Goatygav’s Bullets #9 – Almost there, the welcome end to the season for West Ham

claret and blues west ham gavThe final game is around the corner. Have we ever looked forward to a season’s close so much, or in fact at all, before? We all love the game and miss it during the Summer months but most of us seem to be looking forward to putting 2016-17 behind us. On reflection: –

  • Does having a manager who has remained dignified and respectful through incredibly testing times make you feel like we’ve got one of the good guys in charge of the team?
  • I’ve seen some disagree about what positions we should be signing new players in. What are our top priorities in the closed season?
  • Voda have pulled out of discussions about becoming the Stadium Sponsors. Do you think a leading edge brand name might end up with the naming rights or will A N Other betting company or the likes end up with their logo plastered all over the OS?
  • I’m off to see the Athletics at the Stadium in August. Personally I’m pleased that the stadium is fulfilling the ‘legacy’ promises that GB made during the campaign to bring the Olympics to our shores. Not everyone feels the same though. How do you feel about sharing with track and field?
  • Should Super Slav move on who would be your favourite candidates to replace him?
  • I’m off on the annual jaunt to the darts at the O2 tomorrow night. If you’re watching any of the games you may catch sight of me. My wife is usually mortified by her friends telling her that they’ve just seen me necking several pints and generally behaving like a reprobate. With the Summer looming what other sports do you follow and where do they rank alongside ‘the beautiful game’ to you?
  • Who are the players that you would hate to lose most?
  • Where do you sit on the return of Jermaine Defoe debate? Would you have him back – either because of the way he left or because of his age?
  • The Europa League comes in for a lot of stick but I think that a run in that competition might have worked well for us in terms of starting to feel more at home in the new stadium much more quickly. Agree?
  • After the £8M game of musical chairs that will take place at the OS/LS, to accommodate the World Athletics Championships, what improvements are top of your list of priorities for our ‘Home’
  • Anyone thinking of not renewing their STs? By the same token how many tourist/other club fans/plus two ticket holders will give up theirs to give some of the, supposed, 50K waiting list a chance to choose their seats (of which I, along with my two lads, am one).
  • If they do give them up will the atmosphere improve because ‘real’ West Ham fans will take their places?
  • How optimistic are you about next season (I guess a lot will depend upon who goes, who stays and who comes in)?

C&Bs, generally, posts less articles, after the final game, until the Autumn. As illustrated so persuasively, by Graybo, on the previous thread most of the discussion is idle, lazy, speculation which we’ve no interest in posting. Happy to discuss ‘actual’ signings but, sadly, our club has been linked with more players in closed seasons in recent years than any other and, quite frankly, it’s frustrating and, for the most part, a waste of ink.

This Sunday’s game will be a hard one to call. Burnley are a good side at home and we’re, once again this season, going to be seriously under-strength. Either way I look forward to chatting with you on the pre and post match threads.



  • I am optimistic about next season, and I would retain Slaven Bilic. What’s the point of having a new manager learn valuable lessons and then move him on elsewhere where someone else will benefit?
    Give the guy a decent transfer window and then let’s see where we go.

    • Tom

      You move him on Graybo so you can carry on your same old same old routine on the recruitment front … its part of their business model … they were ALL agreed by Slaven is very different to were they on his list of targets …

      • Ray Foskett

        Tom mate exactly keep slav and get the board to sell up or shut up and let slav choose his selections of players and see what this next season brings imo

        • Tom

          Ray, I think with everything Slaven has faced he has doe very well … no real quality in the final third for months and we are the odd point or two from 8th speaks volumes … Sullivan needs to let Slaven build a legacy, he will bring youth through but in time and at the right time … unfortunately I just do not see Sullivan letting him do it as he loses street cred … small man sydrome wins everytime

          • Philtheiron

            Hi mate, couldn’t agree with you more concerning Slav and what we have had to endure this season.
            Any kind of finish in the top ten would imho and all things considered be a remarkable achievement.

