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Where do we go from here?

Filed: Monday, 24th September 2012
By: John Rolls

Having been born in the ‘50s, I have had the pleasure of watching many of the West Ham greats over the years, and also of having seen the worse we have had, My question now is where do we go from here? It was great to get back into the Premier League - but I want more.

I certainly am grateful we are back where we belong, and again I want us to be successful. Being honest, I cannot see us winning the league unless some mega-rich masochist buys the club and I suppose I should just be grateful for survival. But being realistic, would I really be happy with West Ham being also-rans? Maybe flirting with the Cups and getting a route into Europe via that route?

I am not going to say “yes” to that. What I would like to know is why we haven't signed some of the bigger names available on free transfers to at least give us a chance of moving up?

Look at Stoke - at best, a mid-table side - but they had the balls to go and sign Michael Owen. A front two pairing of Carroll and Owen sounds like it has goals in it, whereas at present we look toothless. Another name that has come up is Thomas Hitzlsperger, another free agent. I think he's a great player.

The board and the manager must change the whole mentality surrounding the club by insisting we finish in the top six and backing the manager to get the right players in. At the moment we are carrying too many Championship-level players.

We should have - and it hurts to say this - the mentality of Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy and back the manager to sign quality players. Some of Spurs’ signings in the last few years have transformed an average Premiership team into a challenging side.

Here's an aside for you. Rob Green is, it seems, really p*ssed off at QPR. Let’s take him back on loan in January. In my eyes he should never have been let go.

West Ham have the most fervent supporters and we always get behind the team no matter what the situation. Is it not now time for the Board and the manager to realise we deserve more than mid-table mediocrity?

Why is it we never seem to make the big signing? We get linked with so many but they never seem to materialise; why? Are they put off by the lack of ambition from the board? It can't be the fans, we get behind new players even if they don't do well.

To me, we take the lesser options. How many of us had heard of Modibo Maiga before he joined us? We were linked with Bas Dost; now there's a striker who scores regularly. Where is he now? With West Ham showing interest, someone else signed him.

It raises questions as to whether the manager listens to the scouts. Or is he of the mind that it doesn't matter what they say, we don't sign them any way?

In summary, would the board please show as much commitment to providing the fans with quality players so we can do something in the league - and would the scouting system find and insist the manager at least has a look at them.

Finally can we, the supporters who spend our hard-earned cash watching the team and buying the merchandise and sometimes suffering numerous headaches and heartache as the Hammers cock it up again, get recognition from the board?

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.

Your Comments

by safhammer
11:23AM 25th Sep 2012
''Not sure where you are coming from. At this moment in time we are damn grateful that we can possibly look towards a mid-table finish. We are not out of the woods yet. We have not been tested yet in the PL. As for Green and the German....the earlier posts are spot on.

At present we are building a solid West Ham team, far from the "put us under the slightest pressure and we buckle" days.
You really need to be grateful we have come this far and the future looks reasonable and solid.''

by Tonka
09:43PM 24th Sep 2012
''I've been converted to Gold and Sullivan after initial doubts and I think you are unfair to them.

Leaving aside the top four or five sides, who we are never going to match for pulling or spending power, I reckon our signings have been as good as anyone else in the league this summer. Diame would grace any team in the Premier League, as would Jarvis. These are not 'Championship level players'. We still have a few of those, but you can't expect to replace a whole team in one go (and nor would that be a particularly good idea).

I do think we could have done with a couple of quality younger defenders. We're holding up alright at the moment but it's a long season for the likes of Jussi, Demel, Collins an McCartney.

I also have concerns about the Carrol deal. If Liverpool can recall him in January it puts us in a weird situation. If he fails we won't want to keep him, if he suceeds we won't be able to. If we'd signed him outright it would have made up the best summer transfer window ever for West Ham.''

by JMan43
08:20PM 24th Sep 2012
''Whereas I agree that some of the article is a bit confused where I disagree with the majority of posters here is the willingness to accept just remaining in the PL. Not good enough for me, especially if we move to the OS where I expect major investment will also be forthcoming and there is no way they will accept being "also rans".

Everton always seems to be able to build a team out of nothing and I wouldn't be surprise if they finish in the top six this year, so why can't we? If you accept mediocrity that is what will be delivered, we need to push to be the best we can possibly be and aim high and challenge the club to continually move forwards. I think the chairmen have done very well so far and went above and beyond this transfer window, so currently in my good books.''

by Buster
08:01PM 24th Sep 2012
''I think with the resources available Sullivan, Gold and Big Sam have done very well so far. Let's give them a chance.

I believe we are not far short of have a very good side. When Carroll played for us against Fulham we looked very good indeed and that was without Jarvis. It takes time to produce good sides when you don't have money. Wouldn't it be great to be the first side for many years to win the leagure without a billionaire backer?''

by Robin Essex
07:42PM 24th Sep 2012
''The Totts have a billionaire owner and an idiot in charge, acting like a spoilt brat over the Olympic Stadium and get what he was protesting about, public money! I love what Sam is building and credit to the two Daves trying to service the debt that the last idiot owners made trying to buy 'quality' players like Upson!

On another point where are the 60,000 that wanted tickets for Wembley in May and not filling Upton Park?''

by Nevergiveup
05:32PM 24th Sep 2012
''KUMB surprise me by publishing an article by someone who seems to be sleepwalking!

I was a great supporter of Green, until he left for nothing, he was fooled by QPR. Are you kidding me, bring back the Hiss... and another medical headace (Owen)?

