Sunday, April 20, 2008

Curbs 3 West Ham Fans 1

The chants of "You don't know what you are doing" and the boos at the end of the game receive more column inches today than the action on the pitch. On the whole West Ham manager Alan Curbishley seems to have impressed the papers more than the fans.

The Express notice that West Ham were forced to make seven changes from the last game and it took "time to settle down - but they finally gelled well enough". They say that although "Curbishley was verbally abused ... when he replaced Freddie Sears with Carlton Cole ... he was vindicated two minutes later when Cole finished off a run and cross by Freddie Ljungberg."

The Daily Mail say that at "the final whistle, the East Enders greeted victory with a cacophony of boos, clearly rating narrow victory against relegated Derby as disgraceful." The Mail also say that "Slaven Bilic, the Croatia manager, is being tipped in his own country to take over at Upton Park next season".

The Telegraph clearly feel the fans were unjust in their treatment of Alan Curbishley, "West Ham fans appear to be a breed apart in terms of expectations." They also say that his decision to bring on Cole for Sears was "vindicated as Cole knocked home Freddy Ljungberg's cross." The paper says that there "was no excuse for the way the fans turned against the players at the final whistle. West Ham have suffered more injuries than any other Premier League side this season. Indeed, not once has Curbishley been able to field the same 11 twice in succession."

The Independent thought that West Ham's win was due "in no small part to the second-half substitution by manager Alan Curbishley, who was booed when he replaced Freddie Sears with Carlton Cole late in the day."

I make that three papers in support of Curbishley versus The Daily Mail's almost inevitable stirring of the pot.


At 7:40 AM, Anonymous portugal said...

In terms of the booing,I don t think that the crowd was disappointed to see Carlton Cole come on. Quite the opposite, I think there was a bit of a sense of relief- from the moment Cole came on ,the game chnaged,and that wud have been the case whether he scored or not. We simply looked energized and more of a threat when he came on,and his ability to hold the ball up and make the right pass was obvious. I think where the upset of supporters came into play was taking Sears off and leaving Zamora on.

Regarding the booing,again, I m not sure that the papers got this one right. My feeling was that it was not really directed at the players, but largely at Curbishley. Another point which I think the papers misunderstand is that the fans have been and remain sympathetic about the injury situation. But where patience runs thin, is that even with the injuries , we have had a big squad this term ,full of talent, with enough resources to have been expected to cope better. Nobody denies the injuries - but supporters aren t wrong for feeling we still had it well within our reach to do better. Patience has also run thin as supporters realize that the management team bears at least some responsibility for the various aspects of the injury situation.

Nonetheless, it s disappointing to see Boa Morte booed when the line-ups were announced and when he came on at the end of the match. He s had an inconsistent season,and he s made some real mistakes ,but there have been times during this season when he s contributed . The booing doesn t help the situation. It s counterproductive. The same could probably be said about the booing of Curbishley- does it really help? Obviously not . But supporters are human beings ,and the situation has been frustrating for many ,many weeks . So,yes, in an ideal world ,supporters wud not boo when they feel aggrieved continuously. But that s asking a lot of people when they are shelling out very significant sums of money for tickets.

From the owner s perspective ,the most worrying thing about yesterday was indeed the reaction of the supporters at the final whistle. The fans, having seen the team win 2-1 ,when they cud have drawn or even lost ,chose to boo. The booing may not have "nice" or helpful, but the fact is ,the fans have sent an unmistakeably clear message to the owner. It s very hard to run a business when customers are so dissatisfied. It s going to be increaqsingly difficult for the owner to ignore that .

It s an awful situation. I personally do think for a number of reasons that we do need a managerial change- but I would prefer if the current manager was not absolutely slaughtered in the interim,especially at Upton Park itself.

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Keir Clarke said...

I tend to agree that the papers misunderstood the nature of the booing yesterday. The papers talked a lot about West Ham's safe mid-table position this year but it is more the uninspiring boring football that is on offer that rankles.

Add to that the club announced last week that they are going to increase season tickets by %5 and it isn't hard to see why there was booing.

I think the papers are trying to liken us to Newcastle fans who have unrealistic expectations and will call for the manager's head if we aren't qualifying for the Champions League. Instead I think the fans are more upset at the style of play this season.

