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The Failings of Football Match Reports

John Simkin

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Guest Gary Loughran
A possible pre-emptive strike strike has been launched by the West Ham owners. Seemingly in an attempt to offset fanbase anger at the lack of investment and sales of players the club issued a statement - which said lots and nothing at the same time.

The £40million net transfer expenditure is in marked coflict with a recent KUMB item which put the net expenditure at £14.8 million (on cursory examination it seems reasonably accurate). The other £25 million certainly isn't easily reconcilable.

Curbishley - despite being challenged by our Captain during a recent dressing room flare up(pot kettle and black) - seems on a collision course with management that will cost his job. Whether this is over the sales of players, his general tactical approach, his demeanour - is unclear. What is clear is that following the statement declaring the arrival of 3 new signings (if Premiership registration is approved) the club web site advertised "reaction from Curbishley to follow" - I have returned to the site quite a few times to find Curbishley's reaction (as I couldn't believe he was involved in the signings adnwanted to see what he had to say). Today still no word from Curbishley - instead the Official Statement issued (above) was there.

I may be reading too much into this - but I can't read it any other way than a Curbishley discontent and prelude to a resignation/pat off/severance. One report today suggests that Curbishley is willing to walk if the severance is right. I think this means he is arbitration, possibly claiming the club has undermined him and in doing so have involuntarily resigned Curbishiley. This might allow him to walk away honourably and with a pay-off.

Of course he could be firmly cemented as manager, reinvigorated by the transfer moves he was directly involved in...in which case ignore the last couple of paragraphs :)

Curbishley is involved in the same kind of dispute as Kevin Keegan. However, the support of the fans has forced Newcastle to back-down. The idea of a Director of Football cannot work in Britain. No club has had success using this system. Nor will they get a good manager to accept such a system. If Curbishley, who will they replace him with?

Curbishley brought in Upson, Bellamy, Parker and Dyer. These were all top players with experience of playing at the top level. They have all suffered from injuries but will in time come good.

I am getting good at reading the signs...Curbs has quit. That Official Statement and my summary of reasons for it's appearence as a pre-emptive strike were spot on :)

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