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Team: West Ham United

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12 Dec 2018 17:13:21
Interested to know what everyone HONESTLY expects us to do in the Jan window?

My thoughts:
MP's mentality will always mean progress, even if we are effectively safe by Jan as he will be targeting 6th. Ironmike will be better at explaining what finances we have, and where we are with FFP, but i suspect we have to move players on before we can make permanent signings and accommodate Rice's pay rise.
Realistically, I see him improving SQUAD quality in a couple positions, UNLESS MP has an opportunity on someone he specifically wants for his long term plan.
Left back is the main issue. Masuaku is not good enough defensively. Sell if an offer comes and expect a young, or temporary addition (e. g. Monreal) to come and challenge Cresswell.
Oxford looks like he is going, and with Zaba retiring at end of season, and Fredricks injured, expect a RB to be on the cards.
Cover for Declan. With Sanchez out for the season and Ogbonna our only backup at CB then a backup DM is important. Interesting that Yaya Toure has had his pay-as-you-play contract cancelled amidst the Turkish financial crisis. Maybe a temporary option until end of season when Sanchez returns? We may well see reports of him training with us before the new year as his family is in London.
Creative player cover. With Snodders and Anderson our only established technical players fit, i expect Nasri to come in to provide depth and cover here. I do not expect us to spend big on anyone else here as we have Yarmolenko and Lanzini still to come back, and 3 very good youngsters in Diangana, Holland and Silva coming through.
Up front, I only see movement here if we sell players. Arnie rumours may be true, although i am not sure which club will want him RIGHT NOW. Many clubs need a Caroll in Jan, and we could see him go on loan until his contract runs out freeing up some salary.
Out - Oxford, Masuaku, Antonio, Caroll
In - RB, LB, Nasri, DM and Rice TO SIGN!
If funds available, MAYBE bigger signing.


1.) 12 Dec 2018 18:17:42
I would go along with that Nickinho. It's a long shot to expect 6th place with current squad, much will depend on what budget Pellegrini has to play with when the window opens. Yarmalenko, Wilshire and Lanzini is a big loss but players have stepped up that have come in. If I was to be critical on team performances it has to be the tendency to step off the gas in periods of the game, allowing the opposition to take control. Pellegrini's philosophy is, if the opposition hasn't got the ball they can't score, and I've noticed that in recent matches the possession stats have taken a dive, not drastically, but enough to tell you that the team is conceding too much possession. Better opposition in those last three games would have taken advantage.

2.) 12 Dec 2018 19:37:24
I would personally love us to try and sign Kieran Tierney I think he is fantastic, versatile and is a leader. Though I may be being unrealistically ambitious and he may have no interest in us.

3.) 13 Dec 2018 00:24:29
Nice post Nickinho I think you have covered all the main points here, IT WAS the idea originally to have another spendfest this coming summer however injuries, and poor performances by some players demand more urgent attention, we don’t have to sell anybody to buy a couple of players as close to 35 m can be available However WH will look to sell on and reduce wage bill or at least keep it under control. IRONMIKE.

4.) 13 Dec 2018 00:30:41
Not much point in loaning out Carroll he can help us when available I'f someone's that desperate to need him in January they can buy him.

He seems to come back play a few games then get injured but he always seems to make an impact, but yes I would sell we still have an option at the end of the season and we know if he can stay fit what an asset he can be. More likely a sale than a loan.

5.) 13 Dec 2018 09:05:41
Lb- k Tierney
Rb- n clyne
Cm- a duncan
S- y poulson.

6.) 13 Dec 2018 12:51:05
Well written post Nichinho.
I, too, think that Nasri might be our only recruit in January. Your points about our full backs make good sense, but my gut tells me that only Oxford will leave if we get a decent offer.
Our full squad, when all our fit, covers most bases and I am optimistic that we are on course for a top 10 finish.
The summer spending was so extensive that we won’t spend this window. I would really have liked Almiron to come in, but can’t see it happening realistically.
I’m sure that MP will not move Carroll on, as he’s good cover for Arnie, who l also think will stay at least until the summer - at which time there may be a major shake up in our strikers.
MP and Husillos will be constantly scouting for the players he wants in the summer to make the squad increasingly his.




