Thursday, 23 April 2009
Why Curbishley was NOT the disaster some would have us believe! Hotshot opines!
When Curb’s was on TV on route for an interview to become West Ham’s football manager, I was praying, please don’t let him become manager, especially as West Ham now seem to have the backing of a Billionaire. I thought it would show a real lack of ambition, and that we should be looking to appoint a top international manager.
My worst fears were realised when he became manager, and I was one of the cynics right from the off, saying we had chosen an average football manager that didn’t fit the new aspirations and financial clout of the club.
I remember people in forums showing blind loyalty to him, and vitriol was directed towards me for stating the blindingly obvious. They persisted to support him because he was English, nay even from the East End of London. It was entertaining to see over that year people’s opinions gradually change, until finally it seemed almost all sentient West Ham fans had witnessed enough of his boring football, along with his dour TV personality, and his footballing philosophy which amounted to nothing more than staying in the league or constantly saying he was ‘stabilising the ship’.
So when he finally walked, ironically because the clubs technical director Nani had sold two average players, and replaced them with a much better midfielder and defender, I was the first person cheering and relieved that we could now get back to showing the ambition that the club finally deserved, and appoint a manager that would be an attractive prospect for players to play for, and one that I could wholeheartedly get behind and support.
In came Gianfranco Zola, and although I was as surprised as anyone else at the choice, I at least thought that world class players may be attracted by the prospect of playing for him, and thought that if his winning mindset could rub off, and his contacts be utilised, that the future would be brighter than under Curbs.
Now people are raving on about Zola’s exploits, and the new players that he has at his disposal, thanks to Nani’s wheeling and dealing and the academy graduates coming of age. And it is regularly reported that Curbs bought a load of lemons and wasted the money and resources that were initially pumped into the club. Now that’s where I draw the line, although many of the same people that were supporting Curbs, are now slating him, I do acknowledge that his purchases were actually very shrewd. They were also necessary in keeping the team in the Premier League at the time, and it could be agued that he didn’t pay over the odds, when you compare the purchase prices with those of Spurs, or other clubs.
Bellamy – his class is not in question, Champions League experience, a potent striker, he brought a goal scoring edge and pacey dynamic that the team has since sorely missed. He was chased by quite a few clubs and later sold on for nearly double the fee paid for him.
Upson – became an England international and must again be worth at least double the fee we paid for him, and among the best centre- halves in the Premier League.
Parker – one of the best defensive midfielders in the league who again could have been sold for more than double the fee paid for him, and was chased by many clubs, during the January transfer window.
Neill – Although suspect at times, with his shirt tugging and lack of speed, has been a steadying influence in the team and at times shown the worth of his transfer fee.
Dyer – No doubt the ability to win games with his speed, creativity and eye for goal. Also an England international when fit, and at least worth the fee paid and could prove a bargain if he doesn’t get injured
Boa Morte – The boo boys are starting to choke on their pies, as he is showing that he is well worth the fee paid for him and adds speed and attacking options to the team.
Cole – Ok Curbs didn’t buy him, but when many fans would have had him sold and shipped off to Canvey Island, Curbs kept him and saw and developed his potential, which he is now beginning to realise.
Now onto Curb’s relatively small number of doubtful purchases.
Quasie – I can’t defend this one – Enough said.
Ljungberg – Was bought for a very small fee, apparently very high wages though, not sure if he was past his best – we’ll never know.
Davenport – bought for a smallish fee, the club should be able to recuperate most if not all of it back, and for the record played well for the team when Collins/ Upson was injured.
If people require further proof of Curbs ability to identify good talent, he also tried to purchase Ashley Young and Darren Bent among others whose, attacking and goal scoring talents are not in doubt.
When people blame Curbs or the Eggmeister for allowing inflated wages, lets remember it was one of the few tools of leverage the club had at their disposal at that time – and so was justified. Why else would top quality players joined a team fighting against relegation?
So, Curbs although I didn’t think you were the right manager for the long term (or even the short tem), I do acknowledge this, that the players that you identified, tried to purchase and did purchase were overall very good! Good luck in your next job mate!
Posted by Hammersfan at 15:34