Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Will Curbishley Shown The Exit Door Earlier

West Ham have reportedly parted ways with Freddie Ljungberg, the man whose arrival in East London last August was meant to help Alan Curbishley start to close the gap on the Premier League elite. However, crippling injuries to an already threadbare squad put an end to this grand scheme as the club's season became a little up and down to say the least.

With only seven home victories and just 42 goals scored all last season, the small slithers of light creeping into Curbishley's office came in the form of Mark Noble and Freddie Sears, two youngster that have come good.

Although the club finished a respectable 10th, there was a sense of disappointment at Upton Park that the great plans had not come to fruition. An example of the club's failure to achieve what they expected can be seen in the story of the Swedish international Freddie Ljungberg.
According to The Telegraph, Ljungberg will be formally released this week. His year at the club has cost West Ham £13m at a rate of £500,000 per appearance. This is money that West Ham cannot afford to pay players who had little more than bit-part roles in last season's battle for mediocrity.

He was named captain on his debut, a game in which the Hammers were beaten 2-0 by Man City but finished the year on the sidelines after breaking his ribs in April. His bad luck is the embodiment of the modern West Ham. Plucky but often falling short of expectations, all eyes will be on the East End this season.

Alan Curbishley is the favourite to be shown the door first, so what does the future hold for West Ham?

Are fans worried about the lack of summer signings? Should the board have gone for broke in bringing in new faces that can turn things around or are they hoping that they can just settle into the middle of the league and be of little to concern to those around them?

West Ham are arguably many fans second team and it would be a shame for them to endure another season of mediocrity, but realistically, what is the best they can achieve?

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