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25 Jul 2019 10:06:41
Interesting time for us now, as I am unsure if we will be making another signing, and if we do I have no clue where/ who this may be. One way to narrow it down is to look at the current options for the 25 man squad, and the number of HG players within it.
Based on the CURRENT squad, and picking those who (if at the club) are 100% included, I come to 23 players (6 home grown, as Snodgrass does not qualify) . This leaves two spots left, and both have to be home grown as we have met our max overseas players. Possible assumptions in my sqwuad are:
All three keepers are included. Our U21 keeper (Trott) is out on loan, so we have to register all 3 to be safe. David Martin is also HG.
Rice, Diangana, Oxford, Johnson and Nathan Holland are left out as they are U21 and do not need to be registered.
Xande Silva is included as he is not U21 and we need strikers
Hugill is left out
Marcus Browne and Josh Cullen are left out as they are not certs, but they are HG. If they don't make the squad they will be moved on.
Either we are buying home grown, or we are selling or loaning out more players with the intention of registering one of the U21 players I mention above.
What do people think MP has planned?


1.) 25 Jul 2019 11:25:23
Nickinho, did you sit up all night looking at stats before writing all that🤣😂Well done you for the patience👍👍 You could go on Mastermind as WH stats your chosen subject! I’ll take your word on all that and prefer just to wait and see who we sign, if anybody? COYI ⚒⚒⚒.

2.) 25 Jul 2019 14:06:42
With Obiang now gone and doubts about the future of Hugill, Oxford, Cullen, Browne, Chicharito and, I’m sure, several others - I can certainly see one or two more coming to the club.

Loans with a view to buy wouldn’t surprise me at all.

The club has gone on a real and successful drive to reduce the wage bill and this frees things up substantially. If the reports about Haller’s £70k wage are true, it shows that bringing talent in from foreign, far less well funded leagues, can help to keep some form of control over wages and puts Chicharito’s reported £140k wage in a completely different light. However, as Nick has pointed out, we need to fulfil the requirements of the Home Grown rules.

There will be more ins and outs.

3.) 25 Jul 2019 14:44:36
Its a tough one, because IMO we are still unbalanced at CM, but to be fair i have not watched enough of Fornals to make a solid opinion. We also need a backup target man to Haller, and better backup for Rice than Sanchez.
Still, I would rather we keep what we have, and use players like Antonio as a ST and Snodgrass (with his work rate) as a CM than spend the money for the sake of spending it. Understand why we got Sanchez and Perez last season as backups, but we don't need those types of signings any more, and they can be hard to get rid of a season later. We need signings for the future, not one season cover.



09 Jul 2019 12:48:28
A little part of me feels like our budget just shrunk with both the Arnie escapade and the Gomez cost increase. Judging by the reaction of the club, I don't think Arnie going was part of the plan, and if he was they certainly did not plan for him going at £22.5m. So something has changed, and MP's alternative plan is now in motion, starting with "WE MUST GET OUR NUMBER ONE STRIKER TARGET" Which explains the increased offer for Gomez, as it is now more important that we get a top lead striker that suits MP.
Now consider that Chica may go as well, and suddenly we need additional cover. However, given the clubs videos recently, they have given Chica a lot of media time, and IMO this suggests maybe they now want him to stay for the remainder of his contract, especially because without him we would go into a prem season with no strikers with ANY proven prem experience/ ability.
OK, so we probs got £10m extra for Arnie than we would have with Chica, but the cost of Gomez also went up by the same, so there are no gains or losses here. However, we write off Chica's value as he will go for free next season, whereas we could have got £10m for him this summer. This has to be factored somewhere.
If we believe our REPORTED net spend is around £30m (which I question, as I don't believe Husiloss would let this slip out), then we would have spent £64m on Fornals and Gomez, less £25m from Arnie and Perez. Leaves us -£10m already, and with only Obiang, Hugill, Byram and Oxford of any value to sell, who together could bring in £19m tops. Even selling Chica gets us to £19m left, which is hardly enough for a DM and a ST.


