West Ham musings by Pete May, author of Hammers in the Heart, West Ham:Irons in the Soul and Flying So High:West Ham's Cup Finals.
Saturday, March 27
Yet more signs of strain between Zola and the Club Landlord. Yesterday when asked if he thought the Club Landlord's letter might be a way of driving him out Franco said: "That is a good question. I don't know. Obviously I understand the Chairman is very much concerned about the situation."
When pressed about Sullivan's labelling of the side as shambolic he said: "I tell you what I think about the situation. I think 'What the hell is going on here? Jesus Christ!' And then I question am I doing everything I can? I say yes, I'm doing it with passion. I'm doing it with honesty."
Zola also labelled Sullvan's tirade painful and damaging: "I was very disappointed and he [Sullivan] will know that although I have not spoken to him directly. You have to be careful how you use those words because sometimes they can be painful and cause more damage than you can imagine."
Zola said he would stay "professional". When asked if this implied Sullivan was not professional he merely said he refused to judge the Club Landlord.
Meanwhile David Gold continues to play the good cop, saying that Zola will keep his job even if we lose at home to Stoke.
With such an open breakdown in the relationship you can't see Zola keeping his job beyond the summer.
Although with Sullivan and Gold doing the Hale and Pace Management act you do wonder if a strong manager like Mark Hughes would tolerate such public lambasting of the side.
Still, Sullivan has made a lot of money, presumably through knowing when to place a rocket under under-achieving employees. We can only hope it works against Stoke today.