Here we are after a long journey that started five weeks ago. We have arrived at the end of our transfer features before the start of the season on Saturday. A lot has happened over the summer and there could still be a lot more to come as the transfer window still has 16 days left and here at Kettle, we will be keeping you up to date with any major incomings and outgoing that occur in that time.
The final teams that we’re going to look at for now, though, are Swansea, Spurs, West Brom and West Ham.
There has been some strange goings on in Swansea. In the middle of last season, the chairman decided to let go of Michael Laudrup due to a disliking of how the team were performing which lead to the appointment of Garry Monk who had half a season to establish trust in the team and make his mark before the season ended. Although it was difficult and they only narrowly avoided a brutal relegation battle, Swansea survived.
As far as transfers go, following the departure of goalkeeper Michel Vorm, they were quick to replace him with Fabianski in a free transfer from Arsenal and when Hernandez made for the exit, Ecuador international Jefferson Montero. This is a system that is working well but if they’re going to beat their 12th place of last season, they’re going to have to add more depth into the squad in the event that they face any major injury worries.
Tottenham Hotspur is a team whose intentions are clear; must get into the Champions League however they are yet to really prove that they are worthy of it. Spurs have been on the hunt for a gaffer who can remain calm and cool under the pressure they’ll undoubtedly face and not be phased by a chairman by huge demands. Mauricio Pochettino is the man who has done the honours, and he is exactly what they need following the job he undertook at Southampton.
The addition of Michel Vorm, Ben Davies and Eric Dier will be fine additions to a squad that needs to perform in the Europa League as well as the Premier League but it may not be enough for a chairman that is constantly seeking improvement. A favourable system that Pochettino deployed on the south coast was developing the skills of players that were already there instead of bringing in new ones who could unbalance the squad and its performance. This is a system that seems to be in full flow at White Hart Lane following a very quiet transfer window so far but if not used correctly, it could backfire on the new manager very quickly.
Another team who are well known for their managerial exploits are West Brom, who went through Steve Clarke and Pepe Mel last season before finally settling on Alan Irvine to take them through this campaign. The Baggies have been on a downward spiral for a while; for the upcoming season, survival should be their main priority and their transfer window would appear to suggest that.
Bringing in Joleon Lescott and Chris Baird will add experience to a youthful squad and the arrival of cheap players from overseas such as Carlos Gamboa and Brown Ideye to give the side a bit of much needed spice can only be an advantage but Irvine is going to have to make them play if they’re going to get through what will be a tough season at the Hawthorns.
How to solve a problem like West Ham? Unlike the other teams in this feature, they’re using a more stable approach when it comes to managerial decisions but Sam Allardyce has been firmly warned by the board to bring in players that can produce a more attacking brand of football or he faces the sack.
The off-season has been eventful for the Hammers as Andy Carroll is once again sidelined through injury and will miss the foreseeable future for the club, as well as Ravel Morrisson facing some serious issues with the law.
With regards to transfers, they’ve opted for youth over experience by getting rid of Joe Cole and Alou Diarra and replacing them with the likes of Carl Jenkinson, Diego Poyet and Aaron Creswell. West Ham’s weakness has always been attacking ability therefore bringing in attackers such as Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate, they may be able to provide the style of football that owner David Gold desperately wants to see.
What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.