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West Ham pay for Grant indecision

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Phil McNulty | 07:15 UK time, Monday, 16 May 2011

The DW Stadium

Avram Grant was shown no mercy in the air or on the ground as his reign as West Ham United manager ended moments after their relegation from the Premier League.

As the Hammers were in the process of losing a two-goal lead at Wigan en route to a defeat that concluded a six-year stay in English football's top tier, a light aircraft circled above the DW Stadium trailing a banner that read: "Avram Grant - Millwall Legend".

The fly-past was a brutal touch in Grant's last game in charge as his 11-month tenure was brought to a close shortly after 90 minutes of pure footballing theatre.

His sacking puts him in the dock for a season of managerial folly at Upton Park but he will not stand alone when the inquest gets under way and West Ham survey the wreckage that always surrounds the drop into the Championship.

Grant barely got beyond the players' tunnel before he knew his time was over. He conducted his post-match media briefing close to tears and in a faltering voice, knowing his fate was sealed.

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"It's the saddest day since I started in football almost 40 years ago," said the former Chelsea and Portsmouth boss, who was summoned to an office at the DW Stadium and given the bad news by West Ham co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold, along with vice-chairman Karren Brady.

"I cannot say it in words. I am very, very sad, especially for the supporters and the people in the club. Football is a game of results. My job was to keep the team in the Premier League and I failed. I wanted to make these great fans happy and I couldn't do it."

Grant was afforded a last gesture of loyalty from his players when they insisted he should fly home with them, rather than take a private car back to London.

West Ham, it is now painfully obvious, broke the bad news to Grant approximately four months too late. It was clear in January, when he seemingly threw his Hammers scarf to supporters in a farewell gesture at the end of the Upton Park defeat against Arsenal and sights were set on Martin O'Neill, that faith in the 56-year-old Israeli was lost and his appointment as successor to Gianfranco Zola last summer had been a mistake.

West Bromwich Albion's sacking of Roberto di Matteo and appointment of Roy Hodgson in the same month seemed harsh in the extreme, while West Ham's decision to stick with Grant looked like a marriage of inconvenience until season's end. A study of their respective positions today proves which club was right.

Gold, someone who does have a genuine feel for West Ham amid the chaos and confusion of this season, took to his Twitter feed to express his thoughts. "This is undoubtedly the worst moment in all the years I've been supporting West Ham and of course I wish I'd done things differently.

"I honestly believed with the players we brought in in January and the imminent return of Hitzlsperger, we had done enough to pull clear of danger," he wrote.

This may not spare him, or indeed Sullivan and Brady, the ire of West Ham's supporters when they say farewell to a desperate campaign at Upton Park next Sunday. Gold and Sullivan took control of the club in dire financial circumstances - a fact that should not be ignored in the interests of context and balance - but this will not be remembered in the mournful surroundings of Green Street.

Grant's last fling as manager was symptomatic of a season in which West Ham have cast aside 22 points from winning positions - and a Carling Cup semi-final at Birmingham City was lost after a healthy lead had been established.

In that game, Grant was slow to react to the introduction of the giant Nikola Zigic, hardly a surprise tactical package, while in the match at Wigan the momentum swung away from the Hammers after the double introduction of Connor Sammon and Victor Moses at half-time.

West Ham's fans exchanged gallows humour for songs of hope after two goals from Demba Ba revived their survival ambitions, but once Charles N'Zogbia pulled one back for Wigan early in the second half, there was a grim inevitability about Sammon's equaliser and Robert Green's latest horror show that gave N'Zogbia the stoppage-time winner.

The fact that this wonderful spectacle was as entertaining as anything the Premier League has produced this season will not be any consolation for Grant or West Ham.

Grant took responsibility but laced this with a rose-tinted view of West Ham's performances this season that stands little scrutiny. His wildly misplaced optimism, even in the face of compelling evidence to the contrary, was fatally flawed.

He had a valid point about the poor timing of Scott Parker's Achilles tendon injury but history tells us very few teams are unlucky to be relegated - and this was not a hard luck story. It was a deserved demise.

With few exceptions, Footballer of the Year Scott Parker being a glowing one, Grant failed to get the best out of a squad that should have been good enough to avoid the drop. The manager must take the blame for this but the players should not escape responsibility either and their collapse in the face of Wigan pressure on Sunday was a sample of the sort of work that leads to relegation.

West Ham's fans turned some fruity four-letter fire on Grant as the credits rolled at Wigan on Sunday but he seemed genuinely overcome with sadness at how events had turned out and departed with dignity.

Tales of Grant's lack of inspiration on the training ground and in the dressing room have become commonplace as the season has progressed, while the arrival of Wally Downes as coach failed to stem the tide.

When a club labels a home game in November, ironically against Wigan, as their "Save Our Season" match, then the warning signs are loud and clear.

Gold and Sullivan must make the right choice for Grant's successor if West Ham are going to bounce back next season - photo: PA

Grant, who suffered relegation with Portsmouth despite taking them to the FA Cup final last season, was the wrong man for the job and now the grim reckoning must begin on and off the field.

Sullivan claimed last week that the club is "in a worse financial position than any other in the country" and revealed that loans of between £20m and £40m may need to be injected in the event of relegation.

It may also be a source of regret to Sullivan that so rarely talked up the team this season. His failure, along with the Gold and Brady, to attend the defeat at Manchester City sent out ominous signals when he explained: 'Watching our poor away performances week after week and not having the ability to influence things has impacted on us."

Brady, in particular, should be credited for claiming the keys to the Olympic Stadium as West Ham's next home - but it is accommodation that looks nowhere near as attractive when viewed from the Championship. The notion of starting life in new surroundings and not being in the Premier League is close to unthinkable.

It is imperative West Ham return to the Premier League quickly but they will have to do it without Footballer of the Year Parker, who is now certain to leave, with Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool in the queue, and goalkeeper Green, who looks destined for Aston Villa.

Mark Noble will also be a target as the vultures circle, Matthew Upson, a spent force this season, is out of contract, while expensive loan recruits Wayne Bridge and Robbie Keane will be sent back to Manchester City and Spurs.

Signings of the calibre of Winston Reid, Pablo Barrera and Tal Ben Haim reflected badly on the club's whole recruitment structure. The new arrivals failed to flourish and West Ham are now likely to rely on the young brigade of James Tomkins, Jack Collison, Zavon Hines and Freddie Sears.

And then there is the small matter of a successor to Grant to be considered.

O'Neill is highly unlikely to wish to restart his managerial career in the Championship, while QPR's Neil Warnock, a promotion past master, ruled himself out on Sunday by declaring he was staying with Rangers, having steered them to the Premier League. It's the same situation for Norwich City's Paul Lambert.

Former England coach Steve McClaren has been seen regularly on the circuit as a pundit recently and is likely to come under consideration, while Sam Allardyce was linked with West Ham in January when Grant's future was a matter for debate.

Grant may have gone but the big decisions are only just starting for those in charge at West Ham United as they plan for life outside English football's elite.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    "West Ham, it is now painfully obvious, broke the bad news to Grant approximately five months too late."

