Curbing Your Enthusiasm: Memories of that awful club – West Ham

A former Premier League manager approached us here at Tales and asked that we publish his diaries, so he could show the public what life is like out of the game. His only request was that he remained anonymous. Below is this week’s entry:

I know that you’re here hoping to hear my opinion on Tone and his sacking. But what can I say that hasn’t already been said? ‘Be careful what you wish for’, ‘he’s never been relegated’, ‘it’s not his fault, how can anyone expect to do well with Hal Robson-Kanu upfront?’ I agree with all of these statements. But, as a fan of beautiful football (I think my managerial career shows this), I am glad that he has gone. Yes, he might have kept them up, but that football was dire. It’s like arguing that eternal life without the taste of lasagna is worth the trade. Utter nonsense.

No, instead reader, I thought I would look over to my friend David Moyes. You see, David has decided to go and work for the worst club in the world. Now, I’m not going to hammer David here. We’re talking about a man who hasn’t made a good decision since 2013. He’s barely human anymore, he is a husk of a man who is only tied to our plain of existence by sorrow and casual sexism.

I will instead give you a little insight into what it’s like to work at such an awful institution. As the second most successful manager that s***show has had in the Premier League, I feel more than qualified to divulge their innermost secrets.

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Back in the 2007-08 season, I had noticed that Bobby Zamora was always last out at training. I’m talking a good ten to fifteen minutes. After asking the boys, they all said that Bobby liked to go to the bathroom before coming out to train. There’s nothing wrong with that, but upon further investigation (donning a disguise and lying in wait in another cubicle), I discovered that Zamora was taking his morning dump at work.

This was unprofessional behaviour. Everyone knows that the first bowel evacuation of the day is a time consuming task. To delay this until you arrive at your place of work is negligence of the highest order.

I called Bobby into my office and told him how angry I was. Bobby was a bit taken aback, he hadn’t realised there was anything wrong with his actions. I pointed out that the 15 minutes a day he was spending pushing out faeces would add up. In fact, over a 365 day year, that’s 91 hours of my time he’s wasting.

Bobby explained that his bathroom was getting refurbished, so he couldn’t possibly go at home. His toilet was out of commission. I calmed down and said we could come to a compromise. I arranged for Bobby to take his morning dump in various council owned gardens, providing free fertiliser for the local community. Unfortunately, this resulted in several phone calls to the police, so I softened my position, allowing Bobby to go to the toilet 15 minutes before training instead.

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Earlier that same year, we had a visit from Sky Sports’ premier roving reporter, Geoff Shreeves. Geoff was interviewing me prior to a big game (I forget which one exactly). Back then, an interview with Geoff was quite a difficult experience. It felt like you were in a boxing match, a jab of a question here, a hook of a statistic here. The Geoff of today is a different beast, infected by fame, now all he desires is famous friends. I once heard a tale of him camped outside Chris Tarrant’s house, waiting for him to pick up his morning paper. Chris was forced to call the police. How the mighty fall.

Once our battle of an interview was over, I retired to my office for a nap, ready to attack the afternoon’s tactics meeting. We later had that meeting (I imagine it went well, it often did, as my record will attest) and as I was getting ready to leave, the receptionist rang. Sky had called to ask if we knew where Geoff was, as he hadn’t returned after our interview. We asked the remaining staff members and managed to narrow down his last known position, the toilets just by the cafe.

I went down to see if there was any sign of Geoff. With no sign of him in the toilets themselves, I came out and almost walked into the cupboard opposite, something I do nearly daily. Then it struck me.

I opened the door to the cupboard to see if Geoff was inside. I found his ID badge and his jacket, but no sign of the man himself. Then I saw it, the hole in the back of the cupboard, leading through to the corridor behind. The marks around the hole looked like teeth marks. The poor b****** had got trapped, panicked, then gnawed his way out.

Rumour has it that Geoff has gained a thirst for wood. He’s been ejected from several grounds after eating part of a shed or a plywood backed partition wall. I’ve met him a few times since and if you get close to anything that contains a hint of timber, the poor man starts to salivate. One time he managed to give it up, but then ended up back on the wagon, laying waste to a local Wickes. The poor soul.

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There you have it, just two short stories of the sort of nonsense I’ve had to deal with whilst managing West Ham. I have plenty more too. The time Lucas Neill brought a dingo to training. Or when Danny Gabbidon and Calum Davenport destroyed a local school. What about when Kieron Dyer thought he had discovered a new element? Or when Freddie Ljungberg tried to fight me to the death?

So good luck to David. I hope that club goes down hard, gets into financial ruin and is wiped from existence. They deserve it. I could have built a dynasty, but they pushed me too far. I’m a principled man and I wouldn’t stand for their behaviour. Now they’ve got worse and are ran by some of the worst people in the country. When it’s destroyed, reduced to a wasteland in the east end, I will return and save them. We’ll begin anew. But until that time, I hope they fail. The scumbags deserve it.