It's been a frustrating few weeks at West Ham. Despite the huffing and puffing about big money signings, so far we have picked up a few potential bargains on loans and free transfers but no sign of that promised marquee signing who might push us onto the next level. So far we have net spendings of a mere £5million while our would-be competitors amongst the 'top six' have all committed multiples of that amount.
Add to that the terrible Cresswell injury and Diafra Sakho's imminent exit and we look in trouble facing into a second leg in the Europa league where we trail Slovenian minnows NK Domzale 2-1 after an embarrassing first leg last Thursday. In truth, with such a thin squad maybe the Europa League is too much to ask and some fans are already wondering if perhaps another early exit might be for the best.
But there's still a month to go in the transfer window and the real business starts now. Last year the real signings all appeared late in the day and were not those that had been the subject of seemingly endless media speculation. Ogbonna, Randolph, Lanzini, Antonio and even Payet all came without much warning or fanfare. Quietly, West ham had been doing their homework and getting on with building a squad fit to finish seventh.
Slaven Bilic is currently ranked 21st best manager in the world at present. We are the 17th richest club. Along with the Olympic Stadium, surely we must be the fastest rising club on the planet right now? SuperSlav has quite a few kids looking to break through and he needs to manage their expectations carefully or they will depart in search of better playing time opportunities. At the very least that makes the Europa League potentially useful.
Equally, if we really want to hold on to Payet then we need to show ambition in the transfer market. Some times you've just got to pay up for quality. rumours suggest that we have a £50 million transfer pot to use. £10 million would surely sort out our full back problems, leaving plenty to play with as we look for two strikers. With the Davids previous success with getting decent loan signings we should be able to bring in another 5-6 signings. By the end of the transfer window we will undoubtedly have a vastly strengthened squad. Let's be patient.
Right now we are 8-1 against to finish in the top four. Might be a good time to throw a few spare quid in preparation for our most exciting season in years.