West Ham United confront Chelsea in the English Premier League this weekend and Hammers manager Alan Curbishley has also commenced his mind games.
The former Charlton Athletic manager, who took charge of the Upton Park club last season and transformed a relegation candidate to a UEFA Cup hopefuls, says that Chelsea manager Avram Grant faces a tough test from now. He argues that the Blues’ Carling Cup final defeat to Spurs on Sunday has unsettled Grant’s managerial seat at Stamford Bridge and suggests that the pressure will be on Grant when the Hammers face Chelsea.
It’s the life we’re in at the moment. Unless you get results and success quickly then you don’t get the same time anymore.
When you get to a high profile club everything you do is going to be looked at – body language, the way you walk onto the pitch, the way you dress, every last detail.
Everything Avram Grant does is going to be analysed and that is something he has to handle. I looked at the cup final and the start was the most important thing and Tottenham made much the better start. If you are lucky enough to be a manager of a top-four club then that comes with the territory.
If it’s not Avram Grant, it’s Rafa Benitez and if Arsenal weren’t doing so well it would be Arsene Wenger.
Being a manager is getting tougher.
That honeymoon period has gone. You even look at someone like Dave Jones at Cardiff who was under pressure and then he turned it around.
I think you get applauded over the top when you win, then you get over castigated when you lose. You have to take it with a pinch of salt.
I’ve never been under too much pressure as a manager, apart from maybe when I was first at Charlton when I wanted to do things and change things.
Even Sir Alex had a period where it wasn’t going so well, but United showed the foresight to stick with it and I don’t know if that is there any more. I managed my last game at Charlton at Old Trafford and I had done 15 years and Alex had done 20 years. I said to him the days of the two managers doing 35 years between them have gone.
Under the guise of speaking about the plight of modern day football managers, Alan Curbishley actually increases the pressure on Grant. The Israeli is already under massive pressure to succeed with Chelsea and Curbishley would be hoping that he buckled under that mounting pressure this weekend.