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The dangers in rushing to judgement

Filed: Monday, 1st July 2013
By: David Hautzig

There is a pretty decent bar to watch some football near where I live called Wolf's Biergarten. It's a Bayern Munich stronghold, but the beer is very good as are the sausages. It doesn't hurt that the manager is a West Ham supporter, so when I decide to watch a game away from home that's where I end up. Which is not often.

I am very anxious during our games, so I don't make good company. I'm also very superstitious, with far-fetched ideas that where I watch a game can absolutely affect the outcome. But during the 2010 World Cup, while I wanted the United States to do well I was able to watch the games without having a defibrillator handy.

June 15, 2010. I'm sipping some ale the manager recommended while casually watching Slovakia try to hang on to their 1-0 lead over New Zealand. The Kiwis had looked like a pretty decent side if I remember correctly, and I was probably rooting a bit more for them.

93rd minute, a ball is played into the box and headed home by some guy named Winston Reid. A little cheer went up, more in surprise than any sense of support. I thought this Reid fella took his chance well, and I remember some guy sitting somewhere behind me commenting that he had played a relatively good game.

Fast forward to the first game of the season in 2010. No need to waste time going over what happened that day. We all know. And the rest of his season wasn't much better, although I'm not sure it could have gotten much worse. So when relegation was confirmed, I doubt many of us would have wanted someone signed under the train wreck that was and likely still is Moron Grant to stick around. At the time it was akin to saving a tumour in a glass jar after removal.

Hit the fast forward button again. Hold it down a little longer, because we are speeding through two seasons now instead of one. Mr. Reid has just completed two stellar years on our back line. Voted Hammer of the Year. Instead of Tweeting that he has to go, Tweeters are worrying about a top four side coming in for him.

Before you start making a list of players and managers who were given far more time than they deserved, let me throw my hands up and say "I know". But there is a tendency now to rush to judgment on what constitutes success and failure. Billions of pounds in real and potential revenue can do that to an otherwise patient and rational person.

Take Matt Jarvis for example. Go to virtually any blog and you will find a nation divided. Some are pleased with his first year, others bemoan how much was supposedly spent on him. Can we really judge him to be either a success or failure after one season? Every time he touched the ball I thought something might come of it. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Andy Carroll thought the same thing.

Personally, I don't give a toss how much we paid for him or any other player for that matter. Not my money. And regardless of how you feel about our chairmen as football people, anybody that denies they are clever business people are delusional and in need of treatment. If they need to perform some creative accounting to work the transfer market they will certainly do so.

The Andy Carroll transfer is still scrutinised by some, even criticised. Thatís fine. The press is there to not only report but to analyse and help lead public discussions on topics from healthcare to goalkeeping. But handing down a verdict before any evidence is presented is ridiculous.

The guy is just starting a contract that could last eight years, yet if you read Mark Alford of the Daily Mail youíd think you stepped into a time machine, traveled a few years down a wormhole, and saw what a disaster the signing had become. In his article recently arguing that Carroll is not worth the money West Ham paid, he tries his hand at one liners.

"There are rumours that Andy Carroll is set to be given a new boot deal. They might as well be glass slippers for the number of times heíll receive the ball to his feet at West Ham," says Mr. Alford.

If Henny Youngman were still with us, heíd have little reason to feel threatened.

Magnusson - a lesson learned the hard way

We are at a very interesting and possibly exciting juncture in West Hamís recent history. Even though I have only been supporting the club since the early 1990s, my gut tells me something different is happening. Yeah, there was euphoria when Eggy took the wheel, pushed the pedal down hard, and started spending money like it came out of a board game.

Iím told doing cocaine can feel like that, but often with dangerous and self destructive consequences.

Now there seems to be a plan for West Ham. Like a good chess player (such an overused metaphor but it works) the two Davids and the one Karren are not only seeing the next move, but the next five moves. They are being methodical. They are showing patience. And in our case, it may be more than a virtue.

It may be a jackpot.

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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