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Grant: a stay of execution?

Filed: Thursday, 2nd December 2010
By: Paul Walker

Two wins in four days and how the mood has changed, particularily with that stunning victory over Manchester United.

And ok, that Carling Cup triumph ruined my theory that West Ham are these days unable to offer a proper challenge any more to the top four clubs.

Frankly, I'd have rather had three points, but just the sight of Fergie's face and hearing his complaints about our boys being too physical just made it all the better.

Someone should remind Ferguson that he was never too bothered about the over-physical approach of the likes of Roy Keane, Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Bryan Robson, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince...while Evra, Vidic and our own Rio are no angels. Have I made my point?

But the question now is, does the glow of success take the pressure from Avram Grant's shoulders? He was for the chop a few days ago, so does two wins change everything?

You would expect there has been a stay of execution, at least until the Carling Cup semi-finals next month. But Grant will need to turn the form of the last two games into the Premier League, and quickly.

But all the talk of managerial change will not go away. The media has been rife with rumours, and you can bet those theories have come from briefings from within Upton Park.

And there has even been suggestions that Wally Downes would be a more than capable caretaker manager should Grant fail to keep the momentum going.

And even after the victory over Wigan, there was been much chatter from the media that Cardiff's Dave Jones or QPR's Neil Warnock are in the frame.

I certainly hope not. Warnock would never be accepted by Irons fans, the man who has done nothing but bad-mouth West Ham - and threaten legal action - since the Tevez saga. Warnock would be lucky to get inside the ground, let alone the dug-out.

Surely our great leaders the two Davids would not be crazy enough to even consider such a mood.

Then there's Jones. He was seemingly in for the job before Grant was appointed, with Leeds owner Ken Bates even openingly suggesting that Jones was trying to work his ticket from Cardiff.

The media in Cardiff would be glad to see the back of Jones. He has been engaged in a lengthy fall-out with the three major titles in Wales - owned by Trinty Mirror - with reporters being banned from press conferences, and even asked to leave the after- match press conference at Wembley last season which was not under Cardiff's juristiction.

Jones seems unable to handle any sort of criticism, and the war with the local media has dragged on and on. The former Wolves boss may well be able to get away with that sort of behaviour in Cardiff, but the London media is a completely different matter.

If Jones cannot handle criticism in Cardiff, what will be be like when London's finest get stuck into him?

And then there's the feeling in Cardiff that Jones cannot cope well with major matches. Losing to Swansea this season and Blackpool at Wembley last term in the play-off final seems to give that feeling some substance.

West Ham fans, anyway, would want better than Warnock and Jones. And if Gold and Sullivan can come up with another support coach in the Downes mould, Grant could survive.

Downes seems to have changed our defensive system in a matter of days, although it's a little worrying that international defenders like ours need to be told what the basics are.

Downes' appointment was probably as much to do with Gold and Sullivan's solid working relationship with agent Barry Silkman than anything Grant suggested.

But Grant will know that league points are more important than cup finals, so the recent progress must be maintained. But that's for the future, for now lets just bask on the memory of a remarkable victory over Manchester United and hope the confidence from that great cup success leads us out of this relegation mess.

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.

Your Comments

by g portugal
04:21PM 3rd Dec 2010
''Downes has made a big difference which I hope is enough to keep us up. The real test wil be the next two league games. I'd like to see Grant turn things around but I have real doubts even after these two wins.

I agree that Jones isn't the answer and although we would probably be tough to beat under Warnock, after what happened with Tevez I would never want him at the club.

The only guy out there who I think would work is Martin O'Neill. If he could be convinced to do it on a short term deal, to be re-assessed at the end of the season. In an absolute emergency, much as I hate his style of football, Curbishley would need to be considered simply because we probably would concede very few goals with him at the helm (even if we were boring as hell to watch). But I'm more interested in surviving this season than in the style with which we play.

Regardless, a decision about whether to stay with Grant, for better or worse, must be made by Xmas. I hope that Grant can deliver, but if he does not over the next three matches, then the club has to be prepared to make a difficult decision. Our survival in the league (and beyond) is at stake.''

by Bristol Hammer
07:31AM 3rd Dec 2010
''Warnock never, Jones useless in the Championship. We need to transfer the cup perfomances to the PL.''

by Mr Moon
02:32PM 2nd Dec 2010
''I hope they do give Grant more time. We were 85% there in most games this season. I know that wasn't enough but the side were playing well (barring Liverpool and Villa). Let's hope G&S see this as a Grant/Downes double act rather than proof Grant wasn't working.''

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