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We dare to hope after so many false dawns

Some of us have seen more false West Ham dawns than we can remember while others – younger of course – have had there share of them or, put another way, more than enough!

The last one came in  July 2017 when we reckoned the arrival of a marquee signing in Chicharito, an England goalkeeper on loan and a vastly experienced right back had set us up for a half decent season. WRONG…AGAIN!

But this summer I want to believe the bubble of optimism floating around the old club is justified with the most expensive managerial appointment in our history.

I am of course more than ready to be disappointed because that too often goes with the territory when you live your footballing life on the dark side. Often? Change that to invariably.

However, Pellegrini at £8 -£10 million depending on what ‘paper or website you favour, looks like great business to me, given his ability to achieve at clubs great and small – well at least medium.

Yes of course he will need to be backed with big dough – a given and let’s not start kidding ourselves that the board will be selecting the players. You really don’t spend that sort of dough and then walk over such a man and it’s madness to think otherwise.

My view is pretty straightforward! The fan protests from last season had a seriously big effect on our board and their response has demonstrated that.

They had wanted – and tried to get – Pellegrini for many months but the intensity of the outrage demonstrated by the fans made them push harder than at any time in their ownership history.

That’s all good and it means that we not only have a guy with a world wide reputation whose name will attracts big players but one that loves to play attacking football.

So far so good and the likely signing of Ryan Fredericks on Tuesday is another big step in the right direction. All the reports are good telling us that he’s a young, athletic and very quick operator.

So now all we need are a couple of central defenders of the same age and ability or better, a couple of midfielders in the same ilk plus a FIT striker.

The departure perhaps of Mr Carroll who promises so much but is usually another of those false dawns would help.

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Word is that the new boss will be relying on Arnie and Chicharito as his favoured front line partnership with Manu Lanzini playing in behind.

After that he has decisions to make on the likes of Obiang, Kouyate, the skipper, Antonio (injured of course) and Masuaku.

We don’t need to remind ourselves that it was in midfield where we had serious problems almost as desperate as those at the back.

So whichever way you look at it Pellegrini’s reputation will be seriously put to the test it seems to me as he makes decisions on players’ futures and who he brings in to replace them.

He has  arrivals and departures to organise before getting down to the serious business of gelling them into a new squad, organising pre-season and getting everybody on board with his footballing philosophy.

The board – as stated – need to back that terrific first appointment with serious money (should it be required) and allow their man to get on with things.

They have already allowed him to choose the head of recruitment and his chief scout as a big change of emphasis becomes apparent.

I’m ready for that false dawn of course but maybe this time the sun really is about to rise.


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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

14 comments on “We dare to hope after so many false dawns

  1. Apparently Fredericks gets a yellow every 3.5 games, scores few goals and even less assists… if he gets frustrated in the Championship I suspect he’ll only got worse when he comes about a higher level of skill in the PL

  2. He’s made 114 goalless appearances for Fulham, registering 15 assists and 29 yellow cards. He has made 161 appearances across all his clubs, and scored one goal, his passing success rate across 2017/18 was 76.7%, placing him 22nd out of 25 outfield players at Fulham..

  3. I don’t think he is Pellegrino’s choice Crewe, I think we need a game changing signing, someone of Payets ability, in Lanzini, Arnie and Mario if he resigns we have some real attacking quality, it is those full back and defensive midfield roles that need really addressing and maybe left wing.

  4. Good post Hugh see you already got two replys to Frederick joining from a winging whining so called hammer from Crewe. What is it some so called fans probably only been around a few years and just out of nappies love knocking any deals that our club make. If it’s moyes and hugil and evra coming in I get it but it’s a top coach we have now a top coach in the world of football and he sanctions a free transfer leaving him with more cash for other positions and a so called fan jumps in and thinks his stats are worth more than pelle and his scouts on a player. This guy fredericks can perform in the premier comfortably and can defend unlike the left back we have cresswell. I’m sure most intelligent fans will leave pelligrini to his top knowledge of players to come in and leave and support the best coach we have had for decades.

