Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Is Zola To Blame If We Don't Qualify For Europe? (Apache Asks)
Zola appears to have had a very definite aim when he turned up, which was to reduce the size of the squad and concentrate on developing those that were left, including the youngsters. He's definitely reduced the squad, and has definitely improved the players that were left. Look at the turnaround in Carlton for example. Youth has also been given a chance and if he hadn't been injured, I think Collison may well have been in the running for Young Player of the Year.
However, the modern game is faster and more physically demanding, and all these well tuned athletes seem more prone to injury. In recent weeks, we have seen our squad decimated, which culminated on Saturday in us playing just 3 first choice players in their preferred positions. I will be absolutely gutted if we don't finish 7th AND above Tottenham after being in such a commanding position for both just a matter of weeks ago.
I've seen Tottenham fans refute the claims about their £134m team failed by only beating our £30m team by a single goal, saying that nowadays it is a squad game. Gone are the days when just 13 players could take us to 3rd like it did in 85/86. I have to agree with them. We need a bigger squad to challenge consistently across all fronts but Zola claims he doesn't want it because he wants to 'work with the players'.
I'm hoping the size of our squad won't derail our push for Europe but it's looking dodgy at the moment. Is Zola not 'big enough' to manage the larger squad that we need? Is he naive and idealistic? Or is he simply paying lip service to a cost cutting Board?
Only time will tell, but if our current youngsters don't develop (as with Sears) then we could be in real trouble next season. I would really love to see Zola succeed, I just hope that he is big enough for the job, which involves managing a big squad and standing up to the Board if they are putting penny pinching ahead of squad development.
Posted by Hammersfan at 16:37