West Ham’s hard work in the transfer window is paying off
New signings already made an impact
It is a huge pleasure to kick off this week by simply saying ‘well done’ to everyone at West Ham United Football Club.
Following the semi-final defeat at St Andrews, a positive reaction was essential, and that is exactly what supporters have seen from top to bottom.
David Sullivan and David Gold worked hard to bring in Robbie Keane and Demba Ba to give the first team squad a much needed lift in terms of quality, know-how and enthusiasm.
Avram Grant has rallied his troops and overseen two wins and the players have stepped up and delivered an excellent performance at Bloomfield Road to see off Blackpool.
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No one should be kidding themselves that all the problems are solved and survival is guaranteed, but where criticism has been thoroughly deserved in the recent past, fulsome praise is very much the order of the day for now.
To listen to Spurs fans’ - never a wise course of action to take - Keane was finished, his legs had gone, and his signing was the last desperate act of a club doomed to the second tier of English football.
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In the space of a week, Keane looks an extremely shrewd investment, both on and off the pitch. His bubbly persona has clearly been infectious in the Upton Park dressing room and on the field of play his composure, intelligent running, winning mentality and ability to direct operations have made an instant impact; seamlessly plugging gaps in Hammers’ armoury in those areas.
Whilst Keane’s arrival and debut goal have been the headline grabbers, it has been the form of Victor Obinna that has done most to secure the two victories. Pilloried for his recklessness in being sent off during the first leg of the semi final and subsequent suspension when he was needed most in the second leg; Obinna has returned from his ban desperate to atone for his error and has netted five goals in two games.
His understated celebration of the first two of those goals against Forest served notice that the Nigerian felt that his job was not yet done and he has given the appearance of a man on a mission to fire Hammers to safety, and possibly a Wembley final after all.
Sunday’s relegation battle with Birmingham took on another element after the semi final defeat and there should be little trouble motivating the side for this fixture.
Following up one good performance with another, though, has been something of an Achilles heel in recent times for West Ham. Yet to win back to back League games this season, the Hammers only achieved this feat once last season so whilst the feelgood factor is definitely back amongst the supporters they can certainly be forgiven for being wary of yet another false dawn.
West Ham have given themselves a chance of survival, but it is just a chance at this stage, and the hard work starts here.