Man from The Mirror

West Ham United's summer dealings have attracted a huge amount of attention and discussion.

Supporters, Board members, management and team-mates have all had plenty to say about the strenghtening of the Hammers' squad in recent weeeks. Journalists have also written plenty of column inches and filled plenty of television and radio broadcast hours with their opinions.

The vast majority of comments have been positive, with much excitement about the arrivals of Cheikhou Kouyate, Mauro Zarate, Alex Song, Aaron Cresswell, Carl Jenkinson, Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia, Morgan Amalfitano and Diego Poyet.

Daily Mirror football correspondent Darren Lewis is among those who believe West Ham have spent their money wisely.

Darren, what have you made of West Ham's transfer dealings over the last few weeks?

"I agree with your Joint-Chairman David Gold that this has been an excellent transfer window. You've only let one player go, and brought in nine new faces, so you've got strength in depth. In particular the capture of Enner Valencia [is exciting], so both Chairmen deserve a lot of credit.

"They've made West Ham stronger and they've made Upton Park a stronger place to come. Yes, you've had disappointing results in the first couple of games of the season, but I think after the international break, you'll be a different proposition."

One transition the Club has to make to get to the next level is to go from having a strong XI to a strong squad. If things do go wrong with injuries or players falling out of form, Sam Allardyce has got plenty of options now…

"I think he does. The late capture of Morgan Amalfitano has done well at West Brom and knows the Premier League well. Alex Song is a wonderful capture. You've lost Mo Diame but replaced him with another engine room with Cheikhou Kouyate, a fantastic signing I have to say.

"You've got a very powerful midfield full of craft, energy, and creativity, still got Mark Noble as well who scores goals hopefully. You do have good strength in depth and good options to come off the bench in matches. It's a squad that isn't as weak as it has been in recent years.

"The good thing that I see about the West Ham squad is suddenly it's not players in their early 30s or late 20s who are looking for their last pay packet. Its players who still have a lot to offer.

"Enner Valencia is a fantastic signing, make no mistake about that. He's powerful, versatile, he did well at the World Cup. There are now other clubs looking at West Ham thinking 'That's a very good signing, why haven't we signed someone like of that calibre?' I really do think you have good strength in depth. And I wonder for Andy Carroll when he comes back, because he's going to have a fight on his hands, as he should have at a big club. When he comes back, as talented as he is, he shouldn't walk straight back into the team."

One complaint fans have had in the last couple of years, certainly in the last decade, is that once a West Ham player has become a headline maker, they move on. With the stadium move coming up, the Joint-Chairmen really have put their hands deep in their pockets. As you mentioned, there have been a few high-profile names come in that other clubs perhaps have coveted...

"Yeah I do see a clear change, largely because the owners have a different vision for the club. They want to bring in better players to the Club and, from the players that have come in this summer, you can see they have been as good as their word.

"Obviously they want to focus on their results, that's the thing that matters the most, but they want to bring in a better brand of football. They don't want to scrape to 1-0 wins, or the kind of campaign they had last season. They want to play attractive football, they want to entertain the fans.

"As far as the owners are concerned, they want players to do well at Upton Park and stay at Upton Park. I can see a situation where that does indeed happen. A lot of people look at signings like Cheikhou Kouyate and think he's going to do well at West Ham, and then move on. I don't necessarily think that that is the case. I think he could be a stalwart for West Ham fans and for the Club and have a prosperous career at the Club."

Every fan and every journalist likes to write their predicted league down. If you sat down and put your list of clubs, one to 20, a) where would West Ham be and b) what would you consider a good season for the Hammers?

"I would put West Ham about ninth or tenth and I would consider that to be a good season. I think what they're doing all the time at West Ham is building. Last season they consolidated their season by buying Andy Carroll. Whereas last season that was the be all and end all of the situation, this time around it is not.

"West Ham have now got players who can score goals; Diafro Sakho's come in, scored 20 goals in France last season and has adapted well to English football so far, so hopefully he'll do well in the Premier League and score some goals.

"You've got pace in the side, power in the side, cutting edge up front and now that injection of quality in Enner Valencia. I can see you finishing ninth or tenth, possibly pushing on even further than that.

"But, this is the toughest Premier League season we've ever had. Manchester United are stronger, Everton are stronger than their team that finished in Europe last year. Spurs are very strong as well, people thought Southampton might sink without trace but they've bounced back quite strongly. So it is a tough league, but I do think West Ham will be there or thereabouts, largely because they have a better squad now than they did last season."