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Marvin Swan - My Story with West Ham

Started on 26 June 2020 by EuanL
Latest Reply on 5 July 2020 by OneMoreGame
  • POSTS18
  • VIEWS3016
EuanL's avatar Group EuanL
2 yearsEdited

Let me introduce myself to you all, I am Marvin Swan and this is my story. At a young age I remember being taken to the football with my dad and grandad. Nothing like 3 generations going to a game together, especially when its going to watch West Ham. There was nothing like walking down the road towards the Boleyn Ground together, hearing the fans chant, watching scarfs, hats a programs being sold. Listening to my granddad regale us with stories about Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters from the golden years of West Ham. Sadly the team that I grew up watching was the polar opposite of that. I have witnessed the club being relegated twice and be a mediocre team in the Premier League with the highest finish being 5th in the 98/99 season. I've also witnessed the clubs change hands which in 2010 the club was sold to current owners David Sullivan and David Gold and its safe to say their relationship with fans has been bumpy at best over the last 10 years. The club has also sadly left the Boleyn Ground and moved to the Olympic Stadium.

Now for my story with football, as an 8 year old I signed my first contract with a football club which was Millwall, yes they are the bitter rivals of my beloved team but when a professional team gives you a chance then even my dad couldn't say no as he knew where it might lead one day. The lads at training took every opportunity they could to rib me as they knew I was a massive West Ham fan. Everything was going well and I had even been invited to train with the first team a couple of times but at 16 I was on my way to training when the car I was in was hit by a lorry on the passenger side and sadly with the injuries sustained that day my playing career was over before it had even started. I decided to stick in at school and make an impact there while still getting to the games.

After finishing a degree in Business up north at the University of Strathclyde where I had also got the chance of coaching the university football team and they had even paid for me to get my National C License as well. As a graduation present my granddad surprised me with offering to pay for me to get my national B license. After that I was able to get a job as a coach in the U18's at Millwall through my old coach there and while doing that over the last 10 years I've completed the rest of my badges and worked my way up to first team coach. I am patiently waiting for the right team to come up thats willing to take a chance on a young and upcoming manager.

Good luck. Looking forward to seeing who hands Swan an opportunity into senior management.
A sad way to lose out on a potential professional career, I am interested to see how Marvin goes as a manager. Good luck!

I woke up early one morning in June with a strange feeling in my stomach like I knew something was coming today but I just didn't know what. I needed to try and clear my head and since we were on holiday from training then I decided to go a run following my usual path. I covered 10km that day in a new personal best. I went back and got washed and ready for the day and decided to take a drive to go and visit my family. While on the drive over my phone rang with an unknown number, I wouldn't normally answer those calls but something told to pick up today.

"Hello, it's David Sullivan, is this Marvin Swan?"
"Hello Mr Sullivan, yes it is, how can I help you?"
"As you know we are looking for a new manager here at West Ham and we would be very interesting in talking to you as we would like a manage to come in with long term plans for the club."
"Surely you would be looking for somebody with a bit more experience than me as I've never had any management experience before"
"You are one of a number of names we are looking at but we would like to offer you and Interview though if you would like to come in tomorrow for myself and Karen Brady to have a chat with you."
"Of course"
"Great my assistant will send over the details and we will see you tomorrow"

Once off the phone I instantly thought it was my pals at Millwall having a laugh with me as they have always taunted me about being a West Ham fan but later that day the email came through inviting me to Rush Green for the interview.

I barely slept a wink that night as you can normally only dream of things like managing the team you have grown up supporting. I got my best suit on and tried to make myself look presentable. I couldn't stomach anything for breakfast so just jumped in the car and headed over to the interview.

"Welcome Mr Swan, welcome to Rush Green. We would like to thank you for coming in and we are looking forward to what you have to say. Please tell us why you would like to be our next manager"

"Well I have always been a fan of the club and have been coming to watch the team for years, I have an understanding of the squad already and how I can shape it over the next few seasons with your backing of course. I would also like to build a new legacy at the club as it has been since 1980 since the club last won silverware in the FA Cup. I would also put an emphasis on bringing youth into the club as well and then progressing them through the ranks into the first team. We would do all this by playing an attacking, posestion based football to ensure that the fans are entertained and come and fill the seats at the Olympic Stadium as without the fans behind us then none of this would be possible."

