Filed: Thursday, 22nd March 2012
By: Paul Walker
So Tony Mowbray thinks we believe we are ďinsultedĒ by having to play in the Championship. Iíve got news for him, we only feel insulted by the people who have got us here in the first place.
What the Middlesbrough manager knows about this club, our fans and the working class community that spawned us you could probably write on the back of a postage stamp.
This son of a steelworker should know better than to suggest that sons and grandsons from a docklands community would be that disrespectful of fellow working men.
On the contrary. Many fans I speak to have been more than impressed by some of the teams in the Championship. Their commitment, effort and desire to improved themselves in a career that sees few home-grown players now performing in the Premier League.
What you do get is teams who give 200 per cent against, as Abdoulaye Faye said after his first goal for the club on Tuesday.
He reckons that the players in this division raise their game against us, and then lose the next one. Are you listening Leeds!
We are being confronted week in week out by clubs that have little money, or have fought their way back from administration, but still manage to produce a highly competitive division. No, we donít want to be in it, but we know we have to prove we are worthy of leaving it and we do not expect to breeze through the campaign to the title.
But Mowbray believes we are above ourselves, and are insulted by the indignity of playing the likes of his own club. Those were his words after Middlesbrough defended their way to a 1-1 draw at the Boleyn on Tuesday.
He does not know how we feel and why. Perhaps after a ten year career in management, with only one success - taking West Brom to promotion (swiftly followed by relegation) and then being sacked as a failure after 45 games at Celtic, Mowbray should really concentrate on his own club, not ours.
Managers as a rule do not criticise their players or their rivals, certainly not their fans. To pass a snap judgement while not knowing really why fans at West Ham can be angry, did not help my mood after yet another drawn match.
Our own boss Sam Allardyce, always one for statistics, claimed nobody gets automatic promotion losing more than eight games. We have been stuck on seven for a while, but squandering ten points from five successive drawn matches seems like losing three more games to me.
So the fans booed again. But only at the end and not for long. Sadly the whole thing is now slipping badly into a pattern. We do not have the talent to break teams down who come to defend in depth, oh for a Scott Parker out there.
I never believed we would miss Vaz Te so much. Since he limped off against Palace we have barely had a shot at the Boleyn.
We do not have the class and quality to find that few feet of space and time to make something constructive happen. We do not have anyone who can play accurate passes from midfield, rather than the humping of cross-field passes or balls down the channels.
It was horrible to watch, even though Allardyce suggests we played some good football. Is he brave enough now to risk the flare of Ravel Morrison, or to give Henri Lansbury a central role? Because thatís all we have who can begin to produce passes, openings and goals.
We can still catch Reading, if not Southampton. We must win the game in hand at Peterborough next week, beat Reading the following Saturday and - are you listening lads - we must win at Burnley.
So just why are we so angry. I can only speak for myself in this, and I have a long list, so bear with me.
Iím angered by managers who take cuts of transfer fees, those that insist on working with the same agent, those that have their family members, brothers or sons working as agents, those that have had shares in the companies of discredited agents, and those that almost routinely take back- handers in transfer dealings. You can fill in the names for yourselves!
And just how is it right that a manager can avoid tax by opening an offshore account in the name of his dog and allowing his boss to give him cash presents? I wonder if thatís what George Osbourne meant when he talked about closing tax loopholes in his Budget speech?
And just why is it right for managers to be given a cut of any money the club makes by selling players? I thought bringing on young talent was part of the job, and frankly I canít see exactly what influence Harry Redknapp had in the improvement of Peter Crouch, but weíll let that go.
OK, thatís managers who make me angry. Now the people who have helped bring this club to our current position. Maybe it starts with selling Rio Ferdinand (and not finding out until now how much Ďarry got from that deal).
For all his dodgy image, we have not been the same since he was sacked. It cost us Frank Lampard (Senior and Junior) too. Then there have been the poor decisions in appointing Lou Macari, Glenn Roeder, Avram Grant and even Gianfranco Zola, but only for his inexperience, not the football he tried to play.
Then we come to the various owners. From Terry Brown, and the vast wealth he made from selling the club, to incompetent, plain daft Icelandic owners whose wealth had no solid foundation and just melted away, along with our dreams of becoming what Manchester City are today.
Next, well what about Scott Duxbury and the previous club officials who allowed the Carlos Tevez saga to even start. Fined for hiding contract details and then finally hammered by a ridiculous kangaroo court trumped up by the FA in their battle for supremacy with the Premier League. It has cost us millions, the respect of many in the game, and we are still shelling out £5million a year to help Sheffield United cover up their own financial mess.
Donít even get me started on that Yorkshire club, whose owner, I was told, was privately trying to sell the club long before Tevez came along, and maybe could see a way of using our money to wipe out their debt to make his club a better option to buy.
And worst of all, the management of West Ham for losing a golden generation. Ferdinand(x2), Cole, Carrick, Defoe, Johnson , Lampard, even John Terry.
Thatís why we are angry Mr. Mowbray, thatís why we I feel insulted. Now mind your own business.
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.
04:23AM 25th Mar 2012
''I'd say it was mind games if Mowbray had one!''
by Lyme Iron
05:41PM 24th Mar 2012
I hope I am wrong,but it is the play offs for us. I can't see us beating Reading at home (or anyone at home}. We are too predictable, create little and unfortunately have now started to concede a goal a game. However,over two legs Sam will get it right.
There are similarities to the Alan Pardew reign - finished 4th and 6th with a good squad.''