{Ed002's Note - Put thoughts about money to the side. Everything is way off reality.}

1.) 09 Jul 2019 14:15:52
I reckon Chich may stay now.

2.) 09 Jul 2019 15:48:51
Thanks Ed, appreciate your comment. Thought as much LOL
We can only try and guess using the numbers quoted in the news, but there is sooooo much non-disclosed money involved with transfers these days its impossible to work out or keep track.



17 Jun 2019 13:18:11
Hi Eds,
I read something during the Arnie saga in January suggesting an agreement was made that if we received a bid of £X million for him before a certain date this summer that he would be sold.
Is there any truth in this?
It would explain the short extension we offered to him, given Hernandez only has a year left on his contract making Arnie the only striker we could get money for this summer.


{Ed002's Note - I really don't know.}

1.) 17 Jun 2019 22:03:53
It wouldn’t surprise me. The China fiasco was farcical.



05 Jun 2019 12:39:59
Just a thought on a possible squad for next season. This is my preferred "realistic" option as it requires a higher net spend than reported.

GK - Fabianski, Roberto (Free), Allen (free) (Trott on loan)
CB - Diop, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Reid
RB - Fredricks, Zabaletta (Johnson on loan)
LB - Cresswell, Masuaku
DM - Rice, Hayden (£15m), Sanchez
CM - Noble, Cabellos (Loan with £15m option), Cullen, Snodgrass
AM - Lanzini, Wilshere, Coventry (Loan? )
WG - Anderson, Yarmolenko, Fortounis (£15m), Diangana, Holland, Dju (Loan? ), Kemp (Loan? )
ST - Gomez (£40m), Mitrovic (£25m), Antonio, Xande Silva
OUT - Arnie (£20m), Chica (£8m), Fernandes (£7m), Obiang (£10m), Perez (£2m), Oxford (£3.5m)

Total sales = £50.5m, Total Purchases = £110m, Net Spend = £44.5m
Worth noting that Snodgrass (CM and WG) and Antonio (ST and WG) are used as very good utility players in this squad, I had to put them in somewhere though, and I feel Snods is better in CM due to pace, and Antonio is at ST because I like Diangana and Holland too much not to be involved on the WG. Gomez is included as I would love him to come, but unlikely, however we could also get a striker for £30m and come closer to reported £30m budget. Maripan (£10/ 15m) could be an option if Reid needs to go, but not essential as both Rice and Hayden can play CB if required, so I have left him out.
Alternative: keep Arnie and just buy Mitrovic, then buy Maripan or Cabellos outright (assuming if we buy Maripan we can still get Cabellos on loan, if not buy Cabellos as CM is higher priority)

EDs, any news on interest surrounding Ceballos? Seems there is interest in him so a loan may be out of the question.


1.) 06 Jun 2019 08:45:24
Total spend should be £95m
By accident i added in Maripan at £15m to make the total £110m.

2.) 06 Jun 2019 15:19:21
Be careful NICK your be getting a fax from SULLY getting you on the payroll mate with your ins and outs 1 thing you've missed mate and that's the over 32 player who's washed up 2 years prior and give hI'm a years (holiday) I mean contract worth £80,000 job is yours then mate. COYI.