            However, it would not take away fro the fact that we have had a terrible season and that however we finish it cannot disguise the fact for reasons largely of our own making we have either stood still or lost ground on our EPL rivals and missed a trick where any real progress is concerned.

            Here’s to next season though, it just has to be better?!

  • Roshi

    Unfortunately for Slaven he works for a tight knit unit of 3 who appear to control everything with minimal delegation. It is hard, akin to working for a family business and expecting regular promotions. He does a very good job, he is passionate, he thinks long and hard before answering a question to make sure it is the right answer. He appears to hurt after a loss and he will take it on the chin if he thinks it is his fault.
    Having said that, he has suffered by making some pretty basic tactical mistakes or is it that down to the quality of player he has to work with, lets face it some of that squad are not up to Premiership standard. You can’t continue with a decent core of players surrounded by ordinary players season after season and expect miracles, but his hands are tied and actually if he does depart, I believe it will be his decision not the boards.
    Everything about this season has been wrong, the stadium move, security in the early days, a ridiculous pricing structure that allowed season tickets to go to all the wrong places resulting in empty seats, I guess that the stadium side of things can be placed at Brady’s lack of delegation.
    The shocking summer transfer saga, delegated over by Sullivan and his “loads of money” statement, my God think back to the names and signings that little routine attracted. He became the Holy Grail of European and South American agents desperate to offload rubbish for ridiculous money, he fell for it and the agents succeeded in becoming very rich.
    David Gold, probably the nicest of the three and really the silent partner in my opinion, likes to tweet rubbish and that’s his contribution, apart from the fact he is the only genuine West Ham supporter.
    Andy Carroll, not a lot, he’s injured again by the way. mind you most of the squad have had long layoffs at some point during the season.

    It was an awful season, and I think you could put it down to a club being far to focused on one aspect of their business, the stadium move. The seeds were sown for a below par season before a ball had been kicked. Will it be better next season, lets hope so or there will be a lot of white seats shining like beacons around that stadium.

    A side note my 84 year old Aunt who was born next to the ground (sorry Upton Park) followed West Ham home and away for years and still watches every game on Sky. She is basically a Mastermind champion with regards to West Ham, said to me after the Liverpool game. “Rob, I’m claret and blue through and through, I could never support another team, but witnessing it all now makes me want to cry”

    I doubt that there will be much to discuss after this weekend, so I wish you all a good summer and will be back for the start of next season full of enthusiasm with my bubbles blowing.

    Up The Hammers

  • Beasticus Maximus

    This isn’t the worst season by quite a stretch, under Grant and Roeder we were painfully bad and deserved what we got. This term was the result of an unprescedented confluence of events that conspired to leave us in an unready, unprofessionally run stadium with a worse squad than we had the year before, a singular lack of strikers and no right back for long periods of time (one of Salvens biggest ricketts) Add to that the whole Payet debacle along with a petulent Sakho throwing his toys out of the pram with alarming regularity and you have our team in the news for the wrong reasons for the whole season once again.
    I can’t for the life of me imagine what the owners are thinking sometimes, well I can, they are thinking about money and media whoring, but they have shown themselves to be lacking when it comes to running a football club of which the fans are the greatest asset closely followed by the team. When the team does well the fans spend more, when the fans spend more the club gets wealthier, as the club gets bigger they attract bigger sponsors and more media money and so on but it all begins with the team doing well. It’s their job to provide the conditions wherein that happens and they have failed this time around. We can only hope that they will learn the lesson, shut their mouths, go into hiding and do their business silently and quickly with as little fuss and fanfare as possible.
    As for Slav, yes, he has made some quite baffling descisions, but again, he has been an EPL manager for only 2 years at a club with limited resources, He seems to be a very intelligent man and if i’m right about that he will learn, if im wrong, we could be in for a rocky ride next term too, assuming he is still with us that is.
    I’m not going to speculate on closed season comings and goings, I prefer to wait and see who actulally comes and who actually goes before making comment, but I will say this, Defoe, No, he could probably do a job for a season, maybe two but should we not be looking for someone for five or six seasons?
    how optimistic am I about next season? well, I am an eternal optimist but for now next season can take care of itself, I will be concentrating on my second love, the cricket with South Africa and the West Indies coming over and the champions trophy iminent, with one eye on the transfer market and C&B’s of course.
    One last game to go and then its off to the land of Pimms and cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off for me.

