Football FanCast guest columnist Kenneth Dossett writes an open letter to Gianfranco Zola.
While there is an old adage that the buck always stops with the manager and he is solely responsible for results and the performance of the team, I cannot help but feel you have a case at West Ham for diminished responsibility; given the failure of the board to enable you to strengthen the squad. I really believe you have really been the victim of a shifting of the goalposts, especially with regards to being able to strengthen in the transfer market.
Unfortunately you arrived at a football club that was in total disarray and good performances on the pitch more than masked the turmoil off it, but now the results have turned this season, the crisis that surrounds the club has been highlighted further. Why I certainly wouldn't want to blame Nani or Duxbury, I do believe they have both fallen victim to false promises by CB in terms of money that will be available in order to strengthen, given Duxbury's claims that the club were on the verge of signing three top players in the summer. It hasn't helped you one iota in the transfer market, hence why this season you have had to pin your hopes on the kids.
I have to concede that I walked away from the Fulham game extremely empty and a part of me was starting to question your decision making and selections; however after a week of reflection, I find it extremely hard to question you, given the circumstances that you find yourself in and what players you have at your disposal. Unfortunately when bad results set in then obviously it is very easy to cast an eye at those at the top and why there has been murmurings among supporters, I think we need to realise the tools you have been given are not adequate and you haven't been afforded the spending muscle that your predecessors have enjoyed and you have not been given the opportunity to shape your own team.
It is very harsh for any of us to judge you and I think we shouldn't lose sight of your achievements last season, or the fact that you are still learning your management trade. We haven't had the easiest start in the world and we have been on the end of a lot of misfortune, but we just need that one result that is going to kick-start our season like the Portsmouth game did last year. At the end of day Gianfranco, you haven't become a bad manager overnight and hopefully it won't be long before the results start to turn in our favour. I'm right behind you and I am sure a large percentage of the Upton Park faithful are as well.