It hurts me to see the position we are now in but, looking back over the past few years, it’s been coming.
The team I grew up loving, wishing I would one day play for, and who seemed to be every other side’s second team, have turned into a constant nightmare.
I have been trying to think what’s gone so wrong and where? But I believe that from the top down we have problems.
I really like the fact that the two Davids own the club now. I would prefer some multi-billionaire business owner who would chuck money at the club a la Chelsea or Manchester City, but we have our own Porn Barons.
There’s nothing wrong in making your money through sex. Sex sells! Got a new car coming out? Go to the motor show and drape a scantily clad young lady over it and it will be in most newspapers. Have a new James Bond film soon to be released? Pick a healthy lady as the new Bond Girl.
So we have our own two owners making their money from the “sex trade”. And remember, without the money they have invested in our club, there is the possibility that West Ham would have ceased to exist.
We were so much in debt when the Icelandic bankers left that, as a business, we were not really viable. So we do owe a lot to the Dildo Brothers. They are now the ones that have the final say on signing a player. They guarantee the cheques and wages of the players and all the staff at the club. So when we signed Andy Carroll, even though we had him for a year on loan and Sam Allardyce wanted to build his team around him, the two owners had the final say.
They had to generate the money to cover his six years at the club. So if he is on £100,000-per-week and we signed him for £15million, that comes to a total investment of £46.2million. They rubber stamped that deal. They also had the final say in the signing of Razvan Rat, Adrian and Stewart Downing.
They are playing with the big boys now in owning a football club. If we never had the £100million-plus debt that our previous owners left us with, then maybe we could have spent on decent, healthy younger players. But we have to deal with the hand that we were dealt. Are they in too deep? Do they have the financial resources available? Do they trust Fat Sam’s football judgement too much?
Missing from the owners’ team is Karren Brady, West Hams Vice-Chairman. What she does is a mystery to me. I see she just got a CBE from the Queen for service to women in business. She appears on The Apprentice TV show as Alan Sugars’ right hand woman and writes a weekly column for The Sun. If you check out her own website, she also has commitments to a number of other organizations. How she can spend so much time working on other projects when she has important work to do at West Ham is amazing.
Our manager, Sam Allardyce, is another BIG PROBLEM. Was he the right choice? At the time he was appointed, I was not happy that he was becoming our manager. His past teams played a certain style of football that somehow delivered results and he was employed to first get us out of the Championship league, and then establish West Ham as a decent top tier team.
He managed to achieve his first target by getting us promoted through via the Play-Off final. He signed several of his old Bolton favourites who weren’t particularly the best out there, but congealed into a good team and stuck to his tried and tested style of play.
We did finish as the third best team in the division, but the end result was that we returned to the promised land. Last season wasn’t exactly pretty again, but we were able to finish tenth with his style of football.
It was Sam who goes to the owners and tells them the players he wants to sign. They would be brought in and slotted into the system that he teaches in training. I believe he is not the greatest man manager out there and just too stubborn to admit it. I think he has limits to the way his teams play and he is not open to new ideas.
He has made several strange decisions with team line ups and, for some reason, thinks playing just one forward is the way to win games. He continues to play players out of position. His faith in Modibo Maiga is something else, while you wonder whether Kevin Nolan is his love child?
He has really pissed of all our development squad be letting it be known that none of them are good enough to be in the first team, too. At the moment we have 21 young players working their balls off, trying to make it to the first team. What must they be thinking hearing that the Fat Man has already ruled them out of our Hammers future? Remember, we used to call ourselves “ The Acadamy”. Other teams bring in their youth players and see how they perform. It can save clubs a lot of money in the transfer market. Ross Barkley at Everton and Adnan Januzaj at Manchester United at good examples of youth being given a try.
Our “medical staff”. I’m sure some of them must hold degrees or diplomas in medicine but how can so many injury prone players pass the initial medical tests that all players go through, only to be found out that they were carrying an injury when we signed them?
Then, once we sign a player and he gets injured (which most do), why does it take so long for the medical staff to get them ready to start training again. Surely the medical staff work hand in hand with nutricanists and conditioning coaches to get the maximum performances out of our players. What are they doing?
The training ground. Chadwell Heath must be the worst training ground in the country. Week after week, we hear about this player and that player getting injured in training. Or so-and-so broke down in training from a recurring injury!
When we move to the Olympic Stadium, why not sell the training ground and all the problems it has caused through the years and train on the grass areas outside of the stadium? That would really be taking the team back to the community. Or if that is too much for the over-paid prima donnas, use some of the amenities that have been built in the Olympic park. I’m sure Barry Hearn won’t mind. Also, what do the players do at training apart from get injured?
Our players. Let’s start with the captain, Kevin Nolan. He is a bloody disgrace to our club. At a time when we need a captain to lead from the front, where is super Kevin? Getting sent off at Fulham after his seasonal pre-Christmas red card less than four weeks ago was a joke. The joke is on all us fans as he sits somewhere nice and collects is wages.
Next up, our very own James Tomkins. With all the money the players earn nowadays, did someone take this guy’s brains out? Has he headed too many balls? To be out at 2am and drunk is not very professional. Ok, he’s young, earns lots of money and should be aloud to have fun. But with all that comes responsibility. There is a chance he could be in prison when we need him fighting (hahaha) for our very survival.
Matt Jarvis – what’s wrong with him going on the right wing for ten minutes to try his luck on that side? Even if the manager tells you to stay on the left, have a word with whoever’s playing on the right and just swap. All Sam can do is shout at him, then if he insults him enough, fall over and say he’s injured, The medical staff will look after his best interests!
Modiba Maiga. The white things either end of the pitch are called goals. It is his job to kick the round thing (a football) between the posts and into the net. Don’t be afraid, they won’t bite you. In fact the more he does it, the more fans will start to call their first born after him.
To the rest of our first team, it’s time to find out where your heart is. To find out if you have what it takes to grind out a result, to chase, to get in where it hurts.
We really have a bunch of good Championship players who just aren’t good enough individually, or as a team, to be in the Premier league. As the transfer window is now open, watch and see who is snapped up by top Premier League sides. I believe the only player to be looked at will be Winston Reid.
The last problem West Ham has is the ever nearing move to Stratford. You are going to hear the two sides constantly argue over the move, way past the time we actually move there. There will be the group telling everyone who wants to listen that we should stay at Upton Park, it’s our home, etc etc. Then there will be the other group that tells you we have to move and all the benefits etc etc.
Well this is West Ham and the only certainty is it is going to be on almighty screw up.
So, 2014 has started badly for West Ham, hopefully it can only get better.
Happy New Year to all West Ham fans and I hope all your dreams don’t fade and die.