So the transfer window has been firmly shut and we have probably walked away with acquisitions that can be described as real quality. The two Daves have divided opinion but one can certainly not accuse them of not backing the manager during this and past transfer windows.
Andy Carroll and Yossi Benayoun are of undoubted quality and the fact that a newly promoted club can acquire such talent is testament to the persistence of the manager and the chairmen and the way they have been able to sell the club to them.
A lot has been written about Andy Carroll recently, some good and bad, but he certainly fits into the style of football that Big Sam wishes to play. Against Fulham it is fair to say that he terrorised the back four with a powerful display that had commitment and an aggressiveness that is sometimes lacking from Carlton Cole’s game.
It was one thing to win the ball and flick it on for others to latch onto but the direction and accuracy of the flick ons were exceptional. In true West Ham fashion Carroll was injured in his first game and looks as though he will be missing for the next four games or so. I’m hoping Maiga and Cole will fill the void left by Carroll and hope his arrival will spur them on to put in good performances until he returns.
I was one of those who heavily criticized the team for the poor showing at Swansea but I cannot aim those sentiments again at the team after the Fulham performance. At times we moved the ball quicker, found space and attacked it and got the ball in the box early. We will be labelled for the apparent long balls that will be aimed at Carroll and Cole but we played good football on the floor as well against Fulham. At times, the diagonal ball up to Carroll was well thought out and defence splitting. A word of praise must also go to Vaz Te for yet another assist. He has started reasonably well this season and has added a bit of depth to the team because he does so much work both defensively as well as offensively.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves after three games and believe we will win the league, the best way of looking at things is that we have six points out of the possible 40 we need to stay up! Some might say this is negative, but I’d prefer to say this is realistic. Let’s get our season done in stages, let’s get 40 points and then see what else we can achieve. If we detract ourselves away from our real goal, which should always be survival then we may take our eye off what we need to do.
We drew Wigan in the next round of the League Cup and I really feel this is a competition we can do well in. It is a competition the club has never won but one I think we can realistically win this season. The decision on the Olympic stadium is due toward the end of this month and many have had their say on the pros and cons and if we should take on tenancy. I for one have been to the Olympic park and stadium on three separate occasions during the Olympics and am mesmerised by the whole spectacle of the place.
It is somewhere that I would enjoy coming to every other Saturday and one where I could spend hours before and after the match. This is an area I am from and knowing what used to be on the site years ago make me proud of what it has now become. I walked along the river, had lunch on the green watching a live band play in the evening and went up the orbit to see what this mythical structure was all about. If we can get the stadium on our terms, i.e.: with retractable seating then I would happily swap the slums of Green Street for a fresh, new beginning.
I have been a season ticket holder 25 years and have lived in the area for at least 30 years and have huge ties to Upton Park but we cannot let the opportunity of the Olympic Stadium pass us by. It may not work out for us but in life chances have to be taken to see what can be achieved. Standing still is no longer an option and I dream of what we could possibly become. Upton Park lost its soul years ago when it became all seater and many times over the years has a matched been played without any sort of atmosphere. This is something that I do not feel is an argument.
Anyone who has been inside the Olympic Stadium during the Olympics will tell you the atmosphere has been unreal. I sometimes park the car at the back of the Old Samson Street Hospital in Plaistow and walk through Queens Market along Green Street. That walk is a despondent realisation that the home I have been coming too all these years is a mere shell that has slowly been destroyed by all that is wrong with society. A certain yes from me on the move but I do understand those who wish to stay.