Something to Smile About: Signings and Stability at West Ham

John Purroy JacksonCorrespondent IJune 9, 2009

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Manager of West Ham United Gianfranco Zola smiles during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Chelsea at Upton Park on April 25, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

With the dust settling on the ruins of BG's empire and West Ham's new owners CB Holdings promising stability, if not excitement at the club, the East London side seem to be in a position that they have not been in in some time, a solid base. 

It wasn't that long ago that a certain Mr. Brown held the reigns at the club, selling half of what became the English national team in order to line his own pockets.  Mr. Gudmundsson has finally relinquished his control of the club, ending the threat of fire sales and even administration as his financial web burned to cinders in a world economy gone crazy. 

And now, finally on firm footing, West Ham is looking to add players as other clubs do, based on sound strategy and the manager's wishes, not on desperation.

Scott Duxbury announced that West Ham will be signing three new players in the following weeks, all in key positions that Zola feels need to be strengthened.  Already summer rumors have linked the club with Luis Jimenez of Inter Milan, Rod Fanni of Rennes, and Matthew Bates of Middlesborough. 

Add that to more subtle whispers of Daniele Vantaggiato, Mario Balotelli, and Kevin Doyle (and, of course, the agonized prayers for God to send back the beloved Carlitos), and it seems obvious that this is a new West Ham, ranging out from Merry Ol' and into Europe. 

With Nani and Zola combing through Italy (and France for full backs), with Clarke on the phone with The Special One at Inter, and with our already enviable position in the capital and the Premier League to attract those already based in England, it seems clear that the traditional scouting network of old has been expanded into a more modern and continental system. 

However, with their focus on youth players and the many academy products coming through and breaking into the first team, it is still very much West Ham.