With the way some West Ham supporters are moaning, one would be excused for thinking we’ve had the most disastrous transfer window in recent memory. That’s far from the case.
In an age where we see billionaires seemingly using football as a playground, it’s easy to lose a bit of perspective on the whole transfer business. While clubs like Manchester City, Chelsea, PSG and most recently minted Monaco conduct transfer dealings that reach into nine figure territory the smaller clubs are left to make astute and shrewd signings.
West Ham have done just that so far in this window. We kicked it off with two great “free” signings in Adrian and Razvan Rat respectively. Rat is captain of the Romanian national team and has loads of Champions League experience. He’s played against the best and proven himself to be in the upper echelon of left backs.
If you need any proof, watch the Champions League match between Shaktar Donetsk and Borrusia Dortmund. Rat faces formidable opposition in Tomas Pisczek and Jakub Blaszczykowski, while Mario Gotze was making runs onto Rat’s side of the pitch as well.
Rat proved to be a monster, winning balls in the air with ease and shutting his man down at every opportunity. It’s not too often you see a player the likes of Gotze frustrated, but on that night he was.
It’s another coup for Big Sam. Last summer it was Momo Diame that proved to be one of the best bits of business completed. Allardyce seems to have a knack for getting quality players on a free. We’ve now upgraded immensely at the left back position, an area long identified as needing improving on.
In Adrian the club have gained a quality backup to the immense Jussi Jaaskelainen. Although it’s hard to see Adrian taking over the top spot, especially on the back of a wondrous season from Jaaskelainen last year, he’ll provide the toughest challenge to the starting job that Jaaskelainen has faced in his time at West Ham.
The Adrian signing was one with an eye on the future of the club. Jussi won’t be between the sticks for much longer, and we were sorely lacking a long term replacement. Providing that Adrian realizes what he’s there for, and that he is the long term replacement as first choice ‘keeper, we’re doing alright.
And we’ve signed Andy Carroll. Bar some moaning regarding the size of the fee, most supporters seem delighted that Andy has been made a permanent signing. We now have a England international as our first choice striker, a player perfectly suited for the system with which Allardyce prefers to operate with.
We’ve already wrote an article in which we review the Carroll signing in depth, so if you really want to know our thoughts on it you can go back and check it out. Long story short: he’s an incredible signing for the club, gets on well with all the lads and most importantly has the right attitude. He’s going to be massive.
Danny Whitehead was another signing, the attacking midfielder being an option for the future. One would think he’ll be Kevin Nolan’s understudy. He landed at the club after Didi Hamann recommended him to Big Sam. Time will only tell how he develops, but all signs point to a promising you talent.
So, as one can see, we’ve been doing alright. But the whining and complaining still persists amongst all too many supporters.
We are certainly weak at some positions at it stands. Everyone is aware, including the David’s and Big Sam. It’s not as though they are not attempting to fix the problem, but we’re at a time of year when salaries and transfer fees get inflated.
Agents are doing their best to squeeze every penny out of deals with new clubs, and clubs are doing the same to other clubs. It’s a nasty business, as David Gold pointed out last January. Thankfully the club has shown an unwillingness to be bullied about.
A lot of the soreness revolves around players we’re believed to have “missed” out on. Given the credibility of most journos when it comes to transfer news, one has to ask just how many players we’ve truly been interested in and missed out on.
It’s easy to write a bit of fodder, throwing names beside clubs to fill column inches. It’s another thing to be telling the truth. We certainly have missed out on Duvan Zapata, which could be a blessing or a course.
One never knows how well young South American talent will adapt to the more, shall we say, robust style of play in the Premier League. Zapata looked the type who could deal with, a big strong centre forward capable of holding the ball up and winning balls in the air.
His finishing always look a bit suspect in any highlight video, but he did look a promising backup to Andy Carroll. Alas the work permit didn’t come through and we’re left holding the bag.
But there’s been loads of other players linked to the club. Ranging from Demba Ba making a homecoming of sorts to Salomon Kalou returning to the English top flight with the claret and blue on his back.
We steer clear of all the rumours, or at least try to. They make for a fun read, but nothing more. We do need a second striker to provide cover for Carroll, as Maiga isn’t doing it by all accounts, but there is still over a month left in the window. Now that bigger names have started moving, all the pieces fall into place.
We’ll start the season with a second striker signed, no doubts about that. We’d be shocked if there also isn’t another winger on the right signed, perhaps even a starter. Supporters shouldn’t get caught up with the signing the likes of Norwich have been making, they are a completely different story to us.
We had a strong side, with one of the strongest midfields in the league, prior to the start of the transfer window. There was not a whole lot of improvement that needed to realistically needed to be done. We’ve added a quality backup for our standout keeper, a starting left back and a world class striker.
All this worrying will, once again, prove a waste of time.