There’s been something very wrong all pre-season and now into it. Injuries? Yes but tonight we saw a West Ham United performance entirely unrecognisable from anything we watched in 2015/16.
Without any creative players of consequence on the pitch (and please please please don’t mention the name Tore) we saw two teams who were about as good as each other.
A Romanian team that conceded five at the weekend against a top PL team in their shiny new stadium. Oh dear!
A couple of remarkable saves by the Astra Giurgiu were the difference in the end but apart from substitute Ashley Fletcher we were poor… very poor.
The kid from Manchester was brilliant when he arrived and let’s just focus on him for a moment as the one bright spot.
Classy runs, a great effort brilliantly saved and a real focus to the attack. He was outstanding and can’t be sent out on loan. He has all the makings of a quality, quality striker.
As for the other newcomers, I see nobody who I would rate any better than Championship or lower level PL level – notably the much hyped Gokhan Tore who was as poor as it gets tonight.
The real issue was the total lack of midfield penetration. Without Dimi, Manu and to a lesser extent Mark Noble nothing happens. We don’t see the killer ball in behind. We can’t break teams down and we paid in a very big way.
At the end Slaven sat in the dug-out staring disbelievingly into the middle distance – uncomprehending and lost. A bit like the rest of us.
I guess if we are going to have injuries and a bad run now is the time to have them but there was a shocking lack of quality out there tonight. And quite what Simone Zaza would have made of it all can only be imagined.
This was supposed to be our step to the next level and what gets said in the next board meeting is not something I want to even think about right now.
West Ham’s famous Insider has revealed this everning that the club are at “an advanced stage of negotiations to sign a top international forward.”
ClaretandHugh reported this morning that our best source claims that will be Simone Zaza and should that turn out to be the case it will be a massive statement of intent by the Irons.
Writing on the official site the Insider writes: “The Club have been strongly linked with moves for Wilfried Bony, Loic Remy and Simone Zaza and my sources have confirmed to me that the Club are at an advanced stage of negotiations to sign a top international forward.
“It is my understanding that the Club will discover in the next 48 whether the deal will be finalised and they are 75 per cent confident of getting their man.”
We have blacked out the eyes of the man believed to be the Insider in order to hide his identity!
The Hammers have only sold 2,500 of their 3,000 ticket allocation for the big clash at Manchester City on Sunday.
An this is the latest game not to sell out to season ticket holders and a quick take-up is required if we are to ensure future maximum allocation.
It’ a very odd situation given that the Irons now has 52,000 season ticket holders which would lead most to believe there woud be an incresed demand despite the game falling within the holiday high season and school half term.
The Chelsea allocation sold out to four points but with tickets priced at £30 for the London derby.
Any fans looking at finding a way to build up there priority points and helping to ensure we justify the maximum allocation being taken can get the tickets on line or in person at the Stadium tonight.
West Ham are trying hard to bring Simone Zaza to the club.
Despite suggestions from the manager this morning that the Carlos Bacca deal may be resurrected that could be a smokescreen as we have learned that Zaza talks are back underway.
We have been told that they are continuing with the Italy international’s advisors but at this stage nobody will commit to a likely outcome.
We were simply told: “We are trying hard to bring the player in – we are working at it and you can advise fans we are doing all we can.”
The talks are still centering on whether this will be a loan or permanent deal with Juventus sticking to their permanent deal only position whilst the Hammers look for a season-long loan and option to buy.
Juve have put a £25 million price tag on the player’s head whilst he wants £100k a week in personal terms.
Slaven Bilic may again give the thumbs up to a move for Carlos Bacca – should the striker show an interest in joining the Hammers – after tonight..
The club believe entry into the Europa Cup proper tonight could have a bearing on Bacca’s attitude towards finally agreeing to come to the club.
And Bilic – despite his reservations about ‘dragging players to the club’ -admits: ““He’s a good player, he’s an option because we tried to sign a player in that position even before the injuries. He’s a centre-forward.
But I’m the manager, I don’t negotiate, I say to the chairman and to Tony Henry, we talk and then they do it.”
An offer of around £96,000 a week plus bonuses – around double his salary at Milan – has been on the table for weeks.
So it may well be that there will be a lot more at stake than imagined when the team step out at The London Stadium tonight with the possibility of a very exciting final week of the transfer market in prospect should they win.