Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Do we want to become Ovest Prosciutto Uniti? (Asks Marty)
Since Nani arrived, we have moved on permanently, or with a view to a permanent move, 9 or 10 players; and all bar one, Faubert, are British. During that same period we have brought in 7 or 8, all of them foreign. I am all in favour of following Arsene Wenger’s footballing blueprint, but would you be happy if we ended up with no British players in the team?
“What about all the youth coming through?” I hear you say. Well yes we do seem to have some good kids, but their careers are still embryonic and how many good youngsters push on to be the finished article? Noble is a good footballer, but would he make the squad in a top four team? I’m not sure. Collison has had a great year but next season will be harder for him, second season syndrome applies to players as well as teams. Sears for me has not looked like he is going to be a Premiership player. Tomkins looks the real deal but so did Kevin Lock, the first "next Bobby Moore" when he broke into the team. What about the other kids? Well they’re only just starting out and nobody will be more pleased than me if they make it; statistically the odds are against it. Remember Ade Coker and Johnny Ayris?
And talking of the youth team, since Nani arrived we have seen the likes of Bajnar, Grasser, Montano, Ejolfson, Sanchez, Stech and a few others gracing the youth team. All foreigners. Then there is Savio. Would you be happy to see a West Ham squad made up almost exclusively of foreigners? Would that be OK as long as we’re successful? Or is it important that we maintain a British core to the squad? Zola has said that he is committed to the essential Britishness of the club, but he has learned very quickly to say what is expected or what suits his purpose at the time. Does a British "core" simply mean two players, like at Liverpool and Chelsea, and would you be happy with this?