Tuesday, April 18

Zola out, Redknapp in

Some clubs seem to specialise in hiring former West Ham managers. First it was Crystal Palace replacing Alan Pardew with Sam Allardyce. Now Birmingham City have sacked Gianfranco Zola and replaced him with 70-year-old Harry Redknapp. 

Looking at Zola's managerial record, it seems that, with hindsight, Sullivan and Gold were correct to sack him — though not to replace him with Avram Grant. He was a lovely fella and a great player and at times he had West Ham playing a pleasing brand of football. But he didn't participate in transfers — that was left to director of football Nani who gave us the likes of Savio — and his West Ham side had struggled in his final season and rrely had a Plan B. His subsequent managerial career has seen him fired at Watford (though they did reach the Championship play-off final in his first season), Cagliari, Al-Arabi and now Birmingham, where disastrously he took them from seventh when Gary Rowett was fired to just above the relegation zone.

I'm quite pleased to see Harry and his car window back in the game, even if he did do too well at Spurs for our liking. He's statistically West Ham's most successful manager since John Lyall with his fifth-place finish and is the man who gave us Di Canio. And of course he likes a deal. There's been some great speculation online about his likely SOS X1, including Terry, Berbatov, Robbie Keane, Crouch, Defoe and just about everyone else. Wonder if it's too late to rule out a swoop for Carlton Cole, last spotted having visa problems in Indonesia? Or even a bid for Razor Ruddock?

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