    That really isn’t a very nice thing to print. How would you feel if we said the same about you? That really is just kicking someone while they are clearly at their lowest ebb.

  • Comment number 2.

    Strange that all the January blogs are now forgotten. Then it was all about how it's rare for a club in the relegation scrap that replaces its manager to successfully pull out of the mess, and that statistically it's better to stick with the current boss. Have the statistics changed all of a sudden?

  • Comment number 3.

    Why the drama? Just let Avram Grant go quietly at the end of the season. There seems to be a lack of "class" at the head of the club.

    Boardroom utterances and poor leadership skills from the top have made Grants job impossible. And the way they treated Zola still hasn't been forgotten.

    Demand for managerial jobs far outstrips supply, so there'll be no problem filling the vacancy with a reasonably high calibre (at Championship level) replacement. But the fellow who gets the job will need plenty of luck to make it work...

  • Comment number 4.

    Baffling to read... all we're ever told, and all the stats seem to bear out, is that if you give managers time, they get results.
    I know Hodgson's done well at WBA, but it doesn't mean Di Matteo wouldn't have improved things given time.
    I usually like McNulty's stuff, but I'm staggered by this.

  • Comment number 5.

    I think West Ham are quite right to sank Grant, but the man has been given too much stick in my opinion. The story of back to back relegations is pretty unfair; not a manager in the country would have kept Portsmouth up last season, and yet he still took them to an FA Cup Final.

    The fact is the West Ham squad have been a mixture of underperformance and overrated by the media. Matthew Upson for example is seen as a top central defender on the basis of England caps; he's probably one of the worst defenders in the league. Carlton Cole is living off a good 3 months at the start of the 09/10 season; Rob Green has actually had a decent season comparitively, but if he wasn't English people would say he's one of the poorer keepers in the league.

    Anyway the result sets it up for an excellent final day, I'd like to see Wolves, Wigan and Blackpool stay up but expect to see Blackpool and Birmingham go.

  • Comment number 6.

    Completely agree that the owners are responsible for west ham being relegated. It still baffles me why Grant was ever appointed! What has he ever done as a manager? He took Portsmouth down and done an awful job at Chelsea top. Yes he got them to the champions league final but personally I believe that was 100% to the players.

    If I remember rightly chelsea's good form that season coincided when they was decimated with injuries and the team picked itself. Once players came back to fitness Grant had no idea what he was doing.

    Then there's the crazy decision not to sack him before the January transfer window, a new manager would of rejuvinated the squad and have everyone playing for their places. Not to mention the manager could of brought in his own players.

    I don't think Sullivans outbursts have done any good either, always wanting to hog the limelight and get his name in the paper

  • Comment number 7.

    I hate the hypocrisy of the press.

    One hand they say "Clubs should stick with their managers, look at Manchester United, Arsenal ect.. would they be what they are today without standing by the manager"

    Then when a club is relegated we get, "Should have ditched him after 6 months, complete rubbish"

    yadda yadda yadda.

    Do something different, try supporting managers would Grant have got West Ham promoted next year? Well now we will never know, they could have gone down and come back stronger.

  • Comment number 8.

    To onenessuk...Of course West Ham could have waited until the end of the season to sack Grant but that would have given him a very uncomfortable afternoon at Upton Park next week taking charge of a relegated team in front of some understandably angry fans.

    Let me assure you if you had heard some of the chants aimed at Grant from West Ham's fans yesterday it would not have been an easy experience for him against Sunderland.

    As I say in the blog, Grant should not take the sole blame for what has happened at West Ham and no doubt much frustration will be aimed at David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady.

    When I say they have paid the price for not sacking Grant earlier, I mean it was clear there was a lack of faith in the manager in January and once that happens it is very difficult to repair.

    I felt very sorry for Grant after the game yesterday but the bottom line is that plenty of people felt he was not the right appointment at the time and sadly the season has proved them right.

    West Ham fans - two questions for you. Where does the blame lie for relegation? And who would you like to replace Avram Grant as manager?

  • Comment number 9.

    Sacked yes, but in that manner? At least sack him when you got back to London. Great deal of class shown by Gold and co.

  • Comment number 10.

    West Ham's problem is and will continue to be the owners. One look at their history in Birmingham will give West Ham fans a flavour of what is to come. You've already had appalling mistreatment of two managers, Zola and Grant (no matter how bad you think he is, the behind-the-scenes manoeuvring to bring in O'Neill without first sacking Grant stank); Sullivan's abuse of the players recently is typical and it won't be long before he gets stuck into the fans, who, in his mind, never appreciate his largesse and mastery of the football business. Their decision to pursue the Olympic Stadium will become a source of regret one way or the other; all the comment about Stadia with running tracks is correct – they are soulless lifeless places and there is a very good chance West Ham will still be in the championship when they are due to occupy it.

    The most interesting thing is that the three of them are the most miserable bunch of owners in football – there is always something upsetting them and are never afraid to express their half baked opinions. There is a pretty short list, in my view, of managers who are going to be prepared to work with them.

  • Comment number 11.

    The biggest problem for West Ham is this.

    Newcastle got rid of dross and recreated a team concept which saw them sail through the Championship contrary to the thoughts of many who said their best players would leave thus leaving to club to flounder in the Championship (who can forget that pre season drubbing at Orient which seemed to confirm that prediction ?)

    Just like Newcastle, West Ham has a core fan base but you do sense that unlike Newcastle, West Ham losing some of their better players will resign them to a prolonged stay in the lower division.

    You only have to look at how fierce the competition is in the second tier and you do fear the Olympic Stadium wont be seeing the Man U's or Chelsea's any time soon

  • Comment number 12.

    " Yes he got them to the champions league final but personally I believe that was 100% to the players. "


    Something the current manager of Chelsea has not manager, nor could the special one.

    I am not saying Grant is the greatest manager ever to grace the game, but I think its doing him an injustice to say all of his achievements in football are only because of the players.

  • Comment number 13.

    Will they still move to the Olympic stadium and spend the £40 million they plan to borrow from Newham Council to reduce it to 60.000 seats?

  • Comment number 14.

    When Gold and Sullivan took over at West Ham they promised STABILITY both financially and on the field so what did they do :

    1. Sacked Zola
    2. Gave Scott Parker who is in his early 30's a 5-year deal on a mega salary
    3. Brought in Avram Grant who had just been in charge of a Relegated Club
    4. Appoint Karren Brady as a board Member and allow her to write a weekly column in a newspaper talking about club issues publicly
    5. Invest very little in the club during the summer
    and
    6. USED ALL THIER TIME AND ENERGY IN TRYING TO GET THE CLUB THE ONLYMPIC STADIUM INSTEAD OF SITTING DOWN TO DISCUSS HOW TO SAVE THE CLUB WHICH HAD BEEN DOWN THE TABLE SINCE THE START OF THE LEAGUE ...

    Now I have no Managerial Expertise like Avram Grant or Business Expertise like Gold and Sullivan but the I can tell you for sure that the above stated facts goes down to show that the club was DOOMED the very first day those TWO took over ...

