Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Alan Curbishley first to go...probably!

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley has become the Premier League's first managerial casualty of the season - assuming Newcastle and Kevin Keegan haven't already parted company!

Curbishley, who becomes the second boss to leave his job in the top four flights of English football following Kevin Bond's exit from AFC Bournemouth on Monday, issued a statement claiming he had to leave as West Ham continued to "make significant player decisions without involving" him.

In a statement issued by the League Managers Association, Curbishley said: "I started my West Ham United career when I left school in 1974 and have remained a lifelong fan. I have been incredibly proud to manage such a great club and my decision to resign has been very tough.

"The selection of players is critical to the job of the manager and I had an agreement with the club that I alone would determine the composition of the squad. However, the club continued to make significant player decisions without involving me. In the end such a breach of trust and confidence meant that I had no option but to leave. Nevertheless, I wish the club and the players every success in the future."

West Ham are now looking for a new manager but, as with the Newcastle situation if Keegan has left or been sacked, will anyone really want to take on a job that is little more than a poisoned chalice? Well, this is football and there are still enough out there who would give it a go, for whatever reason!

A West Ham statement read: "We can confirm that we have accepted Alan Curbishley's resignation as we feel it is in the best interests of both parties. We wish Alan all the success in the future. A shortlist of candidates is being drawn up and an announcement will be made in due course about the new West Ham United manager."

Former Cagliari boss Davide Ballardini and Croatia boss (and former Hammer) Slaven Bilic have emerged as two of the most likely of replacements for Curbishley, according to early prices being quoted by the bookmakers.

Good luck, Alan, you're a decent manager and a decent man - and certainly have earned the right to make your own decisions. If he was being overruled by those above him on matters that should be left to the manager, it's just one more sign that the bad days of interference may be creeping back into the English top-flight.