Rob Smyth (we disagree on a lot of things) thinks that Curbishley should be given a chance at West Ham with his first-choice XI and a full-season so that he can be ‘judged’ on merit.
He’s right about a lot of things (Rob, not Curbs) – West Ham fans want to be entertained (for the prices fans pay these days why the hell not), Curbs is not inspirational nor motivational and West Ham did not achieve the same heights in the last season that clubs with similar resources (or even lesser resources) might have.
However, it’s not about giving Curbs a chance – regardless of how much time you’re going to give the man, one of two things will happen: either West Ham will briefly qualify for Europe and then fall away, or they will stay comfortably mid-table until Curbs goes.
It’s not a question of doubting Alan Curbishley as an individual – but as a manager he’s rarely had the impact a Harry Redknapp or Roy Keane would have on a club. I’d like to be proven wrong, and I hope West Ham’s owners give Curbishley the time he needs to build a club that regularly challenges for a European spot, but somehow I doubt Curbs can do it, especially since the competition improves every year by leaps and bounds.
It could be that the current setup at West Ham post-takeover makes life difficult for him. A lot of fans blame Curbishley for not treating Mascherano and Tevez like West Ham players from the word go – but from afar it’s hard to judge specific incidents. What you can judge is Curbishley as a manager, and while he has the enviable record of beating United on a regular basis in recent games, it’s the inability to ignite those sparks against the lesser teams in the Premier League that consigned West Ham out of the race for Europe last season and will do so again this season as well.
If West Ham want stability – Curbs is the way to go. If they want entertainment, few managers can give them that without a massive overhaul of the squad, and even then it will take time. If they want results, qualification for Europe and a cup run, they’ll have to wait till a decent manager wants to come to West Ham.
Curbishley may not be all that, but he’s the best West Ham have got.