Look at the current squad at West Ham and what strikes you most? The most incredible thing for me is that, Kovac and da Costa apart, there isn't a single player in the listed 25 that was signed by the Nani-Zola-Clarke-Duxbury axis - and, as we all know, Kovac will only be used in a dire emergency. True, Ilunga is still at the club, but he might as well not be because we can't play him. Supporters of Zola will point to da Costa, but our record is poor when he is in the team and, anyway, he was taken as a way out of the Savio hole dug by Nani and Zola, not for any especially positive reason.
Players came under Zola and players went under Zola, and look at the net effect! Collins scored a crucial goal for Villa on Sunday and would walk into our present team. Etherington helped knock us out of the Cup and will wear Stoke's colours at Wembley at the weekend. How we could do with him on the left of our midfield at the moment, taking on the full back and whipping in crosses. Neill is too old now but would have been useful last season. Neill, Faubert or Spector at right back? It may be Hobson's choice but I know who Hobson would opt for!
Let's go on. Bowyer scored again at the weekend and is a League Cup winner for Birmingham. His goal against us at St Andrews turned the tie and his goal at Blackburn may be vital in keeping Birmingham in the Prem. Wouldn't he be a better squad option than Boa or Kovac? If you spend more than 5 seconds puzzling out the answer to that one then you know sweet FA about football!
Bellamy? Replaced by Savio? And eventually by McCarthy? Not really worthy of discussion is it? But I accept that one was forced on Zola. My issue is that he didn't fight, he didn't complain, he didn't stand up to Duxbury, he didn't fight for the fans and the rest of the players in his squad. He accepted. And that act of betrayal and the selling of Collins destroyed the squad's self belief.
Davenport is another interesting one. Obviously we have to put to one side what happened with the stabbing but Davenport's fate at West Ham was sealed anyway. And why? Because he spoke out when dropped. Well Cole wouldn't have started a game since October on that basis would he? The petulance of Zola here was incredible, even to the point of being slow to express support for Downpipe as he lay in hospital in danger of losing a leg. The fact is, Davenport was unlucky to be dropped at the time - not that I ever rated him - and showed desire when he complained. Zola over reacted, dropped him and sent him out on loan.
Then there is the catalogue of in outs, in outs, shake them all abouts. Daprela, Diamanti, Di Michele, Tristan, Franco, Jimenez, Mido, Ilan, Lastpickever, Savio and Lopez. I accept that Nani is accountable more than Zola, but who was supposed to be manager? Why wasn't there more foot stamping?
McCarthy is absolutely down to Zola, a monument to the Follies of Zola. Sullivan didn't want to sign him but Zola pleaded. Yes Zola pleaded for McBenni. He didn't plead to keep Bellamy. He didn't plead to keep Collins. He didn't even bother to phone Lucas to try to persuade him to stay. He made it clear to Etherington and Bowyer that they didn't figure in his plans. He decimated a decent squad and we are where we are now because of 18 months of the Folies Zolaire!