Christmas comes but once a year, and after collecting eight points over the festive period, Avram Grant had every reason to look forward to the New Year - that was until he faced Newcastle at St James' Park.
The 5-0 drubbing that was handed out by the Geordies brought us crashing back to the bottom of the table and brought out doubts about his management style and skills by the press and fans.
He after the game claimed it was a “bad day at the office” which while being an understatement, I can see where he is coming from, especially when considering our previous four games which had seen us leave the bottom three for the first time this season after collecting eight out of 12 points on offer.
The important thing is that, even though we are seemingly back to where we started - bottom of the table - we are only two points off Fulham who are in 14th spot so we are not detached from those around us at the bottom.
I would give Avram at least until then end of February before even contemplating a change, as by looking at those games we could have played in a Wembley final and achieved very easily another 10 points at least. i
If that is not the case it would still leave enough games for any incoming manager to weave their magic and save us from the drop if the chairman deemed our situation that severe that only by sacking Grant would we survive.
If you look at our owners previous records with managers, when they bought Birmingham City they inherited a manager, stuck with him at first but sacked him the next season. They then appointed Barry Fry who was unable to stop their slide into the third tier of league football, they didn’t sack him though and the next season Fry led them to promotion.
Even Alex McLeish was not sacked when Brum were relegated from the Premier League and was allowed the chance to bring them back up, which he achieved at the first time of asking, so as you can see David Gold and David Sullivan have a history of backing their managers not sacking them.
The main problem for Avram is that his personality is rather dour, and because of that many fans think he is passionless about the club and cant inspire the players to dig deep and fight. In England we like to see managers that wear their heart on their sleeves; Martin O’Neil types who seem to kick every ball with their players.Newcastle’s new manager Alan Pardew, who still has a lot of support within the fans of West Ham, was the same.
I can still see his fist clench salute to Arsene Wenger after we scored a last minute winner against them and nearly resulted in a punch up between the two managers. I can’t ever see Avram Grant behaving like that but just because he doesn’t, doesn’t mean that I wont continue to support him.
What club has ever achieved success by constantly changing their manager? West Ham have had only 14 managers, including Brooking who was only a caretaker, in 110 years, in the fist 89 years of that history they had had only five, so what have we won in the past 21 years of chopping and changing, nothing.
So I say give Grant the time to prove himself before adding him to the list of ex-Hammers managers.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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