From Tim Lovegrove
I have become increasingly concerned at the plight our of club, and have written a letter detailing my concerns about our Transfer Policy. Would it be possible for you to forward this Letter to David Sullivan?
I have been reading West Ham Till I Die for many years, although I rarely post. I write now, as a West Ham fan of many years as I feel completely disappointed and somewhat puzzled again at our Transfer Activity, not only in this window, but in previous windows under the current board.
The signing of Marco Borriello, a 31 year old who has scored 1 goal this season, to solve our goal scoring problems I find quite frankly unbelievable. Considering our struggle to score goals stretches way back into last season, our failure to rectify this problem again leaves me very unoptimistic for the future. I would be surprised if this player scored even a goal for our beloved club. What further irritates me is our failure to land any striker we seem to go for. From quality players such as Lacina Traore and Kostas Mitroglau this January, to Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba in the summer to name just a few, our club continuously loses out to others clubs on strikers. Our board seem so desperate to pursue loan signings to save money that we are always destined to sign players not of adequate standard.
Whilst I totally understand that signing players is an incredibly difficult business, it appears other clubs do not find it as difficult as we do. I shall use Fulham as an example. Despite being below us in the Barclays Premier League, they have managed to secure Johnny Heitinga from Everton, who rejected us based on league position. Likewise, they have signed Kostas Mitroglau from Olympiakos, a proven goalscorer, which proves that quality players will join clubs in a relegation battle. Also, if our interest in the player was genuine, why did we wait until 31st January to declare an interest given our longstanding failure to score goals? Equally, if we were prepared to spend £12m on this player, why could these funds not be spent elsewhere on other players of similar quality?
I list below all the striker signed by David Sullivan and David Gold during their time at West Ham:
1. Benni McCarthy
2. Araujo Ilan
4. Freddie Piquionne
5. Victor Obinna
6. Demba Ba
7. Robbie Keane
8. John Carew
9. Sam Baldock
10. Nicky Maynard
11. Modibo Maiga
12. Andy Carroll
13. Marouane Chamakh
14. Wellington Paulista
15. Mladen Petric
16. Marco Borriello
Can anyone realistically look at this list of strikers and claim any of them have been a long-term success in terms of scoring goals? Whilst I was delighted that we signed Andy Carroll, that signing now appears a misjudgement, based on the large fee paid and his injury record. Based on the above list, I would like our board to review their policy of signing large numbers of cheap strikers, and focus on paying good money, like Fulham have with Mitroglu, for quality players.
Whilst Pablo Armero is a player I look forward to seeing play at Upton Park, the signing of Roger Johnson, from League One Wolves, and a player with 3 relegations on his CV leaves much to be desired. Whilst Antonio Nocerrino is a good player, I would question his aptitude for a 15 game battle for our Premier League lives. Indeed, I eagerly anticipate how many games he will actually start for West Ham United. Given Sam Allardyce’s continuous selection of Kevin Nolan, I would be surprised if became a regular in our side. This signing is yet again evidence of the short-termism that seems to have developed at Upton Park under our current board. With the exception of Andy Carroll, there have been little, long-term investments in our team. Also, our reluctance to sign younger players means our long term future does not appear bright.
Whilst I question Sam Alladyce’s suitability to continue as West Ham manager based on results this season, and the signings he has made, I also believe the board’s failure to back him with anything more than a loan signing in this window is not only extremely disappointing for supporters, but shows a reluctance to back the manager. Whilst of course the manager is responsible for our failure in the transfer market, demonstrated again by Razvan Rat’s release just 6 months after signing, the limited finance he has had available, means he has been forced to sign players perhaps he ideally would not want to. Given the increased revenue in the Premier League with the new TV deal, our lack of spending is all the more disappointing.
Whilst I will support the team passionately throughout the challenging games that await us, I personally feel the current board’s short-term approach, with a reluctance to spend money on quality additions to the squad, leaves us in an extremely perilous position. As a keen reader of West Ham Til I Die, a site I believe in general provides fair and honest debate about West Ham, I believe my views are shared by many supporters. I would like the board to reconsider their transfer policy whatever the outcome at the end of the season to concentrate on quality signings for the long term to really give our club a sustained and bright future in the Premier League. Otherwise I foresee continued troubles for the club we all love for years to come.