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.