Hammers’ transfer business
As I was beginning to pen my thoughts, the news came through of Stewart Downing having a medical with us.
Stewart was a tremendous player for Aston Villa and whether it was the pressure or the price-tag it just didn’t work out for him at Liverpool but I do feel he could be a great signing for West Ham, if Big Sam puts his ‘arm’ around him.
Like all footballers, you need confidence and no doubt Downing’s will be shot-to-bits after his time at Anfield but if Sam can help him rediscover his Villa form then, at £5 million, we could have got ourselves a bargain.
As everyone knows, we have been looking for a back-up to Andy Carroll and that is the problem. Every striker that could potentially join knows they will be playing second fiddle to Andy; however, that being said, the big man is out injured at the moment so that could help us in our pursuit for another forward.
I would personally have liked to see us go for Udinese’s Matej Vydra, who impressed me greatly while on loan at Watford last season but it looks like he is off to West Brom.
I was disappointed to see Carlton Cole go and it now looks like we will struggle to replace him.
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Much like Downing, and any footballer to be honest, you need to get their head right and if we can with Ravel then he will be exciting and important player for us, hopefully for many seasons.
I know Manchester United were disappointed to see him go, but it was probably for the best that Morrison got himself out of that environment and he seems to be reaping the rewards of a fresh start.
It sounds like Ravel has carried on his impressive form for Birmingham City last season into pre-season and I hope he gets a chance this campaign.
West Ham’s targets for the season ahead
I have said it several times in previous columns and West Ham’s one and only target is, and should be, Premier League survival and stability.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see us go on a cup-run and have a day out at Wembley but if you look at Sam’s previous clubs, I don’t think that has really ever been in his management style.
When all is said and done, everyone has a chance of winning and we have been given a favourable draw in the Capital One Cup and combine that with the confidence that comes from winning games then we may well be back in the silverware.
It isn’t easy being reminded of my two substitute appearances for Millwall, you know being a Hammer an all, but I thought it was worth bringing up with former West Ham player Steve Lomas currently managing the club.
Once you become a footballer, you are a professional sporting athlete and like any career choice, it has to be the best one for you.
Joining Millwall wasn’t as hard as you’d expect, because at the time it was what was best for my family and my career and when making career decisions you have to be sensible and not let the passion of growing up as a lad at the Boleyn, cloud your judgement.
My only regret, perhaps, about joining at Millwall was that my career went out in a bit of a whimper but when I decided to leave Millwall and retire, I contacted the Hammers and they let me announce it at West Ham, so I guess no damage was done and I still have a great relationship with the West Ham fans now.
Tony Cottee was talking to Forever West Ham’s Editor
Tony’s book ‘West Ham: The Inside Story’ is out NOW and you can order a SIGNED copy from www.ex-hammers.com
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