Saturday, 27 March 2010
Wheels Coming Off On Last Lap
Lewis Hamilton is in trouble for doing donuts but, it seems, we have a bunch of donuts running our club. Take what position you like on Zola, it can't be in anybody's interests for the managers, owners and players to be so obviously at odds with each other. If we were striving for the old Wimbledon Crazy Gang mentality, then fair enough, but, unfortunately, that is not what is going on.
The press are now reporting that Sullivan read the riot act to the players on Thursday and was asked to LEAVE by Clarke. Dear God, I have worked for Barratt. I can just imagine the explosion had Sir Lawrie Barratt been asked to leave a building site by a regional Construction Director! And note it was Clarke who stood up to him, not Zola - what does that tell you?
Listen to Zola and I would be amazed if your hackles do not rise. The Italian sums it all up when he says, "I have thinking about this situation and have been saying, 'What the hell is going on here. It is a football game, Jesus Christ.' This is what I think about. I question myself, 'Am I doing everything that I can?' And I have to say 'yes'. I am doing it with passion. I am doing it with honesty. So why should I be kicking myself or banging my head against the wall?"
Why should you be banging your head against a wall? Because the team looked like a bunch of strangers on Tuesday, because despite having 9 months to work with this present squad, there is no team shape, no cohesion, no structure to our play. As for the line, "It is a football game, Jesus Christ", well doesn't that explain why Zola never won a title or Champions League as a player and only picked up 35 caps despite his prodigious talents. To him, it is a game. Great, very Corinthian, very noble - but so so so wrong! It is not a game for the fans, it is so much more than a game: it is part of our family, the lungs of our hopes, the heart of our dreams, the life blood that pumps through our humdrum lives. A game? No Zola, it is not a game! We play games at Christmas, West Ham is for life!
Asked if Sullivan is trying to squeeze him out, Zola replied, "That is a good question. I don't know. I understand the chairman, Mr Sullivan, is very much concerned about the situation. We are not in a very good position and he is concerned. I am concerned as much as him. I have faith in the players I am working with."
But that "faith" is the trouble! Zola believes these players are better than they are and will not shape his tactics to the raw material at his disposal. Stanislas is not Ashley Young, he cannot cross off his wrong foot and cannot push the ball along the line with it either. He needs to play on the right. It is simple. But Zola cannot see it. Tomkins isn't ready for the Prem. It is simple. But Zola cannot see it. Spector is not a Premiership quality player. It is simple. But Zola cannot see it. Behrami is all huff and puff and is not an attacking option. It is simple. But Zola cannot see it. Diamanti is potentially a match winner in the final third but is a liability in his own half. It is simple. But Zola cannot see it. But Zola has faith in his players so he repeats the same mistakes in game after game when he selects his side and determines the tactics. Zola chose his language brilliantly because, famously, faith is blind!
Sullivan is of the opinion that the team is unfit. I'm not sure that is the problem . The problem is that the team run twice as far as the opposition as they chase and run with the ball rather than mark space and pass. Watch Behrami! What does the guy think he is doing? It is like watching a nine year old, charging here, there, everywhere, and all to no avail. Wonderful effort, but all the huff and puff in the world will not blow a well built house down!
The stories coming out of the club this week are terrifying. The club is tearing itself apart in front of our eyes. This is Newcastle all over again and I am struggling to see how we can arrest the decline. Our performance on Tuesday reminded me of Newcastle's abject surrender in the final game of last season. They went down without a fight. And, of course, in charge was a rookie manager who the stupid Geordie fans adored and backed all the way through to the Fizzy Pop. In Shearer they trusted! God help us!
Posted by Hammersfan at 09:02