Tag Archives: Transfers

wheelofortune

Still Raining, Still Dreaming

As the British summer reverts to form and deludes us all with the wet stuff, there has been a serious lack of transfer activity, despite constant rumours involving a dozen or so players. Apart from the Andy Carroll signing, the only other additions to the squad have been goalkeeper Adrian and defender Razvan Rat. There was talk a month or so ago of a big clear out, but so far only Gary O’Neil has departed, and even he was offered a new contract only to turn it down.

Big Sam reckons that we only need one more signing (a striker) to make the team complete, and as I mentioned above, we have been linked with all and sundry. It seems that we nearly signed Marko Arnautovic, the Werder Bremen striker, who, if Jack Sullivan’s tweets are to be believed, opted for a Spanish club instead. My current favourite option is still Loic Remy, and Harry Redknapp recently hinted that he would consider sending him out on loan for a couple of million a year. The only worry is the impending court case that Remy faces that could conceivably end with a spot of porridge.

As time ticks on it is clear that Sam has quite a few irons in the fire, and despite the lack of any recent additions, I fully expect Sam to get his man eventually. Who that that might be is probably a job for the Wheel of Fortune.

Alou Diarra

Alou Alou

After the well publicised fallout last season between Alou Diarra and, well, everyone else at West Ham, it is good news to hear that hatchets seem to have been buried (and not in each others’ heads). Diarra has played – and scored – in the pre-season matches so far, and he looks a far happier bunny. He has always been a pretty decent player, and should Sam be able to keep him sweet, he should turn out to be like a new signing this season.

Plans to sign the Colombian Duvan Zapata have hit a wall with the refusal of a work permit for the talented player. Sam now seems likely to turn to QPR’s Loic Remy, as expounded in this column just recently. I really rate Remy so I will be delighted if Sam can land him. Fingers crossed!

COYI

Pre-season news round up – a summery summary!

After a well deserved summer break, it’s time for pre-season again and a chance to catch up with all the transfer news.

Well, the big man finally signed for us, and it is a definite statement of intent by the chairmen that they pushed the boat out to land Andy Carroll. He didn’t come cheap (although a darned sight cheaper than Liverpool originally paid). I do have a couple of reservations about him though; He seems very prone to injury, and it is a lot of cash to pay for someone who could be crocked for half the season. Also with the new financial fair play rules now in place it remains to be seen if we can actually afford anyone else who is at least half decent.

Along with Mr Rat (a great signing in my opinion), we also have a new goalie to push Jussi for the number one jersey. It remains to seen how good Adrian actually is, but Henderson is obviously not deemed good enough and will probably be sold or shipped off on loan again.

I’m glad that the Jonjo Shelvey deal didn’t happen. He’s not quite good enough in my books, but it seems we are after another Liverpool cast-off in the shape of Stewart Downing. I expect the idea behind it is to get another winger who can get the crosses in to Carroll, but I would have thought that Downing would be best played on the left wing, where Jarvis currently holds sway. Downing did quite well for LIverpool at the end of last season, but he has been an inconsistent player. Maybe Big Sam can get more out of him than others have.

Talking of cast-offs, we have that veritable accident-waiting-to-happen Titus Bramble training with us at the moment. Let’s hope he is just getting fit, but worryingly he did play for us in the pre-season friendly against Cork the other day!

Another surprising bit of news is that Gary O’Neil turned down a new contract with us. I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps he thought he wouldn’t get as much first team action this year with us, or maybe he is concentrating on his golf, but I wish him luck. He did a good job for us at the back end of last season.

Apparently, Big Sam says that we need one more quality signing before the new season kicks off. My guess is that he after a striker, and after we lost out on Bony to Swansea (he will be immense this season, mark my words), it begs the question ‘who else is there’? In my opinion we should be doing everything we can to prise Loic Remy away from QPR. He was superb last season and is a natural finisher. The would be the perfect compliment to Andy Carroll. Go get him Sam!

Finally, we have the possibility of Wilfried Zaha and Demba Ba coming on loan. Can’t see it myself, but it would be good if either one came. Also, Ravel Morrison has finished his loan spell with Birmingham and will be with us this season. According to some reports he has grown up a lot since we last had him and is now a lot more professional. If he has, he could be the ace in the pack. I only hope he doesn’t revert to his old ways. This could be the last chance saloon for him to make it in the Premiership.

COYI

Carlton Cole

Goodbye Carlton, hello Rat

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.