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Adorning our demise

Filed: Thursday, 9th September 2010
By: Haim Baram

We hear quite often the shrill lamentations from Avram Grant's corner, bitterly complaining about the lack of resources at his disposal. The eight new players and the recovery of our almost chronically injured stars don't seem to mollify our manager's hunger for success and trophies.

As usual, he is always cunning and his PR aptitudes are perfect. Somehow he succeeds in conveying the impression that the owners of our club don't treat him properly without criticising them directly. But in his massive arrogance he tends to underestimates them.

I think they have internalised his message and his customary treachery might cost him dearly. His philosophy is almost insultingly simplistic: my players have no idea (and yes, I am totally dedicated to them) so I have been doing my best to survive despite these faceless individuals who claim to be footballers. "Doing my best" means using boring, defensive tactics in order to salvage something from the ruins. For Grant, efficiency is a codename for replacing skill and flair with rigidity and tactical formations.

In this shallow equation, beauty versus results, Grant's basic instincts have always been tilted towards securing points at all costs. But at West-Ham he fails in both counts: we have played very ugly football, lost all of our games and our reputation for pleasing, attacking football has been irrevocably tarnished. This is simply not good enough.

A victory against Chelsea could bring about a temporary relief and reduce the pressure on the manager, but its lasting value is far from being clear. Watching Grant's performances for more than three decades I am very sceptical about his ability to reform and change his way.

His legendary sly handling of people is by definition useful only in the short run. At the end of the day, his tactical cowardice is invariably emerging and deters the supporters from backing him. A clean break at the early stage of the season might prove to be the only effective solution.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

Your Comments

by Calvin
06:57PM 10th Sep 2010
''Couldn't agree more. If all we were interested in was trophies and glory we would all be walking around Top Shop on a Saturday wearing a sad little Man Utd kit pretending that we have supported them all our lives.

We love our club and we love our football the two used to go together but I'd rather watch Ars... Ars.... Arse... no, its no good, I can't even type it. Let's face it, I'm Irons through and through, I'll complain and hope Grant wakes up or gets the push but at the end of the day I am West Ham. I know the owners have made some howlers but I think that just proves they are Hammers too.

Let's get behind them because if I am right then Grant won't last long, no real fan would see the boys go down without a fight.''

by Guy Barker
04:15PM 10th Sep 2010
''Having read many interesting articles on this website I have to say this is one of the most premature and negative ones. I'm a realistic Hammers fan with lots of optimism (which I think we all need to improve on). I would like to say that after watching most of the pre-season friendlies and the last three league games I'm pretty impressed by the new recruits and the way Grant's fitting these into a West Ham team thats proven to be inbalanced for some time.

I remember watching a bunch of individually below average Portsmouth players looking very exciting under Grant's formations and tactics, so I have every confidence in him that he will do the same with us. Excluding Spector and Kovac we now have a stronger and more talented squad than last season and I would be amazed if we are in the same state as we're in currently by Christmas.

It's quite obvious to me with the players and tactics we play we look like an organised and attacking team that make far to many individual mistakes, shaky back passes and missing goalscoring chances. So basically my points are these:

* The goals will soon come and the mistakes will be learned from
* Grant is a very good manager and will prove that this season with his style of play
* We have TOP quality players (Cole, Parker, Upson, Green, Barrera, Hitlzsperger, Dyer etc) that will soon click and shine to show the doubters that we belong higher up the table
* Okay we are bottom with no points, but apart from a shocking second half against Bolton after a first half display that would have justified a 3-0 lead at half time, losing to Villa who are statistically the fifth best side in the Premier League and Man utd who are one of the best teams in the World..... I'm not exactly surprised.

Honestly, three games in and there's whisper of Grant getting the sack, that Cole is overrated and we're going to be in a relegation scrap. Let's wait until 12-13 games in to see if were roughly level on points with the bottom third and then see what the majority think.

