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9/3/2008- The players who came in

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Alan Curbishley resigned today. I was expecting that. Now West Ham have some looking to do to find the right manager.

 

The first man we brought in was Swiss international, Phillip Degen, who came from Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer.

 

Degen did not play too well in the preseason, but nevertheless, he looks like a full back who has the gung-ho offensive mentality down pat. Defensively, he sucks. On a free, it's a good deal. He's better than Voronin. Do I think he'll matter much to this team? Nope. If Arbeloa goes down, Jamie Carragher will step in at right back and Degen will not become a regular.

Second man in, was Andrea Dossena, who joined from Udinese for 7 million pounds.

 

This is a lot of money for a left back. A lot. Fortunately, he's pretty good! Great going forward, not so great in defense, but good enough. Provides a really good ball, and is quite fast. I still have my doubts.

 

Next up, joining from Palmeiras in Brazil for three million pounds, was goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri.

 

We signed him so we could get rid of Charles Itandje. Unfortunately we could not get rid of Itandje. I've seen some good things out of Diego. Some bad. All in all he is a very unproven player and I shudder to think what would happen if Reina were out for an extended period.

 

Our fourth, and quite possibly most astute pickup, was David N'Gog, who joined from Paris St. Germain for 1.5 million pounds.

 

The kid has quality, but isn't very polished. It'll take a while to get him where we need him to be. What he is, is very quick...has great size, and a pretty good shot. Intrigued by this lad. He scored two nice goals in the preseason, one of them coming against Rangers.

Four days later came what was no doubt the biggest signing, Robbie Keane joining from Tottenham Hotspur for an astounding 20.3 million pounds.

 

To be fair, the money figure is a ridiculous number. Knowing what I've seen so far, this has a good chance to be a flop of epic proportions. We do not have the money (yet) to waste on flops. We've gotta get bang for our buck, and Keane hasn't brought it yet. The match on the 13th against United is the best time for Keane to make his mark. He had better do something soon, or support will turn on him. We've got Marseille a few days later, that's another chance. Keane must score in one of these games. You give the guy the #7 shirt at this club, he better perform.

 

The final signing, coming on the last day for transfers, was Spaniard Albert Riera, who joined from Espanyol for what is as of yet an unknown fee.

 

If he doesn't solve the left wing problem, this is just more money poured into a problem position that Rafa hasn't quite figured out how to solve. Honestly, I'm not a fan of this move at all. I don't care how much it cost. Riera provides a good ball from the left side. That's it. He's slow, does not finish well, and flopped at City. A fantastic signing. Well, if he only cost 1 million pounds. But he didn't. He'll be here for two years and get shipped back home.

 

Tomorrow, international duty.

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