  • Comment number 15.

    Why is Grant seemingly getting most of the blame here. There is no class at the top of the club, and the owners along with Brady need to take equal blame.

    The owners were constantly making comments about the team and players, how do you expect players to react, they were certainly not helping the manager or the team.
    And then the disrespect shown by owners and Brandy by making it clear they were replacing Grant in January, only to then realise no one wanted the job. How can you expect the manager to get results after that.

    Have to agree with #4 that I usually like this blog, but the hyprocrisy in this entry (as well the arsenal coming of age and the u-turn 2 weeks later) is just unbelievable

  • Comment number 16.

    Why is nobody pointing out that West Ham have had this coming? They should have been relegated years ago after the Tevez/Mascherano business, taken their punishment, and come back stronger. As it is, they dodged the bullet thanks to FA favouritism and as such have been tainted ever since. Apart from the poor showing on the field, off the field they've now hung the Olympic stadium albatross around the club, which to me shows they've learned nothing. In the 1970's West Ham were many people's 'second club', with their attractive football, flair players, and their proud contribution to their community and the game as a whole. This whole current set up has trashed this legacy. It can only be hoped that this time they take their medicine and go back to what served them so well.

  • Comment number 17.

    "what has he ever done as a manager?" Hmmm well lets see, being chucked into Chelsea for only one season, didnt loose ONE home game and steered them to three finals (only not winning the premier league in the final game of the season). Then being removed by the same people who thought it was a good idea to sack Moriniho..haha oh dear. Then actually doing an amazing job with Portsmouth (no he didnt "drag them down" they got to FA cup final and were only relegated because the club owners managed to go into administration and were docked 9points (that was the only reason they were relegated). The manager is a scapegoat for incompetence at all other levels in the club.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    Nobody questions that West Ham supporters are feeling very sad today.
    I am not sure though it can be said for the owners too. In seeking an explanation to why they didn't strengthen the team, the only answer I can come to is they preferred relegation, to get rid of all those players who bring the payroll bill at West Ham up.

    I wouldn't be surprised if this season is one of those few where a team with 42 points gets relegated. Initially I had laughed when Owen Coyle stated that 42 points are not enough this season. Some weeks later, I take my hat off to him.

  • Comment number 20.

    @7.
    I hate the hypocrisy of the press.

    One hand they say "Clubs should stick with their managers, look at Manchester United, Arsenal ect.. would they be what they are today without standing by the manager"

    Then when a club is relegated we get, "Should have ditched him after 6 months, complete rubbish"
    ==============================================================
    I agree very much with this post, and you can also add Match of the Day pundits.
    and other TV and radio pundits to the list.

  • Comment number 21.

    Grant was 1 kick away from winning the Champions League... Was it his fault? NO...
    He took Portsmouth to the FA Cup Final.... They lost but no fault of his...
    He has now taken the hit for West Ham's relegation.... WHY? Cos of the exact point raised by No. 14...

  • Comment number 22.

    On a personal level I feel this blog has wildly missed the point. Whilst my own team, Blackburn Rovers, are still not quite safe, I'm pleased that West Ham have finally gone down, that is what karma does for you.

    Forget Gold, Sullivan and Brady, forget Grant and forget this season. West Ham were relegated in the 06/07 season, where what ever powers that may be decided not to dock them points for the Tevez saga. From then on through changes of ownership and management they have been flirting with relegation and delaying the inevitable.

    Finally they have gotten what they deserved.

  • Comment number 23.

    Don't understand the wave of sympathy for Avram Grant. He's got two teams relegated in successive seasons, both of which had wage bills that would make a top 6 team blush.

    Mr Grant was also paid an awful lot of money by both teams and no doubt will get a healthy settlement from West Ham. He also knew exactly what he was getting into with the West Ham board members before he took the job.

    There is a long long list of people I feel sympathy for in football ahead of Avram Grant, that's for sure.

  • Comment number 24.

    No sympathy for WHAM what so ever, Gold, Sullivan and Brady have done nothing more than self promote ever since they took over and I for one am happy to see them with egg on their faces!

    I do feel some sympathy for Grant, he has not brought wisely but the way the owners touted around his job from December to February was a joke. Once they did that it was always going to be impossible for him to get the best out of the dressing room and if anything I blame him for not resigning at the time.

    I can only see them struggling next season they have massive wages to shift so are going to make little in transfer fees and with the current owners what top class manager is going to put up with them? Lets not forget these are the same owners who did the dirty on Steve Bruce at Birmingham.

  • Comment number 25.

    #3. Just let Avram Grant go quietly at the end of the season....
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Phil's reply: To onenessuk...Of course West Ham could have waited until the end of the season to sack Grant but that would have given him a very uncomfortable afternoon at Upton Park next week taking charge of a relegated team in front of some understandably angry fans.

    Let me assure you if you had heard some of the chants aimed at Grant from West Ham's fans yesterday it would not have been an easy experience for him against Sunderland...

    ---------------------------------------------

    The fans may be understandably angry, but surely not at Grant, a man with integrity who has done his best in difficult circumstances.

    In an ideal world he would be able to take charge of the last game and receive thanks from the clubs fans for his efforts.

    But then we are talking about West Ham 'fans'. Look at the way they treated Frank Lampard, one of the best players they have ever produced.

  • Comment number 26.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 27.

    Grant naturally has to take some of the blame but you have to question some of the players hearts after conceding a 2 goal lead to Wigan. Full congratulations to Martinez and Wigan. Have sometimes this season thought their players would be less likely to fight for the club than others down there but they have shown steel which the Hammers havn't. Hope they can stay up and send the blues down now

  • Comment number 28.

    Boycie, Delboy and Marlene couldn't have done a better job, they've got everything they deserved.

  • Comment number 29.

    Sullivan, Gold and that woman are three people with a great history in football. They try that much for the clubs they're involved in that they are not wanted anywhere near Birmingham.

  • Comment number 30.

    Hmmm. Someone's blog (possibly McNulty's?) on here pointed out the folly of pulling the trigger, backed up by some stats that there is generally a brief improvement in performance followed by a retrace and the team doing worse than before, back when Di Matteo was sacked by WBA.

    Grant has shown himself to be a decent, if not exceptional, manager who shows grace through some fairly dodgy situations. West Ham are a team who've been sailing close to the relegation wind since before Grant arrived, and have - until recently - been in no small amount of financial doldrums, and may still face some financial problems post-relegation.

    So unless they'd collared someone of the calibre of Ferguson I suspect they were heading down no matter who managed them.

    And let us not forget the utterly cack-handed manner they almost replaced him earlier in the season, he has spent his time in the EPL either trying to replace a hugely popular manager (Chelsea), managing a team financially imploding (Portsmouth) or managing one that almost imploded, and then was undermined by the owners for a time (West Ham), so lets have that in context whilst taking the measure of the man.

    Hopefully West Ham can rebalance their books in the Championship, and hopefully Grant can find a stable club to manage so both can rebuild their reputations.

  • Comment number 31.

