Beyond Repair, January 2010

When I received our beloved club’s letter on Thursday afternoon a faint sensation was shot through my body, perhaps a very light touch of nausea accompanied by a more potent emotion of real anger.

It was entitled, rather typically, ‘I vow to get the job done in the league’ and smacked of Avram Grant’s principal weapon when reality closes on him with alarmingly rapid pace: PR.

You have no idea how many times I have come across this sickening phenomenon. Such excuses populate Avram’s hidden arsenals, bright, sleek and ready for immediate deployment. In the aftermath of Arsenal and Birmingham, this was blatantly insulting for honest WHU supporters and the admirers of the club all over the world.

This was the wrong message, Avram, and we are less gullible that you may think. It should have been worded differently: ‘I tender my resignation unconditionally and consider my wages up the Birmingham fiasco as sufficient’.

We accept that Arsenal is a better team than us at the moment, but still question the massive (and once again, typical) mistake by Grant in the humiliating 0-3 home defeat.

Since Theo Walcott, perhaps the quickest winger in the Premier League, started the game on the right wing, Grant decided to play the newly acquired Wayne Bridge as left back.

Bridge is a good player and left back is his traditional position, but he had not played a first class football for a very long time and was far too slow to mark Walcott. Arsenal had destroyed us from their right wing, and Grant simply watched the debacle with his customary grim expression.

His performance in the semi-final against Birmingham away was even more disastrous. We did very well in the first half, adding a 1-0 lead to our 2-1 victory at home, and the fans were naturally ecstatic.

But the experts among us, those who had followed his career in his home territory, knew that Grant was not capable of perusing the creative style, out of the conservative pessimism that had always clouded his path to progress.

As soon as the second half began his defensive bunker operated in full gear. His traditional cowardice actually coerced him to field two good, but out of form ‘experienced’ players.

Both Kieron Dyer and Gary O’Neil were below par and the threat of the substituted Zavon Hines, which could have pinned at least two Birmingham defenders to their own half, vanished into thin air.

Grant really broke our hearts on Black Wednesday, and yet possesses the temerity to treat us as inferior beings. This is simply out of order, and the PR spins about his ‘youth policy’ will fail to deceive us.

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