Sunday, 25 April 2010
West Ham Fans Have The Memories Of Goldfish!
Dear God, reading the Org, you have to wonder at the IQ of our fans! Here we are, clinging on to our Premiership status courtesy of Dowie, Laws and Al Faraj, and the Orgsters are talking as if Zola has led us into Europe! I wonder how many of these guys go to the ground, because every conversation I heard before the game, during the game and on the walk to the tube after the game yesterday, centred on how Zola had to go.
And what is the argument now for retaining Zola? The players love him, Zola is learning his trade and we have stayed up despite all the problems. Apparently, given all the problems, Zola has worked a minor miracle in keeping us up! Let's deal with these in reverse order.
Firstly the miracle of staying up. Now, I may have missed something but I don't recall Zola's squad being asset stripped last summer. Yes we had money problems which prevented massive investment in the squad but, apart from the defection of Neill, the release of Di Michele and Tristan, and the sale of Collins, Zola carried the same squad into this season as finished 9th the season before and 10th in each of the previous two seasons. True Ashton retired but everybody knew that was going to happen - well everybody with any sense!
The Board actually invested in the squad. Ilunga was signed permanently, as was Kovac. Jimenez came in as a like for like replacement, supposedly, for Di Michele. Franco came in for Tristan, Da Costa was acquired, as was Nouble, and Diamanti was purchased. Of course, we lost Bellamy but Turds managed without him most of the time anyway, and Zola presumably had some sort of say in the ridiculous signing of Savio which is what really damaged the squad most. Had we bought a proper striker, the squad would have had more balance. But Zola didn't want another striker because of his obsession with 4-3-3. Yes the sale of Collins was costly but I have said many times that Zola has to be held accountable for that. Curbishley quit on principle; Zola should have threatened the same over Collins instead of nodding acceptance.
Now none of this reflects the image of a poor put upon manager unable to shape his own squad. Ilunga, Kovac, Da Costa, Franco, Jimenez, Diamanti, Nouble - that's SEVEN new signings. How many managers changed more than seven of their squad over the close season? And in January, the Board added McCarthy, Mido and Ilan! We don't know what the Jimenez, Mido and Ilan loan deals cost and what the hell happened with the Savio-Da Costa swap, but I think the rest added up to somewhere in the region of £13m before the sale of Collins. That means the Board invested £8m over the two transfer windows. It's not a lot, but it built upon a squad that coped last season after the sale of Bellamy. How much did Wigan spend net? They lost Valencia. How much did Bolton invest net? What about Blackburn who lost Santa Cruz? How about Stoke and Fulham? Wolves, Burnley and Birmingham had to reshape squads from the Championship.
The apologists also try to defend Zola because of injuries. Sure we have lost Ilunga for most of the season but why didn't Zola source an understudy left back? The Dyer and Ashton injuries were predictable. Cole's injury was not out of the ordinary. Forwards get injured, that's why you have back ups. Boa was a shock, but come on, Boa? It's not like losing Gerrard, Lampard or Rooney is it? Collison and Hines? They should only be squad players at their age anyway. Gabbidon? Anybody surprised there? In truth, we have been LUCKY that Green, Upson, Faubert, Parker and Diamanti have all been relatively injury free. Zola said he wanted to work with a smaller squad; well he has his wish!
The "Learning the trade" argument is absurd. I don't want an apprentice manager on £1.9m a year with an assistant who earns more than Phelan earns assisting Ferguson at Man Utd. Why pay a monkey to learn the job when there are plenty of organ grinders out there who already know how? Zola had a season to "learn" last year and what good did it do? 4-3-3 failed so Zola reintroduced it this year. Brilliant!
For my views on the players' love for Zola, see "What does the players' love for Zola tell us".
Zola is a nice guy, I like him. But a manager? I'm sorry, we are in the Prem because three teams were weaker than ours, not because of Zola. In fact seven or eight teams are weaker than ours but, because of Zola, five of them are above us in the table! For those with a goldfish memory, can I please remind you of Liverpool away, Bolton home and away, Burnley away, Stoke at home, Wolves at home, the last 20 mins at home to Burnley, Man Utd (without a defence) at Upton Park, that second half against 10 man Sunderland, that second half against 10 man Arsenal, that second half against 10 man Fulham, that sterile 0-0 draw at home to Blackburn, that abject surrender at Tottenham, the second half shambles at Chelsea and Man Utd and surrendering a 2 goal lead away to Hull, needing Hull to go down to 10 men to enable us to salvage a draw.
We've just beaten Wigan 3-2! So let's retain Zola! Retain Zola? Yes, and let's volunteer for relegation next season whilst we are about it!
Posted by Hammersfan at 16:15