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January Sales at Upton Park!


Guest Gary Loughran
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Guest Gary Loughran

Well the January Sales are picking up momentum at Upton Park. The following squad trimmers are currently under the hammer at remarkably fair prices. This isn't a fire sale by any means. In fact it represents good business and they do seem sensible. I've highlighted some of the stories doing the rounds below.

Matt Etherington - £3.5/4 million to Stoke. A great bit of business for West Ham. Etherington hasn't feartured for a while, stories of minor injury masking a gambling addiction have been common place for the last few weeks. When he has featured he has looked weighed down. Allegations that he had to go to West Ham for a £300K loan highlight the extent of his gambling (if true). Pulis believes that getting Etherington away from London will rejuvenate him and distract him from betting. I hope he is right. Good luck to Matty.

Luis Boa Morte - £2 million to Hull - Another decent bit of business for West Ham. Boa Morte scored the odd goal and looked OK every so often. However, he has never justified the money West Ham pad for him originally. Nowadays he takes a place on the bench the maybe Kyel Reid or another good young player could have. An unusual buy for Hull - they are built around solidity and hard work - not attributes immediately indentifiable with Luis.

Calum Davenport - £2.5/3.5 million to Bolton - A month ago I would've said this was blinding business, now I'm not so sure. Since Calum has returned to the team he has looked more mobile and assured than Collins. His departure would leave us only Tomkins in reserve. I've no doubt his loan spell was beneficial, but I would be nervous at the moment about Tomkins given his propensity to error. Apparently though davenport told Zola - If I'm not playing then I'm not f***ing sitting on the bench prior to the Stoke game. After playing and looking excellent in a draw at Anfield, a freak defeat at Villa and a win at Portsmouth - Davenport could be rightfully annoyed at not getting a start when Collins returned, but should not have expressed it like that. Unfortunately by that stage, I feel, West Ham had already decided he wasn't good enough. Good luck to him.

Lee Bowyer - Birmingham - Off to join Quashie at Brum. I've always liked Lee Bowyer and I know I'm in a minority in that. Though he has lost that ability to go box to box, he still always gave everything in every game. Sometimes it wasn't good enough but that's the way it goes sometimes. I wish him well.

Julien Faubert - Rangers - Allegedly Rangers are looking at him after Nantes were put off by his wage demands. Given that Celtic and Rangers are awful teams playing in a terrible league Julien will love it up there. Additionally Rangers only play about 5-6 hard games a year - even he could manage to look good in a few of the others...couldn't he??? I fear not.

Lucas Neil - AC Milan - A flyer I think. We have no right back cover as it is and he can fill in the middle if anyone gets injured. He was spotted at the AC Milan training ground and has been mysteriously absent since picking up 'an injury' at half time in the Portsmouth game. Intuitivley I suspect that something was said at HT in that game which became a disciplinary matter. Maybe I've just been on the JFK forum too much though ;)

It seems the club really is trying to keep Green, Parker, Bellamy and Upson at the club. All the outfield players are 29-30 (I think) and £12-15 million offers would be hard to turn down. I think we absolutely need some continuity in the team and these guys provide that spine. If they did go it is imperative that the money is given straight to Clarke to buy someone with.

It seems we will tie up Ilunga, which isn't bad news. He has come on leaps and bounds lately and is now an average left back. He could go either way in the future - like a marriage this could be for better or worse.

Nani is believed to have arranged deals for two Brescia teenagers (1 very highly rated) to come to West Ham.

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Thank you for this interesting summary. Etherington’s gone and the Bowyer deal is close to being signed. Both good players on their day but were clearly squad members who Zola can afford to sell. It will also give opportunities for players such as Kyel Reid. I saw him play for Blackpool against Wolves the other night and he looked more than useful. He also had a good game against Villarreal in the pre-season friendly.

The Davenport case is interesting. Zola had to take this stand to show he is the boss. His personality will guarantee that his authority will be challenged in this way, and Davenport is someone he could afford to sacrifice. Even so, I don’t think he will be sold until the end of January in case Upson is prised away. I rate Davenport and unlike most of the others up for sale, could do a good job for a premiership side.

I hope Boa Morte does go to Hull. I disagree with you about his work-rate. However, his confidence is gone and he needs to get away. Maybe Hull is the right club for him, but Brown will need a long memory to be interested in him.

I cannot see any club willing to pay the wages that Neill and Faubert are demanding and unless West Ham subsidize them, I fear they will continue to be at Upton Park.

I expect Parker to go to Manchester City. It is claimed he is being offered £100,000 a week by Hughes. The best we can hope is getting someone like Michael Johnson or Daniel Sturridge in exchange.

Apparently, Bellamy wants to get away but because his family are settled in the area he wants to go to a London club. I cannot see Spurs buying him after they signed Defoe. I don’t see him being wanted by Arsenal. I suspect he will also go to Manchester City.

I expect we will get a couple of Italians on loan. Hopefully they will be young and promising rather than old and burnt-out.

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Stoke boss Tony Pulis has interesting way of describing his club's transfer policy. After signing Matthew Etherington, he said: "We are not at Crufts, we are at Battersea Dog's Home. We go looking for strays, get them in and cuddle them." It seems that Etherington did not feel loved at West Ham. I think Pulis has taken on more than he can cope with. I don't think a move away from London will end his compulsive gambling.

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Guest Gary Loughran

It seems Davenport to Bolton is in the balance, if not dead. They have signed Frechman Stephane Puygrenier from Zenit St Petersburg on laon until the end of the season. This reduces the likelihood they will take up the option of Davenport.

Neil looks certain to stay. Having read his 'Captains blog' on the official site, he states he picked up an injury in the Portsmouth game and was rested for Barnsley in the Cup.

I have read the Bellamy story also and am sceptical that he'll be allowed to leave, especially to S***s. As you've said this represents too big a gamble if his goals fire S***s to safety, and puts us further in the mire.

Interestingly, The Mail (I think that's the right paper) is running a story that Zola will have to sell everyone at the end of the season and rebuild the team from scratch. I imagine that is only under current ownership and subject to change.

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