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Going down without a fight or a whimper!


Guest Gary Loughran
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Guest Gary Loughran

Well, after the disaster that occurred at the valley, Curb's had resigned himself West Ham's impending demotion from top flight football. Hardly the greatest of motivators for the remaining points, but a realisitc appraisal nonetheless.

On Jimmy Hill's Sunday Supplement the journalists seemed to agree with a point John made a while back i.e. that Curbishley was mentally shot.

Can he recover?

Is the vote of confidence to be read for what it is, or what it typically implies?

As a an aside, the media here are reporting that Gerry Adam's is taking the unprecedented step of laying a wreath at Croke Park....in memory of the massacre of 15 Englishmen at the weekend. Boom boom.

:hotorwot

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Well, after the disaster that occurred at the valley, Curb's had resigned himself West Ham's impending demotion from top flight football. Hardly the greatest of motivators for the remaining points, but a realisitc appraisal nonetheless.

On Jimmy Hill's Sunday Supplement the journalists seemed to agree with a point John made a while back i.e. that Curbishley was mentally shot.

Can he recover?

Is the vote of confidence to be read for what it is, or what it typically implies?

It seems to me that Curbishley is having a mental breakdown. He is not able to deal with the stress of the job. It was rumoured that this was the reason he was rejected for the England job.

I cannot see the point of sacking him. We are going to be relegated whatever we do? I expect he might resign over the weekend. The current squad clearly do not respect him. If he stays, he will have to bring in a completely new team.

One longshot for the next manager: George Graham.

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Well, after the disaster that occurred at the valley, Curb's had resigned himself West Ham's impending demotion from top flight football. Hardly the greatest of motivators for the remaining points, but a realisitc appraisal nonetheless.

On Jimmy Hill's Sunday Supplement the journalists seemed to agree with a point John made a while back i.e. that Curbishley was mentally shot.

Can he recover?

Is the vote of confidence to be read for what it is, or what it typically implies?

It seems to me that Curbishley is having a mental breakdown. He is not able to deal with the stress of the job. It was rumoured that this was the reason he was rejected for the England job.

I cannot see the point of sacking him. We are going to be relegated whatever we do? I expect he might resign over the weekend. The current squad clearly do not respect him. If he stays, he will have to bring in a completely new team.

One longshot for the next manager: George Graham.

Some of my friends were at the Charlton match where on all accounts both sets of fans were singing "There's only one Alan Pardew"

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There are a couple of articles in the paper today that help to explain the problem:

Observer:

West Ham squad 'out of control'

Reckless gambling ruining morale

Player won £38,000 from team-mates

Curbishley 'not talking' to big winner

Jamie Jackson

Sunday March 4, 2007

Observer

A culture of reckless high-stakes gambling is causing division within West Ham and rupturing morale to such an extent that the first-team squad, already riven by cliques, is 'spiralling out of control' - and the players, manager and directors already know that they can do nothing to stop the club being relegated. That is the damning view from inside the dressing room at the Premiership's most troubled club.

Players are haemorrhaging vast amounts of money to each other at the card table, as much as £50,000 in one sitting. They have won and lost these staggering sums on the team coach to matches. 'How can they be in a good frame of mind for a match after that?' says one first-team player, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The player said: 'I've never seen anything like it in my career. It's one big mess here, the atmosphere is terrible, people don't talk to each other. Players are losing 30, 40 and 50 thousand pounds sometimes. By the time we arrive one player owes another and it's terrible for the team and morale. They are always playing cards.'

One senior player, an established international, is said to have won £38,000 from two of his team-mates in one afternoon recently. The losers had to pay up and manager Alan Curbishley is no longer speaking to the player who won the money. Two members of the squad have undertaken counselling and treatment for gambling addiction, and a third player is also believed to be seeking professional help.

The disillusioned player also identified a catalogue of other problems. These include spats between rival cliques within the dressing room over territory and wages; divisive tension between Curbishley and his players; doubts over the decision-making of new chairman Eggert Magnusson; and the widespread admission, privately, that the club will be relegated. He also said that one recent signing was amazed when he was asked to a meeting to discuss club affairs with senior management in a lap-dancing club, though the club strongly deny that any such meeting took place.

Added to West Ham's list of woes, as they prepare to take on T*tenham today, is the Premier League charge for alleged irregularities in the signing of the Argentine players Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez last August, which could result in the loss of points if the club are found guilty; and the pending trial of defender Anton Ferdinand on charges of assault and violent disorder following an alleged brawl outside a London nightclub last October.

It is the depth of the club's gambling problem, which has already caused winger Matthew Etherington and goalkeeper Roy Carroll to seek help, that most concerns Curbishley, according to our source. A West Ham spokesman said: 'The club is aware of the fact that gambling is an area of concern and the manager has made clear that it must stop. Steps have been taken to eradicate this in the team environment.'

