Hammer Fan Blog: West Ham’s troubles are not all down to Grant
His record is poor, but West Ham’s record was shocking before he arrived.
Another week, another defeat for Avram Grant’s hapless Hammers and the prospect of relegation looms large in E13 in the run up to Christmas. For clarity, none of what follows is a defence of Grant; a paltry return of two wins from 17 Premier League fixtures is, to be blunt, indefensible and the increasing calls for his head are entirely justified.
It is entirely plausible that Grant will not be sacked; Chairmen Gold and Sullivan are not renowned for their humility and will be loath to admit that an error was made in the appointment of the Israeli.
The question for Hammers supporters though, is whether or not the removal of Grant would signal a turnaround in fortunes. Sadly, recent history suggests that it may not be the cure that fans would hope for.
Hammers have won seven of the last 40 Premier League games, and perhaps more appropriately, in the calendar year 2010 have managed a total of six wins from 35 matches, achieving a total of just 29 points in that time.
Statistics in football can be misleading, but no one should be in any doubt that returns of that kind will inevitably lead to Championship football.
As always seems to be the case with a club rooted to the foot of the table, rumours about Grant’s relationship with the players surfaced some time ago and refuse to go away.
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Whilst the veracity of these rumours is open to debate, players will find sympathy for their plight in short supply amongst supporters – they adored the previous manager and turned in a similar level of insipid performances under his stewardship for 18 of the aforementioned 35 games – it is they, and not Grant, who has been the constant throughout West Ham’s annus horribilis.
Another constant in 2010 has been the new (although that tag must shortly be dropped) owners. Again, any pleas for sympathy and patience from supporters will largely fall on deaf ears following a summer transfer window conducted largely through the media with ultimately no improvement, and possibly even a regression, on the pitch.
Grant, too, does little to help himself. His statement after Saturday’s defeat that Manchester City are ‘better than us’ and not the sort of team West Ham need to compete against may have carried some water if taking those 90 minutes in isolation.
What he failed to take into account was that the 25 game winless streak away from home and the failure to beat the teams we should be competing against - Bolton, Fulham, Newcastle, West Brom and Blackpool have all left Upton Park with at least a point this term – means that it is absolutely imperative that West Ham are competitive in EVERY game between now and the end of the season.
As manager of a side that has won twice in 17 attempts, it is only right that Grant is the focus of attention; whether his departure would signal a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the club remains open to conjecture.