C'mon West Ham! I'm forever blowing positive bubbles :]''

by Porfirio
10:37AM 10th Sep 2010
''Our reputation is "irrevocably tarnished"? After three games? What about the awful football played under Curbishley, Roeder and even the attritional stuff played at times under Pardew?

This article is nothing more than a character assassination which might be understandable if we were bottom in March, but coming after three games that everyone knew we would struggle to get anything from, is even less defensible.''

by Tony E
05:42PM 9th Sep 2010
''This is not a very 'KUMB' article. Avram is described as sly but not as sly as this post. This is written by somebody with a grudge?

Avram may not be right for the Hammers but the knives are out very early considering we have 'eight new players' who will need to get used to playing together and have a hellish opening fixture list.''

by Rich
04:49PM 9th Sep 2010
''Good grief man! You got on his back before he was even appointed manager. You evidently have an issue with Grant but how will changing the manager again work? We have had our annual 3-0 away defeat to ManUre; our annual home embarrassment to Bolton and a very lacklustre display at Villa. THREE games!

The team were horrendously naive under Zola. And despite the groans around the Boleyn, Grant has managed to cut down the crab-like square ball by at least 30%! Do you honestly expect a turn around from relegation to European place challengers overnight? Give the man a chance.

We have to be honest with what we have at the club. 16th would be an improvement, 10th a delight. He has to get these players to start playing as a team and eek improvement, however small, with an unkind fixture list. Sullivan has even said that he's not expecting our season to begin until October 2nd v Fulham.

If you don't find Grant to be exciting as West Ham manager then fair one, however who else would have been better? Mark Hughes? Do you remember the football Blackburn played under Hughes? AWFUL. So who else was there to take the helm? No one, that's who.

I get it, you don't like the man, however he's the one who's there. There's no pot of gold; no rainbows and certainly no magic wand after the Icelandic fiasco. The banks still have a grip and if a third choice right back is all we can get on deadline day then so be it! Maybe, just maybe, there are some dreams that won't fade and die this season. I for one hope he stays in the job. I can see small improvements in the team if not in the results yet. It'll come, you've just got to believe, old son.''

by CelticHammer
04:02PM 9th Sep 2010
''The best piece I have ever read on this site. I was not in favour of hiring him and nothing I have seen since has changed my mind.''

by Tell it how it is Charley
02:48PM 9th Sep 2010
''I think we need to sign 'juicy Jen', she definately knows how to score & only charges £1,200...

I thought Grant did a decent job at Portsmouth and Chelsea too. Trouble is, who really wants the West Ham managerial job? It appears to me as though the successful applicant will need a magic wand. Many of the players just are not good enough, Noble, Faubert, Boa Morte. It might be quicker citing the half decent players.

The same was true under Lyall in 88-89; it was a patchwork side made out of hope rather than expectation. Normally when you keep changing managers it only masks fundamental problems with the playing staff.

I think with the 'quality' of players at West Ham's disposal you're not going to get attractive fast-flowing football. I never saw the Bolton match but from the other two matches I've seen I got the impression that the players don't look fit.

I get the impression that Silkman, the right hand agent of Gold & Sullivan, is behind many of West Ham's signings. Is Grant responsable for any of the eight signings?''

by Ironman
02:17PM 9th Sep 2010
''This is not up to KUMB's usual standards of journalism. Where the sprinkling of analysis or smattering of facts?

Nowhere. We have played THREE, yes THREE competetive games in the league this season. I know that there is a desire to pass comment and fill the vacuum irrespective of what is happeneing but until about ten or eleven games have passed there is no point even compiling a league table.

Yes, we have been crap. Plus ca change. What do you suggest? Sack the manager? Great idea. The revolving door has worked wonders since we parted company with John Lyall. And we have had how many managers since then? And won what, exactly? It does not work. You need stability. And loyalty; it custs both ways. And who should we apoint in Uncle Avram's stead? Alan Curbishley, H, Martin O'Neill? Or maybe poach Roy Hodgeson or Sparky, by promising them what? No money and the sack in three games time if we don't perform like Chelsea?''

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