In a dramatic mid-season turn of events, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has departed the Boleyn Ground having finally been offered the Real Madrid job.
His replacement? Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who recently left Stamford Bridge claiming he was ‘no longer in love’ with the Blues. With West Ham still harbouring hopes of a top four finish, the stakes are high with five months of the season to go and it all to play for… *Boleyn Ground press room, December 18, 9.15am – Jose Mourinho speaks to the press for the first time as West Ham manager.
JM: ‘I am delighted to be here at West Ham, I have admired the club’s history, tradition and footballing philosophy for many years now, success is measured in football by the trophies you win and I look forward to adding to this club’s impressive record. ‘After all, it was onlyin fact, when was the last trophy we won? 1980?! Are you serious? [Picks up mobile phone and speed dials]. Roman! Take me back!’ *Chadwell Heath, December 18, 12.11pm. Jose Mourinho addresses his West Ham squad for the first time ahead of Saturday’s clash at home to Leicester.
JM: ‘Hey boys, you know what? We are going to win Saturday. I can feel it. In fact, I can see us going through the whole season unbeaten. This team is a special one.’ Kevin Nolan: ‘Er, boss? We’ve already lost a few games this season. We might make it into the Europa League if we’re lucky, basically though we’re looking at a top 10 finish.’ *The Boleyn Ground, December 20, 2.50pm. Mourinho imparts his final words of wisdom to his West Ham outfit before they take on Leicester in his first game as Hammers boss.
JM: ‘Ok guys, you know the plan. Leicester are a big, physical side who have very little skill and they will try and upset us with their 19th century football. So every time they come at you hard, go down ok? ‘The referees in this league all hate us and will give us nothing unless we go down every time. You are all beautiful players, but not everyone agrees with me. Now get out there and make me a proud footballing father – you are all like my sons. Let’s go!’