    • I have only seen one whole game that Fredericks played, the play off final. He looked less than ordinary but I wouldn’t judge him on one game. Crewehammer has stated a number of facts, assuming the details are true, and that doesn’t constitute “winging and whining”(sic). He (or she) is just as entitled to an opinion as you are and also doesn’t entitle you to make personal insults. The whole point of a comments section is for people to air their views and would be pointless if the criteria was that we all agreed with you.

    • Stating facts Razor, thought others might be interested, I’ve been around since 1963, first game 1975, Tottenham at home 1-0

      And just like Byram there is no guarantee he’ll make the step up.

      I’m actually pretty excited at the idea of Pelligrini, especially after spending the last week working with a load of hardcore Citeh lads who seemed convinced that we’ll finish around 6th COYI

  5. so Fredericks is a poor mans walker but hey, walker cost city 60 million. Fredericks is for free. And Who is to say Zabaleta won’t remain first choice rightback anyway.

  6. 50 million.

  7. As I always say, the games is about good squads of quality players, rathyer than managers. Anyone who thought that a big name expensive manager was the fix we needed was dreaming.
    The real fix is to build a squad that this manager is equiped to work with. If we keep our present squad, then he gets us relegated because he is not equiped to fight fires. That means we must spend big to survive and do well this season and then again during the next few seasons just to build that squad.
    Frederick is the first, but he didn’t really show much in the two Derby County games, but then he wasn’t playing much. I will trust the judgement of the last management team and hope he is the right man for right-back.
    Pastore wants too much so it seems like on to the next. I hope we get Anderson, but so do a lot of others. It’s going to be a very interesting summer.

  8. Some people have wanted Carroll out for year, every time a new striker comes through the door, but Carroll has outlasted them all and come back to save our season so I wouldn’t get rid of him just yet. For what we would get selling him we would do better keeping him even if it is fourth choice striker to come off the bench. Remember we will be playing two up top next season and Carroll is not the only striker to suffer illness or injury. We would probably get less than the price of a Hugill if we sold him so I say keep him.

  9. Good article Hugh and certainly got the old brain matter going….my thoughts on this are similar, so after our God awful season from top to bottom we finally have a manager that’s capable of achieving the goals that we all would love to see, and boy oh boy do the board need to pull their fingers out and hopefully they’ll back him in the transfer market ….if Frederick signs then that’s a great start and no brainer…..but that is only 1 player, we really need another 4/5 solid players that will walk into our 1st team our squad is woefully thin at best and the quality amongst them is barely worth taliking about……
    Let the rumours stop and show the real intent in the transfer market…. it’s time to shut up and put up simple ….now let’s get on with the serious business and stop making our club look stupid on all fronts…after that a top 10 finish is there or there or there abouts no problem…but I want to say that’s not good enough and we should aim higher !! 7/8th place ! That’s exactly where we want to be…unachievable? Absoutely not …get rid of the old wood and bring on the new …we could be about to see a whole new hammers era!! But it’s all about the MONEY!!

  10. Par for the course guys. Find something to moan about and ignore the rest by and large LOL.

  11. I actually feel that we have some good young players coming through, we have the nucleus of a really good side but last year had no strength in depth. Last season in most games at home (only have a home season ticket and stream away games) it wasn’t (and this is only my opinion) necessarily the defence at fault for all the goals, any of the central midfield pairings we used were passed around or simply out paced which left the defence unbelievably exposed, many times an attacker simply strolled past a static Kouyate or did Noble for Pace. Once Obiang got injured we had no engine. Kouyate is not a patch on the player he was 2 seasons ago but the question is why? In almost every game last season we started really brightly and then the inevitable goal went in and the collapse started. Under Billic it was too lax and players didn’t seem to care and his substitutions left a lot to be desired. Moyes made the improvement to fitness and effort but again was found wanting in tactics and still the lack of confidence shone through after going a goal down. I genuinely feel that even without any additions Pelle would improve on 13th. With the addition of some good kids coming through I think we have a lot more strength in depth and with the additions we are being linked with I believe this is a season where 8th up to 6th is a distinct possibility. But I say all this with the optimism and equal amount of pessimism as a West Ham fan of over 40 years of this roller coaster ride.

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