Make no mistake, West Ham did very good business in the January transfer market with Jose Fonte and Robert Snodgrass joining the club. Fonte- is a top player who wouldn’t look out of place at any club in the world. He’s an organiser who will bring real discipline and solidarity to the back three or four.
That West Ham signed him — the central defender in the Euro 2016 winning side – is brilliant business. Forget his age. In the current market, he is worth every penny of the £8 million and I’m looking forward to seeing him in action for us. Snodgrass is one of those ‘what you see is what you get’ players and he is a proper Geoff Pike type.
Again, at the fee agreed, the manager and board have done a very good piece of business at £6 million plus extras. He scores goals, is Premier League proven, and a grafter who will add something to the squad. Yes, I think it’s been a good window. I’m glad Slav backed off from Scott Hogan as the Brentford boy still has plenty of proving to do and in our position it was too much of a gamble at £15 million. I agree with the plan to keep the money in the bank until we look around in the summer and kick on again.
The shadow of a certain Frenchman has hung over the club for weeks and let me say here and now the guy’s behaviour was an utter disgrace. Thank God he showed what he was and left — he’s a bad apple plain and simple.
You simply don’t do what he chose to do to your teammates. In my day he would have been up against the wall getting a right good slap and I am very surprised that Dicksie didn’t do exactly that. He was nothing much when he arrived here, and it was our club who put him in the frame as a world star.
Our fans put him on a fantastic pedestal. He couldn’t have wanted more. Now we have kicked it away — good riddance. To walk away with such arrogance and refusing to apologise truly is a disgrace. I can’t see him ever being forgiven by anybody who has anything to do with our club. In fact, my former QPR chairman Jim Gregory — who was as hard as nails — would have had the geezer kneecapped. He’s a wrong’un and it’s good that he’s gone as we have seen from the team’s performances. They have developed a real spirit, which is as good as having a twelfth player on the park, and as a result of Payet’s behaviour, we now look a decent side that’s going to go places.
How far? I don’t know but given all the problems this season with the Frenchman and the London Stadium, if we finish where we are now in the top half, it will have been a very good campaign. It should be as we are now coming to terms with life at the LS. Slaven has been to hell and back at times this term but is now coming through as a stronger and better manager. It’s in the bad times that you become stronger and he really does look to be in control of every aspect of team affairs.
Now with a very good team and strong bench, I see us really kicking on. It’s been a roller coaster ride this season but I genuinely believe we are now on our way to bigger and better things.
Phil Parkes was talking to ClaretandHugh’s founding editor Hugh Southon.