Kovac: An Unlikely Tale?

The story in some of the papers about us buying Czech international defender Radoslav Kovac just doesn’t ring true to me. He’s nearly thirty. And do we really need another defender who can also play in midfield? Isn’t that exactly what we’ve got in Jonathan Spector, who, we shouldn’t forget is still only 22? Even in Davenport goes, we’re well covered in central defence , or at least we will be when Danny Gabbidon returns.


60 Responses to Kovac: An Unlikely Tale?

  1. Paul M says:

    I’m with you on this Iain, Kovac is just too old and we already have players in his position vovered. He’s not exactely world class is he !!

  2. HAMMER says:

    I’d prefer not to sign Kovac, but agree with the need for this kind of utility player.

    Spector is shite and I would not feel comfortable with him playing.

    If Parker gets injured (happened before eh!), then we might put Behrami there, but then we have to play one of Faubert or Boa Morte.

    And as for Gabbidon, he’ll probably never return………………and if he does, don’t expect him to be any good after this long lay-off

  3. djclipz says:

    apparently Spartak have confirmed an approach from us and then also say 2 other clubs have approached them but they are not allowed to say who!!! Strange

  4. IronMick says:

    I can’t really see this either, although Setanata are reporting that Spartak have confirmed a bid from us. The £4million quoted also seems abit steep for sombody who would presumably be essentially a back up player.
    I thought it was our policy to buy younger foreign players, this dude is 29.

  5. Whitey says:

    To quote a popular Liverpool saying,

    “In Zola, I trust.”

    My confidence is overflowing at the moment with the style of football we are playing and the results we are achieving. I’m even looking forward to Arsenal and Man Utd, which proves something is being done right.

    I would be very dissapointed if we failed to bring in any more quality via Zola squad consolidation. When you consider we have sold 35m in outgoingings, Anton 8m, Linda 5m, Judas the 3rd 14m, Mullins 2m, Bowyer 1m, Davenport 2m, Ethrington 3m.
    Sounds like Saviola will be an initial 5m which creates a fair surplass.

  6. IoDHammer says:

    As Zola has siad tho, the summer transfer period is the time to make big purchases and decisions, this Kovac guy sounds like a bit more of a gamble then Nsereko! 4mil is far too much, are there any better players then kovac available for that price tho?

    Why havent we sold niel! lol

  7. woo says:

    Could it be we need a Defensive Modfielder?
    Look at the squad. If Parker got injured whi is our DM?

  8. Roy says:

    I think we do need defensive cover although it would seem it is the full back positions where we are weakest. As Faubert clearly isn’t the answer it would leave us in a parlous state if Neill and Illunga got injured. However, if this guy is a Czech international he has got to be a better bet than Spector and Gabbidon has been out for so long now that there must be real doubts if he will ever come back good enough to play in the Premiership.

  9. chris says:

    Agreed Iain.Kovac no way.
    Hope we sign a proven goalscorer.
    Thought neresko would play wide but hes been given the 10 shirt so guess hes up front!
    Zola said hes one for the future theres no pressure,why give him this squad number then.
    He must be a bit special!!!!

  10. IronMick says:

    Just read on the official website that Zola will try Savio in different position to find where he best fits in the team, He also compared Savio to himself which is promising to say the least!!
    Really hope that he plays some part tonight – maybe off the bench to give the crowd a really big lift!
    Does anybady know if the international clearance has come through yet?

  11. Big Casino says:

    He’s a holding midfielder aswell as a centre back, and I think he’d be a more than worthwhile addition.

    Don’t forget we’ve lost Quashie, Bowyer, Mullins and Ethers from midfield, so we could do with bringing someone in to add competition for places in the middle of the park.

    Plus, lets look at things at the back. Upson and Collins are our first choice centre halves, but if we lose them, we’re down to Tomkins alongside a full, like Neill or Spector (assuming Davenport leaves this Jan). Gabiddon may never play for us again, I mean come on, they can’t even tell us what is actually wrong with him, what the cure is, or give us any idea whatsoever when he may be back!

    So I’m surprised so many of you are anti signing Kovac… he’s a no nonsense player, good in the air and strong in the tackle.

  12. eleeNYC says:

    today is going to be a challenge. Hull will be at near full strength. Would love to see the Savio in there COYI!!!