    • Ray Foskett

      I sat through way too many games under allardyce that roeder and Grant doesn’t even come close too boring the pants off you and he actually drew a lot of them. Slab made mistakes but he did get a right back it’s just they were all cap or still learning. Problem is after getting 10 mill for sellingTommo who didn’t really kick on like I thought he would it wasn’t put towards a too full back probably due to sully thinking we can get a cheap alternative so let’s hope after this season slav like allardyce did just doesn’t go along with his selections and his allowed his own versions of a defender imo

      • Beasticus Maximus

        A fair point, the football under the pie man was horrible, in fact, at times, it could barely be called football at all, but all opinion is subjective and for me the fact that we werent relegated mitigates the situation slightly., What I will never forgive the cake munching self obsessed wobble bottom for is his attitude towards the fans, which is why I think we never heard his name sung.
        The transfer business was a debacle from start to finish, Byram needs an old head who he can learn from, Arbeloa wasnt it so though he got a right back it could be argued that he needed another which is a terrible position for the club to be in. He made a mistake, if arbeloa was his choice, I think, to a point, we have to let people make those mistakes, after all, were you to show me a man who has never made a mistake then I would show you a man who never did anything. I’m in two minds about Tommo, probably because I sort of liked him, having said that, he hasnt shone a bright light at Palace so maybe it was the right thing to do. I think primarily what I would like to see this window is quality over quantity. Two good strikers and a Right back and that will do.

        • razorwine

          Spot on beastie son heres to next season with quality eh

          • Beasticus Maximus

            I do hope so!

        • Tom

          Gents, Tomkins wanted first team football and Slaven said he wasn’t first choice so it was Tomkins who made the decision to move on albeit with a heavy heart .. Arbeloa was a last minute dot com panic buy whom was as it said a last minute dot com effort for a reason … the argument should be more about the Antonio farce … look at Victor Mosses and then you have to side with Slaven … if you want to be a top player then you need to be able to adjust your game and for me Antonio failed his manager here … with the arrival of another right sided player I can see Antonio’s chances next season being limited …

          • Beasticus Maximus

            Tom, I don’t disagree, but there were similar examples all over the pitch and more overtly deliberate Ines too, Sakho’s petulant outbursts, Carroll inability to stay fit, Callieri who did very little, the entire back line who, though they played well at times failed in any way to play consistent football, it could be argued that any one of them could find themselves marginalised by better players. Let’s hope we get some!

          • Philtheiron

            Spot on about Tonja mate.
            Bilic didn’t want him to leave and the club didn’t want him to leave either. It was his decision and his alone.

            You are also completely right about Antonio. As I believe it may very well be a case of be careful of what you wish for.

            Yes, ok he was played out of position both this and more importantly last season.

            As it should be remembered that as a winger at the start of last season he hardly played, taking a long while to break into the team.

            Also when we were regularly winning you never heard a eked about been played out of position.

            But more importantly, when we eventually sign a rightback and at least one striker, Antonio may well indeed find his opportunities more limited than he may have realised.

    • Goatygav

      Excellent comment BM. As well as the cricket I’m looking forward to an intriguing Lions tour.

