Like many football fans, I was surprised at the ruthless dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo, and the speed of which the Champions League winner was replaced by the success hungry Chelsea chairman.
I woke up to the news of the latest Abramovich casualty and found myself thinking how lucky we are at West Ham. For in Gold and Sullivan, we have business men who appear genuinely passionate about the development of our club. The appointment of Sam Allardyce, although originally met by the disapproval of so many fans, has been supported and encouraged whole heartedly by our co-chairmen. And as a reward for all his hard work, Allardyce was given funds to buy big name players – signings that showed great intent from our chairmen and sent out a statement from the club. Unlike Di Matteo, Allardyce has been given something that seems rare in the world of football management; time. The ‘big’ clubs seem to be wielding the axe if success is not granted overnight.
It is the interim appointment of Rafa Benetiz that has shocked me the most. I would have thought that a manager of his experience would object to being Abramovich’s latest play thing, let alone agree to a short term contract that is paving the way for disappointment. Or perhaps he has seen that the Russian business tycoon has spent 70 million pounds paying off axed managers in his bid for overnight success, and is rubbing his hands together at the prospect of earning a quick sum of money.
While I had my reservations about Big Sam, I am thankful that our co-chairmen publicly put their faith in the former Blackburn manager because as a fan, I would be disappointed if my beloved West Ham fell into the game of replacing managers so often and would much rather the obscene amount of money be used to buy players that will make a difference. Imagine what players we could buy with 70 million pounds…
So West Ham fans I ask you, would you swap the stability of Big Sam for short term success with Abramovich and his millions?