If getting Dean Ashton for 7.5 million pounds was a statement of intent, what on earth is signing Tevez and Mascherano for undisclosed fees saying?
World-class players unexpectedly arriving at Upton Park on the last day of the transfer window, unfortunately, does not happen every day. We began the week supposedly losing out to Tottenham on a sulky Frenchie who is not good enough to play for France, but thought he was too good for West Ham. Compared to that, this is a parallel universe and one which, 24 hours later, I still don’t understand.
Part of me loves the fact that this has happened, a big part. Not least because every team imaginable seems us to think we’ve violated their sacred ‘Big Club‘ rights. But I am also a bit jumpy, though. Mysterious Iranians with connections to some of the most dubious people in football will put the soul of the club at risk. Only the most foolish or naive West Ham supporters would believe that Tevezcherano would have joined our club ahead of Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea on purely footballing terms. With the takeover imminent, it’s a rather scary game of wait-and-see.
I want West Ham to be West Ham, not Chelsea, or West Hamski. And I am already fretting about the effect on the rest of the team. We got a long way on our British team spirit last season and we had players who developed and improved no end because of it. Tevezcherano will fantastic not only on the pitch, but in convincing our better players – who may have soon felt they were too good for West Ham – that they’re not.
But I can’t help feeling that Marlon Harewood and Bobby Zamora have good reason to feel a bit bewildered. The strikers’ maturity is going to be seriously tested as Dean Ashton’s place, when fit, will unlikely be challenged. I don’t want to be the one to start moaning at a time when we’ve achieved something that shouts West Ham’s name so loudly to the rest of the football world, or start thinking that fortune, as ever, will go hiding. But in parallel universes where things are the same but massively different, you have to be prepared for everything. West Ham are breaking into new ground with the nature of this transfer deal, and it’s far from a safe place to be.
If we’re going to fly this much higher, we all better get ready for the turbulence.