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£30m striker? We score from everywhere!

Dimi - 12 goals

Dimi – 12 goals

Only three teams scored more goals than West Ham’s 65 last season – Man City (71), Spuds (69) and champions Leicester City (68). We are next in line with 65 equalled only by Arsenal.

But here’s the interesting thing. We are regularly being told we need a 20-25 goal a season striker at enormous expense and thus far don’t appear to have had a lot of success in that area.

West Ham showed last season that their goals come from virtually everywhere and that has always been the sign of a good team.

We are not a one dimensional outfit heavily reliant on one or two players to score our goals like Harry Kane who got 26 or Leicester who relied on Jamie Vardy with 24.

AC grabbed nine goals

AC grabbed nine goals

At Upton Park our goals came from all over the place and here are the MAIN scorers over the season:

O Dimi Payet 12

O Andy Caroll 9

O Michail Antonio 9

O Mark Noble 7

O Manu Lanzini 6

Antonio - nine goals

Antonio – nine goals

O Cheik Kouyate 5

O Diafra Sakho 5

O Enner Valencia 4

How many more we would have scored had Payet not been out for three months and Antonio’s season had started a bit before November 29 is worth thinking about isn’t it?

If we can settle Mr Sakho down and demonstrate he doesn’t need to become a drama queen whenever he gets the hump we won’t be in bad shape.

I really admire the club’s ambition is wanting a big striker. That’s a given and I seriously hope it happens but I have to say it’s not going to be a major disaster if we don’t find him.

I can almost here the “eff off Southon” shouts as I write such are the expectation levels but if Andy Carroll can stay fit and yes that is a BIG IF; if we can settle Sak and we can move Enner Valencia on and bring in a decent replacement we won’t be so badly off.

Yes of course we need to go on improving and a top striker would be brilliant but I really don’t want us to sign someone who is way over priced simply in order to seen to be honouring a pledge.

We are a very good team these days and as David Gold tweeted yesterday: “It’s not about being tight…it’s about being right.”

We got it right last season and I totally trust – as I have written before – Slav to do so this time around.


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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • Matt says:

    All true but think what might have been if we did have that top striker. We were really only a top striker away from something very special. Problem is of course that everyone wants one!

  • hammersfan01 says:

    I think the worry is teams that have someone that CAN score 20-25 a season tend to adapt their play to suit him, which means there is less of a plan if his form dries up. As well as that though, why do we need to spend £30m on someone – Leicester showed that, if you can find the right man, he could be anywhere, and could end up costing a snip.

  • sleepswithdafishes says:

    we do need a reliable goal scoring striker, but only at the right price.
    I also like the idea of trying Antonio as a supporting striker or even target man. He has the strength the electifying pace and a great eye for goal. He is a human dynamo who would never let the CBs relax.

  • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    One option could be to offer on Defoe from Sunderland would certainly be cheaper than the massively overpriced options, I saw on another site we are looking at Mario Gomez also and although 30 he would be good for a couple of years I would think.

  • johnboy says:

    Agree with you Hugh ! We had terrible luck last year with injury’s ! Our problem was conceeding goals , this is the area we need to look at , injury free carol , sakho , and a new buy is OK with me , defensive m/f and defence was not top notch , strengthen these areas and we will do well !! We need a side strong away from home , we did very well last term but we can be better. All hail Bilic he will sort it out , he know’s our weaknesses now after last year . Depending of course on players available ? Can he get them ? We will see .

  • sleepswithdafishes says:

    I got a feeling this year will be Carrolls big year ( woops hush my mouth ). He had his longest spell for us without a major injury last year, and scored a good number of goals. His general game was not bad too, so I think he could push on into his prime.
    wake me up someone.

    • HammerTime says:

      Shh…SleepsWF…(I’m whispering!…)…Carroll did end the season injured, but maybe it was just v minor?? Like you (?), I’m a Carroll fan; scores vital goals.

    • johnboy says:

      Me to fishes ? Lol. Don’t forget Antonio , I think this guy will crack on and become an england star , really looking forward to it ! I also feel sakho will shine , ( if he stay’s ).trouble is Bilic has been such a breath of fresh air that we all now expect the world ? I think we should all chill a bit , let’s not be to demanding as he has only been here a year , personally Ithought 2-3 years down the line would be a more realistic assessment of how well we are doing ! Bilic is a class act ( ask hoddle ) but this is football and anything can happen , but my gut feeling is we will crack on ! But we must be patient ! Easy said than done I know but Be patient and enjoy the ride .

  • celticredhawk says:

    I agree with Hugh for the most part with this one, we can score from all over the pitch and have plenty in reserve if needed from the bench. Problem is that I think that the teams around us will get better and with a more “prolific” striker who nows where we could end up. Imagine replacing Valencia’s four with 24 from some of the names mentioned??
    SO I guess, just like this website, things seem great but to become even better and challenge higher up the table we need a new striker about as much as Hugh needs a better spellchecker 🙂

  • HammerTime says:

    Thank you Hugh for writing an article about stuff I have been banging on about for ages. If we can sort out Sak’s head (inc prob increasing his realtively v low wages), then we just need another good striker – not exhorbitant good, just bargain good – something DS is v good at! We get goals from all over the park.
    BUT no mention of a RB? Without having a fit-for-purpose RB (rather than a ‘make do’ one), it is remains an expensive weakness….
    But hey, maybe in the smoke and mirrors of negotiations, quietly the club are doing their searches without alerting anyone – afterall, the Feghouli deal came otu of nowhere etc.
    However, Sean’s statement on C+H “Bilic is thought to favor Michail Antonio as his first choice right back” is pretty contrarian to that…unless that is yet more smoke screens!
    Phew…Exhausted! However much I may want to see Antonio play upfield, it is all just “Que sera sera”…

    • Yeah take all points HammerTime but it was really about the money they are planning to spend on a striker. The right back will become a topic a little later

      • HammerTime says:

        I’m deffinately with you on that. Much prefer to find another bargain ‘diamond in the rough’ striker, than an expensive one upsetting the settled, but potentially fragile, team spirit, like the arrival of Tevez + Mascherano did all those years ago.
        DS has unearthed brilliant bargains in the past, so no need to blow huge amounts on a striker now.

  • bubs says:

    We have a RB Byram that’s why the gooners are interested
    We need one other but a CH right footed is more important
    Tomo is going that’s for sure,
    Tore can replace Valencia and Is Sak stays we need 1 more
    Gomez or Wilson would be ideal,or both,
    Then we are sorted Callum and Samulsun can be used if we have injury problems,Poyet returns to give us 4 defensive midfielders
    Sooner not see us dependent on 1 forward like we were for 3 years with AC
    Campbell from the Gooners would not be a bad buy either

  • canchaz says:

    Hooray. This is exactly what I have been writing for weeks now. There is a real danger that a so called top striker will get goals alright but only at the expense of our prolific midfield.
    I am encouraged by the way Slav is still searching and signing good attacking midfielders

  • mattefumi27 the bad wolf says:

    This article makes sense, considering these stats. But each squad (or almost) that won the championship had the PL top scorer on the team. The point is to increase the chances to score goals, and a top striker is the solution IMHO 😉

  • slaven a laugh says:

    If Carroll was fit for a whole season he would be our 20 goals a season striker that much is obvious. You’re right it’s a big “if” though which is why we need a reliable virtually guaranteed 20 goals a season striker. Someone who is proven and has been doing it over several seasons. Unfortunately the club have made such a big thing out of the fact we need this 20 plus goals a season striker that now signing a striker who scores anything less is going to be deemed as a failure.

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