We made contact with him last May getting his take on the manager’s position when he told us: ““Sam knows he has a huge job in front of him winning over the Irons fans and I reckon if he does so will be the biggest victory of his entire career.
“I know for a fact that nothing would give him greater pleasure than to do that and I also know he is well up for meeting the challenge from them.”
Now this morning The Mirror has turned to the Shrimpers boss for his view of things a year on and unsurprisingly Phil is supporting his old mate.
He said: “Whether you like him or loathe him, it doesn’t matter. He’s done exactly what he said he would do – get them promoted, keep them in the Premier League and then challenge. He’s done it.
“For him not to be rewarded with another contract is just beyond me. I think that’s the reason why the season has begun to peter out and taper off.
“I don’t think we do appreciate him enough. He’s probably looked at by a lot of people as the manager of a Premier League club who needs to stay there rather than being seen as a successful manager who has achieved an awful lot.
“My time at Bolton with him is best remembered for us getting promoted, stayed there and then getting into Europe three years later.
“But when I first joined them, they were in the second division where I am now. That’s a fairytale story. There’s a lot more to Sam than meets the eye and there’s not enough appreciation of him.
Not to give him a new contract is – according to Brown – a mistake “unless they’ve got a grand plan which includes an incredible appointment which will make supporters swoon. But it would have to be one hell of an appointment.”
Brown in his interview with us declared: “The fans will need to be patient and I hope there won’t be a reaction whenever a player hits a ball over 30 yards. Sam can mix it up – but he has to get a fair crack of the whip.
“I hope he can win the fans over and I hope he can but if the Hammers are to play a different kind of football there will need to be some heavy investment.
“I believe Sam can take the club into the top ten but for every two or three places beyond that there will need to be more and more investment.”