Phil Parkes: ‘Last summer’s cash made this year stress free but West Ham must spend again’

As the season draws to a close, many of us will be looking towards the summer and asking ourselves who will sold and who will we bring in.

It’s a difficult one to predict – certainly for the players we might bring in – but Arnie has blotted his copy book. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not we will listen to offers. If he is sold, I would imagine we would get big money for him and that would boost our transfer budget.

It doesn’t look like we will renew Andy Carroll’s contract so that will help with recruitment as we’ll have a bit more money available on the wage bill. Jack Wilshere has hardly played this season because of his injuries so it’ll be interesting to see what happens with him.

Manuel Pellegrini will have players in mind that he wants to bring in, and there are one or two who might have crept into his mind for players to leave based on their recent performances. There are a few that haven’t done themselves any favours and, unusually for him, he has been scathing of some of our performances recently. It does feel like some of them already have that end-of-season feeling.

The players need to remember that they need to keep impressing Pellegrini. He’s the manager and he makes the decisions about who gets picked or not – he wants good performances week in, week out. We have a big squad and, perhaps for a long time, a big squad of players who can all come into the first team and do a job.

Long gone (I hope) are the days where someone comes in as there’s been an injury to a first team regular and you are worried about what will happen. We have had a much better season, once everyone settled down, thanks to the money we spent last summer.

It’s certainly been less stressful for the fans because we never really were in any danger of relegation. I think you have to spend every summer to keep competing in the Premier League, especially now with average players costing between 10 and 15 million. It just goes to show what great value we got for Lukasz Fabianski.

I think we have to spend again and it will be another summer of signings – I can’t see how we can avoid it. You look at right back and while I’ve always liked Pablo Zabaleta, age-wise he isn’t going to be able to go on forever. At 34, he’s probably got another two seasons in him at best. We need better cover for him.

At left back, I think we will be ok with Aaron Cresswell, but I’m not sure about the centre backs recently. Sometimes they look as good as anybody in the league, and the next game they look like they’ve only met in the car park moments before the game! We’ve got plenty of options in midfield and Mark Noble keeps putting performances in so I’m not sure which position Pellegrini would want to address in the middle.

As for up top, does Javier Hernandez want to stay? He didn’t like the fact he wasn’t getting much game time earlier on in the season but he has been playing quite well since then. If he goes, and is followed by Carroll and Arnie, we will be light up top so would need to spend big to get ourselves a decent striker.

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