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Grant on... Newcastle

Filed: Sunday, 24th October 2010
By: Staff Writer

An unhappy Avram Grant tries to explain why his side were so out-of-sorts against newly-promoted Newcastle United...

Avram: did you expect that after the first 15 minutes?

We were closer to a second goal after starting the game so well. But then they scored and we didn't react like we reacted in the last [few] games. Our game was not good, second half.

What do you put it down to?

Sometimes you don't know exactly the reason. We didn't push so much, we didn't press well and we gave them too much space to pass the ball. Even when we played with two strikers in the second half we gave a lot of balls away.

Some people said that the first 45 minutes was some of the best football you've played?

45 minutes?

Well certainly the first half of it?

Yes... it was a good game, you know. I thought we were going to score again, we used the strengths of our quick players well, we played intelligent, we pressed well, everything was good - but after they scored the goal we didn't continue to do what we did before.

In they end they had players who dominated - Barton, Carroll, Nolan - they looked very good players?

I think they played very well. Tiote played well, Gutierrez played well, the midfield played well. But we also gave them space to play in the second half.

They have good players, they passed the ball well; they didn't create so many chances but we knew that their strength today was in crossing because they played with two physical strikers. We knew that they would do it but we didn't deal with this like we needed to.

Do you remain confident and positive that you can get out of this situation?

Yes; I think it's harder now but there's almost 30 games to go and we have games in the next two months that we can win. If we do well - like we did until now when we were five games unbeaten with all the draws closer to wins - I'm sure we can do it.

Did you speak to the owners after the game?


Are you getting the message from them that they are patient and understand why you [are struggling]?

Yes, they always tell me that they are patient and understanding.

We knew that this season would be tough, we don't want to be bottom - but this is the situation now. Unfortunately we didn't use the games that we could win before this game, when we drew. Today we didn't play well second half, we didn't score more goals in the first half and we paid for it.

How's Matthew [Upson] doing Avram?

I don't know. After speaking with you I will go to the medical department and know more. I think we'll know a little more what's happened to him and Freddy Piquionne.

What was the situation with Kieron Dyer today?

Kieron played well last week but after three years of not playing didn't train all week. He couldn't play today but we hope we can use him in the future. I'm sure that we can use him but we need to manage him really carefully.

Is it frustrating that you can use him only every other game?

Yes, it's very frustrating. I hope it will not be likely Ledley King and Tottenham but at least when he played he played well. We need to manage him very carefully after the last three years; we missed him today.

Can we clarify the situation with Matthew, was it a knee he twisted?

No, it's a hamstring.

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by montaz
09:27AM 27th Oct 2010
''Just read that West Ham could not afford to sack Grant and his three stooges. It is history repeating itself, we could not afford to sack Pardew until new owners took over then we could not afford to sack Zola until Gold and Sullivan took over. Why did the owners give Grant a four-year contract in June when i knew in my heart with him in charge we would struggle?''

by Niran Ade-Onojobi
01:48PM 26th Oct 2010
''We have lost three valuable points which could prove cosly when more difficult ties come up.

Without doubt the league cannot be lying at this stage. The TRUTH is that this team is not good enough. We must bring in experienced players in January and allow the underperforming ones to go. Avram should realise that results will be what he will be judged with at the end of the day and the earlier he begins to get them the better.

We CANNOT AFFORD TO TREAT HIM WITH KID GLOVES WITH THE DISMAL PERFORMANCE OF THE TEAM SO FAR. We need something to cheer after the horrors of last season.''

by dave grant
08:17AM 26th Oct 2010
''Martin O`Neill or we are down.''

by Robert
05:28AM 26th Oct 2010
''We were so poor and I put it down to Grant accomodating Cole in the team again. Yes, he scored, but otherwise as usual he was ineffective spending half the time on the ground looking at the ref for fouls that never were.

Sell him, keep Piquionne and Obinna up front together - at least they're aware of making runs and staying on their feet. ''

by g portugal
04:17PM 25th Oct 2010
''Grant himself acknowledges the failure of the team to close down the space which led to crosses going in to the obvious targets, Nolan and Carroll. How can we know exactly what to expect yet be so utterly unprepared to cope with it? This is virtually a repeat of the home fixture vs. Bolton. We start out well against an average,but very physical side, and then we fall apart.

Not for the first time West Ham players seem to lack the discipline to execute a game plan. Surely at the break Grant would have hammered into them (pardon the pun) to not allow the opposition so much space. Yet for whatever reason, we STILL failed to close down the space in the second half.

It does not reflect very well on either the attitude or ability of the players, or on the lines of communication between the manager and the players. We're talking about real basics here, not rocket science. Closing down the opposition and denying them space is the bare minimum supporters expect from these players. Every Premier League team does it, except us.

Look at Wolves at Chelsea - somehow they managed to do it against the team top of the league for much of the game. Yet we can't do it for than 15 minutes against a newly-promoted team. It is a disgrace and there can be no excuse for it. Either these players get the message and get it quickly, or there are going to be a lot of empty seats in the coming months - and deservedly so.

This was absolutely shambolic and there can be no excuse for this performance and result. ''

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