It is believed that Curbishley's first attempt to stop the card schools some weeks ago failed, but gambling is now banned in situations where he is responsible for the team, such as on journeys to matches. But he has been unable to stop the poker sessions when training is over, and one recent session is said to have continued until 4am.

The former England striker Teddy Sheringham spoke about gambling earlier in the season when promoting the online poker site 888.com. 'I can see why it [gambling] does become a problem, especially for young players who have so much money and so much time on their hands. I've always enjoyed a drink, but at the right times, and I play poker at the right times. Some people take it to extremes. You've got to keep it under control.'

The gambling culture is one more headache for former Charlton manager Curbishley, who took over at Christmas, since when West Ham have won only once. Curbishley's predecessor, Alan Pardew, had taken the club to within a minute of winning the FA Cup last May, but then oversaw a dramatic slump this season. West Ham are now bottom of the table and 11 points adrift of safety.

According to a well-placed source at Upton Park, the players are 'certainly not a unit and haven't been for a long time. It began at the end of last season during Pardew's time. There is a huge division. Nigel Reo-Coker, Bobby Zamora, Marlon Harewood and Shaun Newton all hang out together. And Reo-Coker is constantly saying he is too good for the club, that he should be at Man United or Arsenal.' Team spirit is also damaged, according to the representative of one long-serving player, by the level of resentment about the wages paid to Matthew Upson and Lucas Neil, who were signed by Curbishley in the transfer window and are being paid big money. Neil is thought to have turned down Liverpool to keep a £60,000-a-week salary.

'It's not rocket science,' said the agent, who represents some of the biggest stars in the Premiership. 'If the established players who have achieved for the club see new ones come in enjoying a lot more money for doing not very much, it's obviously going to cause problems.' Upson and Neil have been injured and have made three appearances between them.

Curbishley is said to have 'given up' on some of his players. 'He often stays in his office with his assistants. Sometimes we see him, other times we don't,' said the insider. As for Magnusson, the players 'think he is clueless and a bit lost. He gives off the wrong messages and only talks to certain players in the dressing room - those he brought here. And he has accepted Curbishley's admission that they are already down.'

Curbishley said ahead of today's game that he does not fear the sack. 'Performances have to improve. We have to win as many as we can from our last 10 games.'

The News of the World

THE GRANNY OF ALL LIES!

By Rob Shepherd

ANTON FERDINAND shamefully LIED to West Ham after flying halfway round the world for a boozy all-night party in America.

The England Under-21 star abused a four-day break to party with pals until dawn in a South Carolina nightspot — but told his club he had been visiting his sick grandmother on the Isle of Wight.

Ferdinand has now been forced into a full apology, admitting: "I have made a stupid mistake — one I will not make again."

Ferdinand partied with more than 100 guests at the Knock Knock club — just days before the Hammers' biggest game of the season.

One eye witness insists members of the group were "partying hard" and drinking a potent cocktail called HPNOTIQ, which contains vodka and cognac and is 17 PER CENT alcohol.

Hammers boss Alan Curbishley was shocked to learn about the trip and tensions between the two erupted after last Saturday's 4-0 thrashing by fellow Premiership strugglers Charlton.

A West Ham insider confirmed: "Anton was asked where he had been and he insisted he had gone to the Isle of Wight to visit his grandmother.

"The club put him on the spot and gave him a chance to tell the truth, but he kept repeating the same lie — that he had been to the Isle of Wight."

One of the guests at the booze-up — a West Ham fan living in the States — revealed: "Anton threw a private party for about 120 people. Anton and all the guests were partying hard and drinking but I'm not sure whether it will have helped his performance against Charlton the following week, which was shocking."

Our revelations come after the defender appeared at London's Snaresbrook Crown Court, where he denied involvement in a nightclub brawl last October.

And it's another scandal to rock Upton Park after West Ham were charged with playing Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano while they were ineligible.

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  • 1 month later...
Well, after the disaster that occurred at the valley, Curb's had resigned himself West Ham's impending demotion from top flight football. Hardly the greatest of motivators for the remaining points, but a realisitc appraisal nonetheless.

On Jimmy Hill's Sunday Supplement the journalists seemed to agree with a point John made a while back i.e. that Curbishley was mentally shot.

Can he recover?

Is the vote of confidence to be read for what it is, or what it typically implies?

As a an aside, the media here are reporting that Gerry Adam's is taking the unprecedented step of laying a wreath at Croke Park....in memory of the massacre of 15 Englishmen at the weekend. Boom boom.

