Written by Steven McCarthy
Make no mistake, this is a huge window for us!
As a football club we managed to avoid relegation in our first season at our new home and being honest, it was touch and go for us at times and something that many of us were really fearing! We were told numerous times how relegation would be disastrous for us, and how we would be using the best retractable seating to make the London Stadium feel like home. But regardless of your views on the end product for the venue, I think a great transfer window could and really could have helped build the foundations to cement The London Stadium as our home.
Last season we were met with months of rumours and pursuits of big name strikers, promises of 20 goal a season players and bids of numbers unlike anything we had ever previously seen as a club! In the end, there was nothing even remotely close to this, and I find myself wondering just how much that effected the fans and the transition into the London Stadium. When you have a player or players of quality, then every single week, everything around the club seems that little bit better!
We only have to look at the Payet effect of his time here and how when we knew what a quality player he was, detracted from the sadness of leaving The Boleyn. And it made the atmosphere at every game home and away that little bit more exciting knowing that we had such quality on the pitch! Imagine if we had gone into the new stadium with a Michy, Bacca or a Lacazette leading the line…
Fans would be going into every match with a sense of optimism, the atmosphere would be one of excitement, and the supporters are more likely to make there voices heard. I think ending up with a striker who was less of a “name” and let’s face it, quality!
In the form of Zaza, hurt us to a point that we only really saw come to boil with a certain Snake.
Now what that slimey creature did is well documented, and we can never say for sure wether improved results on the pitch would have kept Payey happy. But if we had signed a big striker, someone prolific, who would really make us a scary prospect for teams, I think you can begin to call it into question. However what I do know is that as fans, having a quality striker would have created so much more positivity in and around the club and Stadium. Problems on pitch can even seem smaller when you know that you have that player up top who can knick you a point or two at any moment! Tevez is probably the player I think epitomises this for me as a fan during my time going to matches and really beginning to understand football. We were having a terrible season, but when Tevez was on the pitch everything seemed that bit better!
Pressure on the whole team is lifted somewhat when you know that you have an outlet or a spark in the side. And not just from the stands, if you have a prolific striker then issues such as Goal Keeping errors and the invisible Right Back are made that little bit smaller. But only if you have a striker who consistently produces! I am not saying that they have to scare every game, but they certainly need to be fit to play the majority of them.
Sakho is a lost cause, I think if we cannot sell him which seems the sad case, then we simply need to terminate his contract.
And in my opinion, I would sell Carroll as soon as possible. I love the work rate he shows and I cannot criticise him one bit as a footballer, but I simply cannot see him playing football in anything other than a cameo role from here on.
The Andy Carroll injury guess game was horrible for us last season. We all know what he is capable of on his day!
But when you have only 3 strikers with Premier League goals and experience in your ranks, one of who’m suffers a nasty long term injury at the start of the season, another who simply seems to be made of tracing paper, and somebody who seems to be as toxic in and around the grounds as he is behind the wheel of a Lamborghini, then you really lose that optimism for Match Day!
This Window is a chance for us to undo the mistakes we made and bring that optimism back! We need to spend and spend well, which unfortunately in this market means spending big! 25 million for Iheanacho, 20 or so for Giroud and a loan with a fee for Michy seems like the best options, 45-50 million is not a lot in todays market for a team looking to finish in the top half. Which I know, sounds absolutely daft, but to put it into context Leicester City spent 30 million on Slimani and Everton are spending over 50 million on Pickford and Klaassen.
If we go into next season with a dream striker selection of Giroud, Iheanacho and Michy can you imagine the buzz each week?
I am not saying for a second that I believe we will get all 3, but if ever there was a chance for the owners to right the wrongs of last Summer and take a big step toward making the Olympic Stadium a proper new home for us, this is it!