Monday, December 11, 2006

Pardew Sacked

I shouldn't have been surprised by this looming inevitability . . . but I was. The team is in shambles and facing relegation, Saturday's 4-0 loss to Bolton was embarrassing and heartbreaking--though that image of some Hammers away supporters snaking through the stands in a conga line, accepting such a brutal ass-kicking with a two-fingered salute and a laugh, was splendid--and Pardew's exit (after a sometimes tumultuous and blissful three years) only adds to the ongoing perplexing drama.

But I don't think Magnusson should have fired Pardew just yet, especially as the newly appointed chairman had just promised the Hammers faithful that management would stick with Pardew and that he would be allotted plenty of cash for January transfers. Not true, I guess. And I can't help but wonder what other surprises the new Icelandic consortium have in store for the team and supporters. And though Pardew should carry his fair share of the blame, I can think of a few players--Harewood, Zamora, Reo-Coker, Ferdinand, et al--who haven't been holding up their part as well. And then there are the two lads from Argentina. I still hold out hope for Tevez to make a big contribution to the squad this season, but Mascherano is sure to be back in South America next year or perhaps in Spain.

First team coach Kevin Keen will take over management duties until the West Ham board hire a new one. Former Hammer Alan Curbishley seems to be the front-runner, though current Wigan manager Paul Jewell has also been mentioned, among others. Thank the gods, though, that Sven-Goran Eriksson (whose name was bandied about earlier today) has denied the reports.

You can read more about Pardew's firing here, here, here, here, here, and here.


Anonymous said...

I feel for Pardew, but he has been so infuriating with his refusal to play Tevez in position (and to play Mascherano at all, when he chose to use a center-back as the holding midfielder instead) that it's hard to know what to think. The players should certainly take some of the blame, but if they haven't been motivated or well-prepared enough then that's surely a failure on the part of the manager as well.

(By the way, I hear Mascherano's off to Juventus. As long as he doesn't join Atletico Madrid, I guess...)

Derek said...

Pardew playing Tevez on the left is infuriating. But he's not the only player Pardew has played out of position this season. It's simply been a mess. Having said that, I really do think the Hammers can get themselves out of the relegation zone and snuggle into the oh so comfortable and boring mid-table oblivion. I can dream, can't I?

And yes, I agree that Mascherano should steer clear of Atletico.

Anonymous said...

I do hope they manage to stay up this season. If Tevez and Mascherano stay, they only have to look to the role Andres D'Alessandro played in helping Portsmouth avoid relegation last season for an example to follow.

Atletico are like the Newcastle of Spain: they're both cursed with bad luck, and good players who join either see their careers stall because of the team's inexplicable form or because of horrible injuries. Just look at Sergio Aguero (who really should have gone to Villarreal) - no one's talking him up like they were at the beginning of the season now, simply because of the way Atletico have gone about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory yet again.