There is generally a lot of sympathy from fans to the managers who are not given a fair chance of succeeding in their job and leave the club as a result from it. There could be another victim to such a case as Gianfranco Zola risks losing his key players without his agreement which would sure infuriate the Italian and leave the fans feeling sympathy for him as well as themselves. It’s not been an easy season for West Ham as it is with injuries and a relegation scrap looming but being forced to sell the players who could keep them up would be a massive blow for the club.
The Hammers’ financial problems are well known and the speculation is that at least one of their key players will have to be sold to keep them going but there could yet be a firesale at Upton Park. West Ham have been a selling club for years and constantly have to replace their key players but doing so at cut prices has become harder and harder in the current market and Zola would be forced to do a lot of searching to find realistic replacements for players who he didn’t even want to sell – which could prove something of a final straw to him and lead to his resignation as no manager wants to work under forced difficult conditions.
Zola is trying to remain level-headed over the ordeal but there is a lot of fear over a club who sit 19th in the Premiership halfway through it and lack many top class players; sell any more and there’s surely very little hope of staying up without the help of a miracle. He confessed
“You know, we want to keep the best players. I don’t know what’s going to happen next month. The only thing I know for sure is that before then we have three games coming up that are very, very important and I want to focus on them. That’s the main thing, the rest is out of my control.”
But whilst Zola insists there is personal belief at the club his lack of control will be worrying for the young manager and will make him a lot more reluctant to stay in his position. Managers have quit jobs that they loved before because of a lack of control – look at Harry Redknapp’s initial departure from Portsmouth as a good example of that – and Zola, optimistic though he seems, may decide to leave the sinking ship before it’s too late.
West Ham have gotten through a lot over the past decade; they’ve gone through relegation before and fought back and Zola would surely be happy enough to try to bring the club up if they did get relegated – but only if he was given the power a manager’s meant to wield over the club. No manager wants to be undermined and that’s just what is happening to Zola – something he won’t be at all happy with.
If the board agree sales with Zola which allows him to draw up potential replacements in advance then the manager will have very little problem with the troubles at Upton Park, but should the transactions go over his head then it could be the start of his regularly being undermined which is not the kind of respectful behaviour this legend of the game deserves.