3.) 07 Jun 2019 09:17:57
Knowing our luck, all our attacking players will be back fit next season and then Balbuena and Diop will get injured long term. And with Winston's still as yet "unknown" fitness we will finish 9th and all be wondering "what if we had less injuries? "
The level injuries we had last season would have usually seen us scraping safety, or even going down, shows the progress MP has made.
One thing i was pleased with last year was that none of the players who got injured were ever rushed back and thrown into action simply patched up. Wilshere could have played many more games, and i'm sure he would have had he been under Wenger at Arsenal still. I believe this treatment from previous managers has contributed to his long term problems, as he is thrown back in when he has never truly fully fixed the problem at hand. let's hope he gets over them as the management seemed far more focused on getting him fixed rather than just "fit to play". Lanzini also looked like he had a very good rehab, so fingers crossed its the same for Yarmolenko and Winston. COYI.



13 May 2019 14:32:11
What do we all think the prospects are for our up and coming players this summer and into next season?
Silva, Holland, Diangana, Cullen, Browne, Dju, Coventry, Kemp, Powell, Johnson and Pask etc

I expect Haksabanovic, Samuelsen and Martinez to go. And Trott to either be on loan or U23s.
Coventry, Kemp, Powell, Johnson and Pask for me are all likely for loans or U23 action.

The ones I think will have an impact are Holland and Diangana, but I would love us to give Cullen a chance. He has already won player of the season at Brandford, and Charlton fans say he is the best they have had since Parker, which is quite a comparison. If true, he could certainly play a rotation role for us with his energy on the field, and already has a fantastic relationship with Deccers, not to mention being a WHU fan.
I would like to see Browne given a chance, looks good and scored 9 and assisted 5 from wide in an average Oxford team last year. If not, he should go on loan to a promotion pushing team in League 1 or championship.
Then there is Xande and Dju, whom MP and Husillos brought in, so you would have to think that the manager rates them both on some level. A lot of technical attacking players coming through.


1.) 13 May 2019 16:31:49
Interesting question, especially bearing in mind that the club intends to upgrade the first team squad in the window.

MP wants a closer look at Cullen, who has really impressed on his various loans to date; the U23 management really rates Holland; Coventry has already got been on the bench; Silva has had a few minutes playing time before his injury; Johnson didn’t look out of his depth when he was thrown in as full back (on the wrong flank) v the Prem champions; Browne has had a terrific season albeit in a lesser league; Kemp, Powell, Pask and Dju are for the future and should form the core for next year’s U23s. Diangana continues to be all fluff and no substance and must surely go on loan to learn about two things:- end product and his right foot.

I would like to see Holland, Cullen, Johnson, Browne, Silva and Coventry in the match day squad at differing times next season. In that order, depending on requirements.

I think you are right about Samuelsen, Martinez and Hacksawbandage, who have no future with us.

2.) 13 May 2019 18:27:45
It will also be interesting to see what happens with Edmilson Fernandes.




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01 Aug 2019 13:39:34
I agree DIE 4, I love the technical play those 4 can do when we have the ball, but when they lose it Rice is our only shield, and can get overrun. I like JW a lot, but I still don't think he is a deep lying playmaker, or a traditional CM. Like Fornals, he plays best in the transition area behind the opposition midfield line and behind a striker, occasionally coming BACK to collect the ball, rather than starting off deep.
Of the players in our squad, i'd play Snodgrass alongside Dec, or Noble. Snods is far more aggressive in the centre than Jack, and will be better at supporting Dec in breaking up opposition attacks. I know it's not Snods' natural position, but he has all the attributes to play there, and we have plenty of wingers with pace where he usually plays. Nobes is also good, but just lacks the legs for me, and Dec also isn't the quickest.
I have to put in a word for Sanchez, as I have previously said that he was not good enough or risky backup at DM. But yesterday I thought he looked very capable in the DM role. I just hope he can stay fit this season.




