West Ham United co-owner David Gold has asked Manuel Pellegrini and his team to give him the perfect birthday present.
The West Ham chief turned 83 this week and was inundated with messages on social media.
A grateful Gold took to Twitter to thank his wellwishers.
But he says the perfect present would be a belated one, victory over old foes Aston Villa on Monday night.
Gold, along with fellow Hammers owner David Sullivan, used to run Villa’s bitter rivals Birmingham City.
And despite leaving the blue side of Birmingham to take over his boyhood club West Ham, two Villa fans did not let him forget his past back in 2010.
Gold hit out after “Villa monsters” threw beer bottles at his car, as reported at the time by BirminghamLive.
‘A great present’
One would hope time has been a great healer, though, and as an 83-year-old man Gold will be looking for a quieter experience this time around.
“A big thank you to all of you who have wished me a happy birthday,” Gold said on Twitter.
“Three points on Monday would be a great present.”
A big thank you to all of you who have wished me a happy birthday 3 points on Monday would be a great present. dg
— David Gold (@davidgold) September 9, 2019
A win for Pellegrini’s side at Villa Park could push them into the top four depending on other results this weekend.
Villa will provide stern test of Hammers ‘top six’ credentials
West Ham have recovered well after the 5-0 drubbing to Manchester City on the opening day.
A draw at Brighton and wins over Watford, Newport County and Norwich City have left the Hammers seventh in the fledgling table and a victory over Oxford United away from the last 16 of the Carabao Cup.
That has seen West Ham tipped to challenge the top six this season.
But Villa have also impressed on their return to the top flight and will be a stern test of just how far Pellegrini’s side have come.