So, the silly season has really kicked off big style with West Ham being linked to a multitude of players. Some of the rumours seem plausible, some are just so stupid it beggars belief.
Anyway, back to the real world for a moment and a word about someone we actually have signed, Razvan Rat. This seems a great bit of business by Big Sam. He is captian of his country and incredibly experienced, and is sure to make the left back position his own. Joey O’Brien has done an admirable job filling in on the left while George McCartney has been injured, but he is primarily a right back and should be competing with Guy Demel for the starting spot next season.
The Andy Carroll saga continues with the clubs agreeing a fee, leaving it down to Mr Carroll himself to have the final word. It does seem that Liverpool was his first choice, but now that he has finally been told that he can go and Newcastle has pulled out of any deal, it must be a toss-up between the Hammers and any other club that can offer him Champion League opportunities next season. I know he has got to look after number one, but it does rankle a little that he hasn’t committed himself to West Ham already. Hey ho.
Talking of Liverpool, it appears that we are now interested in Jonjo Shelvey, according to media reports. I know Liverpool need the money to bolster their squad and it is the silly season as I said, but I just hope this is a daft rumour and nothing more. Shelvey has shown himself to be mediocre at best, and is not the sort of player that West Ham need if they are to challenge for Europe next season. My fingers are firmly crossed!
Other rumours include Lukaku on loan from Chelsea (a very good idea, but I think he will want to go elsewhere – maybe abroad), Wilfried Bony of Vitesse Arnhem (surely will only be pursued if Carroll turns us down), and Loic Remy from QPR. I liked Remy a lot last season and I doubt he would want to play in the Championship, so that one is a possibility.
Finally, a word about Carlton Cole who is leaving us after his contract was not renewed. I like Carlton. He is a diamond geezer, and you could not wish to meet a nicer bloke (apparently). He would have been a half-decent squad player if he had stayed, but maybe would have only got 2 or 3 games a season. When push comes to shove he is not good enough to lead the front line, but he has been loyal to us and for that he will always be welcomed warmly at Upton Park. David Gold even tweeted that he was actually offered a new contract but turned it down. So it’s off to pastures new, and I really hope he does well wherever he goes – he deserves it.