Brian Williams pens his monthly letter to the gaffer

Dear Sam, I've got to hand it to you my friend — you're no quitter, are you?

Dear Sam,

I’ve got to hand it to you my friend — you’re no quitter, are you? Hottest favourite in years to be the first Premier League manager to get the tin tack; hated by the fans; a replacement reportedly lined up already — I really admire the way you refuse to let little things like that get you down.

In my book, that says a lot about you as a person (despite what the cynics may say, I’m sure the £3m pay-out that you’ll get if you stick around until you actually get the bullet hasn’t even entered your thinking). The pundits have got it all wrong about that Scottish fella Mackay being the next manager, though.

I know he’s red hot on discipline, and I’m sure young Ravel Morrison could learn a lot from a man who held such a senior position at Slade Prison, but you’ve got nothing to worry about on that score. He’s definitely not coming to Upton Park.

The way I heard it from my brother-inlaw, who knows a bloke who’s sleeping with the wife of the guy who does the catering at Chadwell Heath, the next manager is going to come from rather closer to home. Don’t let on you got this from me — that would drop my brother-in-law right in it. But it’s young Jack Sullivan.

Apparently, the original plan was for him to do his GCSEs first, but it all went so badly in pre-season they have decided to bring things forward by a few years and give him his head now. Word is, he’s been lined up for the job ever since he discovered his old man’s porn stash and threatened to tell his mum about it if he didn’t get whatever he wanted from now on. And as this particular stash filled three warehouses on an industrial estate just off the A13, he had a fair amount of clout in the protracted father-son negotiations that ensued.

But, by all accounts, the little fella’s a wizard at FIFA 14 and is getting better at Football Manager by the day. It seems he’s got this radical tactic of playing two up front and, as a result, he scores goals for fun. Who’d have thought it? That’s the advantage of a decent education I suppose. You can tell the boy goes to a good school by the way he wears his uniform all the time. Even keeps it on at the weekends. There’s a few members of the younger generation who could learn a lesson or two from Master Jack, if you ask me.

Be honest, you don’t see many youngsters in the Trevor Brooking Lower wearing a blazer and tie on a Saturday, do you? No wonder this country is going to the dogs.

Have you given any thought to what you’re going to do after you’ve left West Ham? Now that Alan Hansen has jacked it in on MoTD there’s a slot going there, of course — and with your insight into the game you’d be a natural. Let’s have no false modesty here Sam: no one knows more about the passing game than your good self. And the fact you try to reduce the game to one 60-yard pass whenever possible just goes to show how far ahead of the curve you really are.

I half expected to see you on the telly doing a bit of expert analysis during the World Cup, but it must have coincided with your summer holidays. Go anywhere nice? Me and the missus tried something different this year and went to Germany for a few days. Stayed in a little place called Schalke. I’d never heard of it before — so imagine my surprise when we discovered the West Ham youth team were playing a couple of games out there!

They looked a bit out of their depth, to be honest. Still, I’m sure the humiliating experience of being totally outclassed by vastly superior opposition was good for their development. Where were the first team, by the way? You’d obviously given them a few days off rather than put them through the rigours of pre-season training.

I guess that was all part of a cunning plan to keep them fresh for the league games. And no one’s going to be fresher than Big Andy Carroll, eh Sam? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you are one sly old fox!

Don’t think I’ll be bothering with Germany again, though. I’d always heard the beer out there was brilliant, but the pint I had after the Malaga game was awful. It was so bad, in fact, I had to chuck mine away. Trouble was, I didn’t realise there was anyone below me and, between you and me, most of it went over some joker who was laughing his head off as he left the ground. I couldn’t see who it was, and I didn’t hang around to find out. But, judging by the way the laughter stopped so suddenly, he wasn’t best pleased. That’s the trouble with some people — no sense of humour.

Anyway, keep up the good work. Your mate behind the goal, Brian

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