Filed: Monday, 10th September 2012
By: Robert Watson
Here at KUMB.com we're always keen to give aspiring young writers the oportunity to share their thoughts with our readers. The latest to do just that is 16-year-old Robert Watson, who makes his site debut with a review of the recent transfer window...
First of all, letís start with the outgoings.
We lost our number one early on. It was disappointing to see Robert Green go as he was one of our most consistent performers in my eyes and one of our best players. We also parted with a few of the youth players; Ollie Lee, Frank Nouble and Cristian Montano which is sad to see as weíre known as the Academy of Football - but weíve got to trust Sam Allardyceís judgement with these players.
Of all the players weíve let go, which a majority have left on a free transfer, I was most disappointed to see Abdoulaye Faye leave as he wouldíve been absolutely brilliant cover for the centre-half position. He was one of our best players last season, so solid. Also, Iím sad to see Sam Baldock and Nicky Maynard sold as they were natural, pacey strikers - but would they have made it in the Premier League? Maybe not, so I wish them all the best.
We also sold others, such as Pablo Barrera and Freddie Sears both of whom just never really delivered the goods. It was a real shame about Sears although I feel he was hyped up too much.
Now onto the transfers into the club. Having released four 'keepers - Green, Peter Kurucz, Ruud Boffin and Marek Stech - we brought in three; Jussi Jaaskelainen, Stephen Henderson and Rafael Spiegel. Jussi is a very experienced keeper and he played well last time out against Fulham, always keeping focused and making some excellent saves. I feel the juryís still out on him but on a free? Good business.
Iíve only seen Henderson play once, in the Capital One Cup, and he made a brilliant double save and looks to be one for the future. Not bad for a fee of around £650,000! Spiegel Iíve never heard of and it's possible like most of our 'keepers he will remain in the development squad and be sold in two years' time.
We brought George McCartney back to the club for around £1million which is good value for money for someone can do a decent job at left back (even though he had a torrid time against Swansea). James Collins, another former Hammer was bought back to the club for £2.5million which I feel is decent business for an excellent centre half who has been so solid for the first few games. He has so much experience at centre back and will be vital for the team; he too enjoyed an outstanding game against Villa.
Now on to someone who Iíd say has been one of the best signings of the summer - Momo Diame on a free! He has been absolutely brilliant in the three games played so far. His desire to get forward has impressed me a lot, he is a centre midfielder yet he still roams down the wings and gets everywhere on the pitch. His energy levels are flawless and he is always battling on the pitch wherever he is. He's a real powerhouse and a box to box midfielder.
We also signed Alou Diarra from a financially-struggling Marseille team for £2million; he is a defensive midfield player who will sit in front of the defence. Even though Iíve only seen him play twice he looks to be a good buy having played nearly 50 times for France.
When he played for France against England in the Euroís he absolutely bossed the game. But Allardyce hasnít started him in the Premier League yet and he's made only one substitute appearance in the League and a start in the Capital One Cup. Itís been tough for him to get into the team as Nolan and Noble had a great season for us last year and theyíve started well. They were especially excellent against Fulham and, as I mentioned above, Diame completes the current midfield trio.
Next I move onto our record transfer fee of £10.75million pounds; winger Matt Jarvis who signed from Wolves. Against Swansea he looked our best player, within minutes he whipping in a quality cross which Nolan nearly got his head on to. He also had a shot well saved from Vorm. Statistically he is the second best provider of crosses out of the top five leagues in the world, with only Seville's Jesus Navas ahead of him.
The transfer I didnít expect was that of Yossi Benayoun who arrived from Chelsea on a loan deal on transfer deadline day. Earlier on in the day Sky Sports had said that we couldnít afford his wages and I thought thatíd be us done on the transfer front, but when the deal was confirmed I was delighted as he can play centre midfield, out wide if needed and he brings a lot of creativity to the team which is what we need. As there is a lot of competition for the central midfield positions he may be played out wide - even though I feel heís better at centre midfield as shown when he played for Arsenal last season.
As for the strikers, firstly we signed Modibo Maiga from Souchaux for £5million. Iíve only seen him play against Villa when he was unlucky to score as he took the ball around the 'keeper in the dying minutes only to see his shot blocked on the line. He also started against Crewe in the Capital One Cup where he played quite well but the opposition was League One standard so Iím still unsure on him as he's yet started a game in the Premier League. However I read that heís scored over half of his goals with his head, which could be useful!
Lastly, the big man himself - Andy Carroll, signed on loan from Liverpool. What a signing that is for us.
When he started against Fulham the whole team seemed to have a buzz about themselves. They performed so well, we even played some Barcelona-style football at times! When we hit big Andy he absolutely bullied Fulham's Brede Hangeland, which isnít an easy task. Carroll is a really threatening striker, aerially he barely lost a header! Itís sad to see him injured now after such a brilliant debut.
Another stat for you: Andy Carroll won more headers than any other striker in the Premier League last year. Considering how little he played, that's very impressive - and the combination of him and Jarvis could turn out to be a quality partnership.
Overall, Iíd say weíve had an absolutely brilliant transfer window, bringing in a lot of quality players and strengthening the squad all round. The only slight negative is perhaps I wouldíve liked to have seen another defender - preferably a centre back - but on the whole? A brilliant transfer window.
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.
02:30PM 10th Sep 2012
''I couldn't have put it any better. MY only disappointment is that I would liked us to have kept Sam Baldock who was a jack in the box. I also feel now is the time we need to see what Maiga can do. We're all well aware that Carlton will work his socks off but unfortunately in the Premier League a hard working striker with poor touch, no pace and not any good aerially is a luxury teams can't afford to carry. ''
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