Buckle up, buttercup.

And lo, it doth begineth again……
So, what are the expectations? Do they hang low or are they soaring? Or are you the Trevor Brooking fence sitting champion? Or are you are mixture of all 3 depending on which type of substances you are absorbing into your bloodstream?
I’ll plead the latter.
The heavy cloak of cynicism that was bequeathed to me by my father will always anchor me. Too many players to gel, unclear playing style, lack of defensive midfield cover, too many players with lack of top flight English football experience. Sadly that particular chip refuses to fall from my shoulder.
But…
Dangerous word where we are concerned.
But could El Pell and his love bullets have played this well?
Here is my breakdown, which, as any good reader should know, is worth gold dust, therefore you should feel proud and privileged to be allowed into this quadrant of my brilliant mind. After reading I suggest to you take an iron brush and fairy liquid into a cold shower, in case you strayed whilst wandering into my thoughts. The adjoining rooms from West Ham in the frontal section of my cranium contain thoughts about leaping badgers with shotguns wearing fedoras, chasing Girls Aloud, who are wearing Tesco bag for Life’s and little else. The less said about the other room the better, in this family orientated forum. All I’ll say is WD40 a packet of minstrels and Jennifer Aniston.

Fab Pantski: 7/10: A solid if unspectacular signing. Should we have used the £40M on Butland? We shall see. Fab Pants is decent. POTY @ Swans last season but I was 3rd so that says much. He’ll push Adrian and I think Adrian will see this as genuine competition he could win. Dream scenario is both pushing each other to the max. Downside is one becomes frustrated and No1 battle is removed. Keepers make an awful big difference in the top league. Look at the money Chelski and the scouse have shelled. Maybe keeping powder dry for Pope next season?

Fred (ericks): 6/10: Potential is a word that worries me when I haven’t really seen someone play. Also the phrase “I hear good things”. Essentially we have a championship RB. Could go the way of Byram or Cresswell (season 1). The little I’ve seen of him he seems game, fast, but that’s the minimum I would expect. Whether he can tackles like a demon, hold the line with fellow defenders and cross for toffee, are unknown.

Rocky/General (Balbuena): 5/10: Literally no idea. Lots of people saying he is a beast (whether this is bedroom talk or pitch I’ve no idea). I have to go with a mark straight down the middle. Apparently he won the league in Brazil? I think my cats team came runner up that year, so I’ll take no notice. This feels like a punt by Ell Pell in just wanting numbers for this position as we seem to suffer at the heart of our defence. I can see him being marmite, like a Repka character (whom I hated and thought woeful). I hope I’m wrong.

Diop: 5/10: Again, no idea. Lot of money for a kid. French U21 gives some credence given their current status. Never seen him play, never heard of him before. £20m+, I would argue, needs him to be first team ready. But for some reason, I don’t see that. Yet. I’ve heard he’s got pace. But so has Phil Jones…

Dirty (Sanchez): 4/10: Poor in my opinion. Feels like a reach. Feels like other preferable targets were unobtainable. Seen him play. Not greatly impressed. Feel like making up numbers in case Rice/Obiang injured. Again, hope I’m wrong, but I’d like to think we’d have had a youngster to play this 3rd string role.

Jack: 8/10: Best bit of business in the window. Best English midfielder I’ve seen since Scholes. Lovely balance, good feet, low centre of gravity, looks up, plays forward, takes people on, gets back, tackles, plays 1-2. He will really be a wonderful asset. And for the money we paid, a snip. But…we all know the downside. Can he last ¾ of a season? Will he be the Big mans best friend in the (flying) physio room? The cynical cloak tells me there’s a reason why a top 6 club didn’t fight for him…

Lucas: 7/10: Second best bit of business in the window for me. Again, nice player, knows the league. Lovely left foot, creates, scores, gets involved. Puzzled as to the fee (cynical cloak) but seems to play (season in Spain last year) so injuries don’t seem to an issue. Plays a No10 role, so could provide options should Jack get a knock, in front of midfield, behind striker. Clever business for me.

Yarmadillo: 6/10: I know a bit of him. Seen some lovely things, some average. Has pace. We need that. Attacks people which is always advantageous. Hoping he can swap wings as that will make him very useful when we need to approach teams differently or try something new. With Antonio (Snodgrass?) vying for this type of role, he needs to be on his game or could find bench warming duties, which could be a good thing.

Prince Felipe: 6/10: Our record breaking signing. Again, YouTube clips are my only real insight into this chap. I like the look of him, saw some lovely pieces in pre-season which suggests the talent is there. A new Payet? We hope so. But again, no top flight English experience. He’ll have pressure because of the price tag, so I’m hoping he has broad shoulders, is brave and has some swagger. He’ll be targeted by opposition fans (waste of money) and we need to remember Bergkamp was rubbish in his first season for Arsenal.

So an average transfer marking of 6/10. Not great of course. Very middling to be fair. But perhaps more representative of the unknown quantity of the player in this league. What is a positive, is the fact we have got the numbers through the door. We needed more players and, what I’m actually most please about is they are signings, not loans. This is a sign of confidence (perhaps misgiven – cloak of cynicism) but I’d rather a player here and know he’s here. This should be more incentive all round. So credit on that score.

So now, settle back, plump up the cushions (spare one to hide behind). Lets hope Arnie picks up where he left off, inspired by new colleagues.

So buckle up sweet peas, hold on tight, the love gun is cumming.

Dartford Bhoy's picture

I think maybe a bit harsh with the ratings buddy but I do agree with Diop but thats only based on one preseason I saw and highlights of another. My tip is watch Yarma, I predict this guy being a fans favourite and a big hit at the LS.

Regarding too many newbees, could be something in that but I predict El Pell blood them carefully and that the line up for Sunday will be established old guard (Noble to start) in the main with no more than 4 new boys making the starting 11 one of which will be Fab in goal. Lets wait and see... bring it on... COYI's!!!!

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14 users have voted.
moore2come's picture

Love the cloak of cynicism, I have a matching hat to go with mine! I though have less insight into the newbies than you. Not one for sitting in front of the box hunting through you tube vids so only know of Fabs who conceded the same no of goals as we did last season so tough to see the improvement but has prem experience and does look fairly good so hope with a better defence either of our No.1’s should do better. Wilshere the other and waiting with baited breath as to what he can deliver for us. Stays fit, run of games and he could unlock plenty of defences for us. Goes the other way though, well Andy will appreciate the company. As for the others know nothing or next to nothing so am probably a little more excited than you appear to be ( I blame You tube) so will go for a 7.5 rating which after the last couple of season’s 4 ratings is a step in the right direction. Disappointing to hear Yarmolenko appears to be struggling with hip and groin injuries. sounds familiar.........

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19 users have voted.
darrenharry's picture

I think I'm largely on the money here...

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15 users have voted.
Dicks is the man's picture

Diop and Balbuena are improving each game imo. didnt like them at first but starting to look pretty good.

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10 users have voted.
Dartford Bhoy's picture

he is improving!

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9 users have voted.

Other hammers

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10 users have voted.

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