Cloud builds over Grant but the storm doesn't break

Avram Grant's position was still shrouded in confusion last night after the embattled West Ham manager gave a quixotic response to rumours of his impending dismissal. Grant arrived at Upton Park yesterday amid fevered speculation that he would be fired after the tea-time match with Arsenal. Yet after his team meekly surrendered to a 3-0 defeat he largely evaded the issue.

Asked outright if he was to be fired he replied: "Why do you ask me this question? You need to ask the person who gave you the rumours. Ask the source." Asked if he was still manager he said: "I am speaking to you." Grant added he had not spoken to the club's owners about his position. As for the apparently valedictory act of throwing his "lucky" scarf to the crowd after the game he said: "I did it at the last game, I always throw my scarf to children. [I did it because] it was emotional to see how supportive the supporters were after we lose three-zero."

Grant eventually addressed the issue admitting with some feeling the speculation "does not help". He added: "I have my job to do. I understand the questions. I am doing my job.

"In a club like West Ham and with what happened last year the club is not in a good situation. The manager's job is to make the club better even though we are in the bottom. I think we are doing the right things if you look at the last few weeks.

"I am very happy with the boys today, there are not many times you are happy when you lose but we play without so many players against a very good team. We are not a team who play like they are in the bottom."

Grant said he would speaking to the owners about new players. "They know my ideas. We have brought Wayne Bridge, OK I wanted Sidwell very much but we couldn't do it." When it was pointed out to him that Karren Brady, the managing director, had said in her newspaper column that the club had knocked down the Sidwell bid as they did not think he was needed – despite the club's midfield injury crisis – Grant said: "I will not answer about other people. The owners are trying to bring in players."

Arsène Wenger said he felt for his counterpart. "I have big sympathy for Avram Grant, our job is difficult enough without putting more problems on your back. When there is speculation about a job your words [to the players] have less power."

He did not, however, feel the uncertainty over Grant's position affected the result. "They were affected first by the quality of our performance," he said. "It became a pretty comprehensive victory because we had a very strong first half, that affected West Ham's morale and in the second half West Ham did not put us under pressure. They did not get out of their half and we looked more likely to score the third goal than concede."

As for Arsenal's title prospects Wenger said: "It is in our hands as we play all the big teams at home, it is down to us. We have done our job today so we can watch [Tottenham v Manchester United] relaxed. It's been a busy week but we started strongly and remained strong.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz