Well, mate, you must be one relieved manager right now. It looked for all the world as if Ronald McDonald was going to take that plum job in Carlisle — but you talked him out of it. Who can blame any man for wanting to live and work in the Venice of the North? At least, the last time I saw Carlisle on the six o’clock news it looked like Venice, although that may have been down to heavy flooding rather than an extensive canal network.
However, the fact you persuaded our very own Supermac to stay is yet another triumph for your legendary communication skills. It’s obvious that Ronald is a key figure in your managerial team. Now there’s a right-hand man if ever I saw one! The brilliant part of it all, of course, is the undercover nature of the role. There’s not a single West Ham supporter who has the faintest idea what it is he’s supposed to be doing — so what hope have the opposition got? That, my friend, is sheer genius.
While we’re on the subject of assistants, isn’t it about time you gave young Sheringham a stern talking to? I can only assume this attacking nonsense we seem to be going in for nowadays is down to him. I know how you like your six at the back, so I’m sure this latest harebrained scheme is not of your making.
One up front, that’s the way we like it — so why oh why are we cluttering up the opposition’s penalty area with all these strikers? They’re only going to get in each other’s way! Honestly, I thought we’d finally emerged from the Dark Ages when clowns like Cottee and McAvennie couldn’t even agree among themselves whose job it was to score.
If you want someone to sharpen up the attack, I suggest you give Teddy Boy the boot and sign up a West Ham great who really knew the way to goal. David Kelly is the man for the job, I reckon. And while you’re at it, find out what his old mate Allen McKnight is up to these days. With his guidance, that lad Adrian could become one of the most memorable keepers we’ve ever had.
I can assure you Sam, all those who saw Mr McKnight in the flesh will never forget him. As you know, I’m the last person to ever criticise the way the club is run, but I can’t help feeling we don’t make nearly enough use of the expertise former players could bring to the table.
I’m not talking about the likes of Trevor Brooking, you understand — to be honest, I think it would be a kindness if he was persuaded to stay away from the ground rather more than he does.
The day I had to witness the sickening sight of a true West Ham legend having to put up with the pathetic ramblings of a half-wit in the directors’ box will live with me until the day I die. I can only imagine what poor Russell Brand must have been thinking as he found himself sitting next to ‘Sir’ Trevor and having to pretend he was interested in the inane prattle of an oldage pensioner.
Forget the has-beens, there are any number of talented former players who could do a job for us. Take the role of fitness coach, for example. Who better than Benni McCarthy?
You have to admit, Benni was a fine figure of a man. Some say he was actually the fine figure of two-and-a-half men. But, as the old saying goes, a good big ‘un will always beat a good little ‘un. (Although I did sometimes wonder if he’d once mis-heard that as a good big ‘un will always eat a good little ‘un.)
If you want a defensive coach, look no further than that fella Johnson who joined us on loan for a while. (His first name might have been Boris, but I may have got that wrong.) Anyway, this man was a hit with the supporters from his very first game in claret and blue. Remember how we got narrowly beaten by Man City in the League Cup semi last season? He played his heart out at their place. Honestly, I don’t think you could hold him responsible for any more than three of the six goals. He even donated his shirt to the travelling fans after the game — and in return they showed him how much they wanted him to keep his place in the team.
I think those supporters demonstrated how we all felt when they threw that shirt straight back at him. And what about bringing in Jermain Defoe to teach the youngsters of today the importance of team spirit. Never have we had a more selfless player, always willing to put others before himself — whether it was generously declining to shoot when a colleague was better positioned, or personifying the meaning of loyalty when we got relegated.
What we really need, though, is a roving ambassador for the club, and I’ve got just the bloke for you. Frank Lampard Jnr was so keen to return to his spiritual home while still playing for Chelski he once gave the Upton Park crowd a secret sign that he would be back after a couple of years by holding up two fingers as he disappeared into the tunnel.
Admittedly, that was several seasons ago now, but what else could he have possibly meant? And I know I speak for every single West Ham supporter by saying we would love to have Frank back where he belongs, among the people who truly love him. So come on Sam, sign him up before he gets on that forklift truck back to New York! Your mate behind the goal, Brian