Effra sees a lot of changes at West Ham that aren’t actually changing anything.
Itâ€™s amazing how quickly the beginning of Curblishleyâ€™s regime has come to resemble the end of Pardewâ€™s tenure: big wins against top clubs followed by self-imposed home defeats against mid-table opposition, question-marks about the playersâ€™ motivations, and a crowd seriously divided about the Argentineans.
Those of us who werenâ€™t convinced that Pardew was the problem have less to wonder at than some, but I doubt even the most pessimistic of us had Pardew leading a resurgent Charlton to within two points of us by the turn of the year. For the first time this season, I really think that relegation is the most likely outcome to this farcical and shameful soap-opera.
The news that Ashton is not coming back anytime soon takes away the one thing that we had all merrily assumed would whisk us out of the mess. And now weâ€™re facing up to reality we better admit that thereâ€™s a reasonable chance that Anton is going down and we donâ€™t have cover in central defence. Beyond sheer bad luck, the cast of villains is endless. Brownâ€™s greed, Joorabchianâ€™s reckless ambition, Pardewâ€™s self-indulgence, Reo-Cokerâ€™s sulky manoeuvring for a move, the players gambling and falling out with each other, the Ice Menâ€™s ruthlessness, and the concurrent debacle at Charlton have conspired to produce a script that nobody could have concocted.
Even the fact that for the first time in West Hamâ€™s history serious money is available in the transfer window isnâ€™t going to save things because beyond another ludicrous turn of events there just isnâ€™t a plausible striker who can be bought. Probably the best that we can hope for in this transfer window is to get rid some of the trouble-makers and sort out the Argentinean problem. Itâ€™s hard not to warm to Tevezâ€™ skill but I just canâ€™t see how he can be integrated into this team without Ashton. Watching him score goals on Youtube and then singing his name when the game has barely started really doesnâ€™t help.
If West Ham have got any chance, we have to try to give the players who are wearing the shirt some confidence. However much theyâ€™d let us down we stood together with them and the manager in the Blackburn game and it made a difference.
Now weâ€™ve got to do it again because the fantasies are over, and our support is about all thatâ€™s left that could keep West Ham in the Premiership.