    So, with talk of WH needing a £20-£40 million loan just to opperate next season the decision to give them the olympic stadium (with the help of ANOTHER £40 million loan) Seems not the brightest idea ever! I can imagine there are a fair few councilers in Newham sweating this morning!

  • Comment number 32.

    Well West Ham only finished 17th last season and the club's results have been in a steady decline for quite a few years, so why should anyone be surprised that they finally slipped through the trap door this time? They do have a collossal players' wage bill though as the owners pointed out soon after taking over.

  • Comment number 33.

    At the end of the day, blame goes to the players. There is a great culture in football of blaming the manager but when it come down to it, west ham had a team that was at least capable of mid table obscurity. While the manager picks the team and yes, has to get them motivated, training comes from coaches aswell, motivation should really be the captains job and at the end of the day the players should perform...... they havent done well enough all season. Its only really the managers fault if they make a glaring mistake like leaving your star player out of the team for the whole season or making bad substituions in the game..... most of the blame must be the players.

    That being said, who else is excited for one of the most brilliant relegation final days ever??? I need blackpool to stay up cos as a wycombe fan they owe us bout 400k for matt phillips if they do!

  • Comment number 34.

    As a hammers fan I do have to reluctantly agree that whilst Grant has been treated horribly by Gold, Sullivan and Brady, he should of been sacked earlier on and replaced with Martin O'Neil. Liverpool had the guts with Hodgson and Grant had extensively longer to measure his progress throughout the season.

    Ultimately in terms of replacing I do hope they can get someone who has the pedigree to bring the Hammers back into the Premier League, someone like Warnock would be good, but Sam Allardyce can work off a budget so he'd be a good alternative.

    If worse came to worse I would welcome the return of Alan Curbishley.

  • Comment number 35.

    Phil, I'll answer your questions.

    1. Who to blame for relegation:

    There is no doubt in my mind that when a team gets relegated, you cannot blame one person. The whole club is to blame, from the very top to the very lowest positions. There is obviously a problem at the core of my once great club at the moment and it's very sad to see.

    The owners can take a huge amount of responsibility, for reasons everyone has already discussed. Grant can take a chunk, despite my feelings of sympathy for him as a person and the players can also take a large chunk for failing to live up to their potential and reputation; Parker aside. We have handfuls of full Internationals, yet played like an amateur side at times. Hitzlsperger can perhaps be spared from this tarnish too but only because he came back from injury late into the season and scored a few goals.


    2. Who should replace Grant as manager?

    In my opinion, we need to think very carefully about this one as it could make the difference between automatic promotion back to the Premier League or a few years down in the Championship...or worse.

    There have been many candidates banded about already...Hughton, McLaren, O'Neill, Pearson, Lee Clark, the return of Curbishley...even Di Canio! However, I think we need a manager who not only has proven Championship pedigree but also can inspire the players and who will be able to adjust tactically in a very tough division.

    My thoughts at the moment are that Hughton could be the man. However, all the potential managers mentioned have good and bad points and this is why I think the board need to take time to decide. However, with the transfer window already looming, time isn't on our side.

    Either way, I'd actually like to see Di Canio coming in as a bit of a mentor and coach for the players...especially as I see us using our core of young players as our first team next season.

    Just on a sidenote...here's a list of potential targets I came up with for our summer so far:

    David Nugent, Simon Cox, Lee Bowyer, David Jones, Adam Matthews, Kieren Westwood, Michael Kightly, Neil Danns, Billy Jones, Giles Barnes.

    All the above are out of contract and would add something to our squad once the inevitable exodus happens. However, we need to spend wisely too and get some proven Championship pedigree in to ensure we are fighting at the top.

    If we follow QPR's lead and use the loan and transfer market well and follow Newcastle's lead from 2009-10, of keeping some of the bigger players to ensure promotion, then we can get straight back up, even out of such a tough league like the Championship.

  • Comment number 36.

    Will fans just accept that west ham have been relegated because they were not good enough this season. Despite having a quality player in ba up front they were extremely poor at the back and that result yesterday just showed how poor a team they really are, and i don't see them coming back into the epl after next season either.

  • Comment number 37.

    Gold, Sullivan and Brady ran the joke that is Birmingham City, did you ever expect them to have any class? Just hope Blues go down with them next weekend!!!

  • Comment number 38.

    Thanks for the sympathy 22 mcteeth but I think in karma terms your owner's treatment of big Sam was disgraceful. Plus we won you the league in 95 when you firked up at Liverpool, thanks for remembering that. I suppose you also think that QPR should be relegated even before they kick a ball in the PL.

    I do agree that we've got the worst owners in the world and I think the olympic stadium is a farse. I don't want it.

    I think Chris Hughton would be a good choice as WH manager. Local lad too.

  • Comment number 39.

    #14 is spot on. And West Ham deserve to go down, and i've little sympathy (And i'm a West Ham fan!). We've been poor all season; it took us 5 games to score a single point, and ten matches to get a win! Even at the end we had no spirit while Wigan, Wolves, Blackpool all upped their games to at least TRY to avoid relegation. Other teams in the mix a few months ago, such as Villa, West Brom, even S'land, who've had a poor season, all improved to avoid the drop. For whatever reasons, and we can debate them until West Ham return to the EPL, which may be 2 or 3 years, WHU were the poorest team all year. and, if you believe in it, it is Karma that we've been relegated, but not for the Tevez saga, but for the sacking of Zola. How many times have we seen a manager keep a club up and get the boot and his replacemant take the club down? The West Ham board deserve this, but it's the fans who'll most feel the pain. I pity them.

  • Comment number 40.

    BORING! Blame the manager not the players. These players are on enormous contracts and gave nothing in return.

  • Comment number 41.

    Not being a WHU supporter but a long time football supporter, it seems wrong that they are being relegated from the Premiership. Having said that; Avram Grant has to be the most uncharismatic manager ever to appear on television for post match interviews and for me the writing was on the wall when Carlton Cole came out after one second half comeback to tell the viewers that it was Scott Parker who had rallied the troops with a stirring half-time team talk. Then Scott Parker goes missing with injury - I think that tells its own story and the major reason behind the relegation. If I there is one group of people who deserve demotion it is this team's owners. Constant public criticism of their own players; their disgraceful behaviour in January; Brady's complaining newspaper articles; along with the inordinate amount of time they must have spent chasing the Olympic Stadium dream instead of spending it quietly behind doors helping sort their own team affairs - they have their just rewards. The WHU fans deserve so much better than the miserable three.

  • Comment number 42.

    The board aside, West Ham went down purely because they have a poor playing staff. I was at West Ham Villa and they just had no guile or guts. Their centre halves were complete wimps and Heskey of all players beat them to every header and 50 50. Noble's messing about on the right wing cost them the equaliser. Now they'll have to pay Dyer, Upson and Green a fortune a week while Parker will go to a club befitting his ability. I don't see West Ham challenging for promotion next year

  • Comment number 43.

    West Ham have got what they deserved finally.

    Only favouritism appeared to keep them in the league over the Tevez affair, and they were then taken over by two of the most unpleasant characters in football today.

