The GoatyGav Column

You love the club you play for. You’re getting paid for doing the thing you love and earning more in a week than many earn in a year. Surely it doesn’t get any better than that does it?

When I studied Economics the first thing I learned was John Maynard Keynes’ premise that ‘Man’s (human’s) wants are insatiable’ and that ‘opportunity cost’ is the sacrifice of the lesser desired alternative. So, as a human, you always want more but your means are finite – leaving a gap between having what you want/need and what you’re able to have. It’s right at the heart of the science of the discipline which attempts to break down how resources are distributed via the various delivery systems which, essentially, break down in to command, mixed and completely free market variants. I’m sure that Economics has moved on since I tried, twice, to take my ‘A’ Level at night school while working (which, unfortunately, proved too much of a challenge to get to the lectures in time for) but the ‘having your cake and eating it’ principle still stands.

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So what is the ‘most desired’ alternative for West Ham players? After all it’s not possible to stay at West Ham and simultaneously play at another club that’s competing in the Champion’s league and is prepared to pay over a million pounds GBP a month. In the past the club has sold many of it’s best players. We’ve often discussed what ‘might have been’ if the academy players who came through in the late ‘90’s had have stayed at the club. Imagine Paulo DiCanio and Trevor Sinclair added to a squad including Ferdinand, Lampard Jr, Cole, Carrick, Defoe and Johnson (who came through slightly later than the others). Many of those did, actually, play together but, sadly, not all of them or for a sustained period of time. Mouth-watering prospect and a great shame that the relegation put the final nail in the coffin of the dream of a, Tony Carr inspired, home grown European challenging squad.

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Essentially it’s all about how desirable the prospect of playing for another, ‘bigger’, team is perceived by the player. As much as players think that they love life at West Ham with the adoration of one of the most loyal set of fans, the close-knit team spirit and general, on the up, improvement in the standard of the squad there will always be bigger fish to tempt them away.

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Not for the first time, it would seem, the timing of the ‘head-turning’ seems to have coincided with one of our players on England duty. International team-mates from bigger clubs appear to be extolling the virtues of moving on to pastures new. Declan Rice now seems to be making the kinds of noises that many other players have made at similar stages of their international careers. Don’t get me wrong – I can completely understand if a player wants to improve both their lot and test themselves in European Club competition. It’s just that I find the whole ‘you could be doing so much better than West Ham’ conversations, while away with England, a shame and a little sneaky. Oh well – it’s not the first time and it, almost certainly, won’t be the last.

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Away from first team matters I’d like to congratulate, and commiserate with, the PL2 and Ladies teams for their most recent results. The ladies put in a tremendous performance against WSL Champions Arsenal on Sunday. Especially in the second half they showed tremendous fighting spirit and endeavour to halve the deficit against a very strong team. If this is a sign of things to come from the team then I think we could be in for an even better season than last term. Another brilliant second half performance from the U23s saw them make an amazing comeback, from 4-1 down to win 5-4. The Newport manager was magnanimous in defeat while complimenting our lads for the type of football that they played and character that they showed. The only downside from the game was the bitte that was inflicted on Reece Hannam by Crystal Palace loanee Ryan Inniss. Inniss has got form for violent conduct and is facing a lengthy ban. Frankly quite right too. Inniss needs to learn that you can’t get away with that and should be reflecting on how he’s let his club and team-mates down as well as behaved completely inappropriately while causing harm to another person.

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Back to Declan I wish him all the very best of luck for the England game against Kosovo. It’s likely to be a good challenge for Gareth Southgate’s team so he’ll need to be on his game if selected.

Come On You Rip Roarin’ Irons and Come On England!