We are going to finish mid table , so surely the ambition next year must be the play offs or better. Here is one view on how to get there.
1) Goalkeepers , Hendo is already brilliant and Popey ( despite a couple of bloomers) is nearly brilliant , so let’s keep those 2.
2) Full backs , Solly , Wiggins and Fox are all good enough . We need another right full back.
3) Centre backs , This is very tricky and a potential banana skin. Gomez is unbelievably good and is already our best No 5. Personally , I don’t think there is anything to choose between Ben Haim, Bikey and Johnson. My choice would be to keep Bikey ( I don’t really understand why he is Luzon’s Eskimo ) extend Ben Haim’s contract, let Johnson go and get another experienced but younger centre back or 2 if Joe goes for gazillions ( nothing less). A possible problem area.
4) Midfielders, Cousins is already a fantastic player and probably the most important piece of next years jigsaw. We need to resign Buyens. Diarra’s pedigree suggests he will be good enough. Skipper is a hero but is not likely to play a major role next year. We need another creative midfielder in the Danny Murphy, Wes Hoolihan mould and another holding midfielder.
5) Wingers, JBG is brilliant and we need to keep him for a promotion push. Bulot got better as the season went on particularly after the ANC . If Guy thinks he is going to improve again , let’s keep him. I feel a bit sorry for Harriot. After a brilliant end to last season ,often played out of position ,he has had a poor year. We need another winger who has tricks and can beat defenders. Personally I wouldn’t keep Eagles , but Guy will decide.
6) Strikers. Tony Watt has been a revelation. Igor has started to look very out of sorts – no idea why but he looks like a shadow of his early season self. Churchy will surely leave. Hopefully , Ahearn Grant emerges next year , but we need at least one additional top class striker who can head the ball and score goals . Neither of the current strikers is great in the air , although Igor punches above his height .
Any injuries or player sales will necessitate additional top class replacements and not just network fill ins.
To my mind , next year is the time to build on the good parts of this season and challenge for promotion seriously . I know some people don’t think West Ham and their move to the Olympic stadium affects us , but offering thousands of relatively cheap season tickets , over 100,000 free tickets for Premiership football in a transport friendly place just down the road seems to me to pose a highly competitive threat.
Come on Roland , can we give it a right go ?