Friday, 2 March 2007

The Knives Are Out

Jermain Defoe was vilified for requesting a transfer within 24 hours of West Ham United’s relegation in 2003, but considering what has become of the club this season, who could blame several senior players for following suit this time? That is the saturnine question posed by The Times as Gary Jacob continues his daily salt rubbing of the club's patuous wounds. Predictably, Dean Ashton is now the first player mentioned of those who feel that their chance of being included in the England squad for the European Championship in 2008 would be stifled by playing outside the Barclays Premiership. Robert Green, Nigel Reo-Coker and Matthew Upson are not far behind.

Obviously, a raft of summer departures is the least of Curbishley's problems at the moment. According to The Independent, our beleaguered manager's fondest wish in trying to solve his crisis at West Ham United is just to field a settled team and get the result which might spark an east London revival. He said: "People are coming in and going out because of poor performances and poor results. My office door is like a revolving door. But I would give anything to name a settled team and anything to get another result - just one that could make all the difference."

If you are not already depressed enough then you could try Martin Smith's knives are out for West Ham article in The Telegraph. In a piece so doom-laden it may as well have been accompanied by the four riders of the apocalypse repeatedly playing B-minor on a church organ, Smith concludes our season has all the makings of a Greek tradgedy: a slow-motion car crash where you know the ending but you still watch open-mouthed. New twists to the plot are added each day to the extent that Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus would have struggled to keep up. If that wasn't enough, there is also a liberal sprinkling of Tony Cottee's dyspeptic droppings throughout. Exhibit A:
The biggest problem they have is that they are on 20 points, and to stay up they need to get around 38. If you work on that basis, that's six more wins. There are 10 games left, and three of them are against Chelsea at home, and Arsenal and Manchester United away. Then we're saying they have to win six of the other seven. And who are they against? Bolton, Blackburn, Sheffield United, Tottenham, Everton, Middlesbrough, Wigan. They aren't easy games either. The goal difference is awful: they've got the worst defence and the worst goalscoring record. I would like to be optimistic, but it is going to take a superhuman effort
On the plus side, Boots are currenty offering some very reasonable deals on razor blades.

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