Thursday, 25 March 2010
Sullivan Bleeding From The Heart Or Backing Zola Into A Corner?
Upson has come out and said that Sullivan's open letter to fans (in which the co Chairman describes Tuesday's surrender as "pathetic")is "unhelpful". It seems that the players do not like the Chairman's honest assessment of the team's performance - they much prefer the Zola approach of making excuses on their behalf. Don't blame the players, blame me is the Zola mantra. But shouldering the blame does not go so far as accepting responsibility and resigning sadly. Dear God, even Mandelson would resign of his own volition if exposed as Zola was on Tuesday!
The question is, was Sullivan bleeding from the heart, or was this a strategy in trying to force Zola out? Is his position really tenable when the Chairman is describing the performance of the team as "shambolic". Now absymal would describe the team, "shambolic" describes the organisation of the team - that reads to me as direct criticism of the manager. In case Zola is in any doubt about who he holds most at fault, Sullivan goes on to describe the "disorganised way we played, allowing Wolves too much space so that they looked more like Manchester United". He twists the knife by referring to the "appalling performance against Bolton".
And he doesn't stop here! He writes, "Individually we have some very good players, but this is not being converted into a good team performance". So who is to blame for that? The players or the manager? Well Sullivan clarifies that for us when he says, "with some of the outstanding players we have, we can and must do better as a team" after what he terms "a pathetic performance".
Sullivan then launches a thinly veiled attack on Zola's tactics when he writes, "When I first started supporting West Ham, we had a tradition for playing the game ‘the right way’. I will settle for any way right now, as long as it is the winning way!" If that doesn't amount to "ditch your principles Zola and win at all cost" then I am Didier Drogba!
And what's wrong with the team? Well I have been saying the absence of width and the failure to use Diamanti as a playmaker. It seems Sullivan agrees because he says we need, "Another hero to watch: a midfield playmaker, a little wizard on the wing, a goalscorer".
It seems to me that Sullivan is doing his level best to provoke Zola into resigning. He is desperate for the Italian to walk away from the job. The strategy is high risk, however, because the players love the manager. Well they would wouldn't they, when they know that they will be able to play in the Prem next season whether or not we survive? Zola simply displays his weakness when he tries to shield the players from criticism after Tuesday's diabolical showing. Can you imagine Ferguson saying, "Don't blame the players, blame me" or The Special One? Weak managers think they are being strong when they carry the can; but it simply shows that they lack the balls to criticise the players, fearing they will turn against them as a result.
So the players support Zola and Zola supports the players and Sullivan is doing his level best to bounce Zola out of the job! That is not a recipe for happy families and is unlikely to result in the team pulling together in the same direction.
Pulis will be rubbing his hands together in glee. Last season two Stoke players had a punch up at Upton Park. This season, our entire club is ripping itself apart. The Chairman has turned on the players, the players have turned on the Chairman and the fans have turned on the players! It doesn't bode well for Saturday does it?
Posted by Hammersfan at 18:58