Yesterday I wrote about Hull City and their current plight. Today marks the turn of West Ham who are all but safe for another season in the Premier League after last weekend’s crucial victory at Upton Park against Wigan, running out 3-2 winners on the day.
While the club maybe safe in the knowledge that they will be playing top flight football next season their current crop of players are not guaranteed to be turning out for the Hammers.
Co-owner David Sullivan has revealed this week that the club will accept offers on all players bar talismanic midfielder Scott Parker. He said: “Other than Scott Parker there is not a player we wouldn’t sell if it was the right bid”.
Sullivan and his business partner and co-owner David Gold are already planning for next season. They have already had a £4million bid for Graham Dorrans rejected by West Brom. It is clear that right now they are effectively managing the club on all levels.
The position of manager Gianfranco Zola is still questionable with conflicting reports coming from the club saying he “might resign” at the end of the season.
A couple of weeks ago it looked like he had given up all hope after six consecutive defeats he travelled home to Sardinia before coming back to fight on. Since then he has managed to rally the troops with two wins, one draw and one defeat which was to Liverpool at Anfield.
Personally, it is hard to see Zola retaining his position as manager of West Ham for next season, but it is certainly through no fault of his own. Managers such as Steve McClaren, Mark Hughes and Slaven Bilic have already been linked with Zola’s job.
The problem also lies with Sullivan and Gold, Zola is not their manager he just happened to be in charge when they took over, therefore they will be looking to bring in their own man who can take the club forward.
Clearly the current crop of West Ham players are not up to scratch, apart from the outstanding and ever professional Scott Parker. If the rest of the squad were to show his hunger, desire and drive then they would not have been embroiled in a relegation battle.
Off the field there are also a lot of problems. The club were heading towards administration with debts of around £110million before Gold and Sullivan took over from Icelandic bank Straumur at Upton Park in January. Of that debt around £50million is owed to banks and £40million to other clubs for transfer fees.
Therefore, matters are not playing sailing for the Hammers just yet. There will certainly be a lot going out of West Ham during the summer, but who goes out and who comes in remains to be seen. It’ll certainly be one to keep an eye on over the coming weeks and months.