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"It helps that he doesn't speak the language"!

Filed: Sunday, 6th May 2007
By: Gordon Thrower

Alan Curbishley reveals how Hammer of The Year Carlos Tevez has been coping with being the subject of all the recent controversy, together with his views on the weekend's events at the post-match press conference....

I said after the Chelsea match weíd need at least 38 points. Is it enough? Well weíve been saying for a number of weeks that weíd need to win the majority of our games. We go to Old Trafford next week and itís in our hands for the first time in some time. You couldnít wish for a tougher game but at least we go there with a lot of confidence. When you look at the fixture list and you see you have Man Utd last game of the season you hope thereís not going to be too much on the game. I think itís about the 3rd time in five years Iíll have been there on the last day. My record? Drawn one, lost one like most people! We go there and weíve given ourselves a chance. The first half-hour was fantastic so weíve built up a lot of confidence. Chelsea play tomorrow then they play each other Wednesday so it could all still be on.

I was involved in a last day thing with Charlton a few years ago and there were all sorts of twists and turns Ė with six minutes left Palace were safe and West Brom were down and it all changed round. No-one can work out quite how itís going to fall so youíve just got to go out and do your bit. If we go to Old Trafford and get something weíll have done our bit.

How have the events of the past couple of weeks affected Tevez? Well it helps that he doesnít speak the language! He understands whatís going on obviously. He feels quite clearly that itís all got nothing to do with him Ė he just plays football. I had a quite word with him last week but I didnít bother this week. He was very, very doubtful for this game. He hurt his ankle on Tuesday. No doubt the conspiracy theorists will get involved!

Iím pleased we got our result. The other games going our way? Well one has, one hasnít and oneís playing at the moment. Weíve just got to get on with our side.

Playing the way we are I suppose you look and wonder about earlier in the season. I said when I first joined the club do you get confidence from results or results from confidence? Since the Tottenham game the results have come and the confidence is back. You have players doing things naturally that maybe they werenít doing five or six weeks ago. Weíve kept a settled side that hasnít been ravaged as much as it was when I first came to the club so we havenít had too many changes week in week out so that does help. Thatís no disrespect to the players not playing at the moment but weíve never been in that position since weíve been at the club.

Tevez and the fans? Well when I first came we played Man Utd and I hadnít seen West Ham play too often. We came out to kick-off and the crowd were singing his name. I hadnít really seen him. They were chanting again at the next game, and the next one. Heís obviously built up a rapport with the crowd and he wasnít even playing! All weíve asked him to do is play higher up the pitch than maybe he was doing when he first came to the club and to be in that final third a little bit more. Heputs people under pressure and he relieves pressure as well by holding on to the ball. With that the goals have come. Heís been important to us but itís not just Carlos Ė a lot of other players have started performing well for us.

Liverpoolís nine changes? Well Iím not happy with it I must admit. Rafa was on the box explaining his priorities but I donít expect heíll ever be in the bottom three. I donít know how their game went other than theyíve been beaten. Iím disappointed with the changes but donít make a mountain out of a molehill about it Ė weíve all got to get on with it. We got our result and thatís all that matters to me today. Sheffield Utd v Wigan? Well letís see how tonightís match goes. All we can hope is that there is still something on that game.

Yes I spoke with Sir Alex Ferguson before I took over here for advice but Iíve barely spoken with him since. Will I be ringing him this week? Perhaps I should call him to see how many changes heíll make for next weekís match! Weíre out of the bottom three for the first time in ages and if we get something at Old Trafford weíll be safe.

Have the recent events inspired us? I donít really know. What has inspired us is the desire to stay in the premiership. We did the walk aroud today and it awas a bit subdued because we still havenít done the job. If we can do the job West Ham should be looking for better things. Letís hope we can do the job.

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by Helen
06:27PM 6th May 2007
''Tevez deserves 'Hammer of the Year' ...''

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