To be fair to Curbishley though (and I know some fans actually feel his appointments are to blame for this) but he was down to the bare bones of a team again yesterday.

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous portugal said...

Yes, it does need to be taken into account that Upson and Ashton were out,which may well have put the game to bed sooner. It s a circle that doesn t end ,with some things beyond the manager s control and some things within his control. It s extremely difficult to be objective and determine the "fair " or " just " balance those two. And it becomes even harder with an increasingly impatient public, one of whom is myself. On a personal level ,I find it a complete mexican stand-off as to what the answer is. What s fair to the club, in terms of its
future? What s fair to the manager in terms of his future? What s fair to the supporters? And finally,what s right for the players. Seems impossible to come up with an answer that reasonably accomodates all parties concerned.

At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes the boos were as zamora was left on he was ok for much of the game but then just went absolute shit from where i was sitting

sears was the only player making runs down channels and through the middle so i boo'd when curbs left zamora on

his comments at the end didnt impress me either as he sed "prehaps i do know what im doing"

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous portugal said...

I agree that Curbishley s comments after the game only served to increase the tension thaty exists between him and supporters. For him to say that he is "asking for some appreciation " for what s been accomplished this season, compared to the previous one, shows that he s not really willing to take on board supporters' views on things, or could show that he is very out of touch. You could argue "how can you blame him, when he s being abused consistently?" The problem with that is that the situation is getting more and more combustible.
It s gone beyond nasty, and is well into the "ugly" state now. the deterioration of the relationship between Curbishley and supporters has reached a point where it can do real damage to the club,on and off the pitch. That doesn t imply necesarily that this manager should go,but the negativity surrounding the situation needs to change. It s gotten so bad thoughm that I m not sure if the negativity of the situation can change,short of a managerial change in the close season.

I felt the same on Zamora- I thought he had a decent first half ,but was not really involved enough in the second half.

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To pick up on what Portugal had said, i do think it bad form to be booing particular players like Boa Morte before they have even kicked a ball. He had been like a temperamnetal child for large parts of the season, and just poor at other times, but he has also been superb on occassions. Against Spurs early in the season he was great, and at a time when we needed him to be.

I am no big fan of his and think his temprement is poor, but i dont see how booing him at the beginning of the game is going to help him step up to the plate? I wouild love to see him play a blinder and make me eat my words, and being so critical before the game is not going to help.



At 4:14 PM, Anonymous portugal said...

Think Kenny hit nail on the head on Boa Morte. There s no question that at times this season he has not seemed fully committed ,to put it nicely, and there have also been times when, attitude aside, for one reason or another, he simply has not been effective, like the two back to back games at Man City ,when he simply committed too many fouls.

But there have also been times this season when his passing and movement have been spot on, and when he s created many chances for other players. There have also been games when his tackling and tenacity have been spot on, without the unnecessary fouls.

I think it s too easy ,and very convenient ,for supporters to focus solely on the negatives. I fully admit I was livid with the guy for what he did at White Hart Lane, as I felt that if we got into halftime down 2-nil, it wasn t all done and dusted yet... assuming we had 11 men on the pitch still, obviously...

I think part of the frustration that people feel with LBM is that they have seen him play better at Fulham, and also play better periodically in a West Ham shirt. Hence the question- why can t he perform to his potential more often? When u know someone has it in them to produce better ,but doesn t ,that s almost more infuriating than anything.

As often as the guy irritates me, I still think he can produce the goods. I think in the home game against Pompey for example, he was probably more effective than most of our players -in the first half in particular, he played well. And he looked liked it mattered to him, despite the crowd negativity.

I just wish the man wud produce the goods more often. I m not blaming Curbishley for this particular issue, but I also think this is an example of where mana management comes in. You ve got a player who has done better previously, a player who can do better than he has shown. a player who is not over the hill yet,despite hitting 30. Can the manager " manage" ,pardon the pun, to get the best out of the guy ?

I think prior to Bowyer s injury Curbishley was succeeding in coaxing more out of Lee Bowyer.
Boa Morte is a different kettle of fish, but may well be a challenge for anyone to manage.

g portugal


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