Brady denies West Ham board targeted O'Neill

Karren Brady was busy yesterday attempting to fix the future and bury the past. While making West Ham's undeniably strong case to inherit London's Olympic Stadium, the club's formidable vice-chairman attempted, with much less conviction, to suggest that there was never any question of sacking Avram Grant and replacing him with Martin O'Neill.

Asked about what appeared to be an abysmally bungled attempt to force out Grant in favour of the rather more charismatic Ulsterman, Brady told the BBC's Sportsweek programme that O'Neill's name "had not even been mentioned" at a board meeting three days before the story broke on 15 January – a few hours before their home game with Arsenal. "My view is that we have made a decision about our manager," she said. "We have put not only our support behind him but our chequebook and we are out in the market trying to bring players in."

Following Frédéric Piquionne's dismissal for celebrating with the West Ham supporters after scoring what he obviously thought was the winner against Everton, Grant has fairly urgent need of a centre-forward for Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Birmingham. With Piquionne suspended and Carlton Cole still recovering from injury, he may have to rely on Benni McCarthy, who has not been good enough or fit enough to start a league game this season, to lead his attack.

Had Piquionne remained on the pitch, West Ham might have clung on for the 2-1 win they deserved rather than succumb to Marouane Fellaini's equaliser in the final minutes.

Whatever the truth of Brady's statement, Grant did not appear overly convinced by pledges of loyalty from his board. "I don't think you can be comfortable in football," he said in the narrow corridors of Goodison Park after a performance that was vastly superior to the supine 3-0 surrender to Arsenal in what was expected to be his final game. "In football everything, including the position of manager, is temporary. I have decided I will not speak about things off the pitch as there are things I like and things I don't like and football has never been a normal business.

"I will try to create some stability for the players. You need stability not just in football but in your job as well. If you don't have stability in your job, you will not write the same."

Among the pages that were written about Grant's future, was the charge that the Israeli does not "show emotion" on the touchline, a quality O'Neill has in abundance. It is a cosmetic charge – as if a manager running around his technical area screaming abuse would on its own turn Lincoln City into league champions – however, when those who had travelled up from east London and Essex began chanting Grant's name and asking for a wave, the man in black showed absolutely no response. He said he had not heard it.

"They deserve many good things, these fans," he said about a group of supporters who had seen them win once away from Upton Park in 18 months and that down the Thames at Fulham. "They have been behind us in very difficult times but I was very concentrated so I did not see them."

When West Ham last came to Merseyside to deliver an abject display in losing 3-0 to Liverpool in November, the manager had been asked to wave to the travelling supporters at Anfield but it was a request loaded with sarcasm. Then, they had wanted him to wave goodbye. Now these same supporters were chanting: "We love you Avram." It was a temporary love, of course, the kind that football deals in, but it was a sight better than the cold silences he had been given seven days before.

When goal celebrations go wrong

Tim Cahill

* September 2004

The Australian scored the only goal in Everton's 1-0 win over Manchester City at Eastlands before he was sent off for an overexuberant celebration.



Lomana LuaLua

* April 2006

The Congolese striker scored the equaliser for Portsmouth in a 1-1 home draw with Arsenal but had to limp off after twisting his ankle during his trade-mark somersault celebration.

Younes Kaboul

* December 2009

Struck to earn Pompey a 1-1 draw at Sunderland, then received a second yellow card for removing his shirt.



But, it could be worse...

Paulo Diogo, of Swiss side Servette, suffered an horrific injury in December 2004 when he set up a goal and jumped up on the fence separating fans from the pitch to celebrate. Not knowing his wedding ring had got caught, he leapt down – and his finger was torn off.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
film
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?