    Sullivan and Gold are completely and utterly lacking in decency and class - shown by the underhand and fairly public pursuit of O'Neill while Grant was still in charge, and the sacking of a manager minutes after relegation and before the end of the season.

    There are a lot of West Ham fans who don't deserve the fate of the club (although some - judging by the response to Grant yesterday - do) but the club (infrastructure, management, and players) is rotten from top to bottom and fully deserves relegation and a long stay outside of the top flight.

  • Comment number 44.

    West Brom fam here........... I posted on the 606 boards, at the start of the season, before a ball was even kicked, that when I heard West Ham appointed Grant as manager, they would be relegated. Hate to say this (and I'm not gloating, as I like West Ham), I was right.

    The only good thing here, is they sacked him before he led them into league one in 12 months time...... Hammers Fans... I hope you Bounce straight back to the Prem, as you have too good a team to be down in the Championship.

  • Comment number 45.

    I totally agree with 16. As my second team I latched onto them for their attractive play. Bring in Martin O'Neil and turn it into the sort of team he had at Aston Villa with the ability to field an English side (there are enough good players around) and go back to playing football fans want to watch.

  • Comment number 46.

    thank god they are finally down!i hope they never make it back 2 the top flight,and why are people surprised by there relagation?they have the worst team in the league,and dont give my that match of the day nonsence about an english "spine" in there team,rob green-just a bad goalkeeper,upson-just awful,parker-above average at best,c.cole-below average non scoring striker,because they played for england everyone thinks they are good players!england are also a bad team people!good bye hammers,hope you get relagated again and have about 12,000 fans in the olympic stadium

  • Comment number 47.

    west ham will not get back in the prem league for many years, too many clubs in the championship are becoming stronger. west ham were pointless in the prem league, battling relegation every season, may as well stay in the champ for at least positional pride they may achieve there.

  • Comment number 48.

    22 - check your stats and the final positions for West Ham in the Prem since 2006/7. Flirting with relegation?

    Post back your findings.

  • Comment number 49.

    Several points about the '10/11' west ham saga.

    I never understood why Zola was sacked. Gold/Sullivan took over and waxed lyrical about their pasts and hopes for the future.. The whole 'stand by your man' ethic and about stability bringing rewards. They claimed that Zola was a man for the future and his job was to keep them in the Premiership so the team/manager could be taken forward. Zola keeps them up, and (as a West Ham fan myself) earnt respect for his honest post match interviews and seemingly unending willingness to learn and improve himself as a manager. Also, it's no surprise that 'certain' centre forwards seemed to be much better with Zola as the manager!
    Then he's sacked, and replaced by a manager who has just seen his team relegated. Now, I am not a 'Grant Basher', I feel he's had some unfair criticism. But I also can't condone his choices, attitude and frustratingly poor language skills. Managers should NOT be losing 22 points over a season after being in the lead of a game. That is a shocking statistic. Nor should the removal of one player through injury cripple a team to the point of rendering them unable to win... Whether it's a mentality issue or the fact that that one player is so much 'better' than the others.
    But, and I think this is the most important factor (for me), it beggars belief that a manager can come out and claim things are going well, whilst losing match after match after match... Grant never seemed to have a grasp of the fundamental problems which plagued the whole team set-up, and never seemed to react during the matches to close them off, or get back into them.
    Zola should have been given the chance to carry on managing. Now we're relegated and the future isn't looking too positive.

    Still....... COME ON YOU IRONS!!

  • Comment number 50.

    I'm still trying to figure out how Parker won Footballer of the Year.

    I guess London-based club and being mates with journos goes a long way.

    There's a school of thought that it's easier to shine in a great side- if you're one of eleven quality players doing well. I never agree with that- I think it's harder to stand out. Player of the Year awards get split between you and several team mates.

    It's easier to just be a decent player and stand out in an appalling, badly-managed side.

    That's how I'd sum up Parker and West Ham this season.

  • Comment number 51.

    bye bye hammers,and i bet there fans think they will get 15 million for scott parker!5 mill if your lucky,his nearly 31 on a fat 5 year contract,trust me west ham will just be happy to get him off the wage bill

  • Comment number 52.

    Is this the right time to mention the need for the F.A. to check if the promoted clubs to the Premiership have under-soil heating, in time for promoted clubs that don't have it available, to ensure placing one, or should we all respect the F.A. attempt to courageously carry on the fight of distributing fines?

  • Comment number 53.

    Five months too late? Eleven would be nearer the mark.

  • Comment number 54.

    West Ham got what they deserved this season, and they deserved it because of bad management from G&S and Grant but also because of a hopelessly fragile defense. I believe the man to fix it is Curbishley. With him they would be hot favourites to return to the premier league at the first attempt in my opinion. Most other choices would be a roll of the dice.

    The slight bit of good news is that, Scott Parker aside, there are not many existing players that really WH truly depend on. Nor are they all poor players. They have an opportunity to shuffle the pack, hand pick current and newly signed players that can form a top Championship side.

    I just hope that whoever comes in, comes in fairly quickly so they can get to work on building a team.

  • Comment number 55.

    I reckon suggestions of Chris Hughton are right.... look whaat he did at newcastle, and tbh he never failed there because he was sacked before he got a chance in the premier league..... sadly I think he will be overlooked because he isnt a big name, hes a grafter who I suspect will have to continue to make his name in the lower leagues before another big club comes knocking

  • Comment number 56.

    From Alan Hansen's column:
    "I can’t recall the last time that a team with so many England internationals ended up relegated from the Premier League"

    Probably says more about the current England squad than anything. Why do the press have to persist in hyping up these average players?

  • Comment number 57.

    West Ham must clean out their squad of every single senior player above the age of 25 and go back to their roots as a club comprised of mostly homegrown players. The money earned from the sale of Parker, Green, Ba, Upson, Spector, Dyer, Noble, Gabbidon, Hitzlesperger, Ba, Cole, etc. should go a bit of a way to paying off part of the massive debts they owe. Next they need to hire a charismatic manager, one who is the complete opposite of Avram Grant - Ian Holloway anyone? It may take a while but this may be the best opportunity to turn around a club that has been going downhill ever since Tevez and Mascherano were announced as Hammers in 2006. Perhaps making the 2006 FA Cup Final was the biggest mistake in West Ham could have made - maybe if they hadn't done so well that season they wouldn't have been bought by that Icelandic consortium that has certainly brought the most damage ever known in the club's history.

  • Comment number 58.

    I am a Newcastle fan and I'm hoping this time next year West Ham fans will look at relegation as a positive thing. West Ham have only been going one way for the past few seasons. The whole situation reminds me a lot of Newcastle's relegation. Too many players on big wages who don't care about the club. It's time for you to clear out the players who don't care and keep the players like Noble, Tomkins, Collison, Sears and Hines who care and can bring West Ham back up. I just fear that you haven't got experience quality pro's who care about the club like Nolan, Barton, Smith etc that Newcastle had who created a wonderful team spirit and a seige mentality.
     
