No news is, well, boring . . .

With the World Cup dominating football headlines, there has not been much substantial news on the West Ham team and transfer fronts.  The tourney has been whittled down to the final eight teams, and looks to wrap up within the next two weeks.  A number players who have participated have indicated that they did not want to discuss transfers or new contracts while the tournament was ongoing, but now that twenty four teams have been eliminated speculation can begin as to who is heading where.  Most European contracts are set to expire on June 30th or July 1st, officially opening the summer transfer window (though in England the window opened at the end of the 2009-2010 season) until August 31st.  Expect the rumors to start flying, and for West Ham to be linked with an overwhelming number of players, of which only a couple may realistically sign with the club.  At the same time, be assured that Davids Sullivan and Gold will be looking to unload some of the overpaid earners on the club to further reduce the wage bill and lessen the club’s debt.

There can be some hope drawn from the names that West Ham have been linked with, even if they are still rumors.  Signing Thomas Hitzlsperger was a solid beginning, bringing in a player who has been internationally capped, is well regarded in terms of temperament, and is still in the prime of his career.  It may be flattering to considered by players such as Joe Cole, Thierry Henry, and Juan Roman Riquelme, but it may not be realistic to sign one high wage earner at the cost of much needed team depth.  The prudent move would be to sign a couple young players who can contribute to the team this season, rather than spending the money of an already limited budget on just one high profile signing.  The balance between paying a high transfer fee and high player wages needs to be struck to prevent another meltdown of Icelandic proportions.  West Ham do not need to punch above their weight class.  While it would be nice to sign an Henry or a Cole, fans must keep in mind that West Ham is not yet challenging the upper echelon of the Premier League for titles or European places.  With proper direction, the team can improve on and off the field, and in the future may be a serious influence in the league.  For now, the club needs to consolidate and not flirt with relegation every four years.  Start with consistently finishing in the top 10 of the league, deep runs in domestic cups, and appearances in the Europa League to bring the club some modern prestige to go with an already rich history.  After that it can be onwards and upwards, but until then, one step at a time.

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~ by ar_sage on June 30, 2010.

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