      • Beasticus Maximus

        Quite right, early mornings for that though

  • Tom

    I personaly feel it has been a defining season for the club … the owners have been found out once and for all .. the vision they sold and the actual reality are very different on the Stadium .. as DG recently tweeted … its always going to be a round athletics stadium … for me the stadium is fine, getting away is a mare but on the whole its ok but the again I travel up from Dorset and unlike most my Army career meant I don’t have the memories you guys have of the bars and cafe’s before a game …

    On the football front … I am intrigued to see how the end of season review will go .. I feel Slaven has called Sullivan’s bluff by playing last summers recruits … he has shown the owners the scatter gun approach does not work … numbers upset the team ethos and I do not believe for a moment he signed off having 14 new faces arrive that at no point improve his starting xi … history shows this is a Sullivan trait … he lets you have a target or two but the rest you get given, you only have to analyse the season Avraam took over and compare that to BFS who demanded he had control and sign better players each season … but even then in his last season how low was Sullivan in feding other forums who sign who … rightly or wrongly AC has delivered and BFS’s signings stabilised us … last summers signings destabilised us …

    I think Slaven will either get the four players he wants or he will walk … look at the likes of Adrian coming out and saying we need to do better than be fighting relegation .. absolutely no aspiration at all from the owners .. two seasons running in the top three at Christmas needing a striker and on both account the owners said we had enough … both seasons we fell away … that is not BFS’s or Slaven fault … enough said

    This summer we will see our owners change and move us forward or start the road to self destruction like they did at Brum when the fans voted for them to sell up … stop the media whoring … stop feeding other forums and start building a team under Slaven Bilic and allow him to build a lagacy

    • razorwine

      I think tore fernandes and probably as no other option was there ayew were slavs actual choices but others mate like yousaid were definitely sully having another cheap punt of numbers and turning up with a winner imo

  • ClaretNBlues

    Right, this is my view. And remember guys, it’s an opinion and nobody is expecting anyone to have to ageee.

    This has been a terrible season, one that I want to put away in my sock drawer and forget about. There’s many reasons why it’s been bad. A few good displays do not a season make. And the win against Spurs seemed to paper over a lot of cracks for some people. It was a win, yes! We played well, yes! Spurs weren’t great though and I honestly don’t think we’d have won against an on form Tottenham side on the night.

    I’d love Bilic to stay. At least until Christmas and let’s see where we are. BUT he HAS to start learning from his (quite a lot of) mistakes and he needs to be able to adapt his tactics to fit the game in hamd, something I feel he isn’t capable of 100% just yet.

    I’m not going to lie, I dislike the OS (yes I still call it that) with a passion. I dislike everything from the walk to the match with families wearing Fulham? ManU and Barca shirts/full kits to the popcorn and the whole feel of the place. For me and many others I have encountered it will never replace Upton Park. It’s just no more than a consumer expiernce now.

    • Goatygav

      Good comment Matt.

      I think it’s worth giving credit to the work-rate the team put in against the Spudz which contributed towards their ‘off night’ though.

      • ClaretNBlues

        I do agree that we had one of our better games but I don’t really think we contributed a great deal to their ‘off night’. Personally I think they ‘bottled it’ and imploded as they do at the end of every season.

        All I’m saying is, so many people I saw on social media were saying that this is our turning point etc… deluded mate.

        • Goatygav

          Agree to differ there mate – we didn’t allow them any time to settle or get their passing going with our quick closing down IMO. Our shape was good and difficult to penetrate as well. In the second half there were times when they made mistakes without any pressing but that was because they’d never been allowed to have any time on the ball and get used to their, usually excellent, passing and movement.

          Completely agree that it should never have been viewed as a turning point and that some got carried away with it. In some cases it was over-exuberance but in others it was completely unrealistic 🙂

          • Philtheiron

            Hi mate, you are spot on..

            For once this season we showed the bottle that the spuds were sadly lacking and played with the passion, zip and bite that has been missing for much of the season.

            So not so much as “what a performance”but more of “why haven’t we been playing like that?”for the rest of the season. IMHO.