    I think Neil Warnock is the man to take West Ham back up, but its looks like he's staying. West Ham need good experienced pro's to come in and mix with the talented youth they have and bring in a manager who has experience of promotion from the Championship. It will be a massive summer for West Ham, but I believe with the good decisions (Gold, Sullivan and Brady have come back up after relegation) they can come back stronger.
     
    Relegation can be a positive!

     

  • Comment number 59.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 60.

    PHIL

    A class club, from board through to spectators.

    Well, at least they can enjoy some banter with those other class acts in the Champ-Leeds,Millwall,Portsmouth & possibly Cardiff.

    I bet Brighton & Southampton fans will be looking forward with wide-eyed excitement this morning to meeting Hammers as well next year.

  • Comment number 61.

    Poor Avram. Being a Chelsea fan, I feel for him. I liked him, as he is the only manager to have ever taken us to a Champions League final, and were it not for the large number of points lost by Mourinho at the beginning of the season we would have won the league.

  • Comment number 62.

    The people with the money to hire and fire are responsible for the demise of such a great club like West Ham.
    Avram Grants appointment was a none starter for me and most people with any common sense!
    These money men think that by buying a high profile figure that they will get results, and are proved wrong many times over.
    Just look at Liverpool and what someone with charisma can do in a short time, so forget all this high profile rubbish and choose someone with passion and desire to do well for West Ham.
    The best premier league managers are all british, with Ferguson, Redknapp, Dalgleish leading the way!
    I would suggest that West Ham choose a manager with youthfullness and energy to match the young players.

  • Comment number 63.

    38 philipon

    Feel free to correct me if you feel I'm, I, like many other football fans feel the same. It was bias that kept you up last time, nothing else. Need I remind you of the quite ridiculous decision that led to your 1-2 victory at Ewood Park, a goal given when 2 players were offside, Bowyer hand balled it and it never even crossed the line. Tevez heavily involved with that and his embarrassing dive for the penalty. If you'd gone down when you should it could have cleared out the club from top to bottom and been re built better and stronger like Newcastle and you'd already be back up and better for it. Instead, you delayed the inevitable and are worse off for it, so no I have little sympathy.

    Please spare me the we won you league routine, we were top by 2 points going in to the final day of the season, we had Liverpool away they had West Ham away, what happened, happened. The best team wins the league, the worst 3 go down, simple. The fact that you avoided your deserved relegation 4 years ago will be to the clubs detriment. Let me guess, West Ham won the World Cup in 66 also...?

  • Comment number 64.

    I think that Grant comes in for some unfair criticism.

    Yes, he hasn't exactly covered himself in glory with West Ham, but what people need to remember is that West Ham stayed up last season with 35 points, winning 8, drawing 11, losing 19, scoring 47 and conceding 66.

    This season - with one game to go - they have 33 points, have won 7, drawn 12, lost 18, scored 43 and conceded 66.

    In fact, nearly an identical record to last season.

    I think the criticism that can be levelled against Grant is that he hasn't progressed the team this season, but - although it depends on the way you look at it - I don't think that can be classed as an abysmal failure.


    Also, his record at other clubs isn't that bad: Champions League final with Chelsea ( something that Mourinho, Hiddink and Ancelotti all failed to achieve ), 2nd in the league, and a league cup final in less than a season.

    At Portsmouth, they would have had a shout at staying up, but for the points deduction, and he obviously guided them to an unlikely FA Cup final.

    He also was successful as manager in Israel, including coaching the national team. It was Grant who oversaw Israel's unfortunate 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, where they were unbeaten in all 10 matches but failed to qualify!

  • Comment number 65.

    Establishing a bigger gap at the top every week ..

    From Alan Hansen's column:
    "I can’t recall the last time that a team with so many England internationals ended up relegated from the Premier League"

    ==============================================================

    If Man Utd appointed Grant to succeed Sir Alex, they would be relegated from the Prem within 2 seasons !!

    The guy has the charisma of a sour grape, and the management skills of of a sack of spuds !!

  • Comment number 66.

    It sounds like O'Neill was all set to join in Jan, until it got leaked and O'Neill got second thoughts. Whoever leaked that (and there could only have been 5 people in the know) will be having a few flashbacks this morning!
    One of those "Sliding Doors" moments perhaps - 2 different managers, 2 different endings?

  • Comment number 67.

    Can't wait to see the next boardroom meeting on The Apprentice...

    Alan Sugar:
    " So Karen - What were you bloody thinking?!
    You were indecisive in sacking your manager in January; you gave him all that bloody money to buy players that were no good...
    Now you've got to sell all your best players, you'll be earning less in revenue, but worst of all you took ME on and you've bloody wasted all that time, energy and money fighting for a 60,000 seat stadium that you haven't got a cat in hell's chance of filling against the likes of Doncaster.
    Not only has you're team gone down but you've also got yourself a white elephant to bloody feed and attend to...
    Karen - you have produced the mother of all blunders. Instead of forever blowing bubbles all I get is a lot of hot air outta you.
    You've made bad decision after bad decision. You are a liability and for that YOU'RE FIRED!!"

    Happy days...c'mon you Spurs...


  • Comment number 68.

    Phil,

    Just wondering what you will write about the great SAF if he chooses to play a 2nd string team against Blackpool next week given your scathing criticism of Mick McCarthy for changing 9 players in his team against United last season.

    Presumably your view's on playing weakened teams is unilateral throughout all football clubs and you will be writing a similar article dragging SAF's name through the mud? Otherwise you may end up looking like a hypocrite with no principles.

  • Comment number 69.

    I first visited Upton Park in 1958 when West Ham were in the old 2nd Division. They had style and a load of local lads in those days.
    Football has changed beyond recognition since then and so have West Ham. But style should be enduring. Avram Grant should take responsibility for West Ham's perfromances. But so should the 'executive'.
    The West Ham website last night had just a one liner about Grant's dismissal .... did the 'executive' not have enought time to put somwething slightly better together as a departing gesture! Good manners costs nothing! Obviously 5 or 6 months was not enough for them to agree on a statement. Style is timeless. West Ham have lost their's.
    But, thanks to my parents, I shall still go and watch them whatever division they are in! You can change managers and you can change owners but supporters are for life!

  • Comment number 70.

    The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa

    Also, his record at other clubs isn't that bad: Champions League final with Chelsea ( something that Mourinho, Hiddink and Ancelotti all failed to achieve ), 2nd in the league, and a league cup final in less than a season.

    ==============================================================

    Thing is.... he got to the CL final with the team that Jose built, and the League Cup, is pretty much a micky mouse competition, where most of the Prem teams send the second eleven out.

  • Comment number 71.

    While everyone talks highly of Scott Parker (and deservedly so), I'm surprised that also everyone keeps overlooking the work N'Zogbia has been doing, in exactly as important fashion, for Wigan, all along throughout the season.

    N'Zogbia's work can also be magnified when we remember his treatment at Newcastle, where the unbelievable little Irishman used to call him Insomnia, to get a sick laugh.

    Players like N'Zogbia and Charlie Adam are directly responsible for a business end of a Premiership season where 42 points might not guarantee Premiership status.

