Tuesday, 24 May 2011
We would have survived if Zola hadn't been sacked!
(Submitted by Stani Army)
So we have it, the long awaited GrantaZola dossier…sorry, index. Long awaited because HF had to find some way to skew the outcome and Alastair Campbell is a very busy man.
Don’t believe his garbage about it being harder to avoid the drop this season. Firstly, as I have told HF many times before, there are two many variables to be able to compare the strength of leagues from different seasons.
Secondly, I would like to particularly address the following he wrote:
1) “Want the proof of this logic, it is easy. Assume three teams are so weak that they lose to every other team and draw all their matches with each other. All three of these teams end up on 4 points. By virtue of beating these three teams, the side finishing fourth from bottom survive even if they lose every other game! So a club survives on 18 points beating only the three useless, winless teams at the bottom, and survive by a massive 14 points! Now 18 points would ordinarily guarantee bottom place! And that is why Zola's team survived and Grant's didn't. Zola's side beat Hull, Burnley and Portsmouth at home and drew away to Hull and Portsmouth. That was 11 points taken from the three hopeless teams at the bottom. And only with the aid of these gimme points did his side survive. Sadly, Newcastle, West Brom and Blackpool were made of
altogether sterner stuff, and that was our undoing.”
“Assume three teams are so weak that they lose to every other team and draw all their matches with each other. All three of these teams end up on 4 points. By virtue of beating these three teams, the side finishing fourth from bottom survive even if they lose every other game”…This did not happen and so cannot be used for the point you’re trying to make. The reality was far more complex and unpredictable than that. We lost points to strong teams that the relegated teams took points off, for example. Your example doesn’t apply. It just highlights the variables and how you cannot compare.
Also, why are you not using the three promoted teams (from the season before) and their strength when talking about Zola’s season (Portsmouth and Hull were already in the league), yet you are using the three promoted teams and their strength when talking about Grant’s season? Why? Because if you used the three promoted teams when talking about Zola’s season (Wolves, Birmingham and Burnley), you will find that we took just 9 points off them, which is 2 LESS than we took off the three promoted teams in Grant’s season, thus meaning the promoted teams in Zola’s season were stronger and made the league stronger!
Of course one thing that totally contradicts HF’s claims that it was harder to avoid the drop this season, is that we were also stronger, so why did we not compete? Why were we 6 points off 2nd from bottom – the joint 2nd biggest points difference between any two placed teams in the league? Why were we so far off with such a good squad? But you see talking about this would highlight Grant’s total lack of management skills. How much did Grant spend HF? He had a full pre-season to look at the weaknesses and address them right? He had the support of the board from the beginning of his appointment (until they realised) right? They backed him in January right? Look at our team. Pundits that spoke about our relegation said that with our team we should not be where we ended up, and they are saying that with all things considered i.e the strength of the league’s other teams!!! Your argument is in tatters just on that point!
So whilst you mention other pundits saying the three teams relegated this season would have stayed up last season, why do you not mention them also saying that there is no way we should be getting relegated this season with the team we have? Why? Because it cancels your ‘harder to avoid the drop’ point out, it overrides it because it is THE most important point. WE HAD GOOD ENOUGH PLAYERS TO STAY UP! But there was one common denominator - the common denominator that also took a team down last season - and that’s Avram Grant.
Speaking of January, when Grant brought in players that would walk into half the top 10 sides; can you tell us why Grant did worse after January HF? The first game our first January signing played in was on the 25th January. Let’s examine how well Grant did before this period when we were weaker (without the signings), and after this period, when we were stronger (with the new signings). He gained an average of 0.9 points per game without and before the new January signings. With the new January signings he managed just 0.8 points per game! Why did we get fewer points when Grant was supposed to have better players at his disposal? Remarkably, as an advantage to your argument and to Grant, this ‘after January’ period also includes the return of Hitz from injury, so we should have been even stronger! But no!
Fact is, Zola kept us up and Grant did not. And the most fitting thing is the picture HF has used. In his haste to choose an image which showed Grant in front of Zola – so as to represent Grant’s superiority - HF tripped himself up. Because that picture comes from the game we beat Grant’s Portsmouth – A WIN WHICH LIFTED US OUT OF THE BOTTOM THREE. How fitting. A great choice HF, because that picture is symbolic of everything!"
(The title is mine because it will have more impact on the Newsnow Board. The rest is Stani's. Even the bloody picture!)
Posted by Hammersfan at 17:05