Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Sullivan And Gold - All The Signs Are Good!
I know there is a lot of concern about the guys now running our club, and I will certainly be maintaining a healthy suspicion of everything they do and say, but, for the time being, all the signs are goods.
Firstly, they handled the situation with Zola perfectly. I was all for jettisoning him after the Wolves game, and I suspect Sullivan was doing his best to make him jump ship, but Gold held his nerve and backed the players to get us out of trouble, regardless of the incompetence of the manager. With Behrami, Cole, Parker, Upson and Green all apparently wanted by clubs in the top half of the Prem, it was unthinkable that we could finish below Portsmouth, Hull and Burnley - irrespective of Zola's inept tactics and inability to ignite a fire in his players' bellies. It was a close shave in the end, but the best poker players win the pot with dodgy hands, and Gold played our dodgy hand perfectly.
Once we had survived, there was no messing. Zola had to go so Zola went. We will probably have to pay him compensation but if the contract stipulates a maximum of £1.9m then that has to be the deal of the century to rid the club of Zola's naive "leadership". Interestingly, Clarke is still at the club and providing he is not going to sulk his way through the remainder of his contract, this has to be good news, especially if Grant comes in above him. I blogged that Zola and Clarke had fallen out over tactics and Clarke's decision not to walk suggests I may have been right.
Meanwhile, I approve of the appointment of Grant, if it happens. Mark my words, if it isn't Grant, then it won't be any of Wurzel Gummage, Big Spam or Dave Jones. The "dark horse" is Curbishley. I'm still suspicious about the way he dropped off Hull's radar so suddenly: one minute he was nailed on to step in as caretaker manager until the end of the season, and the next there were denials all round. There's no way that Hull were PLANNING to appoint Dowie when Brown was sent on gardening leave - that was a last minute panic measure. I still suspect, as I blogged at the time, that Sullivan contacted Turds asking him what the Fcuk he was up to, given the plan for him to take Zola's job in the summer. Maybe Sullivan and Gold thought better of appointing Curbishley as a result, but if I was looking to make a clever bet on the next manager of our club, it would be on Curbishley. Would that be a bad move? I detest the guy and his brand of football but at least, unlike Zola, he knows how to organise a team to frustrate the opposition. I would not renew my mini season ticket, watching paint dry is cheaper, but if survival in the Prem is all that matters, then Sullivan and Gold could do worse. Mind you, they might as well appoint Allardyce - except Blackburn would seek compensation!
Most reassuring is the report that we turned down a £10m bid for Carlton Cole from Birmingham. I expect Cole to be sold, but I like the suggestion that he is carrying a £15m price tag. If Unreal City buy Milner for £24m (as rumoured), O'Neill will have money sloshing around and he needs a replacement for Heskey. Liverpool also fancy Cole apparently and, more improbably, Arsenal have been linked. When the merry go round starts, Sunderland may also come into the equation if Jones is sold. I reckon we will pocket £12m - £15m for Cole and that would be great business. Buy Fletcher and Eagles for a combined £9m from Burnley and we would have two players for the price of one and cash in the bank.
The plan to move on Green also makes good sense. I've always said that Green is not all that and if we can get £6m for him, great. Sign a young keeper and David James on a free and again we would have two players for the price of one, plus money to invest elsewhere.
If Grant is appointed, in addition to James, I'd expect him to bring Boateng with him, and again that makes good sense. Sell Behrami for anything over £7m and replace him with Boateng and, once more, we end up quids in, without weakening the squad in my opinion. With Parker's stock high, I expect him to go too, especially if the rumours about Fabregas are true. Should Arsenal, Villa, Liverpool and Tottenham get in to a bidding war for Parker, I can see S&G wilting under the pressure of an offer of between £12m and £15m. Parker did the job of two players last season but with £15m, we could buy three. And we could cover the wages of three too, given the massive salary Parker enjoys.
I fancy we could start next season with a very different team, but with a team much better equipped to succeed in the Prem. For the time being, I'm backing S&G because I like what I see!
Posted by Hammersfan at 20:10