12:25AM 24th Mar 2012
''A brilliant article and totally accurate in every sense. Big Sam should be a politician the way he uses stats to disguise reality, for me the most absurd statement I have ever heard from a manager came in his post match comments after the Leeds game: "we had great chances to score just before half time from two good corners". It smacks of desperation when you have to count a corner kick as a chance, dear old messrs Lyall and Greenwood would be ashamed of how we play.''
by Jon S
10:34PM 23rd Mar 2012
''Great article Paul, totally agree apart from one point..."Oh,for a Scott Parker out there" - to do what exactly?
Give away stupid free kicks by going into the back of opposing players on the edge of our box or just running around like a headless chicken in ever decreasing circles maybe?
Creative midfielder? I think not! Just a guy who gave all he could give at the time and we will always be grateful for that. ''
by Gary L
07:14AM 23rd Mar 2012
''Best article ive read all year. Well said.''
10:22PM 22nd Mar 2012
''Great article, and I agree with all the sentiment, but I think it sorta says that Mowbray was right, even if he was right for the wrong reasons? ''
by Jason Roche
09:42PM 22nd Mar 2012
''Superb, I agree with everything you said.''
07:52PM 22nd Mar 2012
''The £300,000 that Harry received as a bonus was not a secret and was well publicised at the time. Harry reacted to criticism with something along the lines of 'The chairman offered me a bonus and I'm not going to turn it down, who would?'. I suspect Sam is inline for such a 'bonus' when we sell Morrison.''
07:18PM 22nd Mar 2012
''Spot on article. Everyone it seems has worked out how to play against us and what do we do? Use tactics that have small front man and play long balls - what nonsense.
We now appear to be a one trap pony, play one way, badly, and complain that it is everyone's fault e.g. The referee, linesman, other teams for trying to stop us scoring, and even scoring themselves, the pitch doesn't give us the right bounce. Could this be an attempt to deflect criticsm? Surely not. Tactics all wrong, players playing out of position and seeing who can kick the ball the furthest. Perhaps, passing and shooting should be on the agenda at the training ground.
Mind you if Big Sam did change things what would we complain about? Still we have a game in hand, and we could win some games, or was that a pig I saw flying? I just wonder if Big Sam ever listens to anyone, or is he always right and the rest of the world wrong.
It will be an interesting run in and probably have more articles, moans, and suggestions than any manager would want, perhaps Big Sam should understand it's because we all care, and want to see football played and not hoofball. Where are the Ron Greenwoods and John Lyalls or is that expecting too much?''
07:14PM 22nd Mar 2012
''Mowbrays right, you think you're a way bigger club than you are. Half this division is as big as West Ham but a few more years down have made them humbler.
I read your fans going on about how BS should be doing better as he has the best squad. It's nonsense, most of your squad is players at their level, not many would do any good in the Prem.''
04:33PM 22nd Mar 2012
''Great read and agree with every word. Mowbray has no idea.''
03:23PM 22nd Mar 2012
''Brilliant mate. We are fed up of being used by people who dont care about WHU like we do.''
by Ian H
03:20PM 22nd Mar 2012
''I get angry watching the same old futile attempts to break the opposition down. What was the point in buying Baldock and then Maynard and either not giving them a proper go and or playing them in alien positions whilst continuing to lump it forwards?
Kevin Nolan has yet to find his true place in our midst, yes he has scored some goals but how many other chances might we have created in a more balanced midfield. We managed to get on fairly well before Vaz Te so we shouldn't be lamenting his absence quite so much surely.
Finally if there is a finally at the moment, why can't our lot shoot, do they not have any practice? It was ironic that the chance Boro put away was no more than Coley should have done at the other end. Watching Soton and Reading play attacking controlled football they LOOK ready to play PL but if we do get up we will so have to change everything we do or we will get slaughtered.
Frustrated, angry, stressed yes - well it's what you sign up for by supporting WHU - but I wouldn't go anywhere else!''
by Chicken Run
03:02PM 22nd Mar 2012
''I've said it many times before that this club has never recovered from relegation in 2003. Going down on a record number of points with probably the best squad of players (except Dailly and Repka) since the days of Hurst, Moore and Peters. I said at the time that the consequences would be far reaching but no one in their right mind would have predicted the woeful chain of events that have conspired to almost destroy this club since that fateful day at St.Andrews may 2003.
West Ham has floundered from one embarrassing catastrophe to another and the man I hold responsible for this shambolic episode in the club's history is Terrence Brown. The failings of that idiot which you touch upon above are now our legacy. A part of my love for West Ham died on that day in 2003 and there hasn't been anything that has happened since that has changed that.''
by James TAylor
01:38PM 22nd Mar 2012
''What a great article, really enjoyable and bang on the money. Mowbray should keep his "elephantine" nose out of our affairs.
Keep up the good work.''
by Danny Cooper
12:36PM 22nd Mar 2012
''Brilliant Mr Walker!
An excellent summary of why we are where we are and, I agree, it's nothing to do with Tony Mowbray. However, he does have a point - we think we should be better than we are (no change there then) and get annoyed when "lesser" teams up their game for what they see as an easy scalp.
We don't want to be there any more than he does. The difference is he knows how to play against West Ham but Big Sam only knows one way. If that way won games then the boos would soon turn to cheers. Don't hold your breath! ''
11:35AM 22nd Mar 2012
''That's a pity because Middlesbrough have one of the best owners in the game and are to be admired by association. There's a strange small club syndrome of clubs like Boro and Sheffield United. They are in one or two team towns and are as big as us, but don't act like it.''
11:08AM 22nd Mar 2012
''Excellent, summed up the whole sorry mess of WHUFC and even a bit of economics thrown in. Keep up the good work, COYI and lets play some intelligent footbal BFS, not square pegs in round holes.''
10:56AM 22nd Mar 2012
''Spot on. We just want our West Ham back. Mowbary must have been talking to Durham on Talksport, that's what he throws out every week.''
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