Sunday, 28 March 2010
Why Zola Has To Go!
Today we stand up to our chins in quicksand. We have been sinking deeper and deeper all season, but over the last six games, we have lost contact with Bolton, Wigan, Wolves and Sunderland. Now relegation comes down to Burnley, Hull and ourselves with 2 of the 3 about to drop. We have the strongest squad of the teams in the bottom six but we have the weakest team. That is down to poor management.
Yet again yesterday, we looked completely toothless against Stoke. Why? Because Zola will not set his side up to either to do the basics right or to exploit weaknesses in the opposition. I expressed frustration that Franco and Mido were selected against Arsenal ahead of Ilan and Cole, because Campbell's weakness is his pace. Wenger must have thought it was Christmas when he saw our team sheet. Yes he expected to win anyway, but he probably read the word "Surrender" when he saw Franco and Mido as the two pronged "threat". The failure to alter things significantly when Arsenal went down to 10 men showed the extent of Zola's tactical incompetence.
Against Wolves, we again saw the nonsense of using Stanislas and Diamanti on the wrong flanks, something that has failed time and time again. The one threatening cross we got in against Arsenal came when Stanislas drifted over to the right. Suddenly, but all too briefly, he looked dangerous.
Against Stoke yesterday, the tactic appeared to be to use two big men to batter the Stoke defence. Now given the physical nature of Stoke City, that warrants repeating. The tactic yesterday appeared to be to use two big men to batter the Stoke defence. Sounds pretty stupid when you see it in writing doesn't it? But that's what we tried to do! Every corner was delivered to the middle of the box and Mido and Cole were crowded out by Huth and his Mongol Horde. Where was the pace to upset the Stoke ogres? Where was the skill of the slingshot to fell the Stoke Goliath? Well Diamanti was initially on the bench, then parked out on the right, then moved into a three man midfield. Actually, of the three positions Zola deployed him in, the bench is probably Diamanti's most effective role! He is not a winger, especially not a right winger! Nor is he a combative midfielder! He NEEDS to play in the hole, either behind one or two strikers. I would have started him behind Cole and then, if necessary, behind Cole and Ilan later in the game.
But never mind Diamanti, where was Stanislas? Zola is destroying this kid. The boy is right footed. Given the right flank, he could cause damage; played on the left, I could mark him! But every time we see him, Stanislas is played on the left and then, when it doesn't work, he is punished by being left out.
And Stanislas is not the only kid being destroyed by Zola. Look at the decline in Sears since Zola took charge. Look at how Tomkins has been cruelly exposed, forced to play when patently out of form. Look at the dreadful handling of Da Costa who has looked reasonable when employed but who has been repeatedly ignored even when Tomkins has been failing. Look at the use of Daprela whose first four games were against Arsenal (twice), Chelsea and in a relegation 6 pointer against Wolves. Why wasn't he given 15 minutes when we were beating 9 man Hull for pity's sake? Because Zola doesn't think! Look at how Hines was repeatedly played out of position, used on the flank in a 4-3-3 formation rather than on the shoulder of Franco or Cole. I tell you, Zola would have destroyed Cottee and Defoe had he forced them to play as wingers in their first season. And look at Noble. Arsenal were interested at one point but now he looks Fizzy Pop class at best.
The team is a complete mess. Upson has blamed tactics and anybody with any understanding of football must see that Zola has no tactical acumen whatsoever. He repeats the same mistakes over and over and over again, then shakes his head and expresses disappointment that good players can't gel. He has to go!
Posted by Hammersfan at 11:03