With the Premier League season fast approaching and the club busy recruiting in the transfer window, I catch up with our ITK ExWHUemployee to discuss the latest happenings in East London.
Ex firstly thanks for taking your time out of your holiday to provide this update, we all appreciate it. It’s been a week of up’s and down’s in terms of summer recruitment, especially with the Jesse Lingard saga concluding. Can you provide us some positive updates?
It was a shame that the Lingard chase ended as it did but yes we do certainly have things to smile about. Gianluca Scamacca is now in London and will have his medical today. My understanding as of now is that should be concluded and officially announced by latest tomorrow.
This will mean he’ll be available to play against RC Lens on Saturday and be ready to face Manchester City the following Sunday. It’s a great signing and a statement too from the club, especially when you consider PSG, Juventus and Arsenal were all keen to sign him. It’s an exciting signing no doubt.
In terms of other targets, Kostic is certainly as of now the left-back option although I think he’s seen more of a left wing-back. This suggests a shift in formation possibly for next season. Its also worth noting that Aguerd can also slot in as a left-back if called upon.
If the move for Kostic proves unsuccessful we could move for Luke Thomas of Leicester and the club also admire Burnleys Max Cornet.
Ex this is the last time I shall ask you about this person, I promise! But can I get your final thoughts on Jesse Lingard and how it concluded with him opting to join Nottingham Forest.
For me I think question marks are there in terms of commitment when he clearly has chosen the money route over playing for a club with European football to offer, and if I were the England manager that would concern me. Personally I find the social media stuff quite immature too.
Jesse is of course entitled to do as he chooses, but my gut tells me the 1-year deal he’s signed means he’s looking at another pay day in 12 months, with the MLS likely to be his next destination.
The decision from him is strange though considering its a World Cup year and I like many are frustrated that he’s basically strung us along for such a long time. But what’s great about it is that’s now it – finally over and we can draw a line. Hopefully now the club are able to get a deal done for Zielinski over the line.
Ex our pre-season games haven’t been the prettiest to date, are you at all concerned with the performances ahead of us playing the champions Manchester City on the opening day?
No I am not at all concerned to be honest – I recall us winning all of our pre-season games one summer under Avram Grant then ended up getting relegated. Its all about fitness at this stage, also we haven’t been battered, we’ve just not played overly well.
It really doesn’t matter just as long as it clicks when we kick off against Man City!
You made an appearance on Sam Delaney’s podcast this week to talk mental health and in particular the impact social media trolls have on you, which was an emotional listen and it’s commendable that you opened up about these things. What can you tell us about that and the impact it has had.
I’ll be honest Mark I was actually worried about talking about my personal experience. My aim was hoping that it would make the trolls think more about their actions and the impact it has, although sadly I don’t believe my plan worked!
To anyone experiencing the same my advice is to just ignore although I know as well as any that is easier said than done. One things I have learnt though is to realise that the problem actually sits with them if they feel the need to abuse someone they don’t even know.
Also these people tend to target those in the hope to bring them down, so in that case you must be doing something right to be targeted! Nowadays I tend to avoid it all if I am honest, with Twitter being my only exposure to social networking.
In time trolls tend to get bored and move on so just do your best to ignore and carry on with what you’re doing. What I find sad is that the majority of the trolls who target me are Dads and Grandads, so rather than enjoy spending time with their children they opt to send me abuse, its very sad.
But to summarise yes it was actually great to speak up about it, and my advise to anyone reading this who may be experiencing the same is to stay strong, keep doing what you are doing and ignore them. They do eventually get bored and move on.
What myself and Sam would like to offer is for a troll, or someone who used to troll, a chance to talk to us on a show about it and what the drive is behind it. They of course can remain anonymous if they wish. If anyone is reading this and keen then please drop me a message.