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Are we heading for a no-deal disaster?


Filed: Sunday, 20th January 2019
By: Paul Walker

I suppose this is our Brexit moment. You know the one. When we put our trust in people not to make an almighty cock-up of our lives and futures.

When we expect very rich people being paid an indecent amount of money to rise to the occasion, accept responsibility and deliver the right solution from half a dozen unpalatable options that will please the majority in the end. Thatís West Ham, of course, and I am sure the Government feel the same way about their own pressing problems!

Now before we go any further, Ďer indoors who has had to put up with my loony political views for over 40 years, has informed me that you good folk out there are not interested in my clap-trap, and itís debatable that you care much about my footballing opinions either.

You see she hears about some of this stuff and can be very underwhelmed. I am sure every husband out there knows what I mean! So apart from saying that I consider Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage to be a bunch of unscrupulous clowns, weíll leave it at that.

But seriously folks, our club has only a few days of this window to get things right. To make the right decision about Marko Arnautovic, to ensure that our promising season isnít irretrievably ruined, to prove that the boast of a top seven finish isnít so much hot air and PR gloss.

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As far as most folk are concerned, even the sensible and considered amongst us, Marko is dead meat. You insult the badge and the shirt just once and itís all over. From hero to snake in one painful week.

It doesnít matter whether he was dropped, pulled from the squad by the manager because his head wasnít right, or just refused to play and travel., itís all the same in the end. He let down us, his team mates and the club who pay him in excess of £100,000 a week. Unforgivable.

But if the Chinese move has broken down, and Talksport - who broke the story initially believe it is - and if the club are determined not to sell and want him back in the squad doing his job, this is going to be some pretty clever reintegration.

Now Iíve got a theory here (youíd be disappointed any other way). He should be instructed to train all week as normal (much like he did last week not to break the terms of his contract). He should be selected for Saturdayís FA Cup tie at Wimbledon.

Now that will save him from the abuse of 60,000 at the London Stadium, there will only be about 800 West Ham fans at Kingsmeadow. Then we will see where his mind is. If he decides to fanny about, to go through the motions, to turn off, then we have enough about our squad (oh, come on, have some belief you lot) to win a tie against the bottom side in League Two.

And if be behaves like a disloyal, selfish prat, then the game is on TV and a lot of people will see it for themselves.

We will then know where we stand. There will be a week left of the window to do something about it. And, you see, I donít fully swallow this suggestion that the Chinese deals are dead.

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Iíve been told that our old friend Kia Joorabchian is very much involved in this deal, itís not all the work of Markoís poisonous brother. Marko has been hawked around China for a few months, the club who made last weekís Ä35million bid didnít just come to Marko.

You can be sure that if Guangzhou Evergrande have had second thoughts, the people at this end of the deal will be working hard to find some other interest. Even now trying to get interest from a top six club in England.

You see the infamous Danijel desperately wants this deal to work. For obvious reasons. Marko can see vast sheds of money waiting for him.

Interestingly, Sam Allardyce on Goals on Sunday believes we should sell, and sell quickly. I know you lot donít have much time for big Sam, but he knows the game and the market. He insists that Markoís temperament and mentality cannot be trusted. He can turn off instantly.

And we canít risk that, with the added problem of the Chinese transfer window closes a full month after ours, so there is plenty of room for unpleasantness, shall we say.

Sam reckons that West Ham saved his career, signing him from Stoke, who had also salvaged Arnautovic from a pretty average spell in Germany, where it seems he wasnít flavour of the month at Bremen.

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Sam also said that David Moyesí decision to turn him into a central striker last season was a masterstroke, and it gave him the opportunity to reinvent himself as a top-quality front man rather than a moody, hot and cold, wide man. Sam reckoned that Marko destroyed his Everton in the last game of last season, pulled his defenders all over the place.

And for what itís worth, Sam also said that Callum Wilson would be a risky signing and that many had looked at him but were concerned by his poor injury record, which includes historical cruciate injuries to both knees. At £70million he is frankly not worth the risk.

But it doesnít help West Ham to know that the Chinese bit of the problem has left them without a deal on the table and an unhappy player. We need to find a top-class replacement, but need that money to buy.

As people keep pointing out, we do not have the cash for transfers without sales and the budget and FFP is maxed out.

I donít envy Manuel Pellegrini and David Sullivan with this dilemma. But there is also Lucas Perez playing silly buggers because he could be on the move, while Chicharito is not above agreeing terms with Valencia without West Ham knowing.

Both those players could be shifted on this window, and West Ham could need to bring in a couple of forwards anyway, regardless of the Marko situation. So there appears to be plenty of wriggle room there. And Sully loves a wriggle!

Which all brings us back to Saturdayís shocking display at Bournemouth. Something is seriously wrong with our squad if it can lurch regularly from the brilliant to the pathetic in the matter of a week. What other club in the top flight has managed such wild fluctuations in form?

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We have beaten Everton and Manchester United and then lost at Brighton; we have battered Burnley and then drawn at Huddersfield; we have beaten Southampton and then lost at Burnley; now we have beaten Arsenal and lost at Bournemouth.

Come on lads. Get a grip. This is another problem for Pellegrini. He has a squad of players who seem to lack the strength of character and the concentration to produce any level of consistency. Once is a mistake, twice is annoying, but to keep on doing it is a downright professional disgrace.

Sadly with the squad we have and the amount of injuries (as usual), Pellegrini has limited options. If this current squad keep performing with such alarming indiscipline, then there will be a serious clear-out on the summer because Pellegrini is not used to this and he wonít tolerate much more nonsense.

At Bournemouth the glaring mistakes made by Angelo Ogbonna and then the usually excellent Issa Diop in the Cherriesí half cost us both goals. Bournemouth are a fit, functional, organised side. They have a system of pressing and hitting on the break, and we continually cannot cope with this. I fear for us next week at Wolves, who play with a similar, ferocious high press.

So it looks like another week of nail biting and worry for us fans. Our season has been a real improvement. Felipe Anderson is a gem, although he once again went missing in a tough away game on Saturday, and there has been much to praise. We must pray that Markoís antics have not derailed it all.


Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.




Your Comments


by Mick
12:14PM 28th Jul 2009
''Nice to read a bit of positivity instead of all the doom and gloom merchants, well done!

''

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