The HamburgHammer Column
Right lads, this one will be a rather short affair for several reasons: With the international break and our game against Newcastle coming up later today there is no game business to discuss and Dan has already provided us with one of his excellent game previews we have all grown accustomed to by now.
As I write this I’m also about to watch some NFL football. And I am still in a state of shock somewhat over the events that saw us lose Liddy and Banjo in quick succession.
Needless to say I hope there is a way back at a later stage for both of them. But that is not up for me to decide.
Which brings me to the topic of ill discipline which unfortunately not only has a recent history now at our beloved WHTID but also currently at West Ham.
Morgan Amalfitano has been out in the cold since apparently breaking team rules and by doing that crossing his new manager who didn’t hesitate to put his stamp of authority on the matter. Amalfitano for the time being will exlusively train and play for the development squad.
Latest rumours would suggest a loan deal at mighty Ipswich might be coming up for the tricky midfielder. How the mighty can fall indeed: From Marseille to rural Ipswich via East London. Tractor for Morgan ?
So what exactly has Amalfitano done ? From what I’ve heard it’s more about what he hasn’t done which is not turning up for a team meeting. I don’t know the ins and outs here, what the team meeting was about or if Amalfitano had a good reason to miss the meeting (however, I suppose a shopping trip a la Raducioiu doesn’t qualify as a valid excuse). At this stage it doesn’t look likely that Bilic will allow Amalfitano a way back into the first team, despite providing him with a squad number.
So I have to assume Amalfitano simply forgot about that team meeting or didn’t consider it important enough to grace it with his presence.
Now we all know that Amalfitano on his day is a useful player, who could ever forget his calm, composed and casual finish in our 3:1 home win over Liverpool last season?
But we also know that Amalfitano is a bit of a character who has had previous with his manager at Marseille. Luckily enough we are now in a position after the transfer window to have many alternatives in midfield, so letting Amalfitano go will not be the end of the world for us.
Going to Ipswich however might be the beginning of the end of Amalfitano’s career in England. He is clearly too skillful for the Championship level. But will another Premier League club take him and his attitude on ?
Bilic surely has used this issue to draw a line in the sand, clearly showing that he won’t accept any player taking liberties. Which is a good thing. So do you all think Bilic is doing the right thing here ? Does it depend on whether you’re having alternatives in your squad ? Or does it depend on the level of player that has broken the rules ?
So hypothetically spoken: Would Bilic dare to do the same to Payet or Reid under similar circumstances ? And should he ?
Will being out on loan in the Championship teach Amalfitano some humility and discipline ? And will Bilic’s decision against Amalfitano serve both him and our club well in the long run ? I believe it will. Hopefully starting this evening with a mesmerising performance from our team under the lights at the Boleyn. COYI!