Filed: Monday, 24th August 2015
By: Paul Turner
The first half in particular of the AFC Bournemouth game this past weekend will live long in the memory, along with other modern day successes like Chesterfield away in the league cup, Stockport County or Savio Nsereko.
Hopefully you as the reader will see that what I put forward to the best of my ability is not a knee jerk attempt to try and ride the coat-tails of a more general mood of discontent with the club and the ownership. We all broadly want the same thing and we all follow the same side, over land and sea in our own ways. I do not intend to try and separate or compartmentalize so hopefully the below will avoid such pitfalls.
My last opinion piece addressed my thoughts about our European exploits and I can safely say I thought it was a terrible thing for the club to do, throwing away a chance of progressing in the competition. The arguments made afterwards with hindsight was that we beat Arsenal so it was worth it to some.
That in the short term of one game in the league is correct, we won with players who did not travel across the continent. In the long term though it shows a narrow view of where this club should be going and the ambition we should be showing. Dropping out of the Europa league in the third qualifying round has not for example made Kouyaté hand in a transfer request but the ability and the will to challenge is surely worth more than sacrificing a place in a competition on the altar of the premier league?
To a player knowing you could be joining a side that wants to kick on and start a journey in a new stadium on the cusp of European qualification, along with playing in this country and the potential earnings could be a pull. That’s all part of the USP that can be used as part of negotiations but you have to go out and try and obtain the player in the first place to get yourself into such a position.
There is no point in trying to buy one outstanding player like Payet if you do not supplement that kind of player with overall squad quality. Of course as a club we cannot stock pile players and loan them out at will like Chelsea but we can look to improve the options to try and offset the hindrance of injury or loss of form for example.
Morgan Amalfitano will never play for West Ham United again unless there is some sort of u-turn by the manager so taking Morgan out of the equation, the depth and options in the squad as it currently stands is now further diminished. A point in case of this lack in depth is the bench from last Saturday’s game.Spiegel, Tomkins,Collins, Maiga, Jarvis, Lanzini, Cullen.
With the greatest of respect to all those who warmed the bench against Bournemouth but the quality there is not good enough to fulfil a league match. In a cup match where both sides weaken their line ups you could envision such a bench but for what is meant to be your priority and the bread and butter?
The dearth of options is worrying as the transfer window draws to a close. Of course there is still time to remedy the situation. Alex Song’s transfer is still up in the air and the transfer window remains open for a week so moves can easily still take place.
However too often the club have been found wanting when it comes to the overall squad quality and has tried to resort to bargain bucket deals like Nene or Petrić after the end of a transfer window. It is better pulling out of a deal if the terms presented are outside your capabilities but there is something to be had by sensible speculation for longer term accumulation.
Pedro Obiang is an example of a sound investment. Has been playing football in a good league to a high standard for a few years now, has youth on his side and has scope to develop. This is the kind of investment the club should be making in improving the squad and not trying to eke out an existence on high ticket prices, heightened expectations but no basis for tangible long term delivery of ambitions. Pedro Obiang should not be the end but a start.
Financial Fair Play, explained here, has been used as a fig leaf by the owners of the club as an argument to try and explain why the club cannot spend the kind of money required to build an overall better and more balanced squad. This has not been a hindrance on clubs such as Newcastle United, Stoke City and Crystal Palace who have added quality and depth to their squads to supplement what they already had.
Using Newcastle as an example here with their current, extremely unpopular owner might seem strange with regards to the point I am trying to make but it cannot be denied that Steve McLaren is now being backed more significantly in this transfer window then more recent windows that have passed.
The Arsenal score was a great result but it was not the be-all and end-all to be milked for all it's worth like the club's media department ended up doing. It was a foundation to then build upon and show intent and progression. Poor results and West Ham United seemingly go hand in hand but it is the constant failure to build upon opportunities that harm the development of the club beyond its current status.
As I started off with, we all want the best for West Ham Utd FC and even if it's head-scratching how this club of ours is run at times, the owners also want the best. Their perception of that best at the moment is what's causing disillusion in some quarters.
* You can catch up with Paul on Twitter at @p_tizzle31.
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.
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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