Dear Sam

Dear Sam, Blimey mate - you truly are a genius!

Dear Sam, Blimey mate – you truly are a genius! Who’d have thought the way to start scoring goals was to play with no strikers? I’ve got to admit, I didn’t see that one coming. And neither, clearly, did Tottenham.

Three-nil at their place – I still can’t Adam and Eve it! Of course, I never doubted you. There were people round me having a right moan after the Everton game – and I don’t s’pose all those Happy Hammers who made the 500-mile round trip to Humberside were all that chuffed, either. To Hull and back – didn’t they make a film called something like that? The doom-merchants kept trying to tell me we were up to our ears in the brown stuff, but you knew what you were doing all along, didn’t you?

Lose a couple of games and lure those Spuds into a false sense of security – then, wham, hit them with the old one-two (or one, two three in this case!) Brilliant. That JCB, or whatever he calls himself, didn’t have a clue how to deal with your tactics. I haven’t seen a manager look that confused since Avram Grant was here. You, sir, are one sly old fox

True, it’s taken me a while, but I think I can see what your plan is now. If we score more goals without strikers, it stands to reason we’ll concede less with no defenders. Just pack the team with midfield players – is that why you’ve bought so many of them over the past couple of years?

My brother-in-law tells me it’s called playing with a False No 9. Here’s a thought – lose old Juicy in goal and have a False No 1 as well. Nobody will be expecting that. Actually, I don’t know how familiar you are with your Upton Park history, but we have put a midfielder in goal before. Bloke called Martin Peters.

It was probably a bit before your time, but he helped us win the World Cup back in the Sixties (You may have heard someone mention it – the final score was West Ham 4, West Germany 2.) It was only his third game for the club and they put him between the sticks when the regular fella got injured. He even started a reserve game in goal, so it’s all been done before.

What happened to Martin Peters? You may well ask. We got shot of him and brought in a rising young star called Jimmy Greaves to replace him. And not a minute too soon. Peters was clearly past it – he only went on to play 30 more times for England. Greavsie, on the other hand, was at the peak of his physical fitness and it came as quite a shock to all of us when he retired the following season .

What happened to Martin Peters? You may well ask. We got shot of him and brought in a rising young star called Jimmy Greaves to replace him. And not a minute too soon. Peters was clearly past it – he only went on to play 30 more times for England. Greavsie, on the other hand, was at the peak of his physical fitness and it came as quite a shock to all of us when he retired the following season .

As he said himself at the time, it’s a funny old game. So, Sam, as you can see – you are not the first genius we’ve had in charge at West Ham. And I suspect you won’t be the last. I’m still not getting your emails by the way. But don’t worry – Angela is happy to send them on to me.

As she pointed out, you’ve got a lot on your plate at the moment and can’t be expected to solve every problem at the club. How about having a go at Skype? We could have a natter before you get the lads training. As you can see from the goalkeeper idea, I’ve got a couple of tips you might find useful, and it would be good to talk face to face as long as you promise to spit out the chewing gum before we start. I don’t want to be offensive here, but watching you masticate furiously at close quarters first thing in the morning could put me right off my boiled egg.

Don’t worry about Man City by the way. They may have spent billions on players and have an Italian manager but we’ve got the tactical brilliance of Fat Sam Allardici. Now that really is priceless. Go get ’em, maestro! Your mate behind the goal

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