Monday, April 14, 2008

Curbishley Destroying a Century of Tradition

In a hard-hitting review of the Bolton game in The Echo, Rob Pritchard accuses Alan Curbishley's defensive approach of ruining a century of slick, passing, attack-minded football at West Ham. Pritchard claims West Ham under Curbishley are actually attempting a poor imitation of Bolton and that it flies against the traditions of the club built by such managers as Greenwood. Lyall and Redknapp.

Many West Ham fans accepted the dire football the team have played this season because the team were at least picking up points. Since Christmas, however, the fans have had to watch the team playing poor football and getting thrashed by good sides and beaten by poor ones.

Alan Curbishley has pointed to the injuries to West Ham's flair players but it is actually hard to determine who he is talking about. Etherington's pace is admittedly a lot more exciting than Boa Morte's day-dreaming on the left wing. Bellamy also seems to show more passion and desire to win than most of the players on show on Saturday and hopefully, if Dyer ever recovers, he will also demonstrate some pace down the right.

However in the summer Curbishley sold the two players at the club who could consistently unlock defences, Tevez and Benayoun. Obviously once both players publically declared their desire to leave there was little Curbishley could do to stop them. However it has become apparent that they have not been adequately replaced.

Let's hope the Icelandic economy recovers enough by the start of next season to allow the owners to make available a sizeable transfer kitty. West Ham are in desperate need of a couple of flair players.

West Ham fans have never called for success but have always expected attractive football.


At 10:09 PM, Anonymous portugal said...

I m no enthusiast of Curbishley,but I think that the assessment in the Echo is excessively harsh. I think he has fallen short this season in terms of not only results,but also in tactics and player selection. However,I also admit that he has had extremely difficult circumstances in which to operate.

Possibly the longest list of injuries in one season in the history of football. But management bears at least some responsibility for injuries and the overly long recovery time from them .

A destroyer of west ham tradition? I think not. But the right man for the next 5 years? I also think not. A decent manager- but we need better.

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said .I don't know why I'm surprised.Apart from Ashton,Etherington,Neill and Noble we're a disgrace.Boa Morte AND Spector? Has Alan got a deathwish? This whole season has been a calamity and the ultimate insult will be for Tottenham to finish above us.Massive clearout needed and If Curbs has got to go then so be it.Defensive,dire and a disgrace.

At 12:00 AM, Anonymous greendressinDUBLIN said...

mr. pritchard seems to forget that west ham only just stepped back from the brink. a team does not descend to that degree because their forgot to play their "traditional attacking football" in one or two games.

why can't this manager have this year to stabilize this team? i think it is reasonable for any team having this many injuries to rely on defensive football. the team is progressing -just beating relegation, now sitting mid-table this year- and there is next year to fight for a CL place.

regarding what portugal said in a post earlier today: if the west hams medical staff leaves a lot to be desired, maybe that is a more urgent problem to deal with than a manager who has taken the team mid table.

imagine what this manager would be able to accomplish if he had a medical staff that was current on the latest and best practices, training facilities that are state of the art and players who weren't always out for extended periods of time.

i am sorry for all those people that are frustrated with the current situation, but the expectations for this year just seems unreasonable and even wishful thinking. perhaps if this manager can be faulted for anything this year, it is not being able to manage expectations.

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure that the expectations were unreasonable. I agree we were on the brink last year but looking at the few years that is a one off year which all went a bit wrong.

I agree that the medical staff may need looking at, but i have to say i am in no way shocked to see Dyer, Bellamy, Ashton and Parker in need of treatment this year.

They all needed it the year before and the year before that. I know Dyer's injury is different to his past years but for whatever reason some players get injured. It just is that way. We seem to have hunted for those players and bought them all. Yipee. From Newcastle treatment room to West Ham.

That aside i agree. No Flair players and we were clearly going to struggle when Yossi left.

No a bit Fan of Curbs but hope that he will be able to sort things out in the close season. We have just not been good enough this term.

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous portugal said...

Think the comment from 1.12 makes a great point that is often overlooked.

last season was and shud have been a one-off,owing in part to the chaos caused by the takeover etc. There is no way we shud have been anywhere near the relegation
zone,were it not for he change in ownership/manager/arrival of argentines etc.

supporters had every right to expect a decent campaign ,all the more so given the new signings. It was not unrealistic to hope for a 7th or 8th place finish- it was within our grasp. At the end of february we were on 40 points.

At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

greendressindublin - Curbishley sacked a very good sports science team on his appointment to West Ham and then took on his old pals the ex-Charlton medical team. The problem is they had a history of injury crisis's at Charlton. In 2005/6 pre-season Curbishley was saying in the press that he needed the Charlton board to free up some cash as they had 8 players out injured from a small squad!! Does bad luck really come into it? A little perhaps but not for a whole season of 12-15 players out.

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous portugal said...

think the comment from 9.55 is fair, and sums up the medical aspect of the situation well.

Sure, there s an element of bad luck in the extent of our injuries. But my view is that it is not just down to bad luck. In fact, I feel that bad luck is a small part of the problem (i.e. what happened to Dyer), but that the bigger part of the problem does not involve luck.

The fact that the club is now prepared to rigorously examine everything to do with the club s medical staff,facilities etc. is an admission of this by the club. Which is a step in the right direction.

I wasn t aware of the medical issues at Charlton. If this is the case, then it certainly bolsters the case for Curbishley,his staff and the medical team having some degree of responsibility for the horrific run of injuries w eve had.


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