Looking forward to Christmas fixtures
I joked on my Twitter account that I wanted a league table for Christmas, but the reality is I find myself using any spare moment to look at the current standings on my smartphone. To be fourth going into Christmas really is amazing. Of course we face two tough games now with the visit to Chelsea and the home game against Arsenal and this will be a real test. I am pleased that Chelsea will play their game tomorrow night so they will have less time to recover – maybe they could pick up the odd knock and suspension to help further. We should not fear Arsenal and if league position + form is anything to go by we should be considered favourites.
A solid victory
The performance on Saturday wasn’t our most impressive but we still got a comfortable win in the end. I thought our forwards were a constant threat and the more they play together the more this partnership can only get better. Alex Song, as usual, controlled the midfield and is such a class act. You can tell this by the fact that the opposition spent most of the first half fouling him. I thought Winston Reid had one of his better games recently and Adrian made three world class saves. The keeper has been brilliant in recent months and his shot stopping has to be right up there with some of the best in the league.
Henry could be joining soon
As I explained in last week’s column, and has since been confirmed by Sam, we will probably only sign younger players on a low wage if we sign anyone in January, unless other players leave. I mentioned we would be signing players that we could develop and this is the case with Doneil Henry – a Canadian 21-year-old centre back. He has been on trial with us a couple of times in the past and was recommended to Sam by his former player at Blackburn, Ryan Nelsen, who manages Toronto. The player is 6 foot 2 and seen as a potential long term replacement for the departing Winston Reid. The main problem with the deal is whether he will secure a work permit and there is some complications over his ownership as well. All in all this is the sort of signing I think we should be going for, if the squad remains the same we do not need many news players unsettling things. Henry is a player with potential and will be unlikely to feature this year unless injuries say otherwise.
We need a new centre back to cover which Henry will provide and I think we need a new goalkeeper lined up to replace Jussi when he inevitably departs at the end of the season. I would also like us to loan (if we cannot buy) another midfielder. With Song and Kouyate potentially going to the African Nations I think it leaves our midfield a little short. I am not a Nolan hater like a lot on here but he really was our weakest link against Leicester and I do not think we can rely on him for the whole of that African Nations period. Our squad is strong; to think the likes of Jarvis, Vaz Te, Demel and Poyet cannot make the bench shows our strength so we do not need major purchases.
I wrote a tweet saying which stories to not bother reading over and over again and unfortunately there will be a lot of this over January. There isn’t likely to be many stories that are accurate regarding transfers, but of course it is transfer news which gets retweets and visits to websites. Whether they are accurate or not they will be reported over and over again. This is not what I, or Liam at Iron Views, stand for. We try to report on what we know has substance rather than to create interest without fact. I am approaching almost two years on twitter now and have enjoyed interacting with everyone a great deal. I would like to wish all Hammers reading this a great Christmas and unless there is any breaking news before I shall write the next column on Boxing Day, after our top of the table clash!