            Injuries aside, it wasn’t much of a surprise that we then reverted back to the seasons default position and were so bloody awful against the mousers.

          • Goatygav

            Annoying and frustrating. My under 12s went out bottom of their group at a tournament yesterday when they played so well at the tournament the year before. Admittedly they are 11 & 12 years old, which is a massive difference, but the capricious nature of sports performances seems to pervade at all levels 🙁 .

          • Goatygav

            Annoying and frustrating. My under 12s went out bottom of their group at a tournament yesterday when they played so well at the tournament the week before. Admittedly they are 11 & 12 years old, which is a massive difference, but the capricious nature of sports performances seems to pervade at all levels 🙁 .

      • razorwine

        Funny gav we play so well but its the spuds having an off day against us not that we played so well with passion and had a great game. Remember we also played against liverpool who are not that great a side other than courtino off to barca but from ayew on missing sitter we collapsed into oh well were safe boys mode! Also very easy to forget half our team were missing and still slav doesnt say were down to the bones or make any reference to our injurys all season imo

    • Philtheiron

      Hi mate,
      Yeah I think we can all agree that this season is one we would all rather forget.

      But what else have you got lurking in your sock drawer if that’s where you would put it! 😂

      You are also spot on concerning the spuds result. Yes we raised our game and showed all the desire and confidence that has been sadly lacking for most of the season.

      Also that the win owes as much to the spuds totally bottling it than anything we actually did.

      I even agree that Slav has made the odd boo-boo of two and that he must take his share of the blame for this seasons travails along with the club and the players.

      The only thing we differ on mate is the stadium. Yeah, it’s not perfect, yes it’s not a purpose built football stadia.

      But I like the place!

      Although I will never understand why anybody would want to wear somebody else’s strip and understand even less why they would want to then feel the need to do it at our ground?!

      I sincerely hope that these tourists realise that the Olympic summer of love is over and they bugger off somewhere else next season.

      But as you have said, each to their own!

    • razorwine

      Sorry you feel like that matt i like many others over soo many years from being passed down on my dads shoulders to the front on the north bank to now loved the atmosphere and parking my dads motor paying a couple of cheeky kids looking after it like. Towards the end when gary was doing his last season outside for me the place no longer the area or friendly place disappeared including the worn out of date stadium. Certainly dont missqueuing outside upton park station for ages. New times now at the london stadium and lets be honest most fans are hammers not tourists but will soon get less over the years. I do believe if slav is given a free hand without the suggestions of whats available in numbers and looking for another payet lanzini or fernandes on the cheap all the time and we get quality not quantity your see a different season mate. Imo

      • Philtheiron

        Spot on mate.

        the old girl was never the same after they spun the pitch round when they built the new stand.

        But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter.

        Enjoy the memories but it’s time to move on.

        Time to make new memories. Time to make history!

  • razorwine

    Stone me allardyce saying we need to look at the penalty decision or not with a sin bin and camera? First time ever i agree with this person hope im not getting soft on this geezer. Nah thinking about it he will always be disliked by me, but credit where due good point allardyce hope they listen to your opinion there

  • Guesty

    I agree with Razor, I actually find myself agreeing with most of what Razor says funny enough. You should run for PM Razor you’d get my vote.

    I have been going to Upton Park since the late 60s. Loved getting there at 1pm for the 3pm kick-off to get that spot in front of the barrier just to the left of the goal. I loved the place well into the 90s but at some stage over the last 15 years I’d say I just begun to see it as a bloody dump. Not just the ground but the whole area and that is why I welcomed the move. I love the new stadium, I think it will continue to improve in every way and I’d say it’s probably 85% there now. Same goes for the owners, they have the best interests of our beloved club at heart. The constant slagging they get annoys me and I personally can’t wait for our club to take that next step, the one where we become and stay a regular top 8 club. That means competing with the likes of Chelsea to Everton this season. If we do that we will challenge for the top 4 as we did last season. If and when that happens I hope people who refuse to praise them now will do so.

