This week I again catch up with The West Ham Way’s very own ITK ExWHUemployee to discuss all the current goings on at the club.
Ex we have just come off the back of a frustrating draw to Burnley, but one thing that was evident was the display of their goalkeeper Nick Pope. What are your thoughts on him and is he someone we could possibly look at this summer?
It was yes another great performance from Pope, he’s a quality keeper no doubt and a reason he is amongst it in the England squad. I hear from inside the England camp he is very highly rated by all the players too. We have had interest in the past in him so I suspect we will be again this summer, especially with a lot of question marks over our keepers next season.
As of now Fabianski deal is agreed but not yet signed and a permanent deal for Areola is still not decided. Pope has spent a few years living in London when at Charlton so knows the area well, I am sure he wouldn’t mind returning south of the country again. Also, it’s worth noting that Burnley could get relegated meaning he’s highly likely to want to move on if that happens.
You mention Burnley and relegation but I thought they faired well against us, and not to mention their win over Southampton last night. What are your thoughts on the relegation battle and in particular Everton and of course Frank Lampard?
I’ll be honest Mark I think Everton are in massive trouble. Their fixtures are not pretty and you have to question the signings they have made to get them out of this, Deli Alli for instance. Lampard also isn’t used to this, ok maybe at West Ham when younger but he’s more used to competing for titles not scrapping for safety. Is he experienced enough? I am not sure. Whereas as you say look at Burnley now hitting some form, plus they are very much used to it. Most of their players have gone through this many times.
Another thing with Everton is the financial impact it’ll have on them. I know they have issues now so with the Russian investor, massive wages plus a possible relegation to add to it. They could find themselves in massive trouble. For me I think it’s between Everton and Burnley to join Norwich and Watford going down. Although Leeds could possibly get dragged into it.
Turning our attention back to West Ham and what should be a very busy summer, what are our plans do you know in terms of recruiting from the Championship as we have done many times before. Do you think we’ll be making moves there again?
I would say so yes. It’s a formula that has worked well for David Moyes and West Ham so often, just look at Bowen, Antonio, Cresswell and Benrahma. They have all stepped up well to this level so I think its something the club will explore again.
We have a keen interest in Brennan Johnson of Nottingham Forest and David Moyes recently went to watch Lewis-Potter of Hull, so both could be on the list as key targets this summer.
Many fans have asked me to ask about Andrea Belotti and the rumours circulating that we have made an offer for him as he’s a free agent this summer. Any truth in this?
Well I did hear this and therefore I spoke to my two top sources to find out, and no it isn’t true. Belotti was put to Moyes last summer and in January but he simply doesn’t think he’d fit our team and our style of play in the Premier League. Also it’s thought he is now in decline so no, I can confirm that we haven’t offered him a deal.
Finally, Ex we are going into another mammoth fortnight with a Europa League semi final plus huge London derbies. With this we have a crisis in defence with injuries, what are your thoughts in how we should deal with the situation?
It’s a nightmare situation really but for me I’d play Alese against Chelsea this weekend. At the end of the day he’s highly rated and he’s 21, he’s not a kid. He’s played for England from Under-16 level through to Under 20’s, not to mention loan stints at Accrington Stanley and Cambridge. He also played against Zagreb in the Europa League, so really for me this is a perfect time to step up.
Lets not forget we have been in similar situations before with throwing younger players in and they’ve done well, Diangana and Johnson spring to mind. Also if he does play he’ll be surrounded by experienced players in Cresswell and Dawson, not to mention Declan in the midfield. If he doesn’t cope against Chelsea then we can make changes for the semi final on Thursday. Chelsea is of course a big game, but with their home form of late I think it would be the perfect time to test Alese at this level.