It has been reported that West Ham’s transfer budget for the summer is £30 million and that money made from sales should add to this pot. What did you make of this?
Meirion Williams: I am a little concerned at the lack of investment planned. It’s been pretty clear that the squad needs greater depth in several areas. If it’s true that most of our forward line will be on the move, £30 million won’t even cover that area. As for selling players, the value of a few will have deteriorated after showing such poor form this season will deteriorate. With every game I see Arnie’s value dropping.
Brian Penn: A mass exodus will be the only way of generating funds. A £30 million budget is laughable, Pellegrini has obviously been told he has to sell players to fund his war chest. I’ve previously mentioned Anderson as a possible leaver because in this current market we could easily double our money so don’t be surprised if he goes.
Emily Pulham: I agree that it’s way too little investment if we want to achieve anything – this won’t even allow us to keep up with the Wolves and Evertons of the world. Having said that, we have a lot of players to sell, and will be clearing up a lot of wages too, which could help.
David Meagher: Pellegrini has had some great success with transfers, such as Balbuena, but in reality £30 million will only get you two decent signings. Getting rid of some of our non-performing high wage ‘stars’ will free up funds for players with short contracts but big salary expectations. In reality we need half a dozen decent signings to move forwards.
Do you think changing the covering on the running track from green to claret makes the London Stadium feel more like Upton Park?
MW: I seem to be in the minority if the club’s communication is anything to go by as I was less than enamoured by the carpet. I thought it looked a bit tacky and a carpet will never make the Olympic Stadium feel like the Boleyn. It needs much more than that.
BP: Do they really think a claret carpet surrounding the pitch will mean anything to fans? If they want us to take some emotional ownership, what about setting up the museum at the stadium?
EP: I think what I like the most about the new rug is how it really accentuates the existence of the running track.
DM: I agree. It’s nonsense! We need to totally take over the stadium and sort out the seating to be closer to the action.
Speaking of our new claret covering, we loved Michail Antonio’s goal celebration on it during the Leicester City game. What’s been your favourite West Ham goal celebration?
MW: Now that’s a tough one! For me, it’s not one on the pitch, it was what happened in the stand when Di Canio scored that wonder goal against Wimbledon. It was the delay as if everyone was thinking: ‘Was that for real?’ and then the huge eruption of sound moments later.
BP: I think goal celebrations tend to merge slightly for me. They’ve become a tad predictable, it’s either kiss the tattoo on your wrist or make that X-factor crossed Hammers sign. They really have to make more of an effort. Maybe if we scored a bit more often they would have a chance to practice their technique!
EP: For me it’s a fairly modern one – I loved the pure, raw reaction from Declan Rice when he scored his first goal. That photo of his more senior teammates proudly looking back at him still celebrating is such a lovely shot.
DM: Julian Dicks with that chest thrust thingy – the physical embodiment of passion!
What did you make of the Premier League’s decision to refuse permission to move the our Southampton game to a 12.30 pm kick off so we could attend the West Ham women’s FA Cup final?
MW: I was disappointed with the refusal as it could have really boosted attendance. I have a feeling that many will now leave the Southampton game half way through to make the game at Wembley. It may make a real mockery of the last game walk around the pitch by the players. The game is sadly ruled by TV these days
BP: I think it shows the women’s game is still the poorer relation, at least as far as the Premier League is concerned. It will undoubtedly hit attendance at Wembley, which is a shame because it’s our first Wembley FA Cup Final since 1980. It’s unfair to make the fans choose like this, it should have been moved to mid week. The women’s FA Cup Final is bigger than the Southampton game which frankly is a dead rubber.
EP: I too am very disappointed in it, but I also completely respect that Southampton fans have previously bought their train tickets and made arrangements – why should they be inconvenienced because of the poor planning of those who scheduled the women’s final on a Saturday, that close in time to the men’s games? I’ll be one of the people missing 15 min of each match to attend both – it’s not ideal, but it’s the only way to support both teams.
DM: It just goes to show how all the noise about equality and inclusiveness is really just that, noise. Why we can’t have the women’s games before the first team games, say a kick off at 12.30, is beyond me – it would be brilliant! Burnley received a lot of criticism from Chelsea following their clash at Stamford Bridge last month. David Luiz described their game management as ‘anti-football’ but Sean Dyche said his side had to fight against a side bigger and richer than they are to earn the point. Who did you agree with?
MW: It’s laughable as didn’t one of Chelsea’s many previous managers coin the phrase parking the bus as a criticism and then did the very same himself? I don’t like it but I see the rational behind it. Burnley needed the point simple as and will do anything to stay in the Premier League so I understand it but liking it? Well that’s another thing.
BP: With Premier League survival at stake you do what needs to be done. The amount of money tied to Premier League status make clubs terrified of relegation, so it doesn’t encourage attacking football. I agree with Meirion, I don’t like the negativity but clubs like Burnley don’t have much option.
EP: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m with Sean Dyche. Burnley don’t have a Hazard; they worked with what they had available and got a deserved result from it. I wouldn’t have minded us doing the same instead of sitting there watching a Hazard masterclass keep us out of the top half of the table.
DM: Chelsea not happy again – poor things!