Monday, April 20, 2009

Zola signs a new 4-year deal?

Zola: fearless

Despite recent financial turmoil surrounding the club, Zola's penned a new contract for himself at West Ham.

Was that really a smart thing to do?

First off, let the record show that he's done well in his first season, steering the aesthetically-challenged club to a Top 10 finish (not certain, but highly likely) while the bulk of the league struggles and flirts with relegation disaster. They weathered the storm of the January window, retaining most of their stars while any bigger club was looking to pillage the squad, and in this day and age, it's a feat akin to miracle.

However, now, the club is in administration; with their Icelandic owner unable to repay his loans in a timely manner, the banks have swooped in to take control, and the name of the game now becomes "Protect Our Remaining Assets." You can bet what that translates to in the real world -- bye bye, expensive players who could command a fair bit of scratch on the open market.

Farewell, Carlton Cole.
Adieu, Matthew Upson (Gooner nation salivates!).
Ta-ta, Scott Parker and Mark Noble.
Hit the road, Robert Green.

The continuity of Zola in charge should have a galvanizing effect, when it comes to keeping players focused on football while their paychecks bounce, but when it comes to personnel decisions, the banks will surely have the final say on which players are shed for quick cash in order to keep the entire operation afloat. He's also looking at a rather lean summer, having already been told that there's no money to spend on bringing in new players.

Hammers fans can expect a lengthy spell of loan wheeling-dealing in July, which will only add to the mounting frustration at the uncertainty surrounding the club's future.

Zola's plans for West Ham are admirable:
"It would be something fantastic for the club. It's going to be very difficult to be a monster like Manchester United, but we want to build something different. Maybe it's going to be a longer-term project, but we would like one day to be competing with those teams."
Is it really feasible?

With Shearer carefully manning the HMS Magpie as it slowly sinks into the North Sea, grumpy Gareth Southgate waiting for Relegation Rapture, and the already-failed Paul Ince Experiment, it is clear that Zola is smarter than most retired players who've been mad enough to get into the managing business instead of sipping cocktails on the Costa del Sol (let's not mention Roy Keane's seething walkout amid this lot).

Predictions for Zola's future in the comments, please.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Best case scenario: Zola purposefully sabotages West Ham. sending them on a downward spiral to non-league football, then returns to Chelsea as a conquering hero who proceeds to win 20 league titles in a row as a player/coach.