  13. plamen says:

    camon west ham da kupi kovac 6te gi sma4kame vsi4ki

  14. hammerfan100 says:

    Spector is awful and would not pick him for the world. I think that we need young players who will develop and improve over time. We don’t need players that are going to retire in three or four years. Let’s get some more youth like Nsreko and mould them into quality players like so many clubs in the league are doing. I hate to say it, but Fabregas cost arsenal 500k and in just a few years he is worth in excess on 15 million pounds, probably way more. Lets get this young talent into our team and build players up.

  15. John says:

    Kovac can play as a defender and a defensive midfielder, and in Spartak he is playing as a midfielder. I think West Ham are bringing him as a backup if Parker gets injured. He is a very good player, and would be a good addition to the squad.

  16. IronMick says:

    I totally agree with Plamen, couldn’t have put it better myself?!

  17. Roshi says:

    Plamen….wot? please translate for the old fogeys on here

  18. Roshi says:

    January is nearly over and so far so good!

  19. Goatygav says:

    Just stuck Plamen’s comments in a web translator from Russian to English and got this: –

    цамон вест the boor yes buy ковац 6те ги сма4каме вси4ки

    I think our new found friend wants us to buy him!?

  20. IoDHammer says:

    I feel a major part of why we cruised past fulham was that Bullard was out, and it seems that he may only be able to come off the bench for his debut, i think he will have a big impact on Hull so lets hope we can go 2 infront by then and control tha game towards the end as we did against Hartlepool!

    3 points tonight is essential, i think its the most important game of the season so far as last night the teams below us all traded points, we dont want to be in that scrap and going to 32 points tonight will keep our amazing momentum going and seperate us from the relegation scrap that goes from 20th to 8th in the league. And with Wigan playing Liverpool we could go 7th and be very comfortable for a long time.

    Who do we all recon is going down? Will they be going down on 40 something points?

  21. grayboguestmeister says:

    hmmm… my translation comes in as:

    Your grandmother has the hind legs of a donkey.

  22. grayboguestmeister says:

    OK, who is going down?

    I’m sticking my neck out with Hull, which I have said since day one.

    Then Stoke (PLEASE!!)

    And WBA don’t have enough depth in their squad.

    Boro and Portsmouth to struggle but just escape

  23. Goatygav says:

    I reckon 40 points won’t make a team safe this year.

    My nominations (hopes) to go down: –


    My nominations (realistic) to go down: –

    West Brom

  24. IronMick says:

    If we are going to get this Russian, then surely a Loan would be the way forward ( or a Loan of a similar player) The price quoted seems very inflated, even in January. By Loaning sombody we could achieve cover which seems to be the idea, without the need for shelling out money.
    I’m adly not going to the game tonight because I’m about as poor as an Iraeli attack on a UN compound, but I really hope the crowd get right behind the team and the manager. The first half against Fulham was a pretty quiet place.
    We are in a great run of form, we have a great management team, have proved all the tabloids wrong and have just broke our transfer record (maybe) on an exciting new player!

  25. IoDHammer says:

    I agree but i think it will be west brom, bottom then stoke then borough, borough are having a similar season to when we last went down and i predict something like 42 points, but with the possibility of 2 or 3 teams above relegation but only on goal difference.

    I just hope we can garantuee safety way before the final day of the season, because that is going to be the biggest relegation day battle ever!

  26. IoDHammer says:

    And on that last day of the season we play Middlesborough, do we want to maybe put them down?

    Also Stoke will be playing Arsenal, Hull play Man Utd and West Brom play Blackburn, should be a laugh!

  27. IronMick says:

    wooo, last day of the season is looking great (as long as we atre safe obviously)
    Thanks for the info IoDHammer.
    On the subject of Middlesborough going down, It wouldn’t be a great loss to the premiership, they have pretty crap support and are generally, well just Dull.
    However I do like Mr Southgate, he seems to act with integrity as a manager and has coped well with the downing situation so I would feel sorry for him.
    Saying that as long as we are mid-table, maybe higher I don’t really care who goes down.

    I take that back

  28. BAC says:

    I don’t care who gets relegated, as long as it’s not West Ham!

