Talking Point

I have no doubt that most West Ham fans always take the ever growing list of footballers linked with a move to East London with a pinch of salt. However, there are always a few who elect to read all of the rumours with seemingly no source and, as a result, decide we’ve got an outside chance of signing Mbappe!

I have my Dad to thank or maybe blame for a whole host of things, one of which being becoming a fan of this great club, but he did also introduce me to the rabbit hole that can be transfer forums. While many supporters avoid contact with such websites and opt for the ‘I’ll believe it when I see them holding the shirt’, I rather enjoy reading the rumours. For the record, I do hope that I become a fan who avoids all contact with what for the most part are made up rumours but, on the other hand, I like to envisage Maxi Gomez scoring 20 goals for us next season and guiding us to the Europa League!

An interesting example of how rumours can spread quickly, as well as how I have often got too excited about a player’s seemingly imminent arrival came in the summer of 2016. I distinctly remember returning home from an A-Level History revision session, and looking online to see we’d made serious enquires for Carlos Bacca. As the days went on, I became more and more convinced the Colombian would sign for us, and at this stage we needed a decent striker. After a few days I recall speaking to my English teacher who was a strong influence on me in my formative years about West Ham and transfers; sadly he was a Chelsea fan. I managed to convince my teacher and the rest of the students in the English class that Bacca to West Ham was a done deal. Of course when it didn’t happen, my teacher took great pleasure in telling me I should not believe everything I read. Ultimately, Bacca clearly did not want to play for us and in those instances fans are more than happy to look elsewhere for more committed players. Moral of the story, do not believe everything you read online and subsequently tell all your friends that it’s a done deal!

Given that my Dad has seen numerous West Ham teams over the years, some of which good and others that definitely flattered to deceive, he has instilled in me a sense of patience. Patience is a key attribute in everyday life anyway, but when it comes to supporting West Ham in a transfer window, it is essential. As my recent articles have included lyrics from songs, now is the time to turn to Gary Barlow and Take That ‘Just have a little patience’. The constant back and forth with transfer rumours these days is difficult as well as frustrating to keep up with, so Gary’s lyrics give us sound advice.

As usual we are already being associated with a whole host of players, some of which I think would be very good acquisitions and others would be underwhelming or even poor. Unlike in years gone by where the club has been less secure and the quality of the manager questioned, we are now in a better place. Thus, I believe I am in the majority that trust Pellegrini and Husillos to bring in good players who will complement the attacking style we are developing even if the budget is not an unbelievable amount.

I took a brief break while writing this piece to accompany my Manchester United supporting friend to Tesco, and for the majority of the trip we discussed Man United’s transfer plans. Louis seems convinced they will not sign players that they really need to and that next season will be another unpleasant one. I revelled in his pain and, unlike Man United’s bleak future, I think we can all agree we are moving in a positive direction. I feel it is appropriate to conclude with a song lyric, we turn to another successful band, and specifically Bono, ‘I Can’t Live With or Without You’ in East London even if some of the rumours are silly!

I was rooting for Derby to beat Aston Villa in the playoff final for a couple of reasons. The first being that Lampard’s men simply play a more attractive brand of football than the ‘villains’. But the second as well as more important reason is the fact my brother is attending the University of Derby in September. I was hoping to tie together a nice trip which would see me visit my brother in Derby, whilst also watching West Ham play at Pride Park. Alas, hopefully we draw Derby in a cup tie.

Hope everyone is well, have a good week.