Filed: Monday, 7th May 2012
By: Jason Rose
The history of football has been punctuated with famous Alfs.
There was Alf Common, the first footballer to command a £1,000 transfer fee when moving from Sunderland to Middlesborough in 1905, the character Alf Garnett with his passionate support for his beloved ‘Ammers and of course Sir Alf Ramsey whose West Ham side won the World Cup in 1966.
Add to the list Alf Stewart, who I can exclusively reveal has been managing West Ham United for much of the current season. At a secret meeting in Wigan last May the plot was hatched following a tip off from fellow luvvy Bill Kenwright of Alf’s management credentials. Things moved quickly from there, Uncle Avram was axed and Big Sam was wheeled in to face the media on 1st June as our new manager.
Meanwhile, Alf Stewart was spirited away from his 20+ years of working on a popular Aussie soap under the ridiculous ruse of starring in the West End production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert whilst in truth he was hooked up to Sam in the dugout all along, issuing tactics which were followed to the letter.
However, like most things Antipodean his tactics and approach were diametrically opposed and this of course is the only logical explanation for West Ham’s form and results for much of the season. Home and Away, like the name of the show where he made his name, were the wrong way around.
This pattern continued throughout the season with fans, players and pundits alike baffled by our free-flowing near invincible performances on the road but our nervy, conservative approach to home matches.
But things changed dramatically during half-time vs Birmingham on Easter Monday. Following a mix-up in the canteen involving Vegemite and his didgeridoo Alf stormed out of the Boleyn Ground back to Summer Bay, never to be seen again and we were left with our very own Sam, King of the Dessert instead.
The contrast was stark as we attacked with purpose in front of a willing home crowd. Since then two wins have followed at home with more bright, attacking football played without the fear and shackles that have been present for much of the campaign. But Sam has been wise enough to remember the teachings of Alf, whose ‘playing like at Home when Away’ formula now a vital part of his tactical armoury.
This was evident against Leicester and crucially in the first play-off semi final leg against Cardiff on Thursday. It is important we approach the home leg with our new found approach to home matches in order to secure a place in the Wembley showdown final and carry with us important momentum of goals, form and winning with decent football.
So what’s it all about Alfie? In the film, Alfie is the story of a man who leads a self-centred life until events force him to question his attitude and behaviour. The character frequently speaks directly to the camera narrating and justifying his actions. His words often contrast with or totally contradict his actions. Sound familiar?
*Jason Rose hosts a blog at roseyoutlook.wordpress.com/. He may also be found on Twitter at twitter.com/#!/Ja50nR05e.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
by John Sharp
11:35AM 12th May 2012
''Don't forget that Alfie Moon of Eastenders is a West Ham fan!''
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