    As I have said before. I hope Slaven stays to put right this season and I hope we buy 3/4 knock out top players. £80M is on the cards I think to do that. Don’t knock me for hope and optimism, there is worse in life.

  • Academy of Football

    I’ve been very busy to comment on this post but I want to say how furious I am after reading about youngsters not getting any minutes and Gold saying Sam tried it and lost 5-0. If Gold never saw that Sam gave the youngsters no chance to shine that match playing a formation that the first team or reserve team never played then he’s part of the problem at this club. Many of the youngsters that have left have not done much only Stanislas is in the Premiership I acknowledge but what a message to send out to young talented players. Did they use that bull to get Reece Oxford to sign a new contract. He may as well leave now.

    • Goatygav

      So he’s used the ‘Lambs to the Slaughter’ game as the definitive view on what happens when you play youth. Thought David Gold was a better judge than that. Very disappointed in him. Absolutely, unequivocally with you on this AOF. I’m quite angry too. I hope Super Slav will have the bravery to put Rice in to the game tomorrow despite Mr Gold’s comments. I also hope that this isn’t Mr Gold flexing his muscles as an owner putting pressure on his Manager to establish power in the relationship.

      • Philtheiron

        At the end of the dayslav has the final say on who gets signed.

        Henry is the head scout with excellent contracts throughout Europe.

        And Sullivan tries to provide the monies to try and bring those identified to the club.

        I’m sorry if that doesn’t appear to be very sexy but that’s the way it is.

        It should also be remembered that the owners had to take an interest in transfers under “big Sam” because We ended up with a team predominantly full of has beens and players well past their sell by date with no financial future/ sell on value.

        Or put another way, a team for the now with no thought for the future.
        Which I believe could be a good way of summing up aladyce to a tee? Imho

        Contrary to what some must believe, we like every other club in the EPL have a budget and to spend above that budget would only court disaster.

        So, like every other club in the EPL, outwith the financial top six, we have to complement any spending with loans and free transfers.

        They are at the end of the day I believe the facts of the matter.
        It is also true in the world of transfers and loan deals you are taking a huge risk/gamble which doesn’t always come off.

        Finally it should be remembered that although we may have not one but two millionaire owners it is however nice, unfortunately not enough in this day and age of the EPL.

        And if you don’t believe me we should possibly look at the arse.

        Where somebody wants to buy out an existing shareholder for 1.3 billion!

        To me it just goes to show that however far we have come we still have along way to go.

        And that while it is fashionable in some quarters to slate the board/club we should imho sometimes have a step back, take a deep breath and try to see the bigger picture?’!

        Or put it another way,
        You can only piss with………

        Now if that then means dies the current owners have enough financial clout to take us where we want to go then that is I believe a totally different question.

        Personally ibeljeve theiwbers are broadly speaking doings good job with the tools:finances they have available.

        However,do I think they have the wealth to take us where we would like to go?

        Well, i believe that might be for others more wealthier than the current owners and you and I to decide.

    • Philtheiron

      I believe we maybe might be missing the point here?

      Imho there is a huge gap between the PL2 and the EPL.
      And currently the best way to bridge this gap is I believe through the loan to slower league club system.

      Although it can never really fully prepare a player for the full throttle EPL experience,

      It dies imho give a player an all round education and an insight to what it means to be a professional footballer at the highest level.

      However, when things aren’t going to plan the danger is putting these outstanding prospects into the fight before they are ready.

      I am more than happy with the way our academy is now being run but using it as a quick first teamfix is definitely not the way we should approach things.

      These players are our future and should where possible be kept totally separate from first team affairs.

      Or at least until they are ready anyway.

      • Academy of Football

        Maybe. Southampton Everton and Sp@rs seem to be able to blood youngsters and do better than our seasoned pros.

