Boss outlines transfer plans on Goals on Sunday
Friday 26 December 2014 11:52, UK
West Ham’s hopes over finishing in the top four are hampered by their inability to compete financially with the Premier League’s top sides, Sam Allardyce told Goals on Sunday.
The Hammers are currently flying high in the Premier League, with their 2-0 home win over Leicester on Saturday maintaining their fourth-placed position.
If we carry on the way we are, we’re predicted a top-four finish. But whether we will or whether we won’t is another matter.
However, West Ham boss Allardyce warned it would not be easy for his team to remain in the Champions League qualifying spots for the rest of the season, as teams with bigger spending power are likely to step up their own challenge.
He did suggest, though, a top-six spot - which would secure a shot at European football –- could be in West Ham’s reach.
"The top four in the Premier League is very difficult to break into if you haven’t got the same spending power as them," said Allardyce.
"Lots of us have lived on the fringes in the past, I did the same at Bolton for the last two or three years. To try and get there is something that would have been beyond the club’s owner's will at the time, for the spending power you need to fund for it.
"For us this season, it’s just enjoying the position we’re in and seeing at the end in January whether we reset our own goals and say 'can we finish in the top six, is it possible?'
"If we carry on the way we are, we’re predicted a top-four finish. But whether we will or whether we won’t is another matter."
Asked about the prospect of strengthening his squad in the January transfer window, Allardyce insisted he was happy with the players at his disposal - but Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions prevent him from making too many high-profile acquisitions anyway.
Instead, he may look to offload one of his players, should a top replacement become available.
"Everybody has to understand we are well into the second year of FFP so we are all in a much more difficult position when every window comes, with the limit on spending power, not just transfer fees but wages. And that’s across the board now," he said.
"When it comes to January, it’s not about asking the owners to go and find this amount of money or that amount of money, even if they wanted to. They could perhaps do it but at the end of the season, they’d get a hefty fine. We’ve got those restrictions.
"So I’d say one top player, if he became available, would be something we’d pursue - but someone may have to leave to fund that. There’s no point in bringing in anybody less than a top player because what we’ve got now is top drawer at the minute. We’ve got 22 players all fighting for places in the team and playing really, really well.
"I think we’ve covered all positions this year; we’ve never had as many front men and we’ve changed the system so we don’t need too many wide men. The ones in the team at the minute keep the shirt but they know they have to play their best because the ones waiting to take their place are eager to do that.
"At the moment the squad looks really tight, there’s good camaraderie - but if somebody came in January, that was an outstanding player then yes."