Sunday, 16 January 2011

Avram Grant’s treatment by the West Ham Hierarchy has been nothing short of Criminal

I woke up on Saturday morning (15/01/2010) to read of the news of ‘Avram Grant is set to be replaced by Martin O’Neil.’ This really disgusted me. Avram Grant deserves a lot more respect than the owners have given. Yes, the hammers form hasn’t been brilliant, but it’s been progressive. In their last ten games they have picked up more points than Chelsea (10 points, to Chelsea’s 9.) But its fair to say this form is far from impressive, and is arguably sackable considering their precarious league position. But it’s the handling of Grant by the Hammers board which shows little class and the lack of esteem towards Avram Grant.

It’s easy to forget because of the extreme pressure on Grant’s role as manager, but he was the board’s ideal candidate for the manager’s position after the sacking of Gianfranco Zola. So one would expect the two owners would show a little respect and patience towards their new manager. But no, not with David Gold and David Sullivan. By the start of September question marks were already being raised about the management of West Ham under Grant. Even though Grant was given a four year contract by West Ham. This shows the poor handling by the hammers hierarchy. If they were unsure if Grant wouldn’t fit into their long term plans, why give him a four year deal?

It’s important to also consider that West Ham finished last season in 17th with 35 points. This suggests that West Ham is a team who will most likely be in a relegation battle. Premier League history backs this idea too. Every team who has finished 17th in the previous season, have all (bar Everton, 2004/05, Portsmouth 2005/06 and Fulham 2006/07) been in a relegation battle in the following season, with all those teams finishing in the bottom half of the table. And more worryingly for West Ham over 60% of those teams have been relegated within the next season. So the hammers owners shouldn’t be that surprised West Ham are in a relegation battle. And to constantly fuel uncertainty over the manager’s head will only affect the team. As it takes away the stability from the team and without stability on the pitch, there is little or even no consistency.

The timing of the ‘Martin O’Neil approach’ is odd. As West Ham have been gradually accumulating more points as the season has progressed. The home form has been improving. In the last 6 home games they have only lost twice. And it doesn’t take Sir Alex Ferguson to tell you that any team’s success starts by being difficult to beat at home. So a matter of time is needed in order to see West Ham chalk up more points. This shows the naivety of the Hammers board. They are willing to risk the team’s improving confidence and performances by sacking the manager who been the catalyst behind the progression. This shows the lack of respect towards Grant even though has brought happiness to the West Ham supporters.

Grant has brought pride back to Upton Park. He has done this through his team’s performances in the Carling Cup. Grant’s West Ham demolished Manchester United. Yes, people will say, ‘it was a second string side’ but the likes of Giggs, Hernandez and Fletcher all started. In fact, second team defender Chris Smalling who was signed for Man United for £10 million. Whereas, the Hammers transfer record is £9 million. This demonstrates the gulf in difference between the two sides. But Grant still managed to take West Ham to the League Cup semi final’s for the first time in 21 years. Yet the most painful aspect of the whole saga is that the owners are almost unwilling to count West Ham’s brilliant league cup run. Even after their buoyant win over Birmingham, the board were already talking to Martin O’Neil. This is simply disgusting by the Hammers hierarchy. They have undermined Grant, even though there is a strong realistic chance that West Ham could go the final and possibly even win the trophy.

There has been a lot of press coverage and interviews (not surprisingly) with David Gold, David Sullivan and Karen Brady. By November, Grant was backed by Karen Brady even though the team had only won once. Come December, Grant was given an unusual ultimatum to save his job. This shows the incompetent nature of the Hammers owners. They say they back their manager when the club isn’t picking up results, but when the club is beginning to pick up results they throw a potential spanner in the works by adding more pressure to an already scrutinised manager.

Avram Grant deserves a lot of respect in the manner of which he has handled his business at West Ham. Grant could have easily walked away because of the lacklustre handling by the hammers hierarchy, but he continued to march on and now is on the brink of taking this West Ham team to their first major final in 5 years. But the West Ham owners rewarded him by humiliating him. In any job, whether it’s working in a restaurant or being a football manager, to know that your going to be fired and someone has already agreed to take over going to take over your role, is incredibly painful. The owners have shown little ethics and honour. They should be disgusted by their actions, Grant may not be the most charismatic managers, but his record truly speaks for itself. The owners have shown criminal like behaviour and they will be the ones who suffer in the long run.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
[Valid Atom 1.0] // technoaryi