        My gripe was Gold using the Forest match to prove a point about youngsters. He’s told me all I need to I need to know about him. These chairman are an utter joke.

        • Philtheiron

          Hi mate,
          I believe it is always easier to blood youngsters when a team is doing well and not struggling for whatever reason like we have been this season.

          I also believe the forest reference was as much to do with having a dig at “big Sam” as anything.
          For I also believe that he played so many youngsters that day to prove his own warped point rather than giving youth any sort of a chance.

          Alladyce’s major failing is and always will be, ok he will get you out of the shite and 99 times out of a 100 prevent you from getting relegated but this salvation will come at a cost.

          For it has been proven that he has been successful at keeping teams up he is then incapable of taking those teams to the next level. Or any higher level for that matter.

          So his teams are always going to be filled with over the hill has beens that OK will keep you up but have little or no resalable value.

          And more importantly there will be little or no place for developing youth in this shortsighted approach to footballing matters.

  • Philtheiron

    Slightly off topic I know and I apologise for,

    But Defoe……

    Is it Just me or can anybody else think that the way he is going about things is wrong and that as such it leaves a bad faste in the mouth?

    On the one hand he is going on about how much he loves the club, how he got it wrong and how he has unfinished business in East London….blah, blah, blah!

    And yet if he truly wanted to “come home” all he had todo at xmas was say so and there wouldn’t have been I believe much the mackems could have done about it.

    But he said nothing and imho I believe his chance was gone

    • Guesty

      2 things Phil. One, I’ve only seen the £6M signing on free etc in The Standard. You just can’t assume that story is correct, it might be £2M and half the wages that is being quoted.

      As to him forcing sunderlands hand in January? I think it showed he has grown up a little from his Judas days. Sunderland really could not have afforded to have lost him, I think he showed considerable restraint and loyalty. I suspect that was in no small part towards young Bradley Lowry by the way. Credit to him in my view.

      I’ve swayed back and forth on signing him and I’m now back in the sign him camp. He would’ve scored us 25 goals this season.

      • Philtheiron

        Hi mate,
        While I take on board your point with reference to the standard and that you shouldn’t necessarily believe what has been quoted in that and other news outlets,
        I believe For a reported £6 million and a £100,000 a week for a 35yo we can and hopefully will do better in the summer.

        However, your point about poor broadly Lowry is well made and a poinant one too. It’s a tradegy for the wee fella and as you say credit where credit is due.

        As for now signing him?
        As I have mentioned before, imho he cannot I believe, be considered now he is 35yo and we are safe from relegation, as a first choice striker that will take us to the next level.
        But what firepower from the bench! And what potential to win any sort of game!

        And as such a free transfer and even wages of £100,000 could/would then make sense. But after you factor in a £6million loyalty bonus I’m not so sure the figures then really add up.

        • Guesty

          Lol mate you’ll convince me he’s not one to sign again soon!!! I’m pleased I don’t have to make these decisions lol

          • Philtheiron

            Lol mate!
            You and me both!
            I must admit I’m not the greatest fan of the judas bas***d and as such it’s probably why the £6mill figure sticks in my throat to be honest.

            But if he was to sign and whether as a first choice striker or from the bench then manages to score 15+ goals for us next season I’ll won’t be complaining! Or be remotely bothered how he ended up with us again either! 😂

          • Philtheiron

            Lol mate!
            You and me both!
            I must admit I’m not the greatest fan of the judas bas***d and as such it’s probably why the £6mill figure sticks in my throat.

            But if he was to sign and whether a first choice striker or from the bench manages to score 15+ goals for us next season I’ll won’t be complaining! Or remotely bothered

    • Goatygav

      Good points hard to argue with Phil. Hadn’t heard about the £6M signing on fee. That changes a lot for me – I wouldn’t want to see the club fork that out to him and his agent.

      • Philtheiron

        Hi mate,
        Yeah, I’m hoping that it’s not true and as guesty has so rightly pointed out, it could just be a rumour.