  • Comment number 72.

    Dearest Philip

    Portsmouth were relegated because of the effects of financial mismanagement by the owners and the consequential points deduction followed by the inevitable loss of good/valuable players.

    Chelsea lost the Champions League final because Terry fell on his arse and Anelka lacks a bit of bottle.

    West ham were relegated, in the main because of knee jerk reactions and widespread public statements by the new owners in January, who then failed to find anyone of note who wanted the job, which then undermined Grant.

    The comments by the owners about the January signings and the supposed endorsement by Scott Parker that the signings should have ensured West Ham avoid relegation, is total buckpassing and an attempt to deflect the fans ire away from them and onto Grant.

    Thank you Avram Grant for your decency and integrity as compared with a sports media world dominated by tabloid attitudes.

    POP

  • Comment number 73.

    Grant to blame for not getting the best out of a talented group of players - guilty. But, it is the owners who blindly signed the cheques for the players that he brought in, of whom only Hitzlsperger and Ba can be considered to be good signings. £4m for Pablo Berrara, anyone? When was the last time this guy kicked a ball? The two Davids and Shady Brady need to stand up and be counted, they owe the fans an apology every bit as much as Grant and the players - time for the Davids to come good on their claims that they are genuine fans, sort out the financial mess and bring in a manager who will rebuild this team to PL standard - end this nightmare!

  • Comment number 74.

    This is a great day for West Ham. I am sick and tired of watching a team of old,over-rated, overpaid useless footballers. Its about time we cleared all the deadwood out of this club.

    Grant is a terrible manager but all you get are the violins because "he's a nice man". SORRY BUT NICE DOESNT WIN YOU GAMES.

    I want a team built around Noble (if we can keep him) and the youth. We use to have a great attaking team with the likes of Benyeoun Etherington & Konchesky. We need those kind of players again with pace and attack. Not the useless Boa Morte or Upson and I think Green has had his day now.

    You cant blame the Chairmen because they took over a club ruined by Iceland! Its like trying to blame the Torries for the economy Labour destroyed.

    As for all the nonsense about karma for Sheff Utd stuff etc grow up and form a constuctive arguement

  • Comment number 75.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 76.

    The question was "what has Grant ever done as a manager?" Well let me tell you- Grant was shoved into the Chelsea job quickly and for only one season, in which he didnt loose a single home game and took them to three finals, and finished 2nd in the premier league. With Portsmouth, Grant managed to take a struggling team to the FA cup final and they were only relegated because the club owners managed to get the club into administration and were docked 9points. Grant has been unfairly used as an easy scapegoat for relegation in both Portsmouths and West Hams case.

    The managers are always there to fall back on and blame when the club isnt doing well, in actual fact its the clowns behind the scenes that should be blamed (in West Hams case, Gold Sullivan and Brady)

    At West Ham the major reason why they will be playing Championship football next year is down to the 3 Jokes that are Gold, Sullivan and Brady.

    The way they treated Grant was disgusting and they should be ashamed of themselves. They went about publicly looking for a new manager right in Grants face, they undermined him, disrespected him and made jokes at his expense in newspaper columns. They made no mistake in making him feel unwanted. As a manager how do you expect to have any sort of motivation/enthusiasm/morale when your board are treating you in this pittiful manner? I say Grant should of told these idiots to stuff themselves and resigned in January, but he didnt, he still had that little bit of fight left in him to try and save west ham.

    On the other hand, some of the blame has to be pointed in the players direction. Vastly underperformed and inconsistent all season, the expensive loanees Keane and Bridge did nothing but add to the already large wage bill. Losing 22 points from winning posistions is just not acceptable in the PL. But then again, maybe if they had the backing of the owners and a manager who was properly supported they would of played alot better.

    When Gold and Sullivan took over they raved about the whole 'stand by your man' ethos. How much of a joke is this. Zola and Grant both dismissed. For West Ham their doomsday came when these idiots took over.

    Hopefully next season i would like to see West ham promoted back to the PL with different owners, and id like to see Grant at a financially stable club doing well.

  • Comment number 77.

    63 mcteeth yes we did it in 66. Also, maybe your time has come and you'll be joining us on visits to Senegal Fields.

  • Comment number 78.

    Had West Ham sack Grant and then still get relegated, this blog would be "Grant needed more time"!

    And that is a fact.

  • Comment number 79.

    @ 75, Mr Chelsea,

    Aren't you not surprised he never gets mentioned?

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    How can it be claimed they sacked him 4 months too late? He took West Ham down which makes the timing of his departure about perfect for me. I am glad to see them down in the Championship for at least 1 season, hopefully many more than that. They are on overrated team with overrated players and a set of supporters who need to know where they belong, in the second tier as a second rate team with second rate supporters. The only sad thing about it is the lack of an almost certain 6 points for the spurs next year!

  • Comment number 82.

    #79,

    one sentence and still managed to get a typo!!!!

  • Comment number 83.

    It all went wrong from the off. Zola should not have gone - he should have been given assistance in his management tenure. He had the players on his side, which is half the job.

    Question marks were there when Grant took up the reins. Did he have the pedigree? Managing a sucessful side, is different to managing a club in turmoil. He proved that at Portsmouth.

    The O'Neill farce was staggering. If it had been handled differently, at the time, then the Hammers might (repeat, might) not be in the dire straits they are now. But the episode was a huge disgrace.

    What now for my beloved Hammers? Years struggling in the Championship, and worse (no disrespect), which, currently, is what they deserve. I cannot see a rebound as was from Division 2 to 1. This is a different Football Club.

    Tough decisions need to be made. Players will walk away, as Lampard, Cole and the rest did then. There is no loyalty.

    The future, if there is one, financial implications included, looks very bleak, indeed.

  • Comment number 84.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 85.

    Right, Who wants to make predictions for the last day? My guess is wolves beat blackburn due to their good form and home advantage.

    Birmingham get thumped 3-0 by a tottenham side needing a victory to secure 5th place.

    Blackpool sneak a win against an appaulingly weak Manchester Utd team focussing on the CL final.... Cue rants and ridiculous law suits from Wigan and Bham fans who claim unfair relegation

    Wigan draw against stoke after a last minute equaliser comes from a delap throw.... cue yet more law suits claiming that throwing the ball too far is against the game laws.

    Sepp Blatter regains fifa presidency having pledged to make throwing the ball further than 10m illegal and having introduced a maximum squad size of 11 so that teams have to play their best players no matter what......

    But seriously, what do people think will happen? Whose staying up?

  • Comment number 86.

    50. At 10:10am 16th May 2011, Vox Populi wrote:
    I'm still trying to figure out how Parker won Footballer of the Year.

    I guess London-based club and being mates with journos goes a long way.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Thanks Vox for some sense. Parker had a good season no doubt and must be West Ham's footballer of the year, but most people outside London would scratch their head at that. Takes me back to a conversation on 5live during a Man Utd game at the end of last season about who be the replacements for the injured Rio and JT in the England World Cup squad. "I can't think of anyone apart from Ledley King {perpetually injured} and Upson {doing his best to help WH get relegated, achieved it this season}". Meanwhile, it was generally accepted on Merseyside that Phil Jagielka had returned to his best form and was almost singlehandedly preventing Everton lose games. I guess the pundits hadn't taken their vaccinations to allow them outside the M25.

