Dear Sam

Dear Sam You probably haven’t heard this – I’ve not seen it reported anywhere – but my brother-in-law reckons Manchester United are looking for a manager.

Dear Sam

You probably haven’t heard this – I’ve not seen it reported anywhere – but my brother-in-law reckons Manchester United are looking for a manager. Seems they sacked that Chris Moyle so now they need a new gaffer. I reckon that’s the perfect job for you.

spring chicken any more and managing a big club like West Ham is bound to be a bit much for a man of your age. Now you’re in the autumn of your career you ought to think about taking it easy. A nice little backwater like Manchester would suit you down to the ground. According to my brotherin-law, the Mancs need to go through a rebuilding process, which would be ideal for you.

No pressure to get results immediately; no need to perfect your unique brand of modern, attacking football the moment you get there – all you’ve got to do is keep them out of the Conference and you’ll be a hero. You could probably manage that. Another plus point is that Man U fans are prepared to give their managers a bit of time to bed in. Weren’t you friendly with that bloke who had the red face?

He was there for ages, despite making any number of cock-ups. Perhaps he could give you a few pointers – he could certainly tell you where they keep the key to boardroom booze cabinet. I reckon you’d like Manchester. To be honest, the East End isn’t necessarily the best place for someone who hasn’t got much of a sense of humour. I’m sure you would feel more at home in a town where they still think the Chuckle Brothers are cutting-edge. They’re kinder up north, too.

You won’t get any of that constructive criticism that upset you so much after the Hull game. I’m glad you took my advice about not cupping your ear again when the booing started after the Palace game. Is that because you finally recognised we really are pony? As you know, I’m not normally one to give you a hard time. But, let’s be honest, that wasn’t your finest hour, was it?

What were you doing playing Linda at right back for a start? I’ve been telling people that you must have stumbled across Zola’s coaching manual, which he left behind when he got the tin tack. He was a great believer in playing left-footed players on the right and right-footed players on the left. Anyone with two left feet found themselves playing in the middle.

Still, we don’t have to tell those Yanks who own Man Utd about any of that, do we? I understand their normal line of business is running an American rugby team called the Buccaneers, so they won’t know anything about real football. Hey – when you’re at the interview you could do yourself a favour and tell them a couple of jokes. Just ask them where the chief pirate keeps his buccaneers – it’s under his buckin’ hat!

If you do get the Man U job, I’ll be sorry to see you go. It’s a shame most of our players never seemed to understand your complex, progressive tactics. The ball boys seem to have got it, though; I see they’re now positioning themselves in Row F so they can get the ball back into play that much quicker. Don’t you listen to all the moaners, mate. I reckon you’ve been a breath of fresh air. You wouldn’t believe some of the weird and wonderful stuff we had to put up with over the years before you brought an air of sanity to Upton Park.

You’re not going to believe this – but we once played with two up front. Imagine that! Laughable, isn’t it? There were these two little fellas called Cottee and McAvennie. Stand one on top of the other and they’d still only come up to Big Andy’s shoulder. What use is that when you’re trying to get your head on another laser-guided cross from the boy Downing?

To make matters worse, they only seemed interested in the fancy stuff – I can’t ever remember them helping out at the back. Admittedly, they got lucky one season and scored 50 goals between them – but we only finished third, which just goes to show that if you want real success you have to concentrate on the defensive side of the game. You’re a genius, Sam. Trouble is, you’re ahead of your time. But they’d love you at Old Trafford.

And, do you know, I don’t think there’s a West Ham supporter worthy of the name who wouldn’t love you to be in Manchester next season as well. So, get that job application in the post today. You and Man United deserve each other. Ecky thump, lad (whatever that means) Your mate behind the goal

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