Disappointment. That one word sums up how the transfer window has winded up for West Ham United. It was a tough choice for a one word summary, being torn between “disappointment” and “failure”.
Ultimately failure seemed a term far too harsh for the window, as improvements were certainly made over the summer months. In most of the parts of the pitch where we needed to see an improvement, one was seemingly found.
Razvan Rat looks, or should that be looked, to be a solution to our weakness at left back. Joey O’Brien has stepped into the role since the start of the season, and looked a new man while doing so. It won’t be easy for Rat to win his place in the squad, as Sam Allardyce doesn’t institute a squad rotation policy. Instead whomever is playing the best in a given position has that position under wraps.
One does have to question why Rat has yet to be given a chance in the Premier League, since his signing was such a promising one. It’s likely he’ll be given his chance against Southhampton following the all around terrible effort from the team which lost to Stoke on Saturday.
Adrian isn’t likely to feature much this season, as Jussi Jaaskelainan seems to get better with age. Perhaps some of his heroics so far this season have been down to knowing Adrian is eagerly awaiting his opportunity to take the role from him.
Stuart Downing was a surprise signing when it came down, and an even more surprising signing given how the transfer window has turned out.
It was Big Sam’s choice to spend the rest of the transfer funds available to him on Downing, another winger in a squad that isn’t exactly crying for them. Downing has shown signs of brilliance early in the season so far, his substitute appearance in the opener leading to a starting role in both matches since.
He does increase the quality of the squad and add danger on both wings, but with how the window has panned out the question of sheer necessity has to be asked.
Yes the team made the signing of Andy Carroll a permanent one at the beginning of the window, but it is now in the position of being left with only Modibo Maiga as a fit striker. Given Carroll’s injury history, one has to wonder what the first half of the season holds in store.
The club knew since the beginning of the window that getting another striker in had to be a priority. While most supporters maintained some hope that Maiga would turn out to shine if given the chance, he’s done no such thing.
In situations such as this it’s no wonder Allardyce showed so little faith in him last term. But for now he’s the best we’ve got. We can moan and moan about the fact the club didn’t get a striker in, but it’s spilt milk now, isn’t it?
Although it is utterly disappointing a third striker couldn’t be found, it is not as though all is hopeless. Most of the goals came from midfield last season, Kevin Nolan ending as top scorer. While not ideal, we’ve got much the same midfield as last season. We can at least rely upon it for some goals.
And we still have Andy Carroll once he returns from injury, possibly as early as the match with Southampton. He was showing signs of growing into his role in the squad near the end of last season. If he can continue in that vein of form and stay healthy supporters may just push the thought of only Maiga as backup to the back of their minds.
Another question which must be asked is why the importance placed on abiding by the Financial Fair Play rules when clubs won’t first be reviewed for them until February 2015. While it is certainly good business sense to be proactive rather than reactive, the club may have jumped the gun here.
The excuses will likely surface in the days to come, but you cannot blame any supporter for being frustrated regarding the David’s unwillingness to spend due to wanting to be in line with rules that don’t come into play until next season.
Signing a load of players is never the solution, as Sunderland will likely prove (sorry Paolo), and Allardyce did well to keep the squad that excelled last season intact for the upcoming one while adding improvements where they were needed. But the failure to sign another striker could prove to make the season more difficult than it needs to be.
Fingers are crossed that Andy returns in sparkling form and we make it to January without too much trouble. If we don’t it’ll be the first time even the clubs more reasonable supporters will have to question Big Sam’s wisdom.