ExWHUemployee’s ClaretandHugh column


So it is almost a week on from the transfer window and it has proven to be a very successful one for the club. I think, when you include all the players we have signed throughout the summer, we couldn’t have really asked for much more.

The four new players signed on deadline day were exactly what we needed.

Although he is injured, we are all aware of the qualities that Alex Song brings to us. He was determined to join us and his sons play for our Academy. The transfer would have probably been a permanent deal had it not been for his injury. The club didn’t want to take the gamble yet of making the transfer permanent when his recovery from the injury isn’t known. He should return to fitness in October, and he will give us another fantastic option in central midfield.

Michail Antonio is a player who has had brilliant reviews in the Championship, and he will bring much needed pace and power from the wing. He also has a very good scoring record for a winger and naturally creates a lot of chances for others.

Another wing addition, Victor Moses, was extremely well-rated at Stoke City last season. Their fans were very keen for him to return to The Potteries and, when I asked Matthew Etherington whether he was a good signing for us, he gave a very glowing report. In his earlier years he was linked with all the top clubs from the Continent and has obviously played for Chelsea and Liverpool in England.

Striker Nikica Jelavic joined for around £3m from Hull as back-up to the likes of Sakho, Carroll and Valenica. When you think of it like that he is a good player to have to call upon. He has worked with Slaven Bilic at international level and they have a very good working relationship. Tony Henry, our head of recruitment, also signed him for Everton and knows what he can bring.

Real strength in depth

It has to be said that despite much criticism, David Sullivan produced the goods in the window.

We now have strong competition and squad depth in every position, something which we haven’t had for many years. This will be seen against Newcastle where we will have a much stronger bench than the Liverpool game with Andy Carroll also returning. I personally wouldn’t change a winning team, especially one that has won 3-0 at Anfield. I am very glad the window is over, as those of you who follow me will recall, I spent most days tweeting out the transfer news, so I am grateful for the break from that!

This week I had the opportunity to chat to a builder/carpenter, who is currently working at the Olympic Stadium, and he gave me an interesting insight into the current spending situation around the project and explained that his early concerns about the stadium have been quashed.

He said: “On my first visit I was inducted in a group of 30 men it took three hours for this to be completed, considering the wages that I know of ranging from £18-£25 per hour it was my first insight into why this is running at such a cost.

“The first time I walked out onto the pitch I was gutted. Yes, it’s an athletics stadium; yes, the pitch was a long way away. I took some pics of the retractable seating done some measurements and was a bit relieved.

“Everything that was done up to the anniversary games was temporary from the carpentry to the stands not being commissioned (signed off for use) as they are powered. If anybody went to the games they would have seen the unsightly dark brown plywood everywhere, well my point being a lot of money was spent on a temporary fix.

“As soon as that was finished it was all ripped out, hundreds of thousands of pounds for two days of Athletics. Then there is the temporary work for the rugby last weekend, this included the walk ways and backs of stands to the north south and east, scaffolders carpenters and the seating crew, seats having to be pulled into place due to not being powered costing time and money. Again hundreds of thousands of pounds wasted for a three hour event. All of which is being dismantled at more cost to the tax payer, now finishing touches for the RWC are going ahead.

“My point being I’m sick of hearing how WHU are getting cushy deal when in fact, from what I’ve seen, it’s the Athletics and Rugby so far that are. It will also take 7 days to transform from athletics to football mode, 100 men approximately working night and day. This is not a guess, a well-known fact for the people that work there. So are the Athletics covering the high cost of transformations?

“I’m positive and hope you are as well after visiting, for me the retractable seating works. I know it sounds cheesy but it somehow connects the upper tier as well by being closer. Also the east stand extended tier can easily be replicated on the west, solving that gap problem. The screens do have large gaps but wait for us to get in there and solve that too”

This week we have seen an overwhelming response to a number of West Ham sites who have asked for donations to sponsor West Ham ladies players, so that it can help the club to grow and reach the potential that it is showing.

I have been amazed at the response and I have now pledged to donate some to Jonjo’s charity work and the DT38 foundation too. Both are significant to West Ham and myself. My link – gofundme.com/ExWHUEmployee – will take you to a page where you can also support these great causes .Any contributions will be very greatly appreciated.


