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Keep All Our Eggs In one Basket

Blind Hammer argues for quality not quantity.

A month is a long time in football. The nadir of our dreadful capitulation to Everton indicated a complete summer squad overhaul was needed.

A month later and the perspective is different. Our below-par performance, with a markedly understrength lineup, against Everton does not look so bad. Everton have shown a startling surge in form, including a recent 4-0 thumping of Manchester United.

Poor performers against Everton, like Obiang, have subsequently improved to provide a solid, credible performance last time out.

Another squad player signposted for exit includes Perez. Yet Perez’s wrongly disallowed second goal against Leicester could have won us all 3 points. He also provided a strong cameo in our historic win at Tottenham.

The grass is always greener with players from less competitive leagues. Even Marco Boogers looked a good player whilst playing in Holland.

Yet nothing really beats experience at coping with and adjusting to the rigours of playing in the most difficult league in the world. If West Ham brought in6 or even 7 or 8 players from weaker leagues we would simply provide this challenge simultaneously for all these players.

This is precisely the mistake Bilic made in our ill-fated Europa League preparations. Remember the disappointment with performers like Gökhan Töre and Håvard Nordtveit?

Patience can be a virtue. You need only look at how Tottenham’s were rewarded for their patience with Lucas Moura for a vindication of this approach. Most of our squad players will be better for another year.

Whilst Pellegrini has shown he can unearth some gems like Fabian Balbuena, it is far harder to pull off this trick at the business, striking end of the pitch.

So when I hear that West Ham a looking to recruit up to 6 players this concerns me. Instead, I would far prefer paying the going price, even £50 million for a proven premier league goal scorer like Bournemouth’s Cullum Wilson. We may need to prune the squad a little. Perhaps high wage earners like Hernandez need to go. However, in general, we should go again next season with the bulk of this squad. We need to add by investing heavily in 1 or 2 quality recruits.

So I would want all our eggs of high quality in one striking basket rather than recruiting multiple gambles scattered through the squad.

This runs the risk of our star recruit breaking a leg in early games, wasting all our investment. This is still a risk worth taking if we want the chance of genuine game changers illuminating next season.

About David Griffith

My Father, born in 1891 was brought up in the shadows of the Thames Ironworks Memorial Ground. I remember as a child jumping over the settee when Alan Sealy scored in our 1965 European Cup Winners triumph. My first game was against Leicester in 1968, when Martin Peters scored what was adjudged by ITV’s Big Match as the Goal of the Season. I became a season ticket holder in 1970. I was registered blind in 1986 and thought my West Ham supporting days were over. However in 2010 I learnt about the fantastic support West Ham offer to Blind and other Disabled Supporters. I now use the Insightful Irons in-stadium commentary service and West Ham provide space for my Guide Dog Nyle. I sit on the West Ham Disabled Supporters Board and the LLDC Built Environment Access Panel. David Griffith aka Blind Hammer

6 comments on “Keep All Our Eggs In one Basket

  1. I agree to a degree but think we need a few in but more out.
    My thoughts:
    Adrian released, Replaced with giving Trott his chance so no fee required (Adrian played so few games last season I don’t see this as a risk).
    Carroll released and replaced with Gomez (I know very little about him but seems to be the target) this appears to be a £40m option it would seem.
    Carrolls wages will be almost double that of Gomez so a young hungry player on lower wages.
    Chich for me should go as we can command a fee and is on huge wages £8 – £10m. Replaced by Silva so no fee involved and as we would play with Arnie and Gomez up top this is simply cover anyway but great cover from what I have seen and if we keep Perez who’s goals per minute ratio is 103 mins per goal we are pretty well catered for up top, or we could also go for Mitrovic at what I would assume would be £25m and have a lot of fire power?
    Hugill will go for about £5m so more in the kitty.

    I can see Reid going and that will be a nominal fee of about £3m? Replaced with Maripan at £10m. Young and on less wages so that’s 4 quality CB.

    LB is the issue and do we don’t we recruit but if we do is it Cresswell or Masuaku and my choice would be sell Cresswell £8m and buy Koutris, again young and on less wages and would cost about the same as we get for Cresswell.
    RB is pretty covered with the emergence of a fit again Fredericks, Zabba and young Johnson.
    Byram will go to Forest for about £4m as they are after him it would appear.
    Obiang will go for about £8m and possible replacement in Cabellos from Madrid at £18m.
    Fernandes can go for £8m.
    Wilshere looked superb with his cameo on Saturday so needs to be given his chance but as much as it pains me as I would love to see him fully fit but Nasri for me doesn’t get a new contract. £70k pw could be better spent elsewhere.

    We have Yarmalenko returning, Holland coming through and so I would sell Oxford for a reported £8m and release Haksebanovic, Samuelson with Cullen coming back to prove himself pre season.

    So for me this is 5 in at £91m and 8 out recouping £52m so about £10m over the net £30m investment being spoken about but with far less wages this should be possible.

    Just my musings as I think about it so the maths might not add up and many will no doubt disagree but with silly season almost upon us I am reading everything and believing nothing so thought I would join in.

    • wjo1974
      Agree with most of that.
      Cullen needs to have an outstandng summer as does Browne.Both have been talked up a lot in League 1,but can they convert that game time and excellence to the PL ?
      Browne could save us a lot of money.If he could have the right attitude in training and then the summer Pellegrini he could work his way into the squad.He’s good as a dead ball specialist which we don’t have apart from Snodgrass.
      Will be interesting to see if Cullen can step up,he needs more goals in his locker.
      I have a feeling Ogbonna may leave too.If Reid comes back 100% he may stay.
      Snodgrass may leave too as we won’t get much money for him in another year.
      Sanchez may see out his contract unless a good bid comes in for him,if he stays then Coventry will move on or go out on a season long loan.
      I think in addition to your suggested loanees Makasi will move on,Neuville will have to go out on loan,Martinez will stay in Spain.

  2. Wilson’s had two serious ACL injuries, one on either knee. Given our track record with long term injuries, I think it would be suicidal to spend 50m plus on him. 27 years old with 33 goals in 89 Premier League appearances isn’t exactly prolific, yes he’s been great this season, but for that sum of money, we need somebody younger with an injury free record. Spending 35m seemed steep for Anderson but he’s been fit and available for almost every game.

  3. “Far prefer paying the going price, even £50 million for a proven premier league goal scorer like Bournemouth’s Cullum Wilson”. Point one, he’s a crock, second point, it’s not your money!

  4. Some of those players Bilic signed like Nordveit, Feghouli would have been better in a team where the players were putting the effort in but agree BH we need high quality first team players to grow the club, how we make the numbers work for that will be interesting to see Brahimi is available on a free which I think we will have a good shot at but he is a winger where arguably we are strong, we will likely need two strikers a left back, a centre back if we move Reid out, a GK and maybe a box to box midfielder. That’s a lot considering we allegedly don’t have much funds £30m + player sales so it will require a number or shrewd purchases won’t it ?

  5. Well let the silly season of speculation begin – hopefully by the end of it we will have made some good buys and a few good sales. I think that getting 5 million for Hugill is very optimistic – by the end of the season he couldn’t even make the Middlesborough starting line up

    Also we are not the only team who will be wary of buying injury prone players – so tehre might not be that many takers for Reid

    Let us see how it pans out and in the meantime beat Watford to make it into the top 10

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