Filed: Friday, 6th April 2001
KUMB is pleased to announce that we've teamed up Bubbles, the newest and freshest Hammers fanzine to hit the streets on match days. As a result we'll be swapping articles from time to time, plus you can catch all of the match reports from KUMB on the pages of Bubbles.
Whats going on?
The last issue of Bubbles was Arsenal away at the start of March. We’ve played Chelsea, Tottenham, Ipswich and Everton since then. We’ve lost them all. Now I don’t want to go on because you all must be sick of reading the same old thing. I can only really echo everyone elses frustration.
It’s us the fans who have once again been p*ssed upon. It’s us the fans who once again have been treated to no success, and it is us the fans who once again will be here next week and week after to watch this team play football that will send us into a relegation dogfight. You've heard everyone's cases about Harry and mine is simply - he’s got to go.
But even though I think he should leave I believe that he could do a few simple things to save his job:
1). Change the formation - 3-5-2- obviously doesn’t work - we’ve lost the last 5 games. We can change it. The are players there. Go to 4 at the back.
2). Take Cole out of midfield (because I'm sick to death of him, though Harry's comments can’t have helped) and put Di Canio in his position - as the attacking midfielder.
3). Play someone up front with Freddie (my choice Kitson but it will never happen)
4). Don't let Stimac or Dailly near the team ever again and we should see a change!
But none of that will ever happen cause Harry doesn’t have a clue and I dare say you’ve noticed that already.
On to today's match - Villa - a team who I do not rate at all but a team who are unfortunately better than us. This is the sort of team that we should be keeping up with in the league; we should be at their level. We’ve got to set our stall out differently. Our biggest problem will be if they play Dublin up front. We can’t deal with big men who win headers. You watch us week in, week out and you’ll see how bad we are at
dealing with high balls. If Harry plays the same formation and same
team then never mind sacking him - he needs shooting! Come on Harry try some new things today - show us that you're trying, because I sometimes think that you know the board won’t sack you so you don’t need to do anything.
Were not going to go down, I know it and most of us know it. We will pick up points to help us survive - I'm very sure. But the way we’ve played and the way our hopes to become a decent top 7 team have been dashed, well there needs a change in the camp.
Looking back on the Everton match I can’t believe that people were clapping Stuart Pearce when he got sent off. He cost us that game. Harry is best mates with him so he won’t say anything. I thought the ref was crap but Pearce in my eyes deserved the red card. He made a reckless challenge and then he goes and makes a clumsy one which resulted in a penalty.
We still looked poor though. Di Canio was out on the left and Freddie was out on the right and there was no one in the middle. My message to anyone who has a go at Di Canio - Everything good we’ve done in the last 2 season has come from him. Every attack we ever have is nearly always through him. Count how many games we’ve won without him in the last 2 seasons. I’m saying it every week but we’ve got to win today -
What a crap season even allowing for our two days out (and yes they were great). We started off near the bottom, picked ourselves up and all of a sudden we looked good for Europe - but the facts are we’ve picked up only 4 wins at home - and that's just not good enough.
Getting rid of Rio didn't seem to take effect straight away but now you can see the long term effects. But will Lampard, Cole and Carrick be next? I can see the board selling our future over the next 3 years. We the fans do not trust the board. Any positive steps from them like the new West Stand have not done it for me.
They don’t do it for us anyway - they do it for themselves and their financial gain. I wouldn’t mind this if they were going to have the money spent on strengthening the team and some class players brought to the club to play with our young talent but it never seems to happen.
On the subject of Harry - his transfer record has been good, bad and lucky. But Harry’s luck has run out. I mean , Dailly is no improvement on what we’ve already got, and looking at Camara, Song etc. there is a pattern of bad signings. After the Mannygate disaster of last season and this season’s Spurs fiasco, a change is needed and I don't just mean Harry I’m talking about the board and their lack of real commitment to put West Ham in the top 6.
Today I am right behind the boys to win and will be for the rest of the season. And when (not if) we gain these wins I think it will be time for us, the fans to organise ourselves and together let the club know what we think.
Interesting note from Harry this week - 3 months after we all said Freddie needs a striking partner he has finally got the message! Harry, you woke up too late.
Is Harry's time up?
That seems to be the talking point at the moment. After a really uninspiring season which has seen us take a big backward step you have to ask - is Harry gonna take us any further than we already are?
Now you may say that were never going to be a Man Utd, Arsenal or
Leeds and that is true - but I strongly believe that we are a club with big
potential and we should be up there battling for 6-8th place. But we have
continued to sign players who are no better than what we’ve got. We have continued to sign players who cannot get into their clubs first team.
What I can’t understand is that even when we do come into some money why do we persist in signing average players? Maybe it’s just the board who are stitching Harry up and not allowing him to spend big money (which wouldn’t surprise me) They have seen how Harry has done well with minimum funds in the last few years and have instructed him to continue on in that fashion.
They are happy to continue as we are - just surviving and playing average football with cheap average players. I think there's more to West Ham than this.
Also there is Harry’s lack of tactical awareness. He keeps playing with this 3-5-2 formation which is so clearly not working. Everyone can see this but Harry.
I believe the same thing is happening as when we had Bonds in charge.
Bonds took us up and kept us up and he needs thanking for that, just as Harry needs thanking for making us into a better club. But back then you could see that Bonds was going to take us nowhere - he’d done his bit and done it well but there was no more he could offer us as a manager. Harry has worked wonders and without him I believe we would not be in the Premiership.
But Harry has done his bit now - he’s done all he can for the club and I don’t think he can do any more for us. We will not go forward with Harry. That is fact. Harry will never be able to make that push. Maybe no one will - but I know Harry won’t.
What Harry has achieved is nothing short of a miracle and I am grateful, but the sh*t we’ve had to look at this season is unacceptable. Christian Dailly? Titi Camara? For the first time ever I'm not enjoying going to see us play. I’m not enjoying going to watch the Irons. Yes, we’ve been through worse times (probably with worse players) but this time it’s different. I feel let down.
We went from 5th in the 1998/99 season, then last season we finished 9th, and now this season we going to finish 14th? 15th? Worse? I’m noticing a pattern - we are getting worse every season and that means the manager is failing to get the best out of his team - and that means that his time is up.
Harry, thanks for all you’ve done but I'm afraid it’s time for you to go.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
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