With the end of the season in sight, and being 9 points clear of the drop zone, it’s about the right time for speculation to start regarding potential new signings for West Ham United and Sam Allardyce. However, as exciting as new signings are, there will obviously be players leaving the squad in the summer also, and rightly so, their wages can be used on players who will improve the squad.
I am assuming that we are safe as well, I hope I don’t give us the kiss of death with this, but if we go down from the position we are in, then we don’t deserve to play in the Premier League. So who will be going in the summer?
The loanees who are with us are likely to return to their parent clubs, so that means losing Andy Carroll, Maraoune Chamakh, Wellington Paulista and Emmanuel Pogatetz. Will Andy Carroll sign permanently? Who knows, I hope so, if not, its farewell and thanks for your help. The other 3 have hardly made an impact yet, and with ten games remaining, I think their chances will be limited. But what about actual West Ham players?
The following players are, in my opinion, players that will need to be replaced with better players: Joey O’Brien, George McCartney, Matt Taylor, Ricardo Vaz Te, Jussi Jaaskelainen and Carlton Cole.
My choice for O’Brien might seem harsh to some supporters out there, but I just don’t think he is very talented. Don’t get me wrong, he has a big heart, and gives 100% in every game. But if we want to push on, we need full backs who are of a higher standard than him, a full back who doesn’t panic under pressure and has better distribution. The same goes for McCartney. Both will be good squad players, for cover, but we need better than these.
JJ is another who has done his job this season, but is not good enough to carry on next season. There is no doubt he is a superb shot stopper, the highlights of the Spurs game the other night will back that up, but these days, there is more to being a goalkeeper than just saving a shot. We need a keeper who can actually catch a ball, a keeper who can find our players when they distribute the ball, and someone to command the area when crosses come into the box. I thank him for his work this season, but I would like to see a younger and better goalkeeper come in. JJ will be good for back up again, or he can be released to play his final years at another club.
Matt Taylor has hardly hit top level for West Ham. His form at Bolton and Portsmouth meant I was actually really happy with his signing last season, but he has not really got going. We know of his ability at set pieces, but he hasn’t replicated it in the Claret and Blue. He will be a good player at a Championship club, for a team who play 4-4-2. But I don’t think he suits our style of play, and I think his time is up.
Ricardo Vaz Te is a funny one, on his day, he has huge potential to make an impact in the Premier League, problem is, he doesn’t have too many of those days. I think we all have a soft spot for Vaz, due to his form to the end of last season and of course getting the winner at Wembley in the Playoff Final. But he is another whose form has not been recaptured, and I think is time is limited at West Ham.
Finally, Carlton Cole – another who I actually like, but he has hardly been prolific over the years has he? He is another who gives 100% but his effort means nothing if there is no end product. I’d be happy to keep him as a squad player, but again, he rarely makes any impact when he does play. His goal scoring record is hardly one to be proud of for a striker. He had massive potential at Chelsea, but his career has just plodded along, and I think leaving West Ham may be good for him in the summer.
It’s never very nice to let players go, especially those who we actually like, but to be successful, we need to move these sorts of players on, and replace them with better.