Sunday, 3 May 2009
West Ham four inexpensive signings away from challenging Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United for the title! Tottenham? You're having a laugh!
West Ham have something, that Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United don’t have! Zola To Be or Not to Be…
Well the media did their usual bit of muck throwing and stirring, saying that Zola and Clarke were off to Chelsea – surprise surprise – they didn’t join the glory hunters, bandwagon merchants, call them what you will.
Not since John Lyall, or perhaps Billy Bonds, have West Ham had a manager that displays such integrity for the West Ham cause, with the view to seeing it through to completion. It looks like West Ham are back to the golden days of having the same manager for a number of years, which can only be a good thing. That’s not to say that if Zola and Clarke become frustrated with the club’s lack of ambition or funding that they won’t walk earlier than the four year contracts they hold in their pockets and if that happens, more fool the club!
Zola must have been attracted to the club by the chance to manage a Premiership club without the necessary qualifications or experience; Clarke, meanwhile, was foolishly sidelined by Scolari and wants to manage some day. And let’s be honest, working with Chelsea is not exactly a normal environment to ply your trade - where a manager can just add to the half billion pound team by buying another few very expensive players to get them out of a rut. Most managers don’t have that luxury (or anomaly), and the great managers didn’t have a lot of cash yet some still had phenomenal success – Brian Clough brought small clubs like Derby and Nottingham Forest through to league titles and European cup wins a number of times on a supermarket budget, (and the same could be argued for Aston Villa). Zola and Clarke, with Nani's help will pick up quality players at affordable prices; whilst Bentitez and Redknapp blow multi-millions to tinker and make no real difference to their teams.
Zola has already shown disdain in the media for the ‘big four’ that refuse to bring young talent through, instead merely spending lots of money on players. These clubs allegedly also poach young talent from, for example, Italian sides that can’t contract young players until they are 18, by which time the guys from the ‘big four’ have greased their palms, and those of their parents, auntie and uncles and PE teachers whilst they are at it! These are the kind of guys that buy the kid’s family speed boats, even if they live 800 miles from the coast and are partially blind and suffer from epileptic fits.
So what does the future hold for going the pure football manager’s way through the league? West ham have a good defensive unit, although Robert Green’s shot save ratio is poorer than a number of EPL keepers; some cover for left and right back would definitely help the cause. The midfield have held their own against all the teams in the league and often come out on top, with the exception of the Arsenal game at the Emirates, where they couldn’t impose themselves on a stubborn and talented midfield. Up front is the main aspect where West Ham seem to be struggling. If Ashton and Cole were joined by two 15 (premier league) goal a season strikers – it could be argued that the team are destined for the top, and on a relative shoe string budget compared to the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Man U. So is the statement that West Ham are destined for big things wishful thinking or a reality?
Posted by Hammersfan at 08:44