September 1 2014 Latest news:
Tony Cottee, Recorder Columnist
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Hammers legend Tony Cottee thinks that Lacina Traore probably made the right decision in snubbing West Ham
Missing out on the signature of Lacina Traore last week despite all our best efforts and negotiations shows just how tough it is to sign players in the January transfer window.
It is another blow to the club and as a West Ham fans I am bitterly disappointed that we didn’t get our man, but I can understand why it happened.
Taking my West Ham hat off for a moment, I would ask myself as a player, ‘do I want to come to West Ham for a relegation battle? or shall I go to Everton and fight to get them in the Champions League this season?’.
When you look at it like that, there is only one decision to make and if a player doesn’t want to come here for a fight then we don’t really want him here anyway.
We still need players to strengthen the squad in this window, but with the likes of Winston Reid, James Tomkins and Andy Carroll coming back to full fitness soon, I still believe we have enough to avoid the drop.
Saturday’s game against Newcastle was a huge disappointment and I have to say that they were much the better team and could have been much more than 2-1 ahead at the break.
It was an interesting decision to play Matt Taylor at right back, especially when there was a right back on the bench and it certainly cost us, but I guess when injuries happen on the morning of games you have to make a quick decision and Sam went for experience.
In the end, we could even have got back level with two really good chances to make it 2-2. Carlton’s came to him on his left foot and he didn’t get enough on it, while Carroll’s came on his wrong foot too and he got too much on it!
Ravel Morrison didn’t seem to get into the game when he came on against Newcastle and it must be a symptom of all the conjecture surrounding him at the minute.
Even if it is not true, it can still affect a player, but I must say that selling him to a relegation rival like Fulham, even if we make 10 times what we paid for him would be a big mistake and one that will not go down well with the fans.
February will be the defining month
I’ve looked at the fixtures coming up and you have to say that February is likely to be the defining month for West Ham and their survival chances.
We have four games, three of them at home and they are all against teams in the bottom half of the table.
I think, with a lot of our best players coming back we have a real chance to push on in this month. Our best team is a match for all those sides in the bottom half, but it is our strength in depth that is lacking.
As I say, I think the squad is good enough to stay up, though picking three teams to go down out of about 11 teams is a hugely difficult task.
If I am put on the spot I will go for Sunderland, Crystal Palace and West Brom.