About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

9 comments on “ExWHUemployee’s ClaretandHugh column

  1. Don’t Gert me wrong – I think we’ve outgrown UP and the OS is too good to miss, but I’m still a bit confused about the gaps between upper and lower tiers. If the lower seats oull forwards in football mode, there has to be a gap between upper and lower. This will either be a void – concealed somehow – or a horizontal platform or walkway. I have yet to be convinced that it will actually look anything like the illustrations shown at the sales centre.

  2. I agree with you there Demon, the pictures we’ve seen of the OS with the seating pulled out doesn’t seem to cover even half the track. You can hide it under as much green plastic as you want but the large gap will still be there..

  3. Demon there is filler seats for the east stand so that there is no gap. However sadly the Author is wrong about the fact the West side can easily be filled in a similar manner. The extra hospitality tier is slightly lower and recessed as compared to the east. Unfortunately that is enough to block views if more than a few rows were added at best. The only possibility would be to add one tow of seats to the equivalent of two in terms of depth to retain sight lines and fill much of the gap and charge more for the extra leg room and space available as a result. The ends represent similar problems as the screens would be obscured if extra fill seats were added. The screens as they exist would have to move diagonally forward at 45 degrees in field mode to gain height without obscuring them for many seats because of the roof structure. The screen set up would have to change considerably if those ends are to be filled in some way. A solution may be possible eventually but it won’t be cheap or easy nor any time soon. Clearly if only football use had been considered at the original design stage these problems could have been avoided with little to no extra cost perhaps even a saving in terms of the re development. That said they have done a great job considering the limitations but yes the excessive angular sweep of the side stands does mean that in the middle the gap is still rather wide.

  4. Off topic and bored with the international break, made the mistake of reading WHTID and to my amazement I saw that certain individuals like to throw the toys out the pram because of the WetPants saying. More amazed that one individual who comes on here simply to state that KN is the ****test thing that ever played at the Bolewyn states”There all immature and don’t like a debate” this from the man who if not Nolan thinks Brady is the one to attack the irony knows no bounds. And queen Lids spouts up about grown men shouldn’t behave in this way is even more priceless especially when posting on a site where everything the selected few say must be backed up and adhered to or your blackballed and persecuted. We all read sites to find out what is going on at the club not to get into asylum, LLDC, politics, cake making or constant formations by a bloke who writes in CAPS LOCKS and I certainly don’t post on WHTID to atangonise like some who come on here and do it out of true immaturity.

    • Spot on GW.They are so precious about their site but they are the idiots who come here to stir things up or cause friction.Never see anyone from here go there to stir them up or look for arguements.Some of them even boast to eachother about coming here to cause trouble.What did Gobyac say the other week,it is a badge of honour for him to come here to p#ss people off.Haha,who are the immature ones,another one lastnight said he came on here to wind people up about Allardyce.Sorry,who are the immature ones,lol.Pot & Kettle bigtime mate.Even Sam45 copped it in the earhole for daring to say people on here are fine,lol

      • Easy solution,take a leaf out of the Radai Lama book of tranquility,just dont go on there,then you dont have to read any of it,lol.Same for them,if they have an issue with this place then dont come here.Job done.Just dont slag the lady on there,got to have limits & she is a bit of a babe,lol 😀

  5. They see it as a right of passage Billy, it’s like an initiation ceremony for them, the ones who conviently shout out” Rabid Dog and Troll” then run back to tell there powers that be what they’ve done. They spout immaturity but post on other sites to gain a response because on there own site there no more than pawns without a voice ,because no one engages with them unless they agree with the so called heirachy that believe that they run it and nobody else.

  6. Bit of a slow week – I hate these International breaks!

  7. Hmmm,you must be on about the site where everyone is welcome as it ‘inclusive’ of everyone,but dont bother posting a comment unless you are one of the Addams Family select few or you will be ignored.Some of them open themselves up to ridicule with their pompous,expert attitudes.Doesnt matter whether someone supports West Ham or not,if they are plonkers they are plonkers,lol.
    Know what you mean Michael,but i guess it has given Slav some time to work with the team & new signings 😉

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