No sooner had the the FA Cup Draw paired mighty Goliaths Manchester United with plucky non-league would-be Davids Crawley Town than Crawley manager Steve Evans' phone was going ballistic, writes The Daily Shitstirrer's Football Bullshit Cashcow Correspondent, Niles Little-Earner.
Evans - remembered as a bullshitting gobshite from his time at big-spending Boston United and now keeping up his motormouth reputation with Crawley, another club spending money like there's no tomorrow - boasted "I've a shedload of contacts from the very top levels of the game, and they were on to me right away with top tips on how to beat Fergie's lads. With hot inside info like that, we can't go wrong!
"I know Paul Ince intimately", Evans claimed. "I was in bed with him and his wife, Dilys Dierdre, the other night, eating spam fritters and playing Nine Man's Morris. There was a Borneo Headhunter they called Peter crouching on top of the wardrobe. When I asked The Guvnor why that was, Incey just said 'they always crouch like that when they aren't hunting. Didn't you know? I thought you knew everything, Evansey!'
"Anyway, while we were playing, Incey says 'United may be a big club, probably the biggest club in the whole of the global marketing opportunity sector, but their players aren't immortal.'
"He went on to explain all about mortality, and about how the human being is basically a biological machine with a limited lifespan just like a car or a woman. 'Just think', he said, staring at Peter crouching on top of the wardrobe, 'if United were really immortal, they'd live forever. The fans would get fed up with the same players running out each season like Ryan Giggs, and replica kit sales would plummet.'
"They don't call Incey 'The Guvnor' for nothing - he gets a lot of money off that - and you've got to listen when he tells you stuff", said Evans.
Ebullient Portobello Road market trader in crockery and cut-price knickers and nylons Barry Fry, who used to shout at Barnet players, is another of Steve Evans' big time contacts, as is Neil Warnock, manager of Scottish giants Queens Park, the only team in the world to play on a park owned by The Queen. "Those two told me not to change nothing", said Evans.
"They said 'Don't change nothing'. I was confused. I mean, not to change nothing - surely that means you do have to change something? I was awake for a few days on that one. Not at night, mind. I always sleep at night. Anyway, it turns out they'd just been inarticulate and casual in their choice of idiom, as befits football discourse. What they really meant was, as Warnocky said, 'Don't try not to play your normal game. Play your usual football. Don't change just because you're playing United.'
"Pure gold, that advice", said Evans. "I mean, we were going to go there and play Mah Jong. We thought that would fox them. But Warnocky and Fryey showed me all about teamwork and the need to play football. We'd have been red-carded if we'd have turned up and not played football!
"My only fear about trying to play football at Old Trafford is how the crowd will react", added Evans. "They're not used to that. Usually they see hoof ball and referee-conning tactics. Only joking, Sir Alex!
"Seriously, my concern about playing football is we might have to use a second ball, because we might not see the first one. It'll be up in the air so much it'll have snow on it if it ever comes back down and we are bound to mistake it for a Christmas Pudden or somethink!"
Steve Evans has also spoken to Steve Bruce, who was one of United's best-ever exponents of the Geordie football cliche.
"Steve was good as gold", commented Evans. "He said 'Just go there. Enjoy the day. Not the night. You'll not be there at night. Don't let it pass you by. It will pass you by. But don't let it. If I was you, I'd tell me players, "Let's go there. Let's set wer stall oot, early doors. Keep it tight. Knock it into feet. Get it up to the big lad, play the percentages. Feed off the scraps. Play the angles, like. Long throw, into the back stick, win the second ball, Bob's yer Uncle. Give and go. Put a shift in. Little balls down the channels for the runners. It's eleven against eleven, plus the ref. Silence the crowd, and you've got a foothold. It's a results business. Early goal, something ter build on. The old ten to five ball into the corner. Play to the whistle. Win yer personal battles. Play like wer can, wer've got half a chance."'
"You can't buy Geordie football cliche like that", said the clearly-awestruck Crawley boss.
"Mind you, some of my mates have been a bit tongue in cheek. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Millwall season ticket-holder, said 'Right from the kick-off, don't mess about. Get on yer bleedin' knees. Start prayin'!'
"But my real favourite has to be from Alex McLeish, who had a top career as a player in the Highland League with Keith. They both played for Lossiemouth.
"The Big Arse, as he's known to his mates, said to me over a porage breakfast at Southwaite Services on the M6, 'Start with your players wearing masks of the famous 1968 European Cup-winning side and hope nobody notices. You'll get the crowd cheering you in no time. They're all prawn sandwich-eating nonces who wouldn't know a real football match if it kicked them in their fat arses anyway.'
"Yes", Evans smiled, "They're real comedians, some of my mates in the game. It would be serious if you took their talk serious."
Evans' minnows, currently bestriding the non-league universe at the top of the Blue Square Premier League, are only the sixth non-league club to reach the FA Cup's last sixteen since World War Two.
They will boast the Daily Shitstirrer Logo on the arse of their shorts when they run out at Old Trafford at breakfast, Tokyo-time, on Saturday.
Evans bullshitted on, lapping up the attention. "Cynics claim we're not a proper non-league club because of the money we spend. But we don't spend as much dosh as the likes of Luton Town or Wrexham.
"Yes, there are those who point out the inequity of a football club spending far beyond its means, and living in debt, just to grab a bit of success.
"But I admire Manchester United for that. If they hadn't pushed the boat out and invested in that way, they'd have stayed a small time outfit like Everton or Aston Villa, or even Sheffield Wednesday."
And Steve Evans can't wait to meet his antagonist, Sir Alex Ferguson. The Old Trafford supremo was at Wrexham in midweek to check out Evans' Crawley team, as they drew 0-0 against their Blue Square Premier rivals.
Evans played under Ferguson's younger brother Hamish, at Third Lanark, in the Scottish Bagpipe & Sporran Championship.
"Hamish didn't have a hairdryer, exactly", revealed Evans. "He was calmer. He used to set off a metronome, and then he would beat you about the head with a baseball bat to its rhythm, before cutting your throat with a flick knife.
"It's that kind of real Scottish back-street football passion that I can't wait to come up against on Saturday", enthused Evans.
"Sir Alex is a Scots boy who's gobshited his way to the top just like me. He's at the top of the Premier League and Europe, and I, once again, am a bullshitting big fish in a small pond propped up with fly-by-night cash for a short time before being ingnominiously toppled when the money runs out and the minuscule fan base cannot sustain the unrealistic league position. But we've got so much in common it's unbelievable.
"But you've got to be careful. Our bus driver was going to set the sat-nav for Manchester. It's a good job I've got so many big-time contacts in the game. We're not playing Man City are we! Only joking, Sir Alex!"
Manchester United v Crawley Town at the Theatre of Dreams. It's what the FA Cup is all about.