Grant sets out his plan to rebuild West Ham using 'specialist coaches'
West Ham 3 Wigan 1
Monday 29 November 2010
It seemed like a slightly strange time to announce it, but then Avram Grant doesn't always do 'normal'. With his West Ham side still rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, and effectively four points from safety despite this revitalising win, the Israeli set out his plan for the future.
What is that plan? Lots and lots of "specialist coaches" for the "physical, mental, tactical and technical side of the game." Then he added: "We have a vision, a project, our target is to put West Ham in a good football style and position. You see we have [young players] James Tomkins and Junior Stanislas. We want to develop them and you will see more like them in the future and another part is to build the coaching staff structure. We are not in a hurry – there is no deadline about the coaches – but from time to time we will add to the staff. I think this is the future of football. Twenty years ago you didn't have goalkeeping coaches and now everybody needs one. We will do it but not in one day."
Watching this win, only the second of the season, brought a smile to the faces of David Gold and David Sullivan. Grant said one of them came into the dressing room and was "happy". More importantly, the players showed some resolve a week after collapsing so miserably at Anfield.
The reaction of the joint chairmen, who accepted the resignation of Grant's assistant, Zeljko Petrovic, last week, to Grant's appeal for more, expensive, help will be interesting. They brought in Wally Downes last week to be the defensive coach, but Grant wants more. The pair have been trying to reduce costs since they took over, and presumably the idea of a bloated coaching staff does not fill them with glee.
Grant chose his moment well to make his case, having easily beaten a poor Wigan side. Roberto Martinez's men waited until they had fallen behind to goals from Valon Behrami, Victor Obinna – the Nigerian with his first league goal of the season was assisted by Frederic Piquionne – and Scott Parker before they responded with a fine strike from Tom Cleverley. At 2-0 down they were thrown a lifeline, but Mauro Boselli, who had just come on, saw his weak penalty saved by Rob Green with ease. Do Wigan have a penalty coach? Maybe Grant will be hiring one.
Scorers: West Ham Behrami 34, Obinna 56, Parker 75. Wigan Cleverley 86. Subs: West Ham Reid (Jacobsen, 50), Cole (Piquionne, 77), Kovac (Parker, 83). Unused Boffin (gk), Boa Morte, McCarthy, Hines. Wigan Boselli (Di Santo, 61), Moses (Gomez, 61), Watson (Thomas, 68). Unused Pollitt (gk), Mustoe, McArthur, McManaman. Booked None. Man of the match Piquionne. Match rating 6/10.
Possession West Ham 46% Wigan 54%.
Shots on target West Ham 5 Wigan 5.
Referee M Halsey (Lancashire) Att 34,178.
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