"As you've mentioned you know the squad and we would be interested in hearing more about how you would change the squad."

"Well I would like to build the team around Declan Rice and Pablo Fornals as they will be the focal point under my leadership. We will need to strengthen the team in defence as Zabaleta only has 1 season left in him and we could do with another central defender as well. We could also do with another left winger, central midfielder and a striker to better finish the formation and to do this I would be looking to sell a couple of players to raise the funds instead of you having to fund it yourselves."

"Well that sounds interesting and sounds like you have thought about it a lot. We still have a few people to interview but we will be in contact with you soon one way or another."

"Thank you for your time today and I just want what every other fan does and that is for the club to be sustainable and built for longtime success."

As I drove away I felt it went pretty well and they seemed impressed with the answers but now to sit tight and wait and see what the outcome is..

ScottT/TheLFCFan - Thanks hopefully he gets the job he dreams of and can make a success out of it.
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT
2 yearsEdited
Fingers crossed that West Ham make an absolutely mental decision and opt for Marvin!
It would certainly be an interesting one for the board to make and I wonder how the fans would react to a former Milwall player getting the job, no matter who Marvin supported as a boy.

A few days had gone by since the interview and I hadn't heard anything so was assuming the worst. I was spending the day at my parents house watching old West Ham highlights with my dad chatting about the games we had been to when my phone started to ring. It was an unknown number again which I quickly answered. After I hung up the phone my dad looked at me and asked if I was alright as I had gone pale white.

"Dad it was David Sullivan, he's offered me the West Ham job on a 2 year deal and I've accepted it."
"That's excellent son, how are you feeling about it?"
"I'm shitting it I've spent my whole life of playing for them before I got injured never mind managing them and I'm going to have to keep the fans happy as well and I'm sure they will dig into my past on being a youth player at Millwal and being one of their coaches"
"Don't worry about it if you get the results and bring the right players in the will be behind you, congratulations again son, your granddad would be so proud of you right now if he was here."

I drove home still in disbelief, my first job in management and I was taking over my one love up until this point. I was going over all of my ideas of what I wanted to do with the club. I was going to have to have a lot of tough conversations with people of the next month or so around people leaving the club as I would want to bring my own staff and players in. I was going to be messing with people livelihoods but it was going to have to be done sadly to get the team where they deserve to be.

ScottT - Luckily he did but its a shame Marvin got the job and not Melvin
TheLFCFan - Luckily he was only a youth player so might go under the radar but it will certainly be on his mind
Congratulations on the new job!

Well my first day of the job couldn't of been much tougher as I introduced myself to the squad knowing that some horrible conversations were going to happen to day as I was going to notify a number of them that they weren't going to fit into my plans and they were going to be moved on and it would be interesting to see how they all handled it. These chats involved 4 players being moved in for the good of the club as they weren't in my first team plans and it meant freeing up the wages and giving them the chance to play first team football else where.

The other side of things with me being new to management I needed to get a good core of people around me with plenty of experience so I went to work quickly to bring in these people who will help me take West Ham to the next level and will hopefully stay with me for years to come.

We have managed to bring in a lot of good people with my key staff coming in such as Bryan Klug to take of as Head of Youth Development, Paul Mcguinness in as a coach, Michael Laudrup as the assistant manager for our Under 18's and finally Malcolm Elias and Victor Orta to lead the scouts on finding our next set of super stars.

After selling players to raise cash it was time to start building the team that will take us to the next level.

First in was Viktor Fischer who will come in as back up to Felipe Anderson and if he doesn't like playing backup we will sell him for a profit at the end of the season. Next we looked at defence and splashed the cash on Kristoffer Ajer from Celtic who at only 21 has a very bright future at the club and has all the attributes of a future captain. Finally we looked at the Rb position as Zabaleta has one season left in him at the club and we looked to the transfer list where we found Elseid Hysaj where I jumped at him to bring him in as he is a great player for the price we got him and and will improve over the next couple of seasons.

