Finally Blowing The Right Bubbles
Author: ExWHUEmployee. Published: 26 July 2018 at 7:11pm
by Nick Gillett aka @TheGinge10
I class myself as a veteran season ticket holder nowadays as I begin my 29th successive season following our wonderful club from the ripe old age of Seven. However, this year feels different for some reason. I can’t work out if it’s because the nation has fallen back in love with the beautiful game again under Gareth Southgate’s youthful squad in Russia or the fact everywhere I look there is only positivity surrounding the Hammers with three weeks today the start of what could be a very exciting step in our future!!
I can honestly say, I’ve never known a pre-season to be like this! Oh and by the way, I love it!! We’ve been the target of scorn for so many opposition fans and the media since the move to the Olympic Stadium that it started to resemble a broken record that some of our own fans started to believe too.
The mood seems to have changed considerably because all I see now is positivity and other fans saying how well we’ve done in the market. Not just breaking our transfer record once but twice and spending over £40 million on one player! Football Manager 18 aside, I know fairly little about Felipe Anderson other the fact he has a international cap for Brazil, Man United were previously linked with him & that he seems to be a very exciting prospect. The thing that struck me with him was how much Manuel Pellegrini wanted him following the long drawn out transfer saga – that alone is enough for me. I know even less of Balbeuna but again if Pellegrini thinks he can adjust to the hustle and bustle of the premiership then I’m fully behind the signing.
Alongside Anderson, chuck in the additional purchase of Andriy Yarmolenko, who I think will prove to be a cracking signing and possibly the best of the bunch, we’ve managed to sign both for the combined money that a Everton are spending on Richardson, credit where it’s due to the board. I’ve seen Yarmolenko play several times and every time I’ve been impressed with his pace and technique. I predict the fans will love him & he could well be our new assist king. I think of players like Stuart Slater and Alan Devonshire the way he plays. With those two feeding feeding Arnie, (whom I think will retain the Hammer of the year award and may even hit 20+ goals this season) we have a very attacking team with pace, strength and skill that I’m struggling to recall having previously in my time following the irons.
I honestly don’t know what to say about Wilshire, I’ve always rated him but felt he just wasn’t consistent enough to play for a top 4/5 team. However, I feel he will relish this new challenge and IF (being the most important word) he could well be an absolute steal for us. He compliments the team so well. His vision, commitment and belief is something I think we’ve lacked which is going to be a real game changer for us.
The element of the team that we all felt needed addressing was the defence and I’m not surprised we’ve brought in almost a potential new back five including the gk – who I would’ve preferred Butland to but I get that he would’ve cost more and possibly meant one of the attacking players not coming. So I’m fine with us plumping for Fabianski. Is he a massive upgrade on Adrian? Perhaps not but I think he has less reckless moments which is vital for a goalie. His distribution is also a key factor for me cos I think Pellegrini will have us playing from the back more.
With the addition of Fredericks, who I think will prove to be a very shrewd free signing as he looks like he has pace to burn and will link up with Yarmolenko which will cause opponents problems. With Diop coming in, I think he will mature and become an excellent partner for whoever he plays alongside out of Rice/Oggy/Balbeuna or Reid. I just hope it is enough to make us more solid as we’ve leaked too many silly goals in recent times!
So with Liverpool three weeks away, I’m looking forward to seeing the squad come together and go back to playing the ‘West Ham way’ with attacking football. I have left Pellegrini til last because I think he is clearly the catalyst to the positivity surrounding the club. Not only is he making the right noises with the way he wants to play but also he has somehow got David Sullivan & David Gold to part with c.100m which I never thought would happen. He’s record alone makes us even more of an attractive proposition but the fact he has spent the money proves he isn’t willing to compromise on quality and who he wants. I love the fact most though that he wants to win silverware and doesn’t see the cups as a distraction which our last 4/5 managers have done.
So perhaps I may just be allowed to think…We’re finally blowing the right bubbles and we could finish in the top 8 and have some success at Wembley which is all us Hammers want. COYI’s