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More to come?

Filed: Thursday, 6th September 2012
By: Reece Bateman

So latest rumours suggest Andy Carroll is out until mid-October, at least. Terrible news for us fans after watching him make a huge impact on his debut against Fulham.

Obviously it is bad news, but it could work in the favour of both Carlton Cole and Modibo Maiga who will now get their chances in the starting XI. Having watched Carrollís display they may be motivated to go that extra 15-20 per cent to ensure that Big Sam has a difficult decision to make once Carroll returns.

It may also work in the favour of young Rob Hall who, after making his Premier League debut against Fulham, will surely be looking to prove to the management he is also more than capable of pushing for a starting spot in Big Andyís absence. I think Carlton Cole will be the favourite to replace Carroll initially but I expect Maiga to play a big role over the coming weeks.

Weíre currently linked with ex-Sunderland and Lyon centre half John Mensah. He is available on a free transfer so can still but signed, however his appearances since he signed for Lyon in 2008 have been limited to say the least.

He joined Sunderland on loan in 2009, eventually leaving at the end of the 2011 season, and made 34 league appearances across two seasons. At Lyon he has appeared just 13 times, incredibly making just 47 league appearances for both clubs since 2008.

He is an experienced defender, he impressed hugely in the 2010 World Cup where he captained Ghana to the quarter-finals, however his injury record alone should be enough to deter us from making an offer, unless itís on a pay-as-you-play basis.

Over the last few seasons we have had more than our share of injury prone players who have drained the club of money, we should have learned by now that the risk simply isnít worth taking. Perhaps this is why West Ham never made a move for Michael Owen, who has just recently signed for Stoke after being released by Manchester United.

At the beginning of the summer, when Owen was first available, Hammers favourite Tony Cottee said West Ham should snap him up suggesting that Ďyou know he guarantees reaching double figures in goals, which would take the pressure off the rest of the players.í Did Sam and the board miss a trick by not signing Owen up on a contract for just one season? If you think about it, we could have had Owen feeding off Andy Carrollís knock downs and flick onís, it could have been quite a potent partnership.

I donít know whether it is possible to bring any more players in, free agents or not, as the club has confirmed their squad list for the first half of the season, Iím unsure on Premier League rules regarding this. Free agents currently linked to the club, like Nigel Reo-Coker and James McFadden along with Mensah, may have to wait slightly longer for their chance in the Premier League again.

Does the West Ham squad need its ranks bolstering with a few freebies? Is there room for strengthening still, or would we simply be signing players just to get our squad list up to 25 players?

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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