The transfer window is now closed. Liverpool weren’t involved in any last minute deals, so it was Skrtel arriving and Sissoko leaving, the papers have also suggested that the Mascherano deal will be tied up in the summer. There were also a few smaller moves involving us.
It’s probably significant that the arrival of Skrtel sees Jack Hobbs go on loan to Scunthorpe United. Hobbs made a few first team appearances this season and may have thought he had done enough to be considered more often. However Skrtel’s signing presumably drops him down the “pecking order”? Personally I would have liked to see Rafa take a chance on Hobbs in the way that Arsene Wenger has done with his younger players but I suppose playing Championship football with Scunthorpe, for this season at least, will give him good experience.
Also leaving us is Lee Peltier who goes to Yeovil on a three year deal for an undisclosed fee. Peltier was already on loan there. Most will probably remember Peltier for his appearance against Galatasaray in the Champions league last year. Meanwhile 16 year old Alex Cooper was signed from Ross County for 100k. Cooper is the son of former Aberdeen player Neale who said…
“He could have gone to one or two other clubs but he just loved the way he was treated by Liverpool when he was there.”
Encouraging to hear but one still wonders how many of these players will get the chance to break through. It would fantastic to see someone rise from the ranks aka Gerrard or Carragher and nail down a regular first team. Will Cooper do it or, like Hobbs and Peltier, find himself out on loan? It sounds horribly cynical but at least if they don’t make the grade chances are that we might be able to sell them, give them first team football at another club, and make a profit?
So to today’s game against Sunderland. Sadly there are a few West Ham fans at my work. For some reason they all wanted to talk to me on Thursday morning. I can’t think why! However, one of them who is a regular at Upon Park said that Sunderland, when they played their earlier this season, absolutely battered them. Eventually West Ham found their feet and won the game but this, plus confidence gained from their recent home form, should serve as a warning not to underestimate them. Not that we really should need reminding about this after the Havent game!
This game also sees the return of Mr Roy Maurice Keane to Anfield. Although he is no longer a Manc, it is still difficult to warm to him. Others, such as Mark Hughes and Steve “Doubtfire” Bruce have gone to “the dark side”, come through and seem not so bad now! However with Keane it is somehow different. Perhaps it’s his “hard man” image which just makes me laugh, I bet he wears a shower cap when he washes, hates spiders and paints his toenails! However, one certainly can’t quibble with the way he turned Sunderland around last season to take them up. This season he has his side playing well enough to suggest they should be ok.
Teamwise I can’t really see Rafa making too many changes from Wednesday night and with Everton at Blackburn, Man City and Portsmouth playing Arsenal and Chelsea respectively we can hopefully make good progress in the quest to secure fourth place. The last time Sunderland visited Merseyside Everton put seven past them however, I’d settle for much less so long as it’s three points. Anything less and perhaps Rafa will be in danger of starting to erode the goodwill he has accumulated because of “Klinsmanngate”? In fairness however how can you not like, or support, someone who comes out with this as he did yesterday…..
“This is a very, very special club and we are really lucky because we have the support of the best fans in the world. Whenever I speak to my friends who work in football in Spain they tell me how lucky I am to be manager of such a great club with such fans and I know that.
So when things are not going so well it is vital that everyone at the club does everything we can to make things better. We have to have pride in the shirt, pride in the club that we work for and pride in the fans that we represent. We cannot feel sorry for ourselves or wish that things were different because that changes nothing. The only way things will get better for us is if we make it happen.”
There is very little that can be added to that.
“Walk on” and have a good weekend.