Prolific* England striker Andy Carroll is to receive intensive linguistics training as part of his £2 million loan move from Liverpool to West Ham.
One of the reasons for Carroll's lack of success at Liverpool following his £35 million move from Newcastle (seriously, I kid you not - £35 million: honest!) is attributed to his failure to understand what anyone was saying at the Merseyside club.
"It was bad enough with the foreign players," said his agent, 'Lucky' Len Dusaplayer from his home in the Seychelles. "But communicating with the likes of Gerrard and Carragher was just impossible. Have you heard a conversation between a Geordie and a Scouser? It's the incomprehensible smashing into the unintelligible.
"And, of course, nobody could understand a word Kenny Dalglish said. Even when he announced to the players that he had been sacked, several of them thought he was inviting them to a vicars and tarts party at his place."
In a bid to overcome similar problems he might encounter in East London, 13-year-old Carroll is to have language tuition at the hands of local experts, one of whom is understood to be former Tottenham boss, Harry Redknapp.
"I can't confirm nuffink here nor, since you had the bloody cheek to ask, there," said Redknapp yesterday. "But what a cock-up it would be if the pony-tailed fairy ended up in a right two 'n eight 'cos he was getting stick from the crowds on trellises 'cos he can't speak the Queen's English, like what I do."
However, former England manager Fabio Capello disagreed. "No Englander speakage done never held-a me backwards. Maybe, not for the forwarding either, though, ha-ha-ha. Sandy Caroline pretty goodly plaything in my bookworms. Just need-a more spinachio, like Poppinghole the Sailormancho," he said. Or something like that.
Dusaplayer explained that the main purpose of Carroll's language training was not, in fact, aimed at enabling him to communicate with either coaches or fellow players at West Ham. "That would be quite pointless," the agent said.
"Andy knows, and Sam Allardyce knows, that the only thing he can do on a football field is run like crap down the other end and then jump as high in the air as he can in the hope the ball hits him on the head.
"The essential thing, though, is for him to be able to make himself understood in various nightclubs and bars in London. That's the God-given right of every footballer. It would be entirely pointless for him to move if, when he arrived in London, he ordered a Newcastle Brown only to be told that he'd have to go to Norfolk if he really wanted to marry his sister.
"Those sorts of breakdowns in communications can lead to some nasty incidents, as Andy can testify - or he would testify if only he knew what the word meant."
When Carroll himself was asked for a comment, he said something about bloaters and a boat coming in, which nobody could understand.
* Editor's note: Owing to a typographical error, that word should have been "profligate", not "prolific".