So here we go. 1 week into the new Premier League season and already it’s all happening but nothing is changing. The events are not really for the better, at least from my perspective. Aside from Blackpool’s unexpected and invaluable 3 points by way of the thrashing of Wigan, everything else was pretty predictable. That included the capitulation of West Ham at Villa, not for the first time I may add. All the bullish talk about a new era under Avram Grant from the West Ham Diddymen, turned out to be hot air. I did not go to the game, I did not listen to it, I did not even read about it. All I did was watch the 8 minutes of highlights on Match of the Day, one of the best lifestyle ‘Apps’ available on TV.
It just saves so much time. When I saw the teamsheet before the game, I knew it was all over. Had I paid good money and invested more of my life travelling to the game, I would have puked up on my Pukka Pie when I saw those four horrible words. ‘Boa, Morte, Faubert, Kovac’. Three ex internationals who have had, let’s say, their best days. Probably in Boa Morte and Faubert’s case when they were back home at summer camp. Avram, bless him, impressed us all when he decided to use Faubert as an ‘attacker, playing on the right wing’. Eureka, he must have read Curbishley’s hand over notes to Zola, given this bloke was bought for £6m as a winger who had played for France, but no one including Curbishley, at the club had ever seen him play. Indeed Arsene Wenger had advised him not to join West Ham, ‘for the benefit of his career’. Arsene has done his share of bollocks talk down the years, but I really wish his advice had been heeded on this occasion. For all of us.
What is it with these managers who pick the same rubbish players week in, week out? What are they watching? Are they all stupid? Clearly not. Zola was a footballer and could be a good coach one day. Surely he must have seen that Boa Morte and Faubert are simply not good enough. There is not a West Ham fan I know who thinks either have anything to contribute. Is it a case of the club, consciously or otherwise thinking ‘we are playing Luis 60k a week, we must get some value from him?’ is that the real reason? When money was loose, under our brief and damaging Icelandic Age, it was wasted. We are still paying the price for that approach. But fundamentally is it not the time for the football business models to change? What other (so called) profession or career indulges their people on 2 or 3 or 4 year contracts, effectively binding in players and clubs to a financial agreement that does not work for the club or the supporters who finance all of this. Before I get slated for this, it is my belief that supporters, active or otherwise support the whole business, even if it is through their expensive Sky TV packages. The days of the paying supporters funding clubs at the top level are well over, not that this made any real difference, but the pursuit of money by all involved has now incurred lasting damage on the game.
The Blackpool chairman Owen Oyston has resigned this week. Is that good or bad for Blackpool? I have no idea, but he has cited the frustration with the Premier League system. Agents are not known for their honesty, and what ever you think of Oyston, maybe he just does not fancy a season which ultimately will end in tears, just the way it did over at Turf Moor. The temptation to break the £10,000 a week ( ie £520,000 per year) wage ceiling must be strong, but he and everyone else knows that money will not guarantee success indeed it will only ever end up in tears.
Over at Citeh, the Arabs in charge have allegedly shelled out £26m on James Milner. To sweeten the deal with managerless Villa, Stephen Ireland has been sent the other way. Everytime I have seen Ireland play he has looked good. Citeh’s loss will be Villa’s gain. Ireland has cited ‘too many Citeh youth team players sauntering around the club with ten grand watches on their wrists, acting like they have played 200 Premier League games already’ as an indication of the effect of too much money. He is right. In all forms of life, unless you are a little hungry, things don’t happen. Too much money makes it too easy. You only have too look at what has happened at Realtime Worlds and APB in the games industry this week. £100 million spent and…..
Ranting? Yes. I started writing this on my way to West Ham and it gives me no pleasure to report that West Ham have shipped another 3 goals. Avram has continued to demonstrate that he has absolutely no idea how to manage a team, although he did at least drop Boa Morte and Kovac. But Faubert was moved to full back, the rest will be committed to the Rothmans Yearbook, or whatever it is called nowadays. Meantime Blackpool shipped 6 and Chelsea delivered 6 against hapless Wigan. I am sure Martinez will be sacked by the end of next week by way of retribution. Nothing changes.
It’s a mess and most people know it. I have many Man City mates and despite the hope, they all know that it will end in tears. Indeed they all know that deep down the failure does not kill you. The hope does.