Avram Grant relegates West Ham

Bad Management

West Ham United have only gone and got themselves a new manager this week as David Moyes takes the helm. It would be rather easy to make fun of some of Moyes’ managerial mishaps, in fact I have already a written a column on his less than illustrious tenure as Manchester United boss, but instead we will look at West Ham as a whole. The Hammers have had their fair share of awful managers but the man who relegated them in 2010/11: the man, the myth, the legend, Avram Grant. Grant was the first Hammers manager appointed by Gold and Sullivan and it is safe to say it did not end well.

Grant himself is a bit of an odd figure. He spent the vast majority of his career managing in Israel, his homeland, and even managed the national team between 2002 and 2006. He was then rather generously given the title of Director of Football at Chelsea before being promoted to manager in 2007 after Jose Mourinho predictably fell out with everyone. To be fair to Grant he did quite well at Chelsea, finishing runner up in both the Premier League and Champions League, although his ludicrously talented squad certainly helped him. For the 2009/10 season he joined Portsmouth but never really stood a chance with the club deducted points for going into administration and being relegated despite reaching the FA Cup Final. Grant then resigned but his reputation was actually still quite good. The came West Ham.

Grant’s signings were less than inspiring. Winston Reid is the only player that had any long term impact on the club, but even he was not a regular yet. Demba Ba in the winter window is the only signing that really did anything during Grant’s tenure and he was sold six months after he arrived. Money was still tight at West Ham and given the Hammers had finished 17th the previous season, a lot more needed to be invested to overhaul the squad.

Avram Garnt oversaw the worst start in West Ham history. By the end of November Grant had won a laughable two games and the Hammers were in deep, deep trouble. A 1-0 win over local rivals Spurs aside the Irons had nothing to shout about and were effectively the laughing stock of the Premier League. An upturn in form saw Grant’s side claim eight points from four games, but Newcastle quickly made everyone forget all that as they smashed the East-London outfit 5-0.

Despite West Ham singing some decent players on paper in January – the aforementioned Demba Ba and Robbie Keane – Avram Grant proved himself to be tactically na├»ve again and again and again as West Ham were rooted to the bottom of the table. Grant’s side were relegated in the penultimate game of the season losing 3-2 to Wigan Athletic. The day was doubly embarrassing as Millwall fans organised a fly over with the banner reading ‘Avram Grant – Millwall legend.’

Everything went wrong during Grant’s time as West Ham manager. The club had no money so the signings were pretty much all awful and Avram Grant was horribly exposed as a manager that just was not cut out for the Premier League. Since then Grant has not had a high profile job and I do not expect to see him back in the Premier League anytime soon.