Thursday, 29 March 2007

Timing And The Essence Of Good Politics

Pierre Trudeau once declared that the essential ingredient of good politics is timing; it is a skill the West Ham management have yet to master. On the eve of our must win game against Middlesbrough, Eggert Magnusson has taken the opportunity to publicly lay the blame for the club's problems this season on the shoulders of the players. The article in The Times says the Icelandic businessman has witnessed a culture of complacency in the team after their exploits in finishing ninth in the Barclays Premiership and being seconds away from winning the FA Cup Final last season. He is quoted as saying: "I never mentioned anything about cancer in the dressing-room, which was reported in the press, but I did say that there were reasons why the team was not performing on the pitch. Part of the problem is that in your first season in the Premiership you have some drive and desire to see what you can achieve, but once you have done that, perhaps you think that things will happen by themselves."

In a similar vein, Alan Curbishley has decided to re-open the debate over Middlesbrough's weakened team selection in their recent match against Manchester City. In today's Independent he is reported as saying: "Everyone down the bottom is disappointed at what happened against Manchester City. It is not just the result, but when you do rest players and don't get the result it is a double whammy. At Charlton [Curbishley's former club] around this time of the season we were usually in a healthy league position and had never taken it for granted. When we played teams that were involved in relegation battles we put our strongest side out so that no one could look at us and criticise. It may not have had anything to do with the result but Neil Warnock has had his say and obviously it is a situation where we are all looking at other people's results now."

In other news West Ham will have to convince the leading criminal lawyer Simon Bourne-Arton QC of their good faith if they are to escape sanctions over the signing of the Argentinian pair Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez. The Guardian reports that Bourne-Arton, a silk with the Leeds-based Park Court Chambers, is a criminal-law specialist who has particular experience in white-collar fraud cases. He will chair the Premier League disciplinary panel examining the signings just as he headed the appeals panel that in 2005 marginally reduced the fines imposed on Ashley Cole and Jose Mourinho over Chelsea's illegal approach for the England left-back.

Finally, The Mirror claim Derby manager Billy Davies will try to take Matty Etherington if the clubs swap divisions in May. This follows a story from a few days ago that Davies is looking to sign Tyrone Mears on a permanent deal.

1 comment:

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