    Having sold Mullins, we probably need a defensive midfielder, as cover for Parker, or to use with him when tactics dictate. If the management reckon Kovak’s the best available and affordable option, then fair enough.

  29. Dutch Hammer says:

    Having an experienced (and hard working) defensive midfielder will give Zola more options! Now Mullins is out, we only have Noble and Parker as possible center midfielders. So a third, being a experienced player, is a must.

    On the price; Imagine you being Spartac: They will definately communicate a price higher than the actual amount to raise the betting. So the price will be definately lower than mentioned. On the other hand, Russians clubs can be a pain in the a*s concerning money…

  30. IoDHammer says:

    Unfortunately its not going to be spurs/ blackburn/ Man city/ or newcastle going down, UNFORTUNATELY!

    But Stoke/ West Brom are clearly championship teams, and although i dont think Middlesborough is a championship team, i do think they are the worst of a bad bunch, and i do feel for them as west ham have been there many times. As for Portsmouth, they are a team that should stay up and i feel it would be a shame if they didnt, but they dont look good at the mo!

  31. whu333 says:

    skysports news has just confimed talks are at an advanced stage for kovac and its for a loan deal with view to perm at the end of the season…i cant see no problem would be good cover!hope savio plays tonight….

  32. IronMick says:

    I’ll take credit for suggesting a loan deal 😉

  33. djclipz says:

    can’t see a problem with a loan with a view to buy, good cover and u never know could really fit in, in the premiership!!! Look at illunga a loan with a view to defiantly buy i hope!!!!

  34. IoDHammer says:

    haha now we are all relaxed and happy again, ive been a hammer for all of my 22 years and never been happier to be honest, apart from my first game 12 years ago when we beat blackburn 2-1 at home, i think shearer was with them then, and we scored an own goal, VERY hazy memory of that and dont know why im rambling!

    Its good being a hammer, absolute despair and joy in equal measure! Wouldnt have it any other way!

  35. James says:

    I understand Kovac is a defender but can he play a role similar to that of Parker as a central defensive midfielder??

    If yes then it is a must we have someone like Kovac as cover for Parker, Mullins was really the only option in the setup Zola is playing. I agree with the age factor but if he can do the job well or as good as Parker then he would no doubt be a good addition!!

    Experiance in that position is a must!!

  36. SJ Chandos says:

    I think and hope that a couple of players will be secured (probably loaned) before the 2 February deadline. If Kovac comes in that will provide cover at central midfield and midfield anchor. The other priority should an experienced striker.

    With Mullins and Davenport going this deal does have a certain logic and a loan gives us the latitude to assess our options in the summer, when any major decisions will be taken on restructuring the squad. I have to admit I would be more skeptical if it was a permanent deal

    The logic of working towards the 22 plus three goalkeepers squad set up is that we have players that can competantly play in more than one position to cover the possibility of injuries and suspensions. Whatever you think of the quality of Spector, he can provide cover in both full back positions and at defensive midfield (I know he has played a centre back, but I do not find him convincing in that position). Neill can play both full back positions and at centre half. Kovac will provide similar cover, but particularly at centre back for Collins, Upson and Tomkins. Sadly, I do not think we can factor Gabbidon in to plans for the remainder of this season. And a new right back will probably come in during the summer.

    If it is a loan deal then I am happy with that and being 29 is not really a problem, the squad still needs a core of experienced players to provide leadership and reinforce the youngsters. Kovac is a current international and at worst could be a good short-term option. But Zola, please do not rely on Di Michele and Tristan, try to bring in a striker and preferable one with PL experience if at all possible.

  37. Roy says:

    Who’s going down? I reckon West Brom and Stoke for sure but I think Hull will just about hang on. The third place will be between Portsmouth, Boro and Newcastle and I just have a feeling that it will be the Geordies. Their squad is very thin and they can’t seem to sign anyone. Barton will surely miss more games through suspension/injury/imprisonment (delete as applicable) and if Owen gets an injury (short odds on that) they just don’t have anyone to score enough goals. Given going would be the icing on the cake as he, on his own, has won them so many points over the years.

  38. SJ Chandos says:

    As for predicting who will go down, it is more difficult than usual this year. But I think Hull City might survive if they pick up soon (after tonight please!!!!). I would have liked to see WBA survive out of the the three promted teams, because they play the best football.

