Thursday, August 27, 2009

West Ham Transfer Targets: Are They Coming?

After a horrific week at West Ham United, what better way than to get a boost from the transfer market. If the transfer rumours are to be believed, then there is a very high chance that three top players are coming to grace the stage that is Upton Park. Are there any credibility to these players strengthening the first team? Let's expect that Zola and Scott Duxbury are working towards closure.

These three top quality players are,
1. Eidur Gudjohnsen
2. Alessandro Diamanti
3. Marouane Chamakh

Let's look at each of them separately.

Eidur Gudjohnsen is nicknamed "The Iceman". He is possibly the best footballer that Iceland has produced. A veteran of the English Premier League with Bolton and then with Chelsea, he will be an experienced and best striking partner for Carlton Cole. He has a proven goal scoring record in the Premiership. He has been reduced to bit-part player since Pep Guardiola took over the reins and would be available on loan from Barca. Played with Zola at Chelsea and would love to return to the Premiership. A top addition to the Hammers' first team squad, if this storyline is true.
Make your own mind up by watching the video highlights of Gudjohnsen in action for Barcelona. This was compiled by namiska.

Alessandro Diamanti is a 26-year old Italian forward who had come good last season moving up from Serie C to Serie A. He scored 16 goals in Serie B last season, gaining promotion for Livorno. He has publicly pleaded with Livorno to let him go stating that "going to West Ham and the Premier League will be a dream come true". I find that a bit dramatic but there is no question that his ability and skills will surely help the Hammers. Described as a cross between Paulo Di Canio and Zola himself, he appears to be Francesco Totti-like i.e. Diamanti looks suited to play in the hole between midfield and attack. A great free kick taker and creator of goals but also someone who easily falls to ground at the slightest touch. The media suggest that it is a £5.7m signing payable over three years.
Watch video highlights of Diamanti in action for Livorno by piazzaxx and let me know what you think.

Marouane Chamakh is a French-born Moroccan international. He has 50 international caps, scoring 15 goals for Morocco. He is playing very well for French Champions, Bordeaux at the moment. Highly rated by Laurent Blanc, he has started the season well, scoring three goals in three matches. With a strike rate of 1 goal every 4 games, he does not seem prolific enough in my eyes. However, Chamakh is a super header of the ball and his dribbling skills is reminiscent of Cristiano Ronaldo. Looks a potentially top-class player. The Daily Telegraph rated the likelihood of him joining West Ham at 8/10 but I doubt this transfer will take place.
Video highlights of Chamakh by girondin92. Do watch the whole of the video.

Which of these three transfer targets are the more likely one or two? The media has also reported Goran Pandev and Massimo Oddo. Oddo is a player I like though aged. He could do a commendable job at rightback for sure. Whatever it is, there is no doubt that the first team is a little threadbare and will need reinforcements in the fullback and striker areas. Transfer window deadline is on Sept. 1st 5pm UK time. You can be assured that I will be looking out for the news of a West Ham signing. On a personal note, I would like to see Zola bring in Gudjohnsen on loan and sign Diamanti permanently. The more likely outcome would be only Diamanti donning the claret and blue of West Ham.

Going back to the violence at "The Battle of Upon Park", it has truly brought a terrible week to a head at West Ham. The potential career-ending stabbing of Callum Davenport, the tragic death of Jack Collison's father, the London derby loss and the pre-planned gang fight between Milwall and West Ham thugs (suspected to be from the infamous Inter City Firm) have brought a sense of solidarity and unity among the players, coaches, managers and fans.

I hope that the club can put this together and more importantly, find the thugs and prosecute them. Although these events have put football in the shade, the best way to display honour and respect is for the club to push on and have the best season that we can have. That said, although all of us football fans like a bit of intense rivalry, the FA should make an assessment on high-risk matches such as Milwall-West Ham and play them behind closed doors.

Instead of praises for the performance of Junior Stanislas and the resolve of Jack Collison, the football back pages were filled with bloody scenes and ugly confrontation. TheDA opines that no one actually remembered the scoreline due to the mayhem...well, it was a 3-1 extratime win for the Hammers.

For those who might want to know more about football hooliganism, this link explains about football firms.
There was also a 2005 movie called Green Street Hooligans, based on a story and screenplay by a reformed football hooligan, Dougie Brimson. The movie has a fair sense of realism and confirms that the gangs were not interested in football but just meaningless violence.

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