Frankie McAvennie is one of the best loved Hammers of all time and he has been carefully watching events at the club this summer. Here in a special blog for ClaretandHugh he gives his exclusive views on the striker situation and what he expects from the team and fans this season.
When David Sullivan announced he was ready to spend £25m to £30m on a striker way back he wasn’t actually sayng all that because in a football world gone mad, that honestly doesn’t add up to much in real terms.
Think Manchester United spending £106 million on a bloke they let go for nothing and you may get my drift.
As is always the case, the fans are getting edgy at this time of the year because we haven’t yet nailed the new striker and we have Diafra Sakho – who I love by the way – determined to leave. Enner Valencia has disappointed and that puts a load of pressure on Andy Carroll.
But I am absolutely certain that the club will be working relentlessly to get someone in. Slaven knows he has to and I am sure once the new season arrives we’ll be sorted.
But David Sullivan and David Gold are very shrewd men and they won’t throwing millions at an average player just for the sake of making a signing. We don’t need to worry. I am sure all will be well so let’s relax a bit.
There have also been some worries about the form being shown in pre-season friendlies but hey forget that. The same thing is said every year and thinking back I can’t remember ever winning a pre-season game – we were bloody useless – utterly hopeless.
But John Lyall took the view of all top managers – that the only thing that matters is being spot on for the first game and I’m sure when that comes around against Chelsea we will be on it.
People have been getting concerned about Michael Antonio playing in what they see as the right back role but that’s not really the case.
Slav will play three at the back with a five man midfield and Payet presumably pushed up behind Carroll. Michail will be given the freedom, like Cresswell to push on and get into the box so we can forget the idea that he will be employed as a “traditional ” right back.
I think the biggest issue may be the Olympic Stadium itself and it is the fans who can solve that problem.
Teams hated coming to Upton Park for all the well known reasons and it’s up to the 50-60k inside the stadium to make this fearsome and intimidating because at the moment clubs will love the idea of visiting the place.
Some thought that would be true of the Emirates when Arsenal left Highbury but no club enjoys going there now because the Goners have turned it into a fearsome experience – a real home ground.
I know our fans and I believe they will really get a thing going. I hope so and they need to. The Olympic Stadium is our home NOW so it’s up to everybody reading this and beyond to sort the atmosphere from Day One.
As always Frank your spot on fancy another season with us? 🙂