  • Comment number 87.

    We need a fresh start... to get rid off all the rubbish clogging up our dressing room as well as our stars and build again.

    Manager: Ian Dowie, O'neil ( Unrealistic) or Di Matteio

    Got to Keep: Collison, Da Costa, Tomkins, Spence, Nouble, Sears, stanislas and Hines.

    Would Love to Keep: Hitlzeberger, Noble, Parker ( Unrealistic), Piquionne, Oneil

    Got to Go: Boa Morte, Dyer, Upson, Bridge, Jacobsen, Reid, Barrera, Gabbison, Cole, Kovac, spector, faubert, ilunga,obinna, bridge, keane.

    Most of these players are out of contract or loan, they will free up the wage bill which was the 8th highest in the league this season. If we can keep our young english core, and i know tony carr has got a few more to come through next seaon. try and keep a few seasoned campaigners like piquionne and noble and bring a few other older heads then we will come back up.

    The most important thing for us now is to pick the right man to build a young engish core team and get us up next seaon with a good fit squad... Great opportunity to strip away the like of boa morte and spector and really build a good foundation.

  • Comment number 88.

    With all these class (or classless, fueled with bias preferences?) postings regarding the quality of McNulty's work, I suppose if he stopped writing such blogs and you all had no means for almost live interaction, especially after the decision for the removal of 606, perhaps you would all be happier. Correct?

  • Comment number 89.

    This article left a nasty taste and smacks of kicking someone when they are down.

    West Ham were relegated because the team didn't pick up enough points. If you think the manger is more at fault for this than the players then I would suggest you look again at how many individual errors west ham players made this season that cost goals.

    As for the Olympic Stadium, the old wembley had a running track around it and having been to both I can tell you it had a much better atmosphere than the current national stadium.

    WEst Ham will play in the Championship and will look forward to two huge games against local rivals Millwall next season, although whether the police and football league will look forward to them is another issue.

  • Comment number 90.

    Avram Grant should have never been appointed as manager. His appointment defied logic and statistics, the Israeli is a perennial luckless loser. It's harsh, but it's true.
    As a West Ham fan I would like to see Hughton be our next manager. Being a former hammer and a childhood fan, he would bring more passion and belief to the club. Also his promotion with Newcastle gives him invaluable experience in the Championship.
    It will be sad to see Parker leave, which can't be said for some of the rest. At the end of the day Grant can't take all the blame. As you rightly pointed out we have a poor record at holding leads. Just look at the 2006 FA Cup Final. I'm afraid it's West Ham tradition. But, we seemingly underperformed all season, and now we're going to feel the repurcussions of it.
    I'll be happy to see the backs of Cole and Upson, who are both overrated. I also expect Green, Ba, Hitlsperger and Piqionne to depart in the summer sales.
    In a way it would be nice to have an academy side next season at our spiritual home at the Boleyn Ground. I hope there are many more memories to come from Upton Park. Do you think that our relegation would have an effect on our move to the Olympic Stadium?

  • Comment number 91.

    Good blog entry, but missed a few key parts out and I don't think it was critical enough of Avram Grant. Check out http://markbritton7.wordpress.com/2011/05/15/west-ham-united-a-shambles-on-and-off-the-field/ people, I came across this blog yesterday but he's made some good points. All to do with West Ham United too. One for the fans I think.

  • Comment number 92.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 93.

    This has been an abysmal season for WHU both on and off the field. Just 7 victories out of 37 league games means only one thing, relegation.

    And let's be right it should have happened some time ago over the Tevez affair. What goes around comes around and I for one are happy at this Club's demise.

  • Comment number 94.



    Portsmouth were relegated because of the effects of financial mismanagement by the owners and the consequential points deduction followed by the inevitable loss of good/valuable players.

    Chelsea lost the Champions League final because Terry fell on his arse and Anelka hasn't any bottle.

    West ham were relegated, in the main because of knee jerk reactions and widespread public statements by the new owners in January, who then failed to find anyone of note who wanted the job, which then undermined Grant.

    The comments by the owners about the January signings and the supposed endorsement by Scott Parker that the signings should have ensured West Ham avoid relegation, is total buckpassing and an attempt to deflect the fans ire away from them and onto Grant.

    Your blog is quite shameful and you McNulty should get a job with the Sun.

  • Comment number 95.

    I've read the McClaren gossip.
    My first thought, due to the source, was whether Hiddink would be McClaren's assistant or not.

  • Comment number 96.

    94 bobbynoble......

    thats the 3rd time you have posted your ridiculous comment..... noone cares what u have to say so stop posting it in the vain hope that someone will reply saying you are insightful and prophetic..... you arent!

  • Comment number 97.

    who cares about this when dirty stoke lost!!!! thats surely the best thing to come out of this weekend!

  • Comment number 98.

    30. At 09:48am 16th May 2011, Dave Manchester wrote:

    And let us not forget the utterly cack-handed manner they almost replaced him earlier in the season, he has spent his time in the EPL either trying to replace a hugely popular manager (Chelsea), managing a team financially imploding (Portsmouth) or managing one that almost imploded, and then was undermined by the owners for a time (West Ham), so lets have that in context whilst taking the measure of the man.

    ====================================

    Well put.

    What I find odd about this situation is that West Ham finished 17th last season, narrowly avoiding the drop. So it's not like Grant has come in and taken a top 10 team and dragged them down to the bottom of the table.

  • Comment number 99.

    the autopilot is around :)

  • Comment number 100.

    "Where does the blame lie for relegation?"

    Where doesn't it lie. Poor appointment in Grant, and indecision in January: the owners have a lot to answer for. If they had taken decisive action against Grant when everyone expected it, and THEN persued O'Neil, rather than hanging on to Grant whilst talking to O'Neil at the same time.

    Also too many players underperformed, although there many suggestions that chaos at the training ground and dressing room contributed to poor performances. Ultimately, Grant had a good squad and he failed. Abysmally.

    Relegation will be a chance to offload some deadwood: Upson, Cole, Boa Morte, Dyer, Berrera, Kovac, Faubert, Ilunga, Piquionne, for starters. We'll lose Green and Parker. It's time to build the squad around a young core Noble, Sears, Stanislas, Collison, Tomkins, and (persih the thought) Winston Reid.

    "And who would you like to replace Avram Grant as manager?"

    I was concerned at all the obvious suggestions of McClaren, Allerdyce, Warnock, etc. Please no Warnock. Then someone mentioned that Chris Hughton is still available and I have my nailed on favourite. He spent a couple of years with us late in his playing career, and he has experience of bringing a troubled, under-achieving club with stupid owners out of the Championship. I can see Hughton being a long-term manager and fulfilling his potential with us.

    Or we could ask Newcastle if we can have Alan Pardew back.

 

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