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Hammers revival in hands of old guard

aaroncresswell-e1444287834803With Diafra Sakho and Aaron Cresswell tipped to return to the squad this week it gets harder and harder to see how any of the summer additions are going to get games.

Add Andy Carroll and Andre Ayew’s return within the next fortnight and the position only bcomes exasperated.

The bottom line is that West Ham’s climb to safety – with the probably exception of £20 million Ayew – will be left firmly in the hands and at the feet of the Hammers old guard. And I believe they will deliver.

As we reported yesterday, Pedro Obiang – formerly a fringe figure – could now be in line for a run of games but  none of those brought in appear to be able to put pressure on the frst team squad when they are available.

A quick look through the new additions demonstrates that only a player who arrived as an out of contract player on deadline day – Alvaro Arbeola – is likely to become a fixture.

Here – as a reminder – are the others: Havard Nortveidt, Sofiane Feghouli, Gokhan Tore, Edmilson Fernandes, Quina, Ashley Fletcher, Jonathon Calleri and Antonio Martinez.

Of the group Fletcher has shown himself to be better than promising and maybe the best is yet to come from Calleri.

However, the bottom line surely is that we are looking to  those that have done it for us in the past and that is a recognition of how cute we were in the market.

I am hopeful that both Cressie and Sak return this weekend but that leaves this summer’s signing policy even more confusing. I would certainly like to see Fletcher given more opportunities – perhaps off the bench – and the jury remains out on Feghouli.

We have been told that Fernandes is a really good prospect and I hope that we see the midfielder get a chance, maybe in the match against Chelsea.

Perhaps it’s too early to judge but it looks more and more as though we were expecting to be in Europe for a lot longer than we were and are now over burdened with players.

Caught between two stools perhaps but at least we don’t have the European distraction to contend with as we claw our way up from the  bottom three!

Maybe that would have been a bridge too far to cross!


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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

7 comments on “Hammers revival in hands of old guard

  1. I was concerned about the European campaign AND THE new stadium 2 large tasks Combined would’ve been a difficult challenge. We will prevail SAKHO needs to prove himself. Not just to fans but to his teammates and most of all SLAVEN.
    Fans need to go behind him
    . COYI

  2. I agree, Tiddy. I suspect the fans WILL get behind him if he shows the same determination and desire as he did before he started throwing toys from prams.

    It’s a shame the others haven’t managed to enhance the quality of the first team, but I’m not surprised. We expect players to come in and hit the ground running these days. They rarely do – I think we were very fortunate that so many did last year. The fact they did defined our season, I think.

    I like Feghouli, but he’s going to find it tough to unseat Antonio – a decent back-up though. Nordtveit has been disappointing – much prefer Obiang, and with Arbeloa with us, there doesn’t seem to be much room for him. I’d rather play Oxford that him if we need someone to come in.

    Fernandes, Quina, Martinez and Fletcher are for next season – I think Bilic assumed they’d get game time in the EL.

    Calleri will go back – what’s the point in blooding him when the owners have said he’s categorically not for sale? Zaza is playing himself out of a permanent move, and with Carroll and Sakho back, and Ayew and Fletcher too, I think we’re okay up front. Antonio is a useful backup too.

    Last year, we were quick. This year, we’re slow, but I’m sure that will come with confidence. We need a hard-fought 1-0 win against a decent team and hopefully we can kick on.

    In January, and in future windows, the Board needs to invest in quality proven PL players, not unknown talked-up players from slower leagues and warmer climates.

  3. I believe if Nordveidt and Obiang play together we will have an immense defensive midfield. Nordveidt actually reads the game really well as does Obiang, put Nordveidt on the right DM and Obiang on the left and let them form a relationship. A lot have been critical of Nordveidt but if you look at how many interceptions, tackles and passes he made it was high, I can’t retrieve the stats presently, he was also playing in teams where Reid, Ogbonna and Byram/Antonio were all over the place he was frequently having to try and cover 3 players because no one was pressing, he ended up being pulled into areas he shouldn’t have been due to the poor performance of the whole team. I think Nordveidt will come good if given the chance. Speaking personally Kouyate and Noble should not be given yet another chance against Palace, Obiang has always been better than Noble and he deserves his shot, Kouyate needs to realise there is a price to pay when you are out of form, he is a great player for us but he needs to pick up his levels so he should wait until a cup game to try and prove himself again. Fernandes also needs a shot in the Lanzini role, he wan’t be bullied off the ball, is also a goal threat and looks to be a player that sees passes and moves the ball quickly. If Cresswell and Sakho are fit this is the team I would like to see play against Palace.

    Randolph, Cresswell, Reid, Collins, Arbeloa, Nordveidt, Obiang, Fernandes, Antonio, Payet, Sakho.

    Palace are a physical team with a lot of pace out wide and now a big lump up front, they will try to do to us what we did to so many teams last season. get the ball wide and whip in crosses for Benteke, Adrian is woeful at dealing with crosses which is another reason I wouldn’t pick him for this game.

  4. I’ve read the article and find it most interesting there is not a mention of Simone Zaza!
    I wondered is that was an oversight or just a demonstation of his abillities. Missing!!

  5. Missing but not missing in action.I really really do want the boy to come good, my faith needs restoring in him.Can he do it,im not too sure.

  6. The only two of the new players you can really judge are Zaza and Tore,maybe Nordveit.Zaza I hope is already parceled up.Tore will go back seasons end,and Nordveit will improve when given games in the same position. The rest are hard to assess,when you’ve just seen snippets. COYI

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