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Stop Rummaging Through the (Bargain) Bins, Harry!

30 May 2011 by

When a club of the size and wage bill of West Ham United is relegated, the summer after the season before usually sees a quasi-complete overhaul of some description. And with their former manager and long-time admirer Harry Redknapp currently occupying the Tottenham hot seat, it would come as no surprise should one of their players make the trek across the capital. It would be unfortunate; but no surprise.

Scott Parker has been told he can leave following the club’s relegation.

Scott Parker is the name that’s most synonymous with Harry’s shopping list. Now I appreciate Parker’s evident ability, and I believe he deserves to be perched many places ahead of Gareth Barry in the England pecking order. But if the club bought every good player, the squad would be more unbalanced than a BNP rally. Sandro is growing into one of the best all-round midfielders I’ve seen at the club in a long time; Luka Modric has consistently proved that he is best deployed from the middle; Tom Huddlestone is one of the most technically gifted members of the squad, and was a huge miss when sidelined for a significant part of last term. That is not mentioning the backup players who are already disgruntled at the lack of playing time. Redknapp’s squad management is more of an Achilles’ heel than Achilles’ heel. So if you offered me Scott Parker on a free transfer, I would pass.

What about Niko?

Another Hammer linked with a move to North London is centre-half Matthew Upson, whose contract is set to expire this summer. And with Jonathan Woodgate and Sebastien Bassong looking set to leave the club, there is a slot open for somebody who is willing to warm the bench every week and be treated with a total lack of respect. Nevertheless, this is an important position when two of your three main centre-backs are William Gallas and Ledley King – chances are you will have to be called upon at some point. And judging by the way he was outpaced by Miroslav Klose at last summer’s World Cup, you have to question whether Upson is of sufficient calibre.

It is not only West Ham whose plight the Spurs manager may look to exploit. Blackpool captain Charlie Adam, for whom Tottenham failed with a deadline day bid in January, could be an avenue which is re-examined. But that possibility poses the same problem as a deal for Parker would, and I would not swap any of Spurs’ first choice midfielders for Charlie Adam.

With a manager who has signed ‘Two-Metre Peter Crouch’ on three separate occasions – so he is not to be trusted – and a scout who was of the opinion that Luis Suarez would not succeed in the Premier League, the Damien Comolli days are looking significantly greener from this side of the Lane.

Comoli’s signings brought an air of excitement to North London.

The emergence of Sandro as one of the side’s key performers is living proof of the rewards available to be reaped should you roll the dice on a less obvious signing. Sandro’s close friend and former Internacional teammate Leandro Damiao has been touted as a possible solution. And I believe it will take a signing of that nature to reignite many fans’ flickering faith in Harry Redknapp’s transfer policy.


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