Brian Williams pens his monthly letter to the gaffer

Dear Sam, What an outrage! I can’t believe they overlooked you in the New Year’s honours’ list again.

Dear Sam,

What an outrage! I can’t believe they overlooked you in the New Year’s honours’ list again. They chuck around the MBEs and CBEs like Smarties to lollipop ladies and lavatory cleaners, but when it comes to a real man of stature, such as yourself, there is no recognition whatsoever. It’s a disgrace. You deserve a knighthood for your services to West Ham United.

‘Arise Sir Big Sam’ – I can just picture you bending the knee as Her Majesty taps you on the shoulder with that sword of hers. You’d have to dispense with the chewing gum, of course. There are certain protocols that must be observed at ceremonies like these. Dame Karren would be better placed than me to advise you about the finer points, but I’m pretty certain the Queen would not be happy knighting a man as he worked his way through a packet of Wrigley’s Spearmint. Did you know she’s a West Ham fan? The Queen that is, not Karren (I’ve no idea which team she supports). Obviously, you don’t see Her Majesty in the Trevor Brooking Lower every home again – she’s a busy woman. But I have it on good authority she’s a Hammer through and through. (My brother-in-law reckons she supports Reading, because they call themselves The Royals. But he’s a prat.)

It’s such a pity you won’t get to meet her. After the ceremony you could have had a bit of a natter over the cucumber sandwiches about why you decided to drop the 4-3-3 and go for a diamond instead. Of course, she’s got a few diamonds of her own! The Crown Jewels? Geddit? That’s what I really like about you, Sam. You can always see the funny side of life.

Congratulations on becoming the second longest serving manager in the Premier League, by the way. Have you had a chance to have a chat with Mr Pardew now he’s back in London? Probably not. I expect he’s busy getting to know all his new players and their wives. I imagine you’re going to be pretty busy yourself now the transfer window is open. Still, it’s a good system you’ve developed with Messrs Gold and Sullivan. They get the players in, then you get them out. Makes a lot of sense.

I was glad to see the back of that Zapata fella who arrived in the summer. Flash little bugger, if you ask me. Take that goal he got against Palace earlier in the season. He shouldn’t be taking on shots like that – it could have gone anywhere. All right, so it flew into the back of the net, but how many times does that happen? He’d been far better laying that back to Big Winston, and letting him put in one of his telling crosses.

It was the same with

It was the same with that Gravel Morrissey kid. Greedy little so-andso. Remember the game against Spurs last season? You could not have made it plainer what the plan was: park the bus and hang on for a 0-0. You even played without a centre forward! So what does the boy do?

He breaks ranks from the back and, despite any number of chances to pass to a better-placed team-mate, runs around like a headless chicken until he loses control and the ball rolls into the Tottenham net. Ill discipline like that could cost us points. There’s no place for that sort thing at West Ham – the supporters just won’t put up with it. You’re right to get shot of show ponies like those two. I see the Sullivan kids are up to their old tricks again. I’ve told you before, mate, watch your back. I’ve already warned you that young Master Jack is after your job. Now his younger brother is muscling in on your territory.

Okay, so he had to apologise for digging out Big Andy and Captain Kev so publicly, but you can see what his game is, can’t you? He’s going to start giving team-talks by Twitter. Doesn’t even have to leave the directors’ box, and can still get his message over in 140 characters or less. Adrian – try using your hands; Songy – try not to beat other teams on your own; Carlton – try to score a goal once in a while; Big Andy – try letting Billi make the sandwiches next time;

The only problem with Twitter, of course, is the opposition can read it as well at # SnottyLittleKid, but I don’t suppose he’s thought of that. That’s why I prefer email. There’s no danger of anyone reading this! Your mate behind the goal, Brain

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