Date:Friday August 31 2007
With the window nearly closed an although its not impossible, I'd doubt O'Neill will add more either way, but if he did I wouldn't be surprised, lets assess the new transfers.
First off we needed a driving force in midfield, someone able to do the job Gavin McCann has for some seasons but better and in Nigel Reo-Coker for 8 million O'Neill's achieved that. OK he may be on many a West Ham's fan hit list and still young to be saying he's a proven article but he does the job the advert asked.
Next came Martin Harewood who although not the prettiest footballer you'll see is a big and was a fast bustling centre forward. Ideally cast in the O'Neill mould he offers an option missing from the young strikers we have in addition to Carew, albeit far from a 20 goal guaranteed a season man and another many West Ham fans blame for their near miss with relegation, but still likely to offer options so badly missed last season
Then came Scott Carson, and I have to be careful here because those who look back on my previous posts will see I rate this bloke and had said he was part of a deal agreed some time back with Liverpool. Whether we needed him, whether upsetting Sorensen is a gain I know not, but we needed keeper cover anyone who saw last season appreciates that so job done. Would be nice if we had bought him mind but with O'Neill's lack of scouting knowledge in Europe, something the General says is being addressed good loan deal.
Next came Zat Knight, a local lad keen Villa fan, and someone I have an insight into as I have a close friend who coached at Luton. We all know with Ridgewell gone and Cahill's inexperience, Laursen's susceptibility to injuries and Mellberg's sometimes indifferent form of late cover at centre back was needed, I remember putting it top of my initial must have list. Well he's that is ZAT. Big lad, quick on the ground, good in the air, which O'Neill likes, not a top International class CB, but often thought likely to be one, at 3 million not a bad buy, I just wonder......
Today we got Curtis Davies from our friends in the black Country only on loan mind, not a real deal, he despite all the suggestions can still go back or somewhere come May. Another tall commanding centre rumoured to have some ability on the ground and but for Zat I'd say an ideal replacement or partner for Laursen. Again not a proven Premiership player, he probably has less Premiership games than Cahill, but he's tall and he commands and he was quick.
All in all decent business by O'Neill, nothing spectacular, nothing other than workmanlike players some with the potential to be far better, well in line with his past transfer trends.
I'm sure he's a happy man, nearly every position now has a player in it he can say is his man, every one of them all keen to fight for the cause and give 100%
He has real options across the field except in 2 positions and every player there are his picks, so from Martin O'Neill's view I'd say well done, not spent hugely, got players where he needs them, nearly, and improved the squad quality and strength, what more could he want ;)
Date:Friday August 31 2007
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