Sunderland were rock bottom of the table when David Moyes drew deep from the well of his warrior ancestors to send a blood-curdling battle cry across the neighbouring valleys of the Premier League last January.
Knowing only a Herculean expenditure of guttural brawn would be enough to stave off the drop, Moyes stood astride a mighty windswept tor, undaunted, genitals exposed by flapping kilt, and roared forth unto his troops:
I’ll be finding ways to try to balance the books the best I can.
The Black Cats were subsequently relegated after losing 12 of their remaining 16 fixtures, but Moyes departed the club knowing he’d done all he could.
The Scot is now back in management at West Ham, whose league position looks similarly perilous to the one faced by Sunderland at around about this juncture last year.
And so, once again, it’s been left to the swivel-eyed lunatic of the lowlands to summon up the necessary visceral drive to haul the Hammers out of the mire.
Speaking to the Guardian ahead of his first game in charge (a march upon the gates of Watford this coming Sunday), Moyes assessed the lay of land stretched out afore him.
I don’t think it’s a bad team, a bad squad. But I can’t be bothered with any drivel. I’m going to be direct with the players. If they don’t like it, then I’m sorry.
We’ve got to make sure we get through to them quickly.
Then, as if from the mouth of Hades’ very own unholy furnace, came a fiery blast of that ferocious, face-smelting motivational magniloquence we’ve come to expect from Moyes the Marauder:
If it works, great. If it doesn’t, then I’ll see the East End of London for seven months, then I’ll go elsewhere.
Oh. O…kay then.