Dear Vicki

Monkey Business agony aunt VICKI PARK returns with help for troubled souls

Dear Vicki,
I am an experienced, European, trophy-winning football manager, currently 'resting' between appointments, who has shown interest in, at some time in the future, managing a certain large Premier League club. This may have given the impression that I would like to replace the current, struggling incumbent.

Could you advise on whether it is appropriate to signal my intentions early, or should I just have waited patiently for a suitable vacancy to occur?
JM, London
Dear JM,
This is a thorny issue. Nobody (well, most unemployed managers) would want their interest in a particular position to be the cause of someone else's sacking. On the other hand you have a right to position yourself at the head of the queue should that occur. 

What you won't really know is how your intended new employers will have viewed your move. You may find that your strategy may have already worked, and that you'll be approached as soon as (or even before) the evil deed is done, but it could equally be viewed as an underhand approach, unbecoming of a respected manager, and to which the response could well be "No way, Jose!"

Dear Vicki,
I am  a charismatic and energetic sporting administrator who has over many decades changed the face of my sport, pumping millions of dollars into the game in third-world countries and making it the richest and most popular sport on the planet. 

Yet despite my very visible achievements, my organisation has taken against me, given me a long suspension and rejected my appeal. Is there anything I can do to clear my name?
SB, Zurich
Dear SB,
Keep a low profile. Your name won't need clearing once everyone's forgotten it!

Dear Vicki,
I play in goal for a team currently in the frame for promotion to the Premier League, and I am somewhat long in the tooth, and was wondering at what age I should hang up my gloves.
DK, Middlesbrough
Dear DK,
There isn't really an age that anyone can say is the definitive one. Goalkeepers can go on a bit longer than outfield players, but it really depends on how you feel, how your fitness continues and whether you keep getting picked. 

However, when you find that the rest of the team are talking about some band that you've never heard on Radio Two, or posting on a social media site you didn't know existed, or getting what seem to be completely ridiculous haircuts, perhaps that may be the time to go.

Dear Vicki,
I have previously been a successful international manager, and currently manage a top English football team, admittedly without much success of late. However, the fans have been complaining that my style is very boring, and would prefer to see a bit more flair. Are they right, or will they change their minds when we start winning most of our matches?
LvG, Manchester
Dear LvG,
Fans have two levels of satisfaction. When their team desperately needs the points, they will find the most tedious of wins is really enjoyable. When their team doesn't need the points, or a win can be expected, they want to be entertained. Of course, if you give them defeat when a win was expected, and don't entertain them either, you're asking for trouble.

So the answer is that they will change their minds when you start winning most of your matches in an entertaining way. Have you tried doing comedy falls like that one manager did a few weeks ago?

[Note: This was written and was in fact stored on the internet ready for launch on the day before a certain incident along the lines suggested by Vicki actually occurred at Old Trafford. While it may just be coincidence, government spies could have read it and passed it on to the Americans, who then could have forwarded it to Manchester United's American owners, allowing them to order something to be done to sabotage this article. In future, we at Monkey Business will be keeping both an open mind and a wary eye on similar suspicious happenings.]

Dear Vicki,
As a retired, internationally-known footballer I have been doing all sorts of different media things, but I haven't been seen on TV for months. Do you think this is the beginning of the end for my celebrity career, or can I prolong it a bit?
DB, Los Angeles
Dear DB,
It all depends on what you'd like to do, and whether the media would like you to do it. Obviously with all this reality TV going on, most things have already been done: swimming with dolphins, seeing the Northern Lights, living with gorillas, dancing, cooking, ski-jumping and the like, but if all else fails, there's always 'I'm a Celebrity'. The title says it all. It'll make you think you still are, even when you haven't been for some time.

You could go into acting, although that career change may not last too long, as OJ Simpson and Vinny Jones have found.

You could stand for Parliament, but childish behaviour and barefaced lying are probably skills you're born with rather than learn.

Or you could just go with it and be the successor to Pele, to be wheeled out at World Cups and Olympics, and just be pleased when people say "I didn't know he was still alive".