Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Eggert's Message

I awoke today to find an innocuous looking letter on my doormat from West Ham United Football Club PLC. The envelope was dog-eared on one corner and a had a huge muddy boot print stamped across the back. I always suspected my postman was a Tottenham supporter and now I have enough proof to seriously cut back on his Christmas tip.

The letter itself was a personal message from Eggert Magnusson and it was as welcome as it was unexpected. In fact, I don't think I've had such direct contact with those who run West Ham since I was about ten and a quirk in the telephone system caused the West Ham club call to phone me up one Thursday evening with Billy Bond's exclusive thoughts about that weekend's match. The club call was something I seriously obsessed over for a few months until the itemized phone bill came through and my parents discovered my dirty little secret. It was only my mum's relief that the mysterious number on the bill was not a sex line that saved me from a more serious reprimand. Anyway, back to Eggert's letter. For those who are not season ticket holders I've scanned the contents and included it above. For those with slightly dodgy eyesight, the main points are- how much the unfailing support is appreciated by everyone at the club; the pride Eggert has at taking over the club; the amazing potential of the club and how we should be pushing for Europe in a couple of years; and how we can achieve our aims by using the summer to improve our squad by investment, keeping hold of key players and nurturing young talent coming through. All well and good of course, but what are your exclusive thoughts about this weekend's match Eggert?

One thing not in the letter is the chairman's belief that twelve more points this season will see the club retain its Premiership status. In an article in The Times, Magnusson is quoted as saying: “If we get to around 38 points we will be OK. There has obviously been a lack of confidence, but now that is returning and the players feel that we can beat any team, we have a good chance. Our side is far too good to go down.” If it actually turns out that we are far too bad to stay up then one player who will not be leaving is Mark Noble. According to The Mail, the local lad from Canning Town wants to help his club next season even if they fail to make up the five points on Sheffield United in 17th place. "There will obviously be some changes and the majority of players will want to stay in the Premiership," admits Noble. "I am sure there will be a few staying with me and if we can make a core of them then hopefully we can come straight back up. Having said that, I don't want to talk too much about relegation."

One final piece of news is the appointment of Paul 'Jack' Hilton as youth coach. The former Irons defender returns to the club after spending six years in a coaching capacity here in the late 80's and early 90's. He also enjoyed a similar role at Ipswich Town. Hilton leaves his job as the youth team manager at Gillingham.

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