Jussi Jaaskelainen Stephen Henderson
Age: 37 Age: 24
Height: 1.9m Height: 1.9m
Nationality: Finnish Nationality: Irish
Previous Clubs: Bolton Wanderers Previous Clubs: Bristol City,Portsmouth
Jussi or Hendo? Which one is going to win the race for the starting spot in Big Sam’s eleven?
Ever since the departure of cult figure Robert Green to London rivals Queens Park Rangers over the summer. West Ham have bought in two goalkeepers to compete for the number one jersey, but which shot stopper will Allardyce go for?
Jussi Jaaskelainen, a free transfer from Sam Allardyce’s old club Bolton Wanderers has brought with him an abundance of Premier League experience by amassing nearly 400 PL games in 10 years. He was a bit part player in Bolton’s demise to the championship last season by playing only 18 games for the trotters. He has played 56 times for his nation Finland and he will bring his age and experience to what is a group of young goalkeepers at the club.
Stephen Henderson, was initially bought in on loan in January 2012 from cash-strapped Portsmouth until the end of the season with the option of making it permanent. Allardyce decided to take up the option of the permanent deal and hence signed a three year deal this summer, Despite not having played a competitive game for the hammers yet. He has been capped 8 times at under 21 level for the Republic of Ireland. He is somewhat an unknown quantity due to his lack of matches but Allardyce must have seen enough of him to offer him a deal and compete with Jussi for the starting position.
In my opinion its too close to call at this moment in time, Jussi obviously brings with him a wealth of PL experience which could prove crucial over the season but he is in his twilight stage of his career. Henderson like i said in the paragraph above is an unknown quantity and has no PL experience but being young and hungry he would be improving all the time and could become a really good goalkeeper. Between them both its a nice blend of youth and experience. Obviously we have to look to the future which is Henderson where as Jaaskelainen is still a very good goalkeeper at this level and would be an able deputy should Henderson get injured. Henderson needs to develop at this level and the only way he is going to do this is by playing games. I quite like Stoke City’s way of rotating their goalkeepers where they both play roughly half a season each give or take. Theres comparison’s with West Ham by having Thomas Sorensen, who is still a Danish international and competent at this level who is at the back end of his career and you have Asmir Begovic, who is still up and coming and has shown a lot of promise. Begovic would play the lions share of PL games and Sorensen would play a handful of PL games but all of the cup competitions. If West Ham could strike up something similar i would be very happy. The wise bet would be for Jaaskelainen to start the season in goal due to the importance of the first 10-15 games back in the PL and Henderson as the season goes on will gradually get a look in.
When will the Andy Carroll saga end?
All this summer West Ham have been linked with Liverpool’s underachieving striker Andy Carroll. Carroll 23, has seemed to be frozen out of the Liverpool team since the arrival of Brendan “Total Football” Rodgers to Anfield from Swansea over the summer.
Since his british record 35 million pound move from Newcastle in the 2010/2011 January transfer window, Carroll has scored just just 11 goals in 18 unfruitful months on Merseyside. But why is Sam Allardyce so interested in the 6ft 6in striker?
Is it because he worked with him briefly when Big Sam was Newcastle manager and maybe saw something he we haven’t? or is it because he is a typical Allardyce mould of striker.
Allardyce likes to play long balls to a big, tall strong striker who can bully the opposition defenders and get on the end of crosses which would suit Carroll to the ground, but does the reported 2 million loan fee and 17 million transfer fee next season seem good value for money? In my opinion No!
With a squad that has come up from the Premier League, i feel the reported 17 million could be spent better elsewhere, considering we are severely lacking pace and creativity in our midfield, the squad looking thin on personnel and only 3 recognised central defenders at the club. Also, we already have a typical Allardyce striker in Carlton Cole so i don’t feel the need the need to spend a lot of money on the same type of player. Although i would recommend signing Andy Carroll on loan for the reported 2 million and nothing else because our type of football would suit him. To be fair to Carroll, Liverpool and Kenny Dalgleish never played to his strengths and at times he looked like a rabbit in headlights but Liverpool were daft to pay 35 million pounds for a player that clearly isn’t and i wouldn’t want West Ham to pay around 17 million for again a player that isn’t near that value.
Morrison joins Birmingham on loan.
West Ham youngster Ravel Morrison has joined Birmingham on loan until the end of the season.
The 19-year-old joined West Ham from Manchester United in January and made his first-team debut against Leeds United in March, which turned out to be his only competitive appearance to date.
Despite being involved with West Ham and their pre-season preparations for the forthcoming season in the Premier League, Sam Allardyce has allowed Morrison to join Lee Clarke’s Birmingham side making a charge for the Premier League until the end of the season.
Morrison, once regarded to be one of the best talents to come out of Manchester United’s academy, has been no stranger to negative press with recently accepting to pay a fine after posting a homophobic threat on twitter.
I feel this would be a good move for Morrison, we keep hearing from numerous people how much of a talent he is and its about time that Morrison starts showing his talent on the pitch. With the probable formation of 4-3-3 being used by Big Sam and the recent summer signing of Mohammed Diame from Wigan, Morrison’s opportunities in the first team look limited. Hopefully Lee Clark will give him some guidance and an extended run in the side to show what he can do and hopefully live up to his undoubted potential.
Thanks for checking out my new blog IronBubbles, i’m new to this but looking forward to writing some blogs all West Ham related.
The idea of this blog is to express some of my personal views to do with news and reviews from West Ham. I can guarantee that what i right is good, serious and legitimate rather then some kids tweeting bogus transfer rumours.
Anyway… enough of me rambling on, I best start writing something…