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22 Jul 2019 16:56:27
The talk around Reece Oxford seems to have died down as well. I saw somewhere that maybe he had turned himself around, but this is all guesswork at this stage. I am not a fan of moving your best players around just because they are good enough in other positions. For me, your best players have to specialise in their positions because that is where they will be better than the opposition. Phil Jones is a classic example, he was a great CB as a young kid, but at Man Utd he player more positions than John O'Shea, and not he is average at a few positions rather than great at one.
Interesting that we have not seen Cresswell, Oxford, Holland or Xande Silva in pre-season much.

Oggy did ok last year, but that's all he is, OK.
Reid is on a long contract still, and if he could come back to where he was that would be great. But there are still questions on whether he can play MP's style of game. I'd love him back. Dec would be our best 3rd option at CB still, but that leaves a huge hole at DM where we have nobody who can be even half as good as him.

Pulgar would be a great addition to play as backup or alongside Dec. We NEED a solid player here because if Dec is injured then we really will struggle based on what iv seen of Sanchez. Sanchez is coming back from a very bad injury now, so he might not even be as good as he was before he came to us, and we don't even know what level that was, so it is a risky gamble. Nobes is too slow Personally I am really interested to see where he fits Fornals in, because he looks like a player that plays higher up (like Wilshere and Lanzini) when we need someone with legs next to Dec to give us a balance in CM. I don't know him well enough though, so he may be the answer. Pulgar would be a decent signing for me.




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11 Jul 2019 10:30:13
100% Markro, i hate these drawn out sagas, Anderson was bad enough last summer, at least it ended well for us.
Furthermore on Higuain, Sarri is now manager there, who loved him at Napoli so much so that he brought him to Chelsea. Unless he cannot work both him and Ronaldo into his style, and doesn't want a reliable striker he knows like Higuain as backup, I think it is VERY unlikely.

If rumours are surfacing of WHU speaking to Juve about a player, then it is more likely to be speculation around Moise Kean, who (surprise surprise) Everton are reported to have bid for. We always get linked to the same players as them. Maybe we are interested, possibly as a loan opposed to Everton's purchase, or we are just bluffing/ interfering to make it harder for Everton.
Any other Juve players we could be linked with?




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11 Jul 2019 09:17:46
I would be very surprised, however he does hold the ball up well, which suits MP style of play.
I like the Haller rumours though. I know Eds have said we have little chance, but MPH are good at what they do (e. g. none mentioned Fornals), so never say never. Gomez clearly wanted CL football, and preferably in Spain, and he got both at Valencia, not money motivated so unfortunately no chance. Haller on the other had has spoken about his desire to come to the Prem already, back in December, ironically linked with Newcastle. The key thing though, he would want to be first choice, and what top 6 prem club plays with a striker like him? He would be second choice at all the top 6, and won't fit any of their styles of play.
WHU are his best option in the prem therefore IMO, as we have a manager who builds a team around a player just like him, and MP is a manager most players would love to work with. He would be the hottest show in town at WHU, whereas at Man Utd he replaces Lukaku (if he goes) as backup to Rashford, and i don't believe Man Utd are building a style of team that plays to Haller's strengths, or if he is even their 1st choice replacement.
Money and trophies talk though, so he may be swayed to play no.2 at one of the top 6, which is (I think) why EDs say we have little chance. Would be a HUGE coup for us were it to happen.




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03 Jul 2019 15:56:22
Been trying to get into the mind of Arnie, and these strikers we are linked to are probably why he has done what he has. We were all busy worrying that a striker like Gomez would not come to us because they do not want to risk being second fiddle to Arnie. Didn't stop to remember that Arnie is an egocentric coward, and doesn't want to compete with anyone! LOL
He probably realises that he would inevitably lose the battle for a starting place to whichever better and younger striker we bring in. This would reduce his potential future salary in China, as they would pay less to a second string 32 year old, so he thought "best go now"! LOL.





