There have been many words written about West Ham’s January transfer window, but I’ll do it in just one: astonishing.
It was astonishingly bad, astonishingly reckless and astonishingly arrogant.
That, with the Irons in a perilously dangerous position in the Premier League, the board oversaw a window where the club actually made a profi t on transfers is inexplicable and another kick in the teeth for fans.
Forget the move to Stratford, this would have been inexcusable at Upton Park. Yet it certainly makes the promises of a ‘world class team in a world class stadium’ sound even hollower than when Karen Brady fi rst launched her much-used catchphrase.
It’s fair to say that Andre Ayew struggled to live up to his transfer fee during his time in London but his sale still raised a few eyebrows.
The 28-year-old had started to show glimpses of his best form this season, notably against Tottenham in the League Cup and at Crystal Palace, and it felt odd to sanction his sale to a rival in the relegation battle.
Had the cash been used to fund a major spending spree it would have been understandable, but instead the only signing of the window was young Jordan Hugill from Preston North End.
I’ve nothing against Hugill as an individual and I’ve long argued the club should sign young, hungry players instead of over-the-hill 30-somethings.
But his mediocre scoring record in the Championship does little to fi ll me with confidence and you can’t hide from the fact the club have essentially replaced a proven international player with someone who has never played in the Premier League.
Then there was the Patrice Evra debacle. If your team can be improved by signing a 36-year-old who hasn’t kicked a ball in three months then you are in a very sorry place indeed.
The January transfer window has left West Ham in a very real danger of being relegated, and if they are the board will have to take the lion’s share of the blame.
Regular Last Word writer Hugh Southon is away. Everyone at Blowing Bubbles would like express our condolences and best wishes to Hughie at a difficult time.