After Sunday’s valiant 0-0 draw with Liverpool, West Ham United fans can surely feel comfortable about Premier League safety for the 2012/13 season. One more win will almost guarantee another campaign in the top flight for the Hammers. Preparation is key if we are to be in a successful position this time next year which means this Summer is a vital one for the claret and blue club.
The brief for Sam Allardyce was clear for this season…keep us up. Premier League stability is now crucial for the foundations of any aspiring club not least a side waiting to make the move to the Olympic Stadium. This makes the objectives for the new season difficult to outline. Do we just stick with experienced, consistent players who know the English game inside out and are sure to keep us up or do we opt for foreign ‘flair’ type players that may give us something different going forward and keep the crowd thoroughly entertained but could cost us premier league survival in the long run. I believe we should take the Hovis attitude of ‘Best of Both’ and try and give the team a much needed injection of pace, youth and technical ability. This added to the solidarity of players like James Collins, Winston Reid, Joey O’Brien and Kevin Nolan who pride themselves on being consistently reliable will give West Ham, in my opinion, a strong chance of competing for the top half of the Barclays Premier League.
‘Who do we buy then?’ I hear you ask. Well, this depends on who is relegated from the Premier League this season. If Aston Villa goes down, I think we could seriously enquire about Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke. Benteke is a player that will no doubt be scouted by many top clubs around the globe and this will therefore make it extra difficult to get our hands on him. However, if we guarantee the lad first team football and he appreciates the future of West Ham United, he could be tempted. Andreas Weimann is an energetic forward who I believe has a big future in the game. His pace and movement will cause trouble for any defenders and could be a key player down the right hand side. If, like I strongly suspect, QPR take the drop, then West Ham would do well to look no further than Loic Remy. The goal against Wigan indicates what a frighteningly talented striker the Frenchman is. I understand he has a clause in his contract that states he is free to go if the Hoops do take the plunge (similar to Demba Ba).
If Hammer’s favourite Paolo Di Canio fails to keep the Black Cats up then Stephane Sessegnon may be worth a gamble. The Benin star is highly frustrating at times and can be ridiculously inconsistent but there is no doubting the boy’s talent. Sunderland would be keen to offload some of their high earners and Sessegnon could be the perfect fit for West Ham. Other honourable mentions for players fighting for their top flight status are: Maloney, Kone, Al Habsi and Mignolet. All of which would be great acquisitions for the club.
Moving away from the battle at the bottom of the Premier League, there are plenty of European stars that are coming to the end of their contracts with their respective clubs. Although wages may be an issue, saving on a hefty transfer fee would be a major plus when Big Sam draws up his lists of targets this summer. Claudio Pizzaro is one of these players and although the Peruvian is getting on, he can still find the back of net as proved when he scored 4 in the recent 9-1 win over Hamburg. He has proved with Chelsea he can cut it amongst England’s elite and therefore wouldn’t be as much of a risk as you might think.
Without delving into the four corners of the footballing world, it is clear to see that the talent is out there which could certainly improve the squad of West Ham United. It is vital that Sam Allardyce, David Sullivan and David Gold bring in some real quality this summer if we are to be happy hammers in the near future.