        However, if it’s true it could well be a game changer

  • Guesty

    West Ham have played 45/46 matches this season. Manure have played 70 plus. The top 6 sides have all played 65 plus bar Chelsea who haven’t played any youth anyhow. We all mourn the loss of the proper competing Combination reserves league.

    I think the clubs and EUAFA miss a trick here. There should be a third European league, Europa2 if you like ONLY for the top 5 leagues, say 4 from each so that’s potentially Premiership positions 8-12th. Maybe have the league cup winners in Europa2 with the extra league spot in Europa1. So that’s 20 clubs, 4 leagues of 5 with a semi and a final. Minimum 8 matches maximum 11 matches.

    That will allow a club like West Ham to have a mixture of youth and fringe players, players that sit on the bench, to have a run out in proper competitive matches. Of course the winner would go into Europa1 the next season.

    No brainer IMO.

  • Academy of Football

    Goaty there’s so many points to comment on I think I’ll pick a few.

    Defoe coming back for 2 years would not be a bad shout but at the reported 100k a week I’m not sure. Then again he’s a goalscorer and they are in short supply.
    I don’t hold any real grudges about him leaving the way he did as he was very young but I have bile in my mouth that he joined that lot.

    I love Slav, but I really have a worry he’s a Zola type manager. I’m not even sure if he knows what tactic he mainly wants? If it is three at the back Oxford in there with Fonte Collins Reid or Obonga (can’t spell yet until I google haha) can only improve him. Experienced pros either side of him or Rice if the rumours are to be true.

    We have a very weak team out to face Burnley and they’ll be up for it. I should not be thinking it but my gut feeling is we will lose 3-0 and I’m not sure how that leaves Slaven. But we are playing experienced pros who never make mistakes so maybe we’ll be fine.

    • Goatygav

      I think that Defoe would need to be one season. Two would be a real stretch. Bearing in mind he’s a free agent there will be no fee to buy him. So £100K pr week ends up around £3.6M in total which would represent pretty good value for a proven Premier League striker in, let’s face it, pretty amazing shape for his age. There will be people who don’t want him back but I think they’ll be in the minority.
      I genuinely think Slaven’s got a lot more about him than Gianfranco Zola. Both decent, honourable and likeable characters but worlds apart as a manager.
      As for today I hope we sign off on a high but I share your fears. The fringers like Nordtveit haven’t been too bad when played in their preferred positions. Would love to see Declan Rice get a run out too.

  • Academy of Football

    I thought the team looked a lot stronger than Burnley today I was very surprised. Ayew led the line great today and played well and Feg was also on his game. I was very pleased with the performance and result.

  • Philtheiron

    Can anybody tell me what’s going on with batshuayi?!
    Four goals in four games? WTF? Doesn’t he want to sign for us!

    Within the space of a couple of weeks he’s gone from everybody’s next loan deal to almost irreplaceable superstar striker.

    So much so that if chelski were to sell him in the summer
    (a cheeky loan deal now looks out of the question),

    He will now go for at least £10million more than he would have perhaps would have gone for

    • Academy of Football

      To be honest I doubt he’d be interested in us even before the goals.

      • Philtheiron

        Hi mate,
        Don’t be saying things like that! As that’s us fcuk’d for strikers already!😂😂😂
        And the window hasn’t even opened!😂😂😂

  • Ray Foskett

    Hundred grand a week sign him up now so cheap for the goals he will get us compared to sick note Carol. Hopefully can sell him to China and get in two top strikers. Would of signed for the hammers for half that obscene money the club’s pay out but I’m going to stay at the royal mail Job for fourteen notes an hour as I’m living my dream. Hopefully Taxing the greed of the obscene money being payed to so many now in jobs many would do for so much less for jobs that produce absolutely nothing in life is at least some consolation and hopefully can help the nurses and those who deserve a top wage in life without a cap on their salary. Coyi