Saturday, 24 July 2010
Avram off to an impressive start!
We were a little dismissive of the victories in the first two friendlies: yes it was great to win, and exciting to win away, but the opposition wasn't up to much was it? Yes Avram had instilled a sense of organisation into the team, which had appeared beyond the wit and gumption of Zola but, beyond that, no real conclusions could be drawn.
Well after yesterday's win, we can start to draw some firm conclusions. First of all, Avram has the team right behind him. There was a worry that the dour Israeli might compare unfavourably with the smiling Italian in the players' eyes. Zola made plebeians feel like senators and so the rude mechanicals may have reacted negatively to a guy who told them the truth and put expediency above individual egos. But that hasn't been the case. The team is playing well and winning. A victory over the Greek champions is actually something to write home about.
It is also pleasing to see Grant giving the kids a chance. Yes we are only playing friendlies but Spence, Montano and Fry must be beginning to feel a part of the first team squad.
The awarding of the number 9 shirt to Cole is also promising in my eyes. Grant has started Carlton in all three games and even given him the captain's arm band. We know Carlton is a confidence player and 2 goals in 3 games suggests he is responding well. Would Grant be making him feel so special if he wants him to go to Stoke? That doesn't add up for me.
Meanwhile, players are being tried out to do specific jobs for the team. It looks as if Grant is going to play 4-3-3, and Boa, Sears, Stanislas, Dyer, Diamanti and Faubert have all been tested out for the wide roles. Of course, Barerra has yet to join in the fun and is clearly earmarked as one of the two wide guys. Meanwhile Tomkins, Spence, Dyer and Faubert have all been tried out at right back. The preferred midfield three seems to be Der Hammer, Noble and Parker, although Collison is injured and, like the other World Cup players, Behrami has not yet kicked a ball in anger. Daprela and Ilunga have both been tested at left back and Fry has been blooded too.
All this experimentation and the team is still winning. We mustn't get carried away but this has been an excellent start to his reign. The Grantazola Index is showing Avram miles ahead of his predecessor at this stage!
Posted by Hammersfan at 11:34