Now the dust has settled on the first period of the Premier League season and the World Cup in full swing, I catch up with ExWHUEmployee to discuss the goings on at the club.
Ex I have to ask about the news that Kurt Zouma has required an operation in what is a massive blow. What can you tell us?
Zouma has been carrying an injury for most of the season which has been clear for anyone that attends the games to see. It has affected his ability to run and really slowed him down.
He has a bad knee, this was picked up in the initial medicals when he signed and why it took so long to get the deal originally done because the club had their concerns. In the end it was decided that we would try and managed these injuries.
He picked up the same injury last year and there was a massive dilemma as to whether he would need an operation then, Zouma was quite adamant he would like to recover the natural way, as in resting the knee. This was originally decided as the course of action to happen with this time round. With a big gap before the Arsenal game it seemed logical.
Then after doing some light fitness work and further tests the decision was then changed to need an operation. How long the player is out for nobody knows, the club included. The information I obtained about being available for the Boxing Day game came right from the very top and shows that initially this was the plan and the same plan had been shared with many other media outlets.
The decision was then changed during the week. A week is a long time in football and anything can happen. A positive is Zouma has recovered quicker than expected in the past and hopefully this could be the case again. Without any evidence though I would now imagine the game against Arsenal is much more unlikely to see his return in now.
It’s gutting but as you say hopefully he’ll recover quickly. Does this injury mean the club will be forced to act in January?
Quite possibly. Although realistically we do have 4 centre backs with: Dawson, Ogbonna, Aguerd and Kehrer (although he had been playing right back). Cresswell and Johnson have also covered there too.
It would mean that if Kehrer does switch back to a centre back, Johnson, Coufal and possibly even Ashby (although I do suspect he could go in January still-as covered in previous articles) now have a motivation to establish themselves as right backs.
Ex many fans witnessed Lucas Paqueta play in a different role for Brazil in their World Cup opener and produced a stunning display. What were your thoughts on the performance and position he was utilised?
We have mentioned that this is the case with Brazil many times on the podcast and that we would like to see him replace Soucek in this role for the club.
It could even be a solution to swap the two around and see if Soucek can capture the form he showed when he won Hammer of the Year. I really hope Moyes sees this for Brazil and pushes Paqueta more central for us. He has that position for the great Brazilian national side, it makes sense he plays that for us.
Lastly Ex how are you enjoying the World Cup break and one that not in the middle of a transfer window?
I have absolutely loved having the break. I have deliberately taken time off where I haven’t chased news or checked my phone constantly.
No team news, no transfers and no West Ham poor form to think of has been great for my mental health. Despite a few of the usual faces trying to make something of the club announcing Zouma’s operation before I had but to be honest I just feel sorry for them rather than be bothered by them nowadays.
Of course for my section on the podcast I’ve found things out to keep it alive but not as religiously as I do during the season. It’s harder to find information out now, during this World Cup break, even if I tried because many of the staff are on holidays and not at the training ground and of course this includes the players.
As shown with Zouma, the news from the club, was a surprise to many of the staff too because the current situations are not being seen at the training ground. It has made me think perhaps it is time to change what I do and not be so keen to get news and be “ITK” anymore because I have enjoyed the break so much. It would be really good for people to appreciate that our Patreon service offers so much more than just news too.
We shall see how I feel I guess when everything is back to normal and to be honest I’ve considered this before and not stopped so I would imagine it’s unlikely! Maybe we can have a winter break every year? It has been discussed before….