Player Analysis

Pellegrini Is Building a Squad, Not Just a Team

Things really are starting to shape up now. We’ve made three quality signings this week, and given the new injuries to Andy Carroll and Winston Reid, I wouldn’t rule out further dips into the transfer market. Given the amount we’ve spent so far, I don’t think anyone can accuse the Board of not backing the manager.

The most exciting transfer was announced this morning, and it’s been one of the most protracted sagas in the club’s history. It’s been on-off-on-off-on for the last six weeks, but finally we got it over the line. Rumour was that Pellegrini laid down an ultimatum of the sort: “Well I asked you to get this player and I expect you to deliver”. £36 million for a player with only one cap for his country seems an awful lot of money, but on the face of it Felipe Anderson looks a quality buy. He’d better be.

Andriy Yaromolenko had a glittering career as Dinamo Kiev, but hus transfer to Borussia Dortmund was not a success. he only played 18 games, scoring three times. However, by all accounts he looked quality against Wycombe yesterday. He’s quite tall for a wide player but seems to have an exquisite first touch, and a great ability to go past players.

Fabian Balbuena, on the face of it, looks to be a backup central defender, given he only cost £3 million from Corinthians. He’s only played 6 times for Paraguay so I’m not sure how he got a work permit, but he looks to be a real leader of men. A couple of weeks ago we signed Issa Diop for a club record for a defender and you’d have to think that he would be a first choice pick.

And then there’s Jack Wilshere. I hope to God he turns out to be a wise investment. He’s clearly another managerial pick, as I know David Sullivan didn’t want to sign him earlier in the transfer window. I am a big fan of his, and if he stays fit we have signed a top quality creative midfielder. When Arsenal came to us last season he was by far their best player.

And then there are Ryan Fredericks and Lucasz Fabianski. I have no idea whether Fredericks will displace Zabaleta at right back, or whether Fabianski will be preferred to Adrian. It still wouldn’t surprise me if we signed Tom Heaton or Jack Butland if the price is right. That would no doubt see Adrian leave as fast as he possibly could.

So all in all, we seem to be building an incredibly strong squad. Reece Burke is the only player to depart so far – for a measly £500k plus addons and a 20% sell on clause. There will no doubt be further departures over the course of the next three weeks, but I hope not too many. It would be madness to sell Cheikhou Kouyate as some are suggesting. Obiang, maybe, but not Kouyate. And certainly not Michail Antonio.

What we don’t know yet is which formation Pellegrini will choose to play. We haven’t played 4-4-2 for some time but I wonder whether that’s where we are heading. If that’s the case, this is how we could line up against Liverpool in our first game…

Fabianski, Fredericks, Cresswell, Diop, Rice, Wilshere, Kouyate, Yaromolenko, Anderson, Arnautovic, Hernandez

So, no place for Ogbonna, Noble, Obiang, Antonio, Masuaku, Zabaleta or Fernandes.

What is happening here is that Pellegrini is building a squad, not just a team.

Exciting times.


Player Analysis

Welcome to Felipe Anderson

The signing of Felipe Anderson will be announced later today. This should wet your appetite…


Parish Notice

Announcing the 2018 West Ham Till I Die Golf Day

It’s time to book your places at the 2018 West Ham Till I Die Annual Golf Day, organised by our very own Nigel Kahn. It will take place on 8 September at the Belhus Golf & Country Club, Belhus Park, Aveley, South Ockendon RM15 4PX. It’s just off the M25 near the Dartford Bridge.

All proceeds from the event go to the National Autistic Society.

To book your place text 07788 990022 or email nasthurrock.group@nas.org.uk

FROM NIGEL KAHN

After the success in 2016 of the first golf day, On Saturday the 8th of September I wil be running the second ever NAS Thurrock golf day in association with WHTID website at Belhus Woods Golf course, Aveley, just off Junction 31 of the M25.

For your donation of £30 to Nas Thurrock, you get Bacon roll with tea or coffee, 18 holes of golf then a hot lunch followed by prize giving.

While there a prizes for the winners of the whole day, winning team, winning individual, Longest Drive & Nearest the pin, we also have separate prizes for WHTID members to thank them for their support again.

There’s a bar as well where after we can hear stories of BSB chipping in from 300 yards or how Tom got out the bunkers.

It’s a fun day atmosphere helping to raise money for a local charity that helps local families.

To take part just go to Nas Thurrocks just giving page by clicking here. Leave your details WHTID forum name (if you have 1) and email address so we can confirm your booking and send menu for the lunch.

Sponsorship of the Golf day is also available.

Hope to see many of you on the day.

Many thanks

Nigel


Transfer Gossip

Dimitri Payet - To Return or Not to Return...

Could it really happen? Could Dimitri Payet actually return to West Ham?

Apparently Marseille need some money and quick, and are prepared to sell him for around the £25 million they paid for him. The thing is, although transfer fees have been inflated drastically since he returned to France, he’s now 31 years old. That wouldn’t especially worry me, given pace was never a major part of his game, but effectively we’d get a maximium of three seasons out of him.

But would we fans wear it? Claret & Hugh did a poll in which 3000 people took part and it showed a 56%-44% vote in favour of him returning. I voted yes, even though my views on him were unprintable when he did the dirty on us. He says he’d like to come back because the problems he experienced here have gone away. I’m not sure what he means by that. Apparently Pellegrini is in favour of doing a deal after consulting some of the senior players about him and his attitude.

Given we will hopefully sign Jack Wilshere in the next 48 hours – he underwent his medical today – adding Payet to the midfield might be rather tasty, given who else we have to compete for places.

When David Sullivan was first approached with this idea he rejected it out of hand, I imagine because of a fear as to what the fans’ reaction might be. Well, fill your boots in the comments.


Transfer Gossip

Issa Diop: The Video

Issa Diop is likely to be announced as our latest signing tomorrow. The fee is rumoured to be £22 million and he will be on £67k a week. We’re also likely to announce the signing of Lucasz Fabianski as well tomorrow.

UPDATE: Issa Diop has signed…. More on WHUFC.com


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