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17 Aug 2019 21:25:56
Couldnt watch the game today as i'm in Norway atm. Listened to it though and sounds to me like we were long balling with Chica as our target man. Useless and POINTLESS. In away games we need more energy in CM alongside Dec, JW needs to be played further forward (iv always said he can't play a 2 man midfield), a d given Lanzini form he starts on the bench.
Did watch the Spurs game though, and they were BATTERED by City just as bad as we were. Only difference is they can take their opportunities better than we can, and Citeh were also not as clinical.
Good point vs Brighton today.




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13 Aug 2019 19:10:04
Have to agree Markro, playing for a point is what teams who need every ONE point to stay up do. For us to get a euro spot we need 3 points more often, and to beat City you need to score and make THEM chase the game.
1st goal was unlucky, and the main difference at end of day was that they were FAR more clinical with their changes. They are city though and that's what they do. We had opportunities in 1st half and some terrible balls killed them. JW comes to mind for one when he over played it to Anderson when playing Haller in through the centre would have been far better. Taking those chances would have meant a FAR different game. Thought Jack was OK IMO given he and Rice were playing City, Jack's final balls were not his usual quality so he did underperform slightly. Personally I would have played Snodgrass there anyway vs City as he is more aggressive and puts in more legwork.
We need to be more clinical, but we have to remember that only TWO of the 6 attacking players we used were playing regularly last season (Anderson and Antonio) They all need competitive matches to gel and understand one another better.




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01 Aug 2019 15:14:37
Players that stood out to me yesterday were:
1st Half: Haller and Fornals. Not outstanding, but they looked like they could live up to their big fees. Going forward with the ball we looked good with Lanzini, Anderson and Fornals interchanging positions with JW in centre. But vulnerable when losing the ball.

2nd Half: Sanchez, Snodgrass, Diangana and Yamolenko. Grady was great, and IMO should/ will not go on loan this season, looks like he has developed more to his game under MP. Snodgrass delivered well from set pieces and was more combative in CM than JW was in the first half. Sanchez looked like he covered ground quickly, was calm on the ball and had an ok pass to him as well. Encouraging signs from him. Yarmolenko looked to be getting up to the level he was before getting injured, plenty more to come from him tho if he is to get back to be the player he was, and that we bought him to be.

Not sure if more players stood out in the second half because they were fresher than the opposition at that stage, or the opposition had weaker players on in that half. Berlin did make a lot of subs on 46 mins.




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31 Jul 2019 13:16:40
I think we needed to give Arthur the contract for a few reasons:

1. We have let a LOT of players go for less than we bought them for recently, either because they are getting older (Perez, Arnie, Carroll etc), or because they have not been great (All the above plus Hugill) . Chica is one we (and the board) all know will go for a loss soon as well, either this summer or more likely at the end of the season for £0
2. Cresswell is getting older and has just 2 years left on his contract. Not much value (if any) in him anymore, likely to see them out (was given the armband against Fulham)
3. Arthur is of a good age, and with his contract running down would have joined the list of players going for a loss. He has ALL the physical and attacking attributes to be a good LB, and (despite my harsh criticisms of his defending last year) showed signs of defensive improvement in the second half under MP.
3. We are IMPROVING our team, and do not have the funds for a new TOP CLASS left back while other positions are more vital. Funds available ATM would just get us another old or average player in this position. Leaving us no better off, barring a significant MP and MH masterstroke like Balbuena.
4. In MP we trust, if he thinks Arthur can be good enough, then i will be cheering his name! COYI.




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25 Jul 2019 14:44:36
Its a tough one, because IMO we are still unbalanced at CM, but to be fair i have not watched enough of Fornals to make a solid opinion. We also need a backup target man to Haller, and better backup for Rice than Sanchez.
Still, I would rather we keep what we have, and use players like Antonio as a ST and Snodgrass (with his work rate) as a CM than spend the money for the sake of spending it. Understand why we got Sanchez and Perez last season as backups, but we don't need those types of signings any more, and they can be hard to get rid of a season later. We need signings for the future, not one season cover.