    The probability is that it will be WBA, Stoke and one other. The third place could be filled by Hull if they have, indeed, now been found out. Alternatively, Pompey, Middlesborough and Bolton all look like possible candidates.

    Hopefully, more of a gap will start opening up now between the top eight and the bottom positions. I said that we should aim for 7 points from Newcastle, Stoke City and Hull and I will be very disappointed if we do not achieve that target tonight. Anything gained from Arsenal and Man Utd games (and do’nt bet against it) is a bonus and then we have another run of very winnerable games.

  39. Falvo says:

    Speaking of Gabbidon, where is he and when is he back?

    We don’t neeed him. Spector though a bit vulnerable at the back is only 22 and could thrive on experience and with some confidence could do well.
    Kovac is old and losing it.

    But hey, Zola and Clarke wouldnt sign someone if they didnt have a reason, maybe they’re finally getting rid of Neill?

    Doubt it..

    May i suggest we sell LBM and Faubert and using the money we buy Geovanni from Hull. He’s better than Hull. Any views on this??

  40. Goatygav says:

    You may suggest that Falvo. In fact I think you may find your suggestion echoed by many.

  41. James says:

    Roy don’t forget those pesky spuds!!

    They could be the suprise shock of the relegation odds!!

    As they already proved, paying over the top cannot by commitment, Fingers crossed for Arry to shrink to the depths of the lower divisions!!

  42. IronMick says:

    I agree with you in part Falvo. I’m no Lucas fan but think he has been doing ok recently – also Parker should be captain but i wont go into that now.. I would def keep Lucas. That retard Faubert on the other hand I would get rid of in a shot. If anyone is an exapmle to take youtube video’s with a pinch of salt it is him. I had high hope but the guy is crap – can’t pass, can’t cross, can’t tackle.
    Geovanni on the other hand is very solid, I would have him at west ham ‘for sure’ ( as Harry would put it)

  43. Falvo says:

    The west ham official site says Gabbidon isn’t in full training (stomach) ??
    what could be so bad about his stomach that he is unable to play at all?

    Cheers goatygav, though having said that, Geovanni has been quieter since that win over Arsenal.
    I’m sure at a better club he would do well. 😉 maybe west ham 😉

  44. Falvo says:

    See i disagree about Neill, he is a liability against anyone with a decent pace. I remember many times where he has been run ragged by people with limited pace.

    Faubert is shocking. But eprhaps he wasnt till he got injured? We’ll never know.
    I wonder whether Zola would sign him.

    Oh well. I’ve got a good feeling about summer 09. Zola is already shifting the dreadful players like Quashie on loan. Lets hope he impresses and leaves.

    We need to get rubbish like him off the pay roll.

  45. E1 says:

    Stoke and pompey to go down the other one will be from Spurs (PLEASE) boro, wba,newcastle, bolton or hull.
    out of that lot I would like to wba stay up they play nice football.

  46. E1 says:

    IF we can get replacements, then neil, faubert, lbm,davenport, dyer and gabbidon should all go and we should be thinking about off loading ashton as well, he ain’t going to do much for a while and looks like we could be carrying him for sometime. He’s not gonna come back and score aload of goals he will need a long time to get match fit. I think we should cut him loose 1st decent offer we get.

  47. redkipper says:

    Radoslav Kovac.

    He looks good to me; check out utube of him getting a yellow card for tripping a male streaker, yes a streaker!!

  48. E1 says:

    Zolas plan is to have a squad of 20 Plus 3 keepers. That means 8 defenders, 8 midfielders and 4 strikers = 2 for every position this means that we need a squad of 2 first teams, if you look at the squad now honestly what quality with experience do we have outside of Green Illunga Upson Collins Parker Behrami Collison Noble Cole and hopfully Savio.
    We have a long way to go and staying in the prem and a good cup run will be a good season, our younger players are getting there but still have to proove themselves and become all that we hope.I feel we are going in the right direction and will become a force over the next 2 or 3 years but lets give the club time succsess is not going to be instant with the current owners but they do want it to work LONG TERM.
    Lets face it if we get the succsess we all hope for we can say we have made it happen not like chelsea liverpool and now man city who have bought it. WE have alot of players to get rid of and any we keep have got to stay fit. Look at man utd last night 11 injuries and they can still put out a team that could beat anyone, Arsenal have been the same in the past THIS IS WHAT WE ARE WORKING TOWARDS but it can’t be done over night and for the good of the club I think some of our favourites will go.
    3 – 1 Tonight to the cockney boys !!!! COYI.

