Exclusive: Moncur blames Grant for West Ham relegation

West Ham should have not been anywhere near the bottom three

Former West Ham midfielder John Moncur feels it has been a poor season for the Hammers and with the squad of players Avram Grant had at his disposal they shouldn’t have been anywhere near the drop zone.

The Israeli was sacked moments after the club suffered a 3-2 loss to Wigan, after being 2-0 up at half time and West Ham’s fate was sealed.

Moncur who played for West Ham between 1994-2003 believes the coaches currently present at the club can do a job.

“It is up to the board what they want to look at,” the 44-year-old said.


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“You have good coaches already in place at the club that can do a job, like Steve Lomas and Kevin Keen.

“A couple of the names that have been linked are managers that have taken teams out of the Championship before, so the board might look at their credentials and thinks that’s what we want.

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“The other option is looking to secure a big name and they might think can we get a Sam Allardyce or Martin O’Neill.

“There is a lot of options for them and the one thing they don’t want to do is rush into a decision.”

A lot was made of the way the West Ham board sacked Grant, but Moncur who was until recently chairman at non-league side Grays Athletic would have been as ruthless.

“Personally with the way it went they were very fair with Avram Grant,” the 44-year-old continued.

“They gave him the whole year. If you look at a club like West Ham and the warning signs were out early, I know they tried to change him halfway through and it wasn’t to be but he got a fair crack at the whip.

“They gave him a season and he didn’t perform so they sacked him. Football is a results business and they got relegated so he deserved to get the sack.”

No matter who the next manager is to take over the Upton Park hot-seat, one of the first things on the agenda will be to replace the exodus of players expected to leave including the Football Writers Player of the Year Scott Parker.

“It’s going to be hard to keep hold of a lot of the players,” Moncur said.

“I think Parker will go, he is playing for England and he will want to play in the Premiership.

“With the top end players at the club it will be hard to keep them there. Mark Noble for me has done really well this year and it’ll be hard to keep him, he is good enough to play in the Premiership.

“There will be a lot of players leaving the club in the summer, it happened in my last year at the club when we got relegated and we lost the likes of Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and Frank Lampard.

“It is inevitable they are going to lose their better players.”

Looking at the other side of the coin, the new manager that takes over will have to look to bring in players that can help the club bounce straight back up to the Premiership.

“The club will need to bring in some experienced players,” Moncur continued.

“If you look at the nucleus of clubs that have come up because it is such a hard league with so many games the have quite a few British players.

“If you went down the foreign route, there not always comfortable with playing so many games a year and I think you need to have layers that care for the club like your Nobles and Parkers.

“You will also now need to rely on the youth which West Ham have always done and that is going to be so important.”

As well as the on field antics, West Ham have also been making headlines if off the field matters, in terms of moving to the Olympic Stadium.

Many fans were opposed to the move with the distance between the stands and the pitch being the main concern, but now with the club plying their trade in the Championship the problem of filling a 60,000-seater stadium has arisen.

Moncur who enjoyed a nine-year spell at Upton Park feels it will be a shame when the club leave their spiritual home.

“Personally I love Upton Park and I would prefer if the club stayed there because it is West Ham’s home,” Moncur said. “It’s going to be hard if you are still in the Championship and you move to that stadium.

“Upton Park was always a great place to play, the atmosphere has always been great there and I honestly think moving to the Olympic Stadium you will lose a lot of that.

“Upton Park is such a tight ground and it won’t help the players if the fans are miles away from the pitch.”

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