Grant: enemy within is hurting us
West Ham United 2 Barnsley 0
Monday 10 January 2011
Avram Grant believes his reign is being destabilised from "inside the club". The West Ham United manager is not naming any names, but feels there is at least one enemy within making his job that much more difficult as the players are affected by the rumours of his impending departure.
"When the rumours are coming from inside the club it doesn't create much stability," he said. "If you don't have stability you can't do your job the same. Of course, I know where the rumours come from and I know there's people trying to hurt the club. I can solve it, but not now."
The Israeli made his claims after seeing his side advance into the FA Cup fourth round. Victory over Barnsley was a boost for Grant, yet he will be aware that any lifeline may prove all too short. Tomorrow West Ham host Birmingham City in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final and the next day there is a board meeting where his position will supposedly be discussed.
The question must be, is he being fully backed now? Karren Brady's column in The Sun on Saturday suggested not. The vice-chairman revealed the club blocked the signing of the midfielder Steve Sidwell, despite Grant thinking it was a done deal.
"Maybe I will have a column in a newspaper and say what I think," responded Grant when asked about Brady. "All the things I have to say to the people at the club, I say to them directly." Grant added that, although "we don't have a problem", he does not talk with Brady but with the owners, David Sullivan and David Gold.
All in all, it should make for a very interesting meeting, although should West Ham have prevailed the night before it will have meant four victories from their last seven games. Even allowing for the fact that his side are bottom of the Premier League they are only two points off 14th place. Surely Grant could not be sacked in that scenario? The whispers scream otherwise.
As they try to line up a replacement, he will be a dead man walking on the road to Wembley. "Everyone tries to analyse where the rumours are coming from," Grant said. "But when you do that you're not in the right focus. We are not Sherlock Holmes – we don't want to put our energy on this."
Grant thinks he has what it takes to survive. His wish is to overlook last week's 5-0 defeat at Newcastle and recognise the form flanking that. "I'm a manager and rumours are part of the job," he said. "People need to understand what we are dealing with here. This period has been the best of our season. OK, we slipped up at Newcastle but we had a good game today."
Indeed, but for the visiting goalkeeper, Luke Steele, a young West Ham side would have had a more comfortable cushion to take into the final minute than Jonathan Spector's well-taken goal. As it was, in the final seconds Adam Hammill came within a crossbar of earning Barnsley a replay. The rebound was worked up the pitch for Frédéric Piquionne to score, giving Grant some much-needed relief.
West Ham United (4-4-2): Green; Reid, Faubert, Boa Morte; Barrera, Spector, Noble, Hines (Edgar, 89); Nouble (Piquionne, 83), Obinna (Parker, 76). Substitutes not used Boffin (gk), Upson, Sears, Spence.
Barnsley (4-4-1-1): Steele; Hassell, Shackell, Foster, Hill; Trippier (O'Brien, 69), Doyle, Arismendi (Colace, 77), Hammill; Lovre (Butterfield 56); O'Connor. Substitutes not used Preece (gk), Morales Neumann, Gray, Bennett.
Man of the match Steele. Match rating 6/10.
Referee N Swarbrick (Lancashire). Att 32,159.
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Latest in Sport
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
Liverpool vs Real Madrid: Why Isco will provide just as great a threat at Anfield as the injured Gareth Bale would have
Angel Di Maria injury: Manchester United sweat over fitness of record signing as he is in danger of missing Chelsea clash
West Brom vs Manchester United player ratings: Saido Berahino scores highest, whilst Marcos Rojo scores lowest
Video: Boxer Vido Loncar brutally assaults referee following defeat
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Worst Airports of 2014: Poll names Islamabad airport in Pakistan worst in the world