What's your diagnosis?

As a fan one more or less have to adapt to whatever happens in your Club. That adapting process can be a painful one. How on earth should I feel about the inevitable, and in my view needed, sacking of Zola and the disgusting way G&S has handled it. Can I just see them as separate incidents? Of course not, but where does that leave me?

And what attitude should I have to the economic side of their ownership? I am quite sure that the Clubs economic situation was worse than Duxbury et al. wanted us to think (even though maybe not as shockingly dire as G&S told us after the take-over) and I’m fairly convinced that there was no one else that had the economic muscle to complete a take-over. In that sense they saved us from going into administration and, most certainly, relegation. But then it is as certain that they will limit the spending on players in a way that will burst a few bubbles. We will lose some players that will be able to find better financial deals elsewhere and that is always hard to stomach. G&S will however keep some other bubbles flying as a more conservative salary policy will pave the way for a more balanced squad. Fewer peaks but also less visits to the abyss is my hardly unique prediction for next season. A bit like learning that your depression is treatable but that you will never be as happy as you used to, ever again.

That provides an effortless queue for the Grant part of this post. Grant was not my first choice, but then was he anyone’s first choice? However considering the alternatives I think it has its flipsides. One is that you can read anything you like into his “CV”. One may want to emphasize the success at Chelsea, or say he was never a part of it. One may look at his work at Portsmouth and interpret it any way one chooses. Is he the one that managed a team to relegation or is he the one that against all odds got a relegation doomed team to the FA-cup final? Loser or winner? Talk about bipolar! I see his West Ham gig as the first true test as a manager in the UK, even though his ability to get the Pompey players to perform as they did although they were already doomed to relegation may say something. My guess is that Grant will have me off the lithium and longing for excitement. Fancy that, the team known for its contempt for consistency having an outside chance of stability!

Then the Olympic stadium. If I feel divided in the other issues I’m split right down the middle on this one. It forces you to answer to the question “Do you feel it is of importance that West Ham can compete with the top clubs for players and trophies or are you fine with letting players that succeeds in our colors go on to build the back bone of ManUre and Chelsea?”. If you have a clear answer to that one, the stadium question is a no brainer. Unfortunately I don’t. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Hand me the Prozac!


Anonymous said...

Although your article is designed to provoke debate, I will admit that G&S haven't acted totally as I would have liked or expected but I must say that after years of invisible chairman who didn't say a thing and acted less on behalf of our club, I'm glad to see chairmen at West Ham who care, show they care and are prepared to act on behalf of this club.
Zola had to go and in business you can't afford to let things linger and because Zola was such a nice man, there was NEVER going to be a nice way of saying that he came up short. Personally I think this could be the making of him as he will now understand that he should have been more ruthless in his picking of players and possibly he showed some of them More loyalty than they showed him.
The other point I would like to make is that Avram managed Chelsea and as far as I'm aware only managers of ability get that chance these days. The exception was "Big" Phil, who proved that despite the riches of players he had,you can Only make a success IF you know what you're doing. Grant proved he knew what he was doing and got to within a penalty of winning the champions league. With Portsmouth he went on to prove that despite many people thinking that it was a lost cause, he had some amazing results, got to the FA cup final and didn't disgrace themselves either.
G&S are alright by me and they have made a very good choice in Avram if it indeed turns out to be true. COYI

Anonymous said...

Actually Grant is my first choice as I would never like to see Mark Hughes, McClaren, Hobble or the others at Weat Ham. My other choice would have been to let Steve Clarke have a go as a number one. He has enough experience, without getting the plaudits.
After the way G$S have acted, I wonder why anyone would ever trust them again. I suppose I would not think of it so much, if we were to become a top club very quickly. We definitely need the new stadium, but not the running track, but we can't have everything can we?