With the summer transfer window is now in full swing and West Ham having made our first capture, I catch up with our man-in-the-know ExWHUemployee to discuss the latest happenings at the club and also get Ex to set to record straight on some ridiculous criticisms…
Ex, our first signing is in the bag! Aguerd is now officially a West Ham player after typical drama in recent days. Relieved to have him in a Irons shirt at last?
Yes it’s most definitely a relief to have him sign for the club. We reported this initially on Patreon back in May so it’s dragged on a bit, however there were a few reasons for this. The main one being the international break, with the club rightly waiting until that concluded before completing the deal in case Aguerd picked up an injury.
Then the drama as you say came late on with Newcastle making an offer to try and hijack the deal. So yes its great that its now over the line. This is important too as he was a top target for Moyes and now hopefully more big names will follow. I can say that Patrick Kelly is next in line and should be confirmed soon.
On the subject of others to follow, could you provide an update on the talk of us possibly making a double move for Watford duo Dennis and Sarr?
Well there is potential for a double swoop for both players, although that hasn’t yet been decided. Both players fit in well with Moyes style of play, with them being direct and have plenty of pace.
Also Dennis has the attributes to fit into the Antonio role, so he’s definitely someone the club are looking at. However I believe now the club are weighing up options before making firm moves.
Another striker who’s name has been mentioned recently is Youssef En-Nesyri of Sevilla. What can you tell us about a potential move for him?
We actually bid previously for En-Nesyri last summer, and yes he’s now back on the radar as Sevilla are looking to sell. My understanding is that despite the previous bid, Moyes is not overly sold following a season where his form dipped.
Even against us in the Europa League he didn’t play overly well, so at this stage I’d be surprised if Moyes was to fork out a lot for him. The added nugget now with him though is that he’s an international teammate of Aguerd, so there is always the possibility both could settle better. But again I believe the club are looking at other options first.
A player who we have reported for some time and who we still do have a firm interest in is Broja of Chelsea.
Ex for this section I get many questions from fans surrounding transfers, I dread to think how busy you must be! Is this the busiest period for an ITK?
Yes! Summer is definitely a busier time than normal. Transfers are something people want to know about and be updated on all of the time, so I am always working hard especially with things changing so often. Funnily enough though most of my time is spent denying stories of others, which I don’t think most people realise.
As an ITK, yes being able to report news first is important but for me it’s more about being accurate. I have a firm two source rule before posting any news, so to make sure what we provide our Patreons is correct. I’d rather spend time getting things confirmed for our community rather than post based on gossip.
So yes transfer season certainly keeps me busy, but we also have other things to report like kits, friendly dates and not to mention recording shows daily with Dave Walker, former players and of course our Transfer Show.
Talking of the kit Ex, can I have your verdict on the new home one, which has divided opinion! Also can you give us an update on the away and 3rd?
I actually like the new home one. I have seen in the flesh at the club shop and thought it was much better up close. I’ll be honest though I am not one of those who is overly fussed, I’m more interested in how they play.
Although with this one is does bring back happy memories, as the early 90’s design it is based on is the 2nd kit I was bought when I was a young lad.
With the others it’s my understanding the new away kit will be released next and that will be soon. That one is all black and the 3rd will follow which as I have said previously is white and orange.
One thing that we want to discuss Ex is the criticism you sometimes face from a minority of fans for the work that you do. So to set the record straight, what do you say to people that say you putting news out alerts other clubs on targets?
Mark do you really think that multi billion pound organisations log onto our Patreon to work out who they’d like to sign this summer? These clubs have huge scouting networks and pay people big money to identify their targets.
Clubs actually work in a network where all are alerted to any players that may be available, and not to mention their agents speaking on their behalf too. Believe me no signing is a surprise. There are so many people involved it’s actually easy to get reliable news, as we are proving with our new Transfer Show.
How about the suggestion that no other clubs have these types of leaks?
Well as I have said above, they do. I am able to accurately report news on other clubs without the level of sources as I do for West Ham. It’s easy once you know credible people from forums etc.
There are many newspapers, TV and radio shows which are all related to transfers. If I were to stop the news would still be out there.
When you say level of sources, do you have a pool of people then? As I see that some say ‘Ex only gets his info from so and so!’ What can you say to that?
Yes Mark this is common, and the regular one I get is that I get all of my information from David Sullivan. Now again, my sources are wide ranging and I speak to different people from different areas within the club.
So as you can imagine I have to make various calls to piece together information from various people so to get the news accurate and correct.
A criticism you and Dave have faced is regarding the Patreon membership and some saying why are you charging for content.
Well firstly to this, the ‘news’ element is just a small part of what we offer. We produce 6 podcasts every week and many other features. Having to pay for this is nothing new and many others do the same. Before the internet people used to pay for fanzines like Over Land & Sea, but this is similar but just in a different form of media and technology.
Myself and Dave do this full time and have young families to provide for. We put in so much work to deliver for our Patreon family and for £5 a month I genuinely believe it is fantastic value for money.
It is worth baring in mind I did this for free whilst working another job for 11 years, and to be honest the same people criticised then. What we have created with Patreon really is something special for West Ham fans, its a real positive community.
But I’ll be honest Mark, I miss the old days too. Back when you used to find out a transfer in the paper, the days before phones, social media. The glory days of the 80’s & 90’s! However time has moved on and social media in particular is huge in football, as it is in many parts of life these days.
At the end of the day, the stories will always make it out there, as I have said I spend more time denying the nonsense rumours than actually putting news out.
One I sometimes see from trolls on Twitter is that you don’t have sources and you are in fact a fraud. What do you say to that?
They say that I am a fraud, yet they are the ones usually who moan that I put news on Patreon. If it’s all made up why would they care what is on Patreon?
Every window I get the same thing and by the end of the window once more I’ve proven I am accurate with my news and content. You’d think after 12 years people would accept it rather then try to pretend I’ve lost sources? It’s odd behaviour and to be honest I have more sources now than ever before!
Also I am not an arrogant person and what I strive to do, like Dave and all who work for The West Ham Way, is provide quality content for our fanbase.
Some have suggested that David Moyes has now shut down leaks and this has hampered you?
I can categorically say that isn’t true at all. If people knew one of my sources they would most definitely retract that comment!
At the end of the day I am a West Ham fan and want what is good for the club, as well all do. As I have said the news will always get out anyway. We provide our Patreons with accurate up to date news and much more, and what we report will always end up in the mainstream by others at some point.
The thing is I actually hold back on a lot of news that I know to protect the club.
It’s sad and somewhat strange some of the things that are written about me by a small group of people. But for the vast majority, we are well supported in what we do and we are incredibly grateful for that.
My message is if you don’t like what we do, then move on and ignore it. The more it’s talked about the more the focus is on us.