Carlton Cole: Avram's 'aving a laugh
Published 23:00 24/11/10 By Darren Lewis
Carlton Cole must expect to be fined two weeks’ wages after launching a devastating, no-holds barred attack on Avram Grant.
The West Ham striker has piled the pressure on his manager, lambasting Grant’s tactics and appearing to claim the players have a greater regard for skipper Scott Parker than the Israeli.
England striker Cole labelled the 3-0 surrender at Liverpool on Saturday “diabolical”, but blamed the calamitous display on Grant’s tactical set-up and approach to the game.
The East Londoners have not won at Anfield since 1963 when Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters scored, and found themselves on the receiving end of heavy criticism for their lack of fight against the fragile Reds.
Cole said: “It was diabolical. We can come here and talk a good game and say we are going to do this to them and come with a game plan. But we didn’t even turn up for this game.
“In the first 10 minutes we had lost the game, psychologically anyway. I’m lost for words now, I can’t speak too much because I get emotional with these things and it gets on my nerves and I don’t want to talk about certain things.”
Goals from Glen Johnson, Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez saw Liverpool wrap up the points before half-time with some of the travelling Hammers fans walking out of Anfield after just 40 minutes in disgust.
Cole continued his onslaught on Grant’s tactics, claiming they left him isolated.
He added: “I think I had just one cross. Apart from that I had nothing and as a striker, that’s starvation, that’s famine – what am I supposed to work on?
“The first 10 minutes we dropped so deep.
“I can only remember one time when the ball came up to me and I kind of miscontrolled it, but we still retained possession, then I looked to my left and there was no one attacking – there was nobody there at all.
“The game plan was for me to stay as the furthest person away from everybody and try to hit me on the diagonal or something, but we weren’t even doing that, so that went out of the window and we didn’t have a Plan B.”
Cole also lamented the absence of influential midfielder Parker, who missed the trip to Merseyside after succumbing to a chest infection.
“Scott Parker is the figurehead at West Ham and he is just the sort of player we need in games like this,” said Cole. “We needed to get in there in midfield and make Liverpool a bit more uncomfortable.
“Mark Noble is a good player, Radoslav Kovac came in and I think he did all right, but he hasn’t played for a while and he is a defensive midfielder.
“We didn’t have anyone driving forward.
“You can’t fit a circle into a square hole, so how can you try? I just don’t understand that. I’m deflated. I’m not happy and I hope something can happen as soon as possible because we need to change this ASAP.
“Everyone is deflated and we feel we let ourselves down.”
The open defiance from Cole is the worst possible preparation for West Ham’s clash with Wigan at Upton Park on Saturday.
The match, against Roberto Martinez’s third-from-bottom Latics, has already been dubbed the ‘Save our Season’ game with Hammers owners David Gold and David Sullivan ready to fire Grant if the team crash to another defeat.