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Hammer Down Under: What West Ham need to do in the January transfer window

West Ham United's Sam Allardyce on the touchline West Ham United's Sam Allardyce on the touchline

Matthew Rossleigh, London24’s West Ham blogger
Friday, December 21, 2012
11:18 PM

Last weekend Big Sam named only six substitutes at West Brom – was there nobody who could fill the seventh seat on the bench or is the manager trying to send a message to the owners to strengthen in January?

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About our blogger

Name: Matt Rossleigh

Twitter handle: @Matt_Rossleigh

Regular attendee living in London this year from Australia

Favourite player: Mark Noble

Most memorable game: 2012 Championship Playoff Final

Predicted Finish: Mid-table

The squad was already thin, let alone with all the injuries which have suddenly come about in the last few weeks.

I think it is imperative to see a minimum of three signings in the upcoming window, and one in each position would probably be the best idea.

While our left and right backs have been solid all season, there is a lack of pace and the team could be really found out against pacey wingers.

Joey O’Brien, Guy Demel and George McCartney haven’t disappointed but if the team is to progress then a new wide defender is needed. Where that player is to come from is anyone’s guess, but I won’t start speculating!

Midfield is a difficult one and much depends on whether the club can keep Mo Diame during the window, if they can then no strengthening in the central positions are needed with Gary O’Neil and the impending return of Jack Collison who can slot in.

Matt Jarvis will always occupy one of the wide positions but pace on the other side is needed. Ricardo Vaz Te will make a difference when he returns but pace is needed. Matt Taylor and O’Neil can make an impact but someone who can take on defenders with speed and whip a ball in is needed.

Up front is where many questions will be asked, as that is where most of the paper talk has been. Carlton Cole has done well since coming in for Andy Carroll, but will the club try to move Modibo Maiga on only a few months after signing him?

Even recent reports suggest Andy Carroll could be on his way back to Liverpool in January which means business must be being made.

The question remains though with the style which Big Sam prefers, where would any new striker fit into the team?

Will Allardyce only go for the target man style of player, and if he purchases a different type of striker like a Darren Bent, would he changed his tactics in the second half of the season?

Fortunately with the Arsenal match being postponed, this gives extra time for injuries to heal and a game less to play before the window opens on January 1.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sam play six substitutes again at home to Everton on Saturday, maybe then the owners will sense the urgency of the situation.

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