Monday, 5 March 2007


West Ham United manager Alan Curbishley will take strong disciplinary action against defender Anton Ferdinand who defied club rules to celebrate his 22nd birthday in the United States, according to The Telegraph. Curbishley revealed he only found out on Saturday that Ferdinand had lied to the club and flown to America with friends for his 22nd birthday during a recent two-week break. The England Under-21 defender told coaching staff he was going to be with his sick grandmother on the Isle of Wight. The 'Grannygate' scandal gets an amusing airing on the Guardian's weekly podcast as they discuss the entire West Ham soap opera.

In the Independent, Alan Curbishley has identified the players' mindset as the principal problem facing his struggling West Ham side, who remained on the bottom of the Premiership after yesterday afternoon's extraordinary 4-3 defeat against Tottenham. "The problem we've got is that sometimes when we've been in a winning position we don't know how to win any more," he said. The word I'd use is 'naïve' - at 3-2 we bring someone down and Berbatov scores. It's happened to us three times now." In the Telegraph, the rant continues. "We are making the wrong decisions and nothing is surprising me any more. The players worked as hard as they could but perhaps they should have been doing that before this game. We need a three-pointer badly and have not had any kind of a lift-off."

West Ham chairman Eggert Magnusson has backed manager Alan Curbishley "100%" after the Hammers' season hit a new low yesterday. The Daily Mail quotes the Icelander as saying: "I want everyone to know that Alan Curbishley remains the man who we will build our future success on. Nothing has changed regarding our long-term plans and he still has my full support - 100%. We showed excellent spirit yesterday and we will continue our fight to survive." In the same article, Julian Dicks lays the blame for West Ham's malaise on "three or four players who are letting the side down." Gary Jacob, who is rapidly building a career based solely on West Ham comment, says the club's owners have backed Alan Curbishley but privately even they must be questioning their judgment.

There is also an interesting piece by Tony Cascarino in The Times in which he refutes the recent claims of gambling problems at the club. He argues that a report of West Ham United’s players gambling emerged yesterday but the fact is that the card school has been almost nonexistent this season, while last year it was well known that the West Ham pots were the biggest in the Barclays Premiership.

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