It’s a real mystery,” said Jones. “I guess we’ll never know who he was. A bit like that guy who sits in the cafeteria reading that newspaper with holes cut out of it. It’s hard to see how that’s satisfying for him at all.
“All I can do is continue doing my job and having loud and candid tactical conversations in public places, and I’m sure it’ll all be fine.”
Please note: Obviously this story isn’t real… OR IS IT, Bielson?