Thursday, 22 April 2010
Give the poor manager a break!
After reading about the criticism of Dowie by Hull fans last night, I was struck by the injustice of it all. I know Dowie isn't Jose or Wenger, but I watched the game on an internet stream without commentary or crowd noise, and, based on what I saw, Hull played well and were unlucky. The first Villa goal had an element of good fortune about it, with an attempted clearance rebounding off Carew straight to Ivebonkedawhore, who then took his chance brilliantly. Dowie criticised his defenders but had any of them cleared the ball off the line, it would have been a different story. The trouble is, Gabby took the chance so well that any goal line clearance was impossible.
Contrast that with the Collins block. Kilbane really should have tucked his chance away but Collins made himself big, kept calm and made a brilliant clearance. Yes Kilbane could have done better, just as the Hull defenders could have done better for the Gabby goal, but in both cases, luck favoured Villa and Villa players made the very best of that luck. Had that Kilbane opportunity gone in, I fancy Hull would have gone on to win.
I saw much more positive play from Hull in last night's game than I have seen from West Ham in all of the home matches against Wolves, Bolton, Stoke and Sunderland combined. Of course they are an average team, with possibly only Bullard truly worthy of a place in the Premiership, but they played with passion and they had a shape and they competed. Contrast that with our showing at Anfield! I was worried until the penalty gave Villa a buffer.
And yet, when Dowie brought on Giovanni for their midfield kid, the crowd apparently turned on him, chanting, "You don't know what you're doing!" I knew what he was doing, he was looking for more goal scoring potential, although the thought occurred to me that it would leave the Tigers more open to be hit on the break. But so what? Goal difference isn't going to keep them up so a 1-0 loss is the same as a 2-0 loss. Hull needed to score so bringing on Giovanni seemed like a legitimate gamble to me, a bit like us bringing on Diamanti for Kovac or Noble. Wouldn't we expect that if we were a goal down at home in a must not lose game?
None of this means we should be more understanding towards Zola. Far from it; in my view, the fans have been much too understanding of Zola, too ready to excuse his tactical blunders. However, the reaction of the Hull fans last night showed that, if your face doesn't fit as a manager with the fans, then you can't do right for doing wrong. And let's face it, with a face like that, Dowie's isn't going to fit anywhere too readily is it?
Posted by Hammersfan at 17:32