Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Curbs Enthusiasm

Don't panic, this is hopefully the last football post here for a while, but it would be remiss not to make reference to the appointment of Alan Curbishley as West Ham boss this afternoon. Curbs has been seen as the 'safe' 'obvious' successor to Alan Pardew, a former Hammers player and local man, with plentiful Premiership management experience and the added bonus that he's available to start with immediate effect. Dead Kenny clearly wishes him and his management team of Mervyn Day and Keith Peacock well in the upcoming relegation struggle.

And yet.

And yet Curbishley represents a bigger gamble than the various pundits and talking heads would have you believe. While boss at Charlton Athletic, points were rapidly accumulated at the beginning of the season so he has no proven experience at picking up a side from where the Hammers are now towards safety the hard way. He also lacks proven experience of spending the considerable transfer budget the club's new Icelandic owners are pledging to the survival cause. His record fee that he's paid out for a player is the £4.75m he shelled out for Jason Euell, and the biggest name player he handled during his spell with the Addicks was ex-Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy, with whom he promptly fell out. His record with Charlton was steady consolidation without seriously threatening the European qualification his chairman is demanding on a regular basis by next season.

So it's unknown territory for Curbs, who'll be expected by the fans not just to establish survival but to play attractive passing football in the process. He'll not just need to bring in fresh vibrant blood into the squad during the window, but to make fairly rapid decisions on which players to boot out with the futures of Nigel Reo-Coker; Yossi Benayoun and the two Argentinians particularly moot points. That said, he has just three points to make up on Sheffield United, Middlesborough and Blackburn with considerably more money to play with in January, so any hungry manager with real belief in their abilities would fancy their chances of pulling the situation around by the end of the season.

It's important that players and fans now rally around the new management team and that the club start all pulling in the same direction, a feature notable by its absence in the season to date. So good luck to Curbs & Co., because during the long hard season ahead, he's going to need it.


Anonymous arseblogger said...

Well, that was a good start.

Previous Curbishley wins over Demento = 0.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Dead Kenny said...

Yeah, 1-0 to the Cockney Boys! We need several more where they came from, though.

10:14 PM  

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