Thursday, June 21

Absolutely Fabianski

My Swansea-supporting pal Huw thinks we've got a good goalkeeper and a decent bloke in Lukasz Fabianski. He was regularly serenaded by Swansea fans with chants of "we've got a big Pole in our goal!" and after relegation he shed genuine tears as the fans implored him to stay. Fabianski also thanked his neighbours for treating him as a person and not a footballer. 

He spent four years in Swansea's goal and during that time made more appearances than any other Premier League goalkeeper, missing only three games. Football365 also has some impressive stats. Over the last three seasons Fabianski has made 369 saves, more than any other PL goalkeeper and he's also come out top in shots saved from both inside and outside the box. Those figures may be slightly skewed by he fact he's played more games than his rivals, but still indicate he's a pretty good goalkeeper. And if he wants to keep up his reputation as a fine shot-stopper he'll get plenty of practice at West Ham…

Wednesday, June 20

Hammers double swoop for Fabianski and giant stopper Diop

Proof that West Ham and Manuel Pellegrini mean business in the transfer market this summer has come with the double signings of Issa Diop and Lukasz Fabianski. Diop has cost a club record £22 million from Toulouse (though Arnie cost £20 million plus add-ons amounting to an eventual £24 million). Centre back Diop is a good age at 22 and will be the tallest player at the club at 6ft 4ins, bigger even than Andy Carroll. 

Issa made his debut at 18 and at just 20 was named club captain so he's clearly got leadership qualities. Toulouse only just avoided relegation last season but Diop is a fine prospect having already starred for France's Under-19 side. You wonder if this might spell the end for Winston Reid, whose body is creaking a little, with Diop partnered by either or both Ogbonna and Rice. But the club now have four quality centre backs, which is essential in the Premier League.

Polish international Fabianski won the FA Cup with Arsenal and has had four fine seasons at Swansea — he was the club's player of the season last time round. He's 33, but an underrated keeper and a decent signing. If he can play for another three seasons then £7 million is a fair price. If Adrian stays there's going to great competition for the number one spot — though I do fear that after two seasons of moves to replace him Adrian might be on his bike. 

Pellegrini has noted WHU's terrible defensive record and acted. With the signings of Ryan Fredericks, Diop and Fabianski the club has strengthened in three key positions. Sullivan and Gold have spent £29million so far, though it should be remembered that the club made a profit in the January transfer window through the sales of Ayew and Fonte, so there's still a lot of money left from our TV revenue. Now Pellegrini has to do something about the midfield absence of Manuel Lanzini, but he's made a promising — and early — start in the transfer market. 

Monday, June 18

Chicharito's on fire

Congratulations to a tearful Chicharito on Mexico's great World Cup victory against Germany. Hernandez had a fine game, leading the line superbly and playing the through ball for the winning goal. Hard to believe he is a West Ham reserve striker. As my pal Matt texted: "It's all very well destroying the world champions but you've got to do more than that to get into a David Moyes team." I have some sympathy for Moyes in that he was trying to solidify a poor defence in a relegation struggle, but watching this, you think Pellegrini must be seeing Chicharito as central to his plans. Javier needs reassuring that he'll play most games. He's too good a goalscorer to let go.

It's been a good tournament for West Ham links. We've seen Javier Mascherano still turning out for Argentina, Portugal's Jose Fonte getting bullied by Diego Costa, Joao Mario coming on a sub for Portugal and 33-year-old Valon Behrami still looking super-fit for Switzerland. Plus a much more-relaxed looking Slaven Bilic starring as a pundit.

Friday, June 15

I heard a rumour…

I know it's that time of the season, but according to the press today West Ham are about to sign Lucasz Fabianski and Alfie Mawson from Swansea City, Chris Smalling from Man United, Mario Gotze from Borussia Dortmund, Lazio's Brazilian Felipe Anderson, Jack Wilshere from Arsenal, Barcelona's Marlon Santos and Toulouse defender Issa Diop. Which would give us a hell of a squad. So in reality we'll probably end up with Australia's 38-year-old Tim Cahill if he has a half-decent World Cup…

Thursday, June 14

Super Mario is Director of Football

But WHU do now have a new Director of Football. He's Manuel Pellegrini's old mate from his Malaga days, Mario Husillos. As someone said on Facebook, he looks a bit like an older Robbie Williams. Mario's from Argentina but also has good Spanish links, so we could be in for some interesting signings. It seems David Sullivan has finally relinquished control of player purchasing and Husillos will have "complete strategic control" of recruitment. This is the right thing to do and what the fans have been asking for. And if it all goes wrong, at least we'll have a nw person to complain about.

It's all kicking off at Anfield

The fixtures are out and West Ham kick off the 2018-19 season with an easy fixture way to Liverpool. We won't even have the hope of playing against a dodgy keeper if Klopp makes the predicted big signing. First home game is Bournemouth, which is winnable, but it's a difficult start with Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United in the first six games. Still, we're too good to go down…

Wednesday, June 13

West Ham-themed stamps?

Good to see that the Royal Mail has issued some West Ham-themed stamps featuring Dad's Army. There's even one of Captain Mainwaring telling off that that stupid boy, Geoff Pike.