  49. djclipz says:

    lol i just saw tht trippin of the streaker, thats quite funny!!! Another repka hard man???

  50. SJ Chandos says:

    I am expecting quite a hard fought contest tonight. However, for the first time in ages I am confident in the West Ham centre backs ability to cope with the anticipated ariel assault, particularly from set peices. Bullard should give them improved energy and drive from midfield, but defensively Hull are very vulnerable. I am going for a 2-0 Hammers win.

  51. SJ Chandos says:

    West Ham will restructure and improve the quality of their squad over a period of time. The great thing is that things have turned round relatively quickly and that fans are now so positive about the future. At the time of the home defeat to Spurs it was all doom and gloom and fans were talking about the sale of key players and relegation as if they were a certainty. And that was always far from the case.

    I stick with my original prediction that we can finish in the top 7 this season, especially if they continue to make the right decisions prior to the closure of the Jnauary window.

  52. E1 says:

    SJ; I’m with you on a top 7 finish but as long as we stay up we will have done well. I’ll be leaving in a bit. I think your 2-0 is a bit light for tonight this is going to be a big un !! I hope your wrong. Speak later

  53. grayboguestmeister says:

    Falvo I agree with you about Neill being a liability.

    He has too many mad moments… i.e. giving away stupid, and I mean really stupid, free-kicks in dangerous places. He also talks himself into trouble too often for my liking.

    And isn’t he incredibly expensive?

  54. IoDHammer says:

    I wonder if he has the most stupid fouls of any player this season, i would like to know how many players have caused as many potential penalties as him. Ive always had the view that he is outpaced and lashes out, neary every game, i bet he gives away a pen tonight! Ive tried so so so hard to like him lol

  55. cathal says:

    anyone know if the match is live on the web anywhere!?.. westham v hull??. Thanks

  56. Hammer Ray says:

    Sorry to disagree with many, but Kovac on loan for me is excellent business with the departure of Mullins. Parker has been superb but I always fear for his fitness due to his total commitment to the cause. Kovac would serve this purpose very well until the end of the season. We really have to get LBM off the payroll now as he’s embarrassing. I can’t bear even seeing him warm up on the sidelines! Here’s to a victory tonight and looking forward to welcoming Savio! COYI

  57. Pepin - Czech Hammer says:

    Loan deal with an option has just been corfimed on main news in Czech TV.
    Welcome Radek.

    As for those asking – he can play both CD and DM:
    – CD (quite good in air – as Collins is – but more confortable on ball and unlike Collins he can also pass a ball). I would say, that he is similar type of CD to Rozehnal who did not make it in Newcastle year ago (but I would not blame him as he did not get a time and moved to Lazio where the are satisfied with him)
    – DM – He is hard runner (Behrami like), but is lacking a bit creativity like majority of DM do. From what I heard, he was brought as a cover for leaving Mullins. He is bether than Hayden (sorry good servant) but I think he does not offer anything which we do not have in Parker or Noble.

    We definitely have experienced and versatile player who can cover CD as well as DM.

    Welcome Radek.
    COME ON YOU IRONS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. DevoDevo says:

    Good signing and tall as well. We needed some back up after the sale of Mullins and this guy is better than Mullins.

    Slowly the squad is taking shape. I can’t believe people are still crabbing over Spector. he’s hardly had a run in the side and apart from the experiment at CB he does pretty well.

    Neill is playing his best football of the season – I get the funny feeling that he lifts his game when he thinks he has decent players around him?

    Someone said we don’t have CM cover, when in fact, both Behrami & Collison play there and are out of position on the flanks.

    Neill/Spector/ Spence?
    Di Michele/Sears

    26 there. Get rid of the rest.

  59. Biffo the bear says:

    I reckon Faubert’s probably on his way (via the newsagents to buy some fags!) and having lost Mullins we need someone who can sit in front of the back four as a tactical option. I’m beginning to trust Mr Nani and the whole ‘Football Project’ let’s let them do what they are starting to do well

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