We got preason underway and we had arranged a lot of friendlies to try and get everybody some game time and to find our best team for the season ahead and it couldn't of gone any better.

12 friendlies and we won every single one of them with us only conceding 6 goals but scoring 38 goals, its safe to say we're not having any problems in front of goal and that should help us this season as we've been missing goals over the last few seasons. I now no the strongest team going forward and looking forward to the season ahead as we will have our opening game at home where we'll face Manchester United.

I also had an interesting meeting with David Gold to go over the expectations for the club and the seem reasonable and I actually hope I can guide the team to a top half finish rather than mid-table.

In the cups I'm confident obviously depending on the draws but as long as we avoid top half premiership teams we should be fine. At the end of the meeting he also decided to tell me that the club were actually in quite a bit of debt and there were monthly payments going out the door of £5.5 million which is going to seriously impact us in the transfer market next season but they will still do their best to provide me with a healthy budget each summer.

TheLFCFan - Thanks
Marvin, Melvin... same thing. Now amended ;) Antonio departing is perhaps one of the only surprises. Ajer and Hysaj will be fantastic additions to the side and significantly improve to the defence. Ajer's versatility will no doubt be useful too.

Fischer will have a point to prove after failing to impress at Middlesbrough last time he was in the Premier League.
PL story is always interesting, will follow the thread.

A lot of new faces in the staff and great signing in the face of Ajer who is an absolute monster. Also you need to get rid of some of the players as West Ham is full of them in the last years.
Very good pre-season, good luck!
A rather big shakeup early on here. As Scott said Antonio leaving is rather surprising as he is a different option to most on the wing. But Ajer is a brilliant capture who will bring a different level of physicality to your team. A great pre-season!
Ajer is a stunning signing, he'll be great for years to come. Your preseason form also holds you in good stead!

Well this day was always going to come round as I was going to be making my managerial debut in the first game of the season infront of our own fans facing Manchester United. I would of preferred a much easier game to properly intorduce myself to the fans but if I could pull off a win then it would also get me n their side straight away hopefully. My family were coming to the game today as well so it at least made me feel a bit better knwoing that my parents were there to watch me as well. I drove to the training ground to meet the players and get the bus to the stadium with them so that we could go over the tactics and formation on the bus. We were going to be playing a 4-2-3-1 today in the hope of playing a different type of football at West Ham from what the fans are use to.

Walking out to the pitch with the players was like a dream come true, the fans were behind us and were excited to see what I was going to be able to do with this team. We went out and attacked from the kick off and were looking good as we were all over them in the first half but just couldn't make the break through. At half time I told the lads just to keep doing what their doing and it will come and that's just what happened as Bowen cut in off the wing and fired home in the 49th minute. Everything was going well but we just couldn't find the 2nd and then Daniel James pretty much made the identical run at the opposite end of the park and the game finishes 1-1. A draw was a good result for my debut especially against Manchester United.

Our next two games in the league went a lot better as we managed to get the win over Villa even though we fell behind in the 2nd minute but goals from Haller and Anderson got us the 3 points. Against Palace Declan Rice got the only goal of the game to get me my second win of my career. The League Cup brought a different pace as we welcomed Bristol City to the London Stadium and I decided to rotate the squad to give everybody a fair change and we struggle to break them down. It took a header from Ogbonna to get the only goal of the game to get us to the next round where we will face Norwich. We round the month off with a London Derby against Tottenham and sadly Kane got the only goal of the game to round the month off with my first loss.



ScottT/TheLFCFan - Antonio was going to be third choice behind Bowen and Yarmolenko so thought it would be wise to cash in on him while we could. Ajer will hopefully be with us for years to come.
OneMoreGame - Cheers, hopefully you enjoy it
Wolf - Hopefully we can find the goals again from preseason.
Jack - Cheers, Ajer is going to be a key player in defence going forward

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