:)

_________________________

Gary,

That was thoroughly enjoyable! [Probably because I'm mostly Irish (Mahon) in ancestry lol.] If I lived in England and you were a sports journalist (which I suspect you are), I'm sure that reading your columns would keep a smile on face from day to day regardless of the less-than-San Diego-like weather I've heard that you are subject to from time to time to time....

Cheers! :clapping

--Thomas

_________________________

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Well, after the disaster that occurred at the valley, Curb's had resigned himself West Ham's impending demotion from top flight football. Hardly the greatest of motivators for the remaining points, but a realisitc appraisal nonetheless.

On Jimmy Hill's Sunday Supplement the journalists seemed to agree with a point John made a while back i.e. that Curbishley was mentally shot.

Can he recover?

Is the vote of confidence to be read for what it is, or what it typically implies?

As a an aside, the media here are reporting that Gerry Adam's is taking the unprecedented step of laying a wreath at Croke Park....in memory of the massacre of 15 Englishmen at the weekend. Boom boom.

:blink:

I have watched most of West Ham's recent matches and except for the Sheffield United game, Curbishley has got them playing at last. I think the problem is that when he joined the club as manager he behaved like a teacher who had arrived at a tough school. He tried to impose himself by trying to appear the hardman. He did not have the personality to do it and therefore struggled to the point that he appeared to be having a nervous breakdown. However, he now seems to have got the respect of the players that matter and is building the right kind of spirit at the club.

My main criticism of Curbishley was his failure to bring in Noble from the start and his terrible signings. Even if we do go down, and I suspect we will, I think Curbishley will end up being a very good manager of the club.

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Guest Gary Loughran
I have watched most of West Ham's recent matches and except for the Sheffield United game, Curbishley has got them playing at last. I think the problem is that when he joined the club as manager he behaved like a teacher who had arrived at a tough school. He tried to impose himself by trying to appear the hardman. He did not have the personality to do it and therefore struggled to the point that he appeared to be having a nervous breakdown. However, he now seems to have got the respect of the players that matter and is building the right kind of spirit at the club.

My main criticism of Curbishley was his failure to bring in Noble from the start and his terrible signings. Even if we do go down, and I suspect we will, I think Curbishley will end up being a very good manager of the club.

Yes, at last. 4 wins from 6, and some fine performances have somewhat cheered my outlook for our chances of an automatic return from the Championship next season.

The addition of Noble has been one of the better moves by a coach, I can't get excited about, I'm afraid. He could have played anyone in midfield as long as he got rid of Quashie. Now there is a noble victim for a CIA job. :blink: He has single handedly risen with unprecedented speed to the top 10 of my most despised and worst signings list. Peaking just ahead of Mitchell Thomas and behind Keith Rowland, who is by no means number one.

Is it a coincidence that these last round of results and good performances have come almost exclusively by players signed by Pardew, with the exception of Neill, who has impressed me with his toughness and readiness for a battle. Collins too has been a tower of strength, it really is a pity he has been so injury prone, I feel he can be one of the best centre halves we've had for quite a while, a hope I also once held out for Elliott Ward.

Our only hope is that we get another couple of results against Wigan and Bolton, and Man Ure keep on trucking also. If they've wrapped up the league by the time we meet, hopefully they'll be drunk or otherwise weakened, and, as Ferguson recommended Curbishley to take the job, he'll ensure an under par performance which will allow us to sneak a result and stay up. :blink:

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Our only hope is that we get another couple of results against Wigan and Bolton, and Man Ure keep on trucking also. If they've wrapped up the league by the time we meet, hopefully they'll be drunk or otherwise weakened, and, as Ferguson recommended Curbishley to take the job, he'll ensure an under par performance which will allow us to sneak a result and stay up. :pop

I think it could be to our advantage if Man Utd need to win the last game to get the title. They might become over anxious and we could stay up by getting a 0-0 draw.

Anyway, I think it is possible that both Fulham and Charlton won't get anymore points. Therefore, two wins against Wigan and Bolton can keep us up.

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Well, we are still in with a chance (the bookmakers still make us favourites to go down). I was very impressed with their performance on Saturday. They really are playing as a team. The defence looks secure, the midfield close down and the forwards always look like than score goals. Bolton are always difficult to beat but 3 points on Saturday should be enough as I suspect Fulham will have difficulty getting results in their final two games.

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Guest Gary Loughran
Well, we are still in with a chance (the bookmakers still make us favourites to go down). I was very impressed with their performance on Saturday. They really are playing as a team. The defence looks secure, the midfield close down and the forwards always look like than score goals. Bolton are always difficult to beat but 3 points on Saturday should be enough as I suspect Fulham will have difficulty getting results in their final two games.

Agreed on everything above. The performance was excellent. I watched the game live on R.T.E, both teams were quite apprehensive, to the point of labouring, in the early stages; however, once we scored the class difference was huge.

