West Ham clear the decks but keep Rice as window finishes

The Hammers let several fringe players go but might look towards lower leagues

The transfer window has come and gone and yet again it was nothing short of a shambles for West Ham United.

In actual fact, rather than bolstering the squad on deadline day we somehow managed to decimate it further. 

Throughout the window we publicly announced that the manager wanted a new centre back yet none was to materialise. I feel we very much need a left back also.

The only addition this summer was that of Vladimir Coufal who indeed did have a very promising debut at Leicester. 

But serious questions must yet again be asked about the failings, lack of ambition and total inadequacy at this club from top to bottom.  

Indeed, the desperation for a new central defender was so great that we had to part with promising academy product Grady Diangana to West Brom. 

There, rightly so, was much uproar about the young winger’s departure. But the club assured fans that he was being sold so we could raise funds to sign new players and notably that defender. This never happened.  

Deadline day saw us move on Josh Cullen to Anderlecht. I am of the opinion that unfortunately Josh was never going to make the grade at this level, but to allow him to go with no replacement is beyond mind boggling. 

Further to this we released Jack Wilshire and loaned out young forward Xande Silva. These actions leave us with three recognised central midfielders in the squad.

This would not be acceptable at Sunday league level, let alone at our elite ‘next level’. 

To make matters worse, Felipe Anderson has joined Porto on loan. While I dont view the Brazilian as a major loss, it is ridiculous to allow another player to leave without replacing him and indeed adding further. 

Civil war between us fans and the board at the club is well publicised and this transfer window has done nothing but add fuel to the fire for the GSB-out movement.

The excuses are familiar – ‘we tried’ – but I, for one, question whether indeed we ever did try. 

I am among the ever growing group of people who are of the opinion that for years now we have publicly announced interest and bidded for players, bids that we know are nowhere near the valuations and are therefore never going to be accepted – all so that the owners can spout those two wonderful words ‘we tried’.

Alexandre Lacazette, Carlos Bacca, William Carvalho, Maxi Gomez all fall into this category and it would seem that England international James Tarkowski is the addition to this continually expanding list of failed transfers. 

Another excuse we are given for us not having acceptable funds during this transfer window is that we have overspent in the past few years. 

Should this be true, which I don’t believe it to be, surely this just further demonstrates the incompetence of those in charge at the club.

Many loyal fans – and I am one – believe that the mismanagement is beyond negligent and there is no coming back from it for the board.

In any case, when you look at the transfers of recent times, I far from agree that we have overspent; our net spend last summer was extremely low, not to mention the fact that we moved on several players for reasonable fees, Marko Arnautovic and Chicharito to name but two.

We have also reduced the wage bill considerably by moving on these two players along with Carlos Sanchez, Pablo Zabaleta and others. 

Of course, we did spend during Manuel Pelligrini’s first summer but arguably this was just spending money that we hadn’t in the seasons prior to this. 

Our wonderful businessman owner David Sullivan inexplicably decided to go on national radio to plead his case and attempt to pass the buck by blaming the manager for being too picky about players. 

Why does it seem that the board is never at fault and never accountable? 

Contrary to what you may think, Mr Sullivan, this fan base was not born yesterday and each and every time you open your mouth you widen the cataclysmic gap between the heart and soul of this club, the supporters, and you.  

When we were told we were to leave our beloved Boleyn Ground, the board attempted to appease us or to soften the blow by promising us a world class football stadium with a world class team. They have failed miserably on both these fronts.

The writing was very much on the wall for this transfer window, when even before it opened, the board’s various familiar mouth-pieces started to spread the propaganda that COVID-19 had effectively halted the spending power of all clubs other than the vast resources of the elite top 6 clubs. 

There is no doubt that the awful virus has changed the world forever and, of course, it has hit the finances of football clubs worldwide, as it has all businesses.

But I was unaware that Coronavirus was much more severe in Stratford than anywhere else, but obviously this is the case because Crystal Palace have spent money, as have Aston Villa, Newcastle, Fulham and Southampton among other others. 

These are not part of the aforementioned elite and this just goes to show that the problem actually lies internally.  

With a total of seven retained players being moved on and just one addition, I view this transfer window as a declaration of war to the fans.

I can only hope that the lack of spending and indeed the departures are part of an endgame for this regime at the club and they are trying to save and acquire as much revenue as they can before departing the club.

As much as it angers me to see them gaining another penny from the club, if it means being done with them forever, this is a bitter pill I’m very much willing to swallow.

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