Lokomotiv Lipp-Zig 5: Jetzt geht’s um die Wurst

“Okay start again, why did he put the HR complaint in?” Justin scowled across the messy office desk at Herr Lipp. Since his last visit to the crowded office, one of the stacks of dog-eared paper had been replaced with a pile of newspaper cut-outs. Most were of headlines from recent match reports. But pride of place at the top of the pile, next to a headshot of a contestant from Germany’s Next Top Male Model, was an article about Steinborn.

The lanky targetman was the league’s top goalscorer, with 17 to their name. The last few man of the match and player of the month awards Mattias Steinborn had kindly dedicated to his manager.

Lipp sucked his yellowing teeth, “A misunderstanding Justin. That is all. I will settle this with him man on man.”

Lipp and the Complaint

Justin shook his head, “The Chairman has specifically said you can’t be alone with him.”

“Pah! Like that matters. We have the elections in ten days. We could have a new boss by then.” Lipp had grabbed one of the news articles about Lok’s recent run of good form and was absentmindedly tearing off strips.

“One who will want to know why our star striker can’t be left alone in a room with the manager. What happened? Last I heard he was in for physio.” Not long after scoring his way to the top of the goal table, Mattias twisted his ankle during the draw against Bayern II.

Steinborn and Lipp

“Ja my Justin, he was. And so was I. To help out. Physio can be so cold and clinical. I wanted to give him my human touch.”

Justin started to hesitate as he imagined being called in as some sort of witness during a workplace tribunal. “Maybe I don’t need to know…”

“I lit some candles, got some oils. For his injury of course. Dismissed the Physio so we could have some…” Lipp closed his eyes as a sleazy smile spread across his face, “… time to bond.”

Lipp bonding
Bonding time…

Holding a hand up to interrupt Justin quickly made his point. “Okay say no more. A misunderstanding. A massive one considering the HR complaint I’ve seen said you were in a dressing gown.”

“For comfort Justin!”

“Never mind. I think we can make this all go away if we just offer him a new contract. It’s running out this year.”

Lipp shook his head sadly, “We can’t Justin. We can’t. The board say we have no more money until the end of the season. They need to know if we will survive before they let me splash all over the players.”

“Even though we are on a good run? With just eight games left?”

Lipp and his Run

Lipp nodded, “No more spending money on the kinder. Alles klar?”

Justin gave up and rose from his seat in the stale office. “Alles klar. I’ll see if I can talk to him. We need him to start against Duisburg.”

Lok Vs. Duisburg

Without the promise of an improved contract or even the exact same contract, it had been difficult to get Steinborn to drop his claim of conduct unbecoming a manager against Lipp. But with some cajoling and promises of better times to come, and having the top goalscorer award in his reach, Matthias agreed to start.

It had been well worth the effort though. Even if Justin was not a fan of repairing the damage of Lipp’s indiscretions. On the 33rd minute, Steinborn popped up and slotted the ball in the back of the net. Like he had never been out injured.

Lipp looked crestfallen though. Prior to the injury Steinborn usually ran over to the bench to celebrate with the staff. Lipp sighed and whispered to Justin, “I’ll be collecting no more of his balls.” Another habit had been for Steinborn to gift Lipp the match ball on the occasions he had scored a hattrick.

Lipp is fortunate

For the rest of the game Lok barely had the ball but a Ziane goal put it beyond doubt. In solidarity with Steinborn he celebrated on the opposite side of the pitch to Lipp.

“Ah, Justin. They spurn me now. But they will all come back to me begging once we keep it up. We are what? 9th? Ja? They will love me when we are safe Justin. They will love me or they will leave.” Lipp’s leather-gloved fist squeaked as he clenched it.

Lipp and the table