Paul Ince is not the most popular name in East London and he is not going out of his way to win over West Ham United fans.
Ince and West Ham supporters have a tempestuous past.
And all these years on many Hammers fans still refer to him as a ‘Judas’.
Ince has – on several occasions – talked at length about his respect for West Ham. And he describes himself as a West Ham boy despite everything that went on following his controversial departure for Manchester United.
Hutchison backs West Ham to have exciting season
He was quick to play down the excitement surrounding the new season, though, after fellow former West Ham midfielder Don Hutchison gave their old club top billing on Radio 5 Live Sport this week.
Hutchison told 5 Live Sport that he was excited for West Ham under Manuel Pellegrini this season.
Hutch said he feels West Ham have a genuine chance to do something memorable with the attacking players they have acquired over the last two summer windows.
He is one of several pundits to back West Ham to compete for the top six next season.
Ince has his doubts
But Ince – like a large section of supporters – fears the Hammers have failed to strengthen defensively.
Ince interrupted an optimistic verdict from Hutchison to give his take.
“To be fair at the back (they have weaknesses), (Pablo) Zabaleta is getting on – I know it is his last season – (Fabian) Balbuena has not been convincing,” Ince said on 5 Live Sport.
“I like (Issa) Diop but I think at left-back, (Aaron) Cresswell, whoever plays there (isn’t strong enough), he (Arthur Masuaku) is not the answer. The goalkeeper has been fantastic.
“When you look at the Liverpool team and how they’ve progressed now and the most important thing for them was defensively to get it right now they’ve got it right def they’re scoring goals and not conceding goals.
‘They still need one or two at the back’
“I feel with West Ham with the talent they’ve got going forward they’re always gonna create chances… but I always kind of feel – and it kind of goes back to when they first went to Anfield last year… they got beat four or five and were all over the place – yes they’ve improved but they probably still need one or two acquisitions at the back for me.”
Whatever you think of Ince he does make some salient points.
Many Hammers fans feel Pellegrini should have signed at least a left-back and another defensive midfielder.
Of course there is still time with two weeks left of the window.
But several sources, including fellow West Ham website Claret & Hugh, are claiming there is no money left.