Welcome to what I hope is the first of many articles for Blowing Bubbles. Let me start off by telling you a bit about my love for West Ham United which started way back in 1984 when my Dad took me to my first match at the age of six.
If memory serves it was against Everton, but who was playing was not important. What was important was the atmosphere generated by the fans that I experienced for the first time. It was like nothing I’d ever been exposed to, it was amazing to see so many people being so passionate about the same thing at the same time and I felt great to be a part of it.
I fell in love with West Ham that day and have continued to support the club ever since (I’m now 33, coming on 34) and I look forward to the day when I can take my son to his first game, hopefully he will enjoy it as much as I did.
Anyway looking at the upcoming season, I’ll be honest, West Ham have not had the best pre-season. But then we had an amazing pre-season under Avram Grant and we all know what happened then.
My expectations for the season are to see the club securing themselves back in the Premier League. I’m a realist, the team are highly unlikely to qualify for Europe. I feel finishing 12th is achievable, if we finish higher than that, then great, I’ll be a happy hammer.
When the fixtures for the season were published, I, like many I expect, was very happy with them. In both August and September, we have matches with teams I feel West Ham are perfectly capable of beating and hopefully giving the team a good number of points before we get to the more difficult games in October and November.
The transfer window as always has given its fair share of rumours and excitement, and we’ve not even got to deadline day! There’s been the whole Andy Carrol saga. I just don’t rate Carrol as a player. Never have and I would have been disappointed to see him in the claret and blue especially at the price we were said to be going to pay for him! £36 million in wages, riiiiiiiight.
Most fans will be thinking, why would Carlos Tevez return to West Ham United after winning the league title with both Manchester United and Manchester City and then leave for us a newly promoted team? He loves the club; it’s as simple as that!
He said a few seasons back that he would always love to return to West Ham one day, as he has said the same about Boca Juniors, so surely that is something to take into account and not just brushed under the rug like nothing. But alas, again this has come to nothing.
Now let’s talk about actual deals rather than rumours. West Ham selling Sam Baldock is in my opinion a mistake which may come back to haunt us in the future. I think he is a great player and is very capable of scoring goals and has always played well. I think he almost always scored when used – has there been a match when he hasn’t scored? It’s a crying shame that he hasn’t been used more in the squad. It’s been an extreme waste of talent.
The best buy of the window in my view is Alou Diarra. A great player who can pretty much do it all. I only hope his arrival at West Ham doesn’t mark the beginning of the end for Mark Noble or Jack Collinson.
I’d would like, however, to see some new defenders at the club. Whether they are bought or raised up from the development squad. I feel we’re particularly weak at the right back position because I believe we’ve only got Joey O’Brien now and if he gets injured the team could be left open. A few more options for this role are a must.
Anyway what do I know, I’m just a fan who loves the club and football. Time will show how well the team will perform. We have to have faith in Big Sam and always support the lads.