Sam is doing great with limited resources.... I am not i00% happy with what we have but I can live with it until time changes.''

by Dan OBrien
03:26PM 24th Sep 2012
''With our limited resources, the two Davids have done as much as possible to sign players that are needed. We do need more investment and that may come if and when we win the Olympic Stadium bid. The head of the Westfield group Frank Lowy is thought to be interested. A self made billionaire with massive football interests. Add to the fact that the Westfield in Stratford is only a stones throw from the Olympic Stadium. It seems a perfect fit for both Westfield and West Ham. Only then can we move for bigger names.

In the meantime, I'm dead happy with where we are at the minute.''

by Paulo the Hammer
03:24PM 24th Sep 2012
''First of all why would we waste money on sicknote Owen who as far as I'm concerned is way over the hill? Hitzlsperger, been there done that.

But now here's the question: Why Maiga? What has he really done? Surely we could have sold Cole in the window and got in someone that can find the net in this league, now I like Cole but I'm sorry he just ain't good enough in the Premier League.

We can't wait till January and rely on Kevin Nolan, he's done great but we need another striker and quick. How about Kenwyne Jones or Bolton's Davis? Old but still knows how to score goals. What about Beattie? All of these are better than Cole, and Maiga should be shown the exit door.''

by Micky
02:07PM 24th Sep 2012
''No way in a million years would I take Green back. I don't particulary like Jussi but Green left for money. Tired of having people at the club just for money, we done that and look where it got us - relegated and over 100m in debt. So no thank you.

Maiga I don't think is going to cut it. He's another Cole in my eyes.''

by Bart Fusco
01:58PM 24th Sep 2012
''My fellow West Ham supporter, be thankful we are still in existence and have a club. SUGO are doing more than can be expected in clearing our massive debt and trying to maintain our Premier League status!''

by Graham De Roy
12:27PM 24th Sep 2012
''Michael Owen would have been a great acquisition 10 years ago but he's been in decline ever since - just see how many games he actually plays for Stoke. Sam Baldock would be a much better prospect. ''

by Punched and Drunk
12:25PM 24th Sep 2012
''Strange article from the start. But I really must take issue with the criticism of this Board in terms of engaging with supporters.

If you were born in the Fifties then can you name any board in your time who has done more? Neither of our Chairmen are camera shy, Gold even Twitters! I don't think business at the club has ever been more transparent.

It's not even a question of "would you swap them for Brown or the Icelandics"... just that I am very happy that our current Chairmen have the best interests of WHU at heart. Of course they could be richer, but I don't believe they could be any more committed.

Moaning about who we didn't bring to the club completely ignores the quality that has come in and the financial commitment to Carroll. Jarvis was magnificent when he came on at the end Saturday, I am pleased to see Yossi back, Diame has been magnificent, Collins is either top class or a duffer in turn but undoubtedly a strong addition, and we have yet to see the talented Diarra.

Really looking forward to Wigan game, get to see a few of the fringe players and some of the young guns pressing. Briliant! COYI.''

by Chase
11:28AM 24th Sep 2012
''i think you'll find Green was not "let go" - Gold and Sullivan offered him exactly the same terms and money as QPR were offering but he wasn't happy at West Ham for some reason unknown and that was the reason he decided to leave.

He was an idiot to believe the grass would be greener on the other side, and this is his reward. He was a good 'keeper yes, but not amazing, and he was always rude to the fans waiting outside before and after the game. Good riddence to him.

Of course I wish we had a better calibre of goalkeeper as a replacement, but I feel Jussi will improve again with game time, as he is already showing, and Henderson is a more than adequate second for now.''

by sibbo
11:22AM 24th Sep 2012
''You say be more like Levy but he is being backed by a billionaire. West Ham owe 100 million quid, be thankful we've got the present owners who care about the club. Do you want them to go out and spend like the Icelanders? Look where that got us. Thank God you're not in charge at West Ham.''

by Dave Day
11:13AM 24th Sep 2012
''You're dreaming mate, why dont you sell your house and put that in the West Ham war chest? Up to now they've done enough, another dreamer who thinks money grows on trees.''

by 50pence
11:00AM 24th Sep 2012
''Owen? You can't be serious... and as for Hitzlsperger we've been there, done that AND got relegated. Next you'll be asking for Robbie Keane and Wayne Bridge.

Oh, and we didn't 'let' Green go.. HE QUIT for pastures greener (no pun intended) only to discover that the new 'pasture' was actually CONCRETE painted green!! lol.

Why no 'big-name' signings? Err we're broke..NEWSFLASH.''

by DocH
10:57AM 24th Sep 2012
''I'm totally bemused by John Rolls' article. Has he not been around for the last half dozen years as WHU have racked up tens of millions in debt? He writes as if we should be able to sign anyone we want to, regardless of transfer fees, wages, etc. Inevitably we will sometimes be outbid for players.

It's nothing but hubris to insist WHU should be a top-six club; we simply don't have the resources realistically to compete at that level. I for one will be quite happy for us to be "also-rans", as long as we're Premier League also-rans.

It's a bit difficult to accuse the board of lack of ambition as they go hell for leather to secure the Olympic Stadium. Perhaps, too, John has not seen the posts insisting that the Carroll deal was entirely funded out of Gold/Sullivan's own pockets?

There is also an air of unreality about some of John's specific demands. Owen, it seems, whether he really has got anything left in him, wanted to stay near his Cheshire base; Hitzlsperger was one of the first high-wage players to be shown the door by Big Sam; we didn't "let" Green go: he wanted to leave to secure a multi-million signing-on fee from QPR.

We all want the club we love to do well, but desire has to be tempered with realism. And just occasionally, the board should be given credit where it's due.''

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