From 23% points achieved to 78%!
Following a successful season working with Alan Pardew at West Ham United during their first season back in the Premiership (2005/6), Roberto was invited back to the club by the new manager, Alan Curbishley to work with the squad for the final 10 games of season 2006/7. It was a fantastic challenge, and one the management team, staff and players were well equipped to handle. He was asked to stay on at the club for the 2007/8 season.
Photo above: The team & staff celebrate at Old Trafford after a famous win
Invited to join the staff for the 2007/8 season as a consultant, West Ham carried forward the fine form they left off with the previous season, ending the season in 10th position.
With the team bottom of the Premiership, 10 points off safety and with only 5 wins all seasons (and none away from home), relegation seemed inevitable.
Following a series of meetings with staff and players, and consequential changes, the whole club became totally united to get the best out of their performances. The team went on a remarkable run of 7 wins from final 9 games, with 4 away wins including the first win at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium when the team displayed a mental toughness that was unparalleled, and Bobby Zamora scored the winning goal in injury time at the end of the first half and a dramatic last game win at Old Trafford against Champions Manchester United. The irony meant that West Ham had beaten both Manchester United andArsenal home and away this season!
It was a remarkable period and incredible form which saw a 78% points return, compared to a season total of 23% in the first 29 games. Only Manchester United achieved this form over the course of the season.
An extraordinary turn around and one Roberto puts down to three key areas: Players, staff and fans: “The remarkable end of season, one which we may never see again, was really down to the professionalism of the players and staff. Everyone worked tremendously hard to achieve a turnaround which had seen the club drop to bottom of the Premiership with 9 games to go. You just cannot underestimate the ‘mental toughness’ shown by an excellent group of players, who had been under constant criticism from the media (and some sections of the fans). The management and staff team worked relentlessly to ensure that training was optimized and distractions minimized whilst everyone focused on the task in hand. The fans were absolutely first class from the Tottenham game through to the final day of the season. The atmosphere was tremendous.”
The team had a great ‘spine’ and leaders in the form of Rob Green, Anton Ferdinand, James Collins, Nigel Reo-Coker, Mark Noble, Bobby Zamora and ‘Carlitos’Tevez. Strong leadership qualities was also demonstrated by Lucas Neil, George McCartney, Hayden Mullins, Marlon Harewood, Louis Boa Morte, Lee Bowyer. The rest of the squad were steady during a crucial period, whilst Spectre, Benayoun, Zamora and Tevez provided the sparks of talent which ignited the team. A great quality of the squad was demonstrated by players not involved week on week, and particularly the ‘legend’ Teddy Sheringham, and Paul Konchesky, were always seen in the dressing room before the matches encouraging, and afterwards as soundboards and support. The back room staff were a crucial part of the tremendous run of form, led by Alan Curbishely and his assistant Mervyn Day.
- Performance Consultant, West Ham United F.C.Providing support during first season back in Premiership (2005/06).
- Production and provision of motivational DVDs, posters and team performance presentation.
- Club achieved initial target of 40 points by January 2006, FA Cup Final and UEFA Cup qualification.