Written by Malcolm Atkins – @malatk
I have been trying to get my thoughts together to write something for a few days. To be honest this window and the current situation has left me struggling to cut through the emotion and make sense of it all. I have had a few days off so seen a lot of twitter etc. This means loads of different opinions, views and stories bombarding the senses. Then we had that awful game Saturday which does not help.
I will start with Saturday then; so of course it is irritating and embarrassing, hardly anything new there though, West Ham have been getting knocked out by lower league teams as long as I can remember, just surprised it wasn’t on TV as they nearly always target us for an “upset.” This was extremely poor though and highlighted how stretched the squad is right now, despite the injuries listed I believe several of those not there would have featured had it been a league game on Saturday. I am not saying they were 100% but I am sure more could of featured, given the injury list and league position though, it is hard to blame Moyes for taking the decision he did.
I have seen it said the game proved none of the youngsters that played are up to it – well certainly they are not the finished article and several will not make it in the premier league but it is impossible to tell on that game, youngsters need to get a chance one or two at a time in the senior side and preferably when the senior players are actually motivated, I don’t think they can be written off on this game any more than they can be hailed as salvation of some decent performances for the under 23’s. One thing is clear; unless we sign 2-3 quality players we are not able to play a back four at the moment. Never seems to work and we need a settled centre back pair and a quality defensive midfielder before we risk it again.
So the window, Twitter is awash with fans pelting the board. The board have done themselves no favours at all raising expectations and clearly coming up short in the transfer market. I still believe they are stockpiling money with a view to a new deal on the stadium but it is clear that the squad is nowhere near meeting the levels people expected following leaving the Boleyn. I do not accept the board have just stripped us, the team is far stronger than the one they inherited, the wage bill far higher and decent players have been signed, however progress has certainly stalled, hampered by the bungling of the Bilic situation. Despite being a long-time supporter of the board, albeit often critical of their actions rather than their intentions, I have found myself becoming really annoyed at the lack of signings, particularly given the clear gaps that have been apparent for some time. I did see a tweet today from Dave Walker asking who exactly people want. It is a good question and few could really answer it, I am struggling. Carvalho was raised and it seems strange that we did not go back in but then there has been a change of manager and Moyes has indicated he has a view about signing “the right” players with a clear strategy. Dendonker? Good reports, I cannot claim to know much about him, either way with Obiang now injured there is a real concern there and the club desperately need to identify someone though their knowledge and scouting that can re-enforce in that area.
For me we still desperately lack cutting edge, illustrated when we were all over Bournemouth for 25 minutes without scoring, overly reliant on the now injured Arnautovic and missing the Antonio of last season we desperately need another forward option, it is not happening for Chicarito, Ayew is too slow, Carroll injured again and as I write this, confirmation that Sakho has been sold. Rumours of a bid for Ayew as well, the optimist in me wants to believe that Ayew will go and the money for the pair is earmarked to supplement a striker, preferably Batschuyai , who I feel could transform us but I cannot say I am confident.
We are all getting fed up with excuses – yes January is a tough window but this situation has been brewing for a year since Payet left, we did not buy Tore or Zaza or Carvalho and the money did not get spent elsewhere. Assuming we have enough to stay up, and no miracle signings pop up in the next couple of days, say Dendonker and Basthuyai (and not bloody Pelle), then this summer will be the end game – if the board do not spend now they need to be spending huge money in the summer if they are to restore belief and credibility – 100 million plus because the spending has been limited and the squad is painfully thin.
Right I am off to wind myself up reading tweets and watching sky sports.