West Ham’s co-owner David Sullivan wants a local lad to pick up the reins at West Ham. While it would seem to limit his choices his choices, there’s still one standout candidate amongst the pickings.
Last week, David Gold said that West Ham would be seeking a British manager with knowledge of London’s east end. The weary response from fans: ‘How about getting one with some knowledge of football?”
Everyone associated with the club, the players, the fans, even the management that appointed him, have come out and had a pop at Grant relegation on the penultimate weekend of the season. Outside the club, pundits who bemoan managers being sacked every five minutes were quick to blame West Ham’s owners for taking too long to sack him.
There can be no doubt Grant failed in his role at the club. Of course, the players must take responsibility too and when your captain doesn’t play after the caretaker manager says he will pick players “who want to play for the claret and blue shirt”, you have to wonder what bottomless pit team spirit is hiding in.
But it’s the manager’s job to motivate his players and Grant failed to do that, so the next appointment is crucial if West Ham are going to stop sinking without trace as budgets are reduced and morale worsens. For my money there is one candidate that not only stands out as a man to unite the club, but also fits in with Sullivan’s east end ambition, and that’s Tony Carr.
Born in Bow, East London, Carr is as West Ham as they come and has not only been an invaluable servant to the club but has also had a huge influence on English football. Players that he has helped develop in his role as Director of Youth Development at West Ham’s famous Academy of Football include Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe, Glenn Johnson and John Terry.
Players that he has helped develop in his role as Director of Youth Development at West Ham’s famous Academy of Football include Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe, Glenn Johnson and John Terry.
To date Carr has given the club 38 years of service. Respected throughout the game and revered within the club, this should be the man to take the team forward. The club needs a leader to galvanise it at this time and Carr would be guaranteed the support of the fans.
Although he may lack first-team management experience he’s worked under some of the game’s greats, including John Lyall and Ron Greenwood, and knows how to gain the players’ respect and galvanise the team, something so obviously lacking at the moment.
The case is even more compelling when you look at the other candidates for the role. Chris Hughton is the most promising of the others and is perhaps the most likely to get the job – he was born in Stratford after all, not to mention experience taking Newcastle up from the Championship.
Alex McLeish is no longer in contention and after the Carlos Tevez affair with Sheffield United it beggars belief that Warnock’s name is even mentioned. No-one wants Sam Allardyce’s brand of football at Upton Park, Carlo Ancelotti was either ill or being very kind when he said he’d consider the job, while Malky Mackay and Kevin Keen are uninspired choices.
Some might think that the job is a poisoned chalice for a man with such a reputation and that he can only stand to tarnish his popularity, but he’s publicly stated he wants the job and should be given the opportunity. And even if it does all go wrong, Mr Gold will still have someone to hand who can make a decent pie and mash with liquor.
Click here for more Football and Sport stories
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook