West Ham may actually be better off thanks to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy’s intervention in the Emmanuel Adebayor transfer.
It was revealed by the striker that Levy pulled the plug on the deal late on transfer deadline day as he was not willing to let him go to London rivals and aid the competition in the race for European qualification places.
However, in scuppering the short-term loan move and with Andy Carroll out injured it’s likely the Hammers could go back to playing the free-flowing football we became accustomed to seeing during the early-season.
BLESSING IN DISGUISE
While Adebayor has great Premier League pedigree and could’ve scored some goals – arguably a few more than Carlton Cole who was set to leave for West Brom had the deal gone through – his arrival would’ve underlined Sam Allardyce returning to his favoured direct, long game.
Since Carroll returned from injury the aesthetically pleasing and exciting football has gradually diminished, with the Hammers playing more to the no9’s strengths which has been evidenced by the criminal act of playing the best player this term – Stewart Downing – out wide when he’s been so effective in a central role.
Had the Togolese forward switched to Upton Park this kind of tactic would’ve been reinforced and seen the Irons continue playing the kind of football that resulted in an abundance of criticism last season, albeit probably more successfully.
THRILLING STRIKE PAIRING RETURN
The collapse of the Adebayor move, though, and the fact Carroll is set for at least two weeks on the side-lines means the thrilling front pairing of Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia can spearhead the team once again.
As a striker pairing they were emphatic in the first few months of the campaign, causing opposition defences numerous problems with their pace, power, movement and tenacity which also gave the rest of the team a lift.
With just one league win in the last six and a run of tough fixtures on the horizon a return to this dynamic could see the Hammers claim some invaluable points. They face Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground on Sunday, a side they narrowly lost to in the reverse fixture despite having wreaked havoc at Old Trafford.
Sakho and Valencia will pose more of a threat to the Red Devils less than convincing defence than a Carroll or Adebayor, who are easier to marshal, but with the current defensive injury crisis at the club it will still be a big ask for them to get a result.