I believe Collins has been a major force in the resurgence, I can't overstate how impressed I have been with his no nonsense approach. Wins headers and tackles and is willing to throw himself in the way of the ball all the time (maybe why he's so injury prone). Like John Terry, a comparable player, his distribution isn't great, but as a defender he should give the ball to the guys who can play anyway. Neil and McCartney have also greatly assisted.

From the little I've seen Noble looks a class apart in the midfield. Is this the opinion of the natives in London?

I'm frightened to look at the prospect of staying up. Expectation only leads to disappointment, an experience I know only too well from my life as a Hammers fan. So I've resigned myself to relegation until told otherwise.

Hopefully Liverpool will put out a semblance of a real side when they meet our relegation rivals, unlike that which fielded against Portsmouth.

Just read that T.B. is looking towards legal action for the termination of his contract and Aldridge is apparently infuriated by the besmirchment of his character and integrity by the implication that he witheld documents form the PL. Two things spring to mind, if this is true then the current ownership must have done something untoward for Aldridge and Brown to be so upset.

However if the current ownership behaved correctly at all times, as I reasonably suspect, then any action by Aldridge and Brown should and hopefully will backfire. Could this be to such a degree that they be held responsible for the £5.5 million fine.

On a side note, I believe the PL are wholly culpable in this issue and the fine was part of a quid pro quo deal with us. IF we stay up, 5.5 is nothing (I can't believe I just said that, but it's true). Whelan is right in his attack but wrong in directing his ire at WHUFC. The PL are, I feel, open to wholescale and wide litigation from all the bottom clubs including us.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Well, we are still in with a chance (the bookmakers still make us favourites to go down). I was very impressed with their performance on Saturday. They really are playing as a team. The defence looks secure, the midfield close down and the forwards always look like than score goals. Bolton are always difficult to beat but 3 points on Saturday should be enough as I suspect Fulham will have difficulty getting results in their final two games.

Agreed on everything above. The performance was excellent. I watched the game live on R.T.E, both teams were quite apprehensive, to the point of labouring, in the early stages; however, once we scored the class difference was huge.

I believe Collins has been a major force in the resurgence, I can't overstate how impressed I have been with his no nonsense approach. Wins headers and tackles and is willing to throw himself in the way of the ball all the time (maybe why he's so injury prone). Like John Terry, a comparable player, his distribution isn't great, but as a defender he should give the ball to the guys who can play anyway. Neil and McCartney have also greatly assisted.

From the little I've seen Noble looks a class apart in the midfield. Is this the opinion of the natives in London?

I'm frightened to look at the prospect of staying up. Expectation only leads to disappointment, an experience I know only too well from my life as a Hammers fan. So I've resigned myself to relegation until told otherwise.

Hopefully Liverpool will put out a semblance of a real side when they meet our relegation rivals, unlike that which fielded against Portsmouth.

Just read that T.B. is looking towards legal action for the termination of his contract and Aldridge is apparently infuriated by the besmirchment of his character and integrity by the implication that he witheld documents form the PL. Two things spring to mind, if this is true then the current ownership must have done something untoward for Aldridge and Brown to be so upset.

However if the current ownership behaved correctly at all times, as I reasonably suspect, then any action by Aldridge and Brown should and hopefully will backfire. Could this be to such a degree that they be held responsible for the £5.5 million fine.

On a side note, I believe the PL are wholly culpable in this issue and the fine was part of a quid pro quo deal with us. IF we stay up, 5.5 is nothing (I can't believe I just said that, but it's true). Whelan is right in his attack but wrong in directing his ire at WHUFC. The PL are, I feel, open to wholescale and wide litigation from all the bottom clubs including us.

I was out of the country when West Ham played against Manchester United and only watched the game over the weekend. Although Man Utd had the best chances, West Ham always seemed to be dealing well with the situation.

It is strange but everything changed when Curbishley began listening to the fans. On the West Ham forums I and many others were calling for Noble to be introduced into the team (he had played extremely well for Ipswich where he had been on loan for the first-half of the season). He said at the time that youngsters were too inexperienced for the relegation struggle. Instead he prefered to play those who had been relegated before.

Curbishley was also unwilling to play Tevez and Zamora when he first went to the club. He was also slow to drop Harewood, Mullins and Konchesky from the team. However, he did eventually see the error of his ways and made the necessary changes. The return of Collins from injury was also very significant. He was another one who did not get a fair run under Pardew (in my opinion Collins should have played instead of Ferdinand last season). You are right to compare him to John Terry. I don't think his distribution is too bad but he is slow to turn and sometimes gets caught out when attacked at speed. But then again, most defenders have this problem.

If Curbishley gets rid of Reo-Coker and brings in a good replacement, plus a couple of extra players (a wide player and another striker) we could be top six next year.

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