Grant sacked by relegated Irons

BY foxsports • May 16, 2011

The Hammers went down after squandering a 2-0 lead at fellow strugglers Wigan to lose 3-2. Just over an hour after the final whistle at the DW Stadium, a statement from the club confirmed Grant's time in charge of the east London outfit had come to an end. The decision was made before the team departed for their journey home to London, with the owners deciding Grant, who was appointed on a four-year contract last summer, was no longer the right man to lead the club forward. The statement read: "The club can confirm that Avram Grant is no longer the manager of West Ham United. "First-team coach Kevin Keen will take charge of the team for the final home match of the season against Sunderland on Sunday 22 May." David Gold later detailed his disappointment after the club he and David Sullivan took over midway through the 2009/10 season dropped into the Championship. He suggested that mistakes had been made along the way. Gold wrote on Twitter: "I honestly believed with the players we brought in in January, plus the imminent return of [Thomas] Hitzlsperger, we had done enough to pull clear of danger. "I know that Scotty Parker shared that belief with me and we both had confidence that we would retain our Premiership status. "This is undoubtedly the worst moment in all the years I've been supporting West Ham and of course I wish I'd done things differently." West Ham are due to move to the Olympic Stadium after it is revamped as a combined football and athletics venue following the 2012 London Games. Former Chelsea and Portsmouth boss Grant was brought in in the hope he could establish West Ham as a Premier League force. Players including Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, Frederic Piquionne and Demba Ba were acquired, while the club backed Grant in the loan market by allowing him to bring in Robbie Keane, Wayne Bridge and Victor Obinna. However the season began poorly and results have continued to be mostly dismal, despite fresh arrivals. There was a short-lived revival when West Ham won three of five Premier League games from February 2 to March 5, including a memorable 3-1 home victory over Liverpool. However Sunday's loss was a sixth in seven league matches for the London side, with relegation persuading the owners the time is right for a change as a year, at least, in the second tier beckons. In his post-match press conference, Grant had accepted responsibility for West Ham's plight and apologised to supporters. "I will not speak too much about the unbelievable problems we have had this year and other things because it is a game of results," the 56-year-old Israeli said. "My job was to keep the team in the league and I didn't do it. "Many things were good, but at the end of the day, football is a game of results and the results are my responsibility." He added: "Today so many supporters came - it was great, unbelievable, and they have been good to me all season. "I wanted so much for them that we could do better. I am very sorry about this." The Hammers looked on course for the victory they needed over Wigan to stand any chance of beating the drop after Demba Ba's headers in the 12th and 26th minutes put them firmly in the driving seat. But the Latics stormed back after the break, Charles N'Zogbia scoring either side of a Conor Sammon strike to keep the hosts' survival hopes alive and leave the visitors deflated. Rock-bottom West Ham have been in or around the drop zone all season despite having England internationals Robert Green, Matthew Upson, Carlton Cole and Football Writers' Association player of the year Parker in their ranks. Asked if he felt he had failed to get the best out of the squad, Grant said: "I don't think so, if you see the players that I had. "Scott Parker has had the best season of his life, James Tomkins has developed a lot, Danny Gabbidon had a good season and Robert Green recovered very well from what happened in the World Cup. "The squad we had from January was good and they performed well. "But we couldn't find a solution after the injuries to Scott Parker (recently sidelined by an Achilles problem), which was very important, and to other players in the midfield. "I tried, but the results didn't go well." Reflecting on the Wigan game, Grant said: "It is a very sad day for me, I think the most sad day since I started in football almost 40 years ago. "I came (to the club) with a lot of desire and belief that we could do something here. "I knew the financial problems and that the team was saved from relegation because the league was weak last year. "I still thought that we could do better, but maybe this game is the story of our season."