Tone On Transfers

Tony Gale says that the acquisition of Andy Melville and Jon Harley from Fulham, with Ian Pearce going the other way, is good business for the Hammers.

For the moment, Andy, who is cuptied at the weekend, and Jon, who is not, are on loan, but Pearce has moved permanently - for which Fulham have paid a not insubstantial transfer fee.

Says Tony:

"Andy Melville is a very experienced centre back and a Welsh international while Jon Harley is someone that won't let you down as well - so it is two decent signings for this division.

"I think Jon fell a little bit behind in the pecking order at Fulham as he did at Chelsea, really, so he needs to resurrect his career somewhere else - it is a good chance for him at West Ham.

"But let's hope he doesn't cost too much if he comes, because I don't think we have got a lot!

"Andy is older than Ian, probably a stronger player, and more of a leader.

"I think Ian was quicker across the floor so division for division I think it is a decent swap.

"Ian Pearce will be better suited in the Premiership; Chris Coleman knows a lot about him.

"And of course Andy Melville has done it first division level with Fulham before, so maybe he is what we need.

"He has kept himself well and started playing well when Jean Tigana came to Fulham - he brought the best out of him.

"So maybe he has got this season and next when he can progress.

"Alan is starting to sign players to make it more his team rather than a team he has inherited - I think that is the key for him."

The signings were part of a week of intense transfer activity for Alan, and Tony concludes:

"Only time will tell; it is what managers live and die on, isn't it?"