Former Hammers and Charlton boss chats to Newstalk's Team 33 about his career and book 'Game Changers'
In many ways, managing West Ham was a dream job for Alan Curbishley.
After over a decade in charge of Charlton Athletic, who he had kept in the Premier League, joining the Hammers in 2006 meant he was returning to his boyhood club - the one he had supported having grown up in the shadow of the old Boleyn Ground, then played for as a young player and professional.
But as we all know with hindsight, he kept West Ham up in 2006-07 after succeeding Alan Pardew, guiding them to safety thanks to a Carlos Tevez-inspired great escape.
But he would later resign in 2008 and also won a case of constructive dismissal against West Ham, but has not managed a club since then despite an impressive CV, as he discusses in an in-depth interview with Newstalk's Team 33 this week.
You can listen to the full interview on the podcast player or also stream for free on iTunes:
Curbishley has published a new book called Game Changers, which is based around insightful chats with managers like Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, homegrown players like Harry Kane (that chapter is particularly excellent), legends like Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand, fans, agents and officials.
In our chat with Curbishley, we spoke about some of the issues raised in the book as well as the ups and downs of his time in charge of Charlton and West Ham and as part of that he recalled the task of trying to keep West Ham up in 2006-07 in a season which had started with the unexepected arrivals of Argentine duo Tevez and Mascherano while Pardew was still in charge.
"Obviously because I came into the club, it was a bit different. When the two players came into West Ham and it had an effect on the squad as I understand it. They had done ever so well the year before, finished ninth and got to a cup final but when two new players come in - on loan especially -if they were signed permanently, it's a different mentality. But they were brought in on loan," he told us.
West Ham new signings Carlos Tevez (left) and Javier Mascherano (right) with manager Alan Pardew in 2006. Picture by: Sean Dempsey / PA Archive/Press Association Images
"That meant that if they played, two of the players that played the last year would have been perhaps benched and perhaps two of the people on the bench would have been out of the squad, so it can sometimes have an adverse effect.
"When I went into the club, we were in a relegation battle and we had 20 games left or something to get ourselves out of trouble. So I couldn't be too concerned about people's feelings and what their own personal attitude was. I inherited the players and when I went in, it was quite clear that Mascherano was very unhappy and wanted to leave and was desperate to leave the football club and Tevez was quite happy to stay at the football club and as a manager going in and in the middle of a relegation battle, I wanted players who wanted to be at the club so that was a simple decision and as it turned out, it worked out well for everybody. I was in a totally different place to what Alan Pardew was."
Indeed, Tevez scored the winner to beat Manchester United as West Ham secured safety on the final day at the expense of Sheffield United.