Following a disappointing end to the week with defeat at Brentford, and as we now embark on another huge European night for our Hammers on Thursday, I sit down with our man-in-the-know ExWHUemployee to discuss all the goings on at the club.
Firstly Ex I wanted to ask about the current goalkeeper situation and in particular Fabianski’s deal with the club. Can you give an update and how things are looking going into the summer?
Yes well I can say that the extension to Fabianski’s deal is agreed in principle, so unless there is a dramatic change which is unlikely, then that should be confirmed by the club very soon. With regards to the summer, we will definitely be in the market for a new keeper, as Randolph will be leaving and the same possibly for David Martin, although he could still be kept on.
We could look also to extend Areola’s loan agreement but we also do hold a firm interest in Sam Johnstone. As of yet no final decision has been made.
I’m sure you’ve been delighted seeing the performances of Conor Coventry for MK Dons, what are your thoughts on him and being given a chance in the first team next season?
He’s done so well and I’m so pleased to see it after a disappointing spell at Peterborough, which I think was a bad fit for him. He’s now at a club more suited for him and also the manager Liam Manning has that West Ham connection too which I think helps.
Conor for me is the perfect replacement for Noble, not only is he homegrown plus its his desire to play for West Ham. Also he really listens to Moyes and respects him. Moyes assured him that going out on loan was right for him and he’s now flourishing at MK Dons.
People may say ‘oh but its League One’. Yes its a step up of course but just look at the players who have come from lower leagues to then excel in the Premier League. Antonio and Vardy just to name a couple. It’s his time now for me and as I said it’d be perfect him slotting in with Noble retiring and also Kral likely to depart.
It’s been widely spoken about already how big this summer is for the club, especially with the lack of business in January. What can you tell us about the ‘free’ market and are we likely to take advantage of the vast number of players who will be out of contract?
We will definitely be looking at that market, no doubt about it. A lot of players who we have been interested in before and have even bid large sums for will be available on a free, so I can see us making moves. The obvious candidates will be Jesse Lingard, who loved his time at the club, James Tarkowski is of course someone we have been linked with many times. Also Diaz of Blackburn could be one we go back in for.
Diaz although not techinically out of contract as Blackburn has a years extension option on him, will still represent good value for money.
Knowing how the club likes to operate and be cautious with not overspending, then it really is a given that if players we are keen on are out of contract then we will be looking to bring them in I am sure.
Although it’s still early days as we don’t even know if we’ll be in Europe next season yet so that will of course play a part in who would want to join us.
I’ve been asked by a lot of fans on an update on next seasons kit – anything you can tell us?
Yes well I can confirm that the kit is now designed. I am expected to get sight of these soon so once I do I’ll provide our Patreons an update on what they look like.
So far all I have heard is that the away kit is white, although I haven’t had this confirmed as yet. I’ll be sure to keep you posted!
Ok great I look forward to that! Finally Ex I wanted to touch on John Hartson, who was our first player in the new site feature ‘looking back’. What are your thoughts on him and anything you can share on possible news for Patreons?
It was such an incredible time when we signed Hartson and Kitson back in 1997, they both saved our season and just hit it off immediately which I cannot recall happening at any other time. It was such an incredible impact and honestly my favourite time looking back.
Hartson was just so powerful and brave, and the fans just took to him immediately. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him and he’s such a lovely bloke too. You have to admire how he’s handled things off the pitch aswell, with his cancer diagnosis, just a really amazing guy.
I know some will remember the Berkovic incident and it ending at West Ham rather under a cloud, but I will always have such fond memories of John.
I can also add to this Mark that Patreons will be soon given the chance to speak to Hartson, but I’ll just leave that there for now…