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Hammers and Europe could be a problem

The last time I raised the subject I had someone of the lunatic fringe ask me how I could count myself as a West Ham supporter.

It takes all kinds I s’pose!

But if I’m a dodgy supporter so is Tonka because our former heroic full back Ray Stewart reckons we could have problems if we find ourselves in Europe next season.

Injuries are demonstrating how thin our squad is in certain positions – indeed generally – and for us to compete successfully in the League and Europe we need a minimum of five additional players in my view.

Given Mikey’s problem we need a couple up front and certainly two more in midfield and at left back MINIMUM!

If we manage either competition I would want it to be the Champions League where Tuesdays and Wednesday’s are match days rather than the Europa League on Thursdays.

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Without sufficient numbers our dreams could become a nightmare in the PL and Ray declares: “It’s a big worry to me – seventh would be a great season and not put too much pressure on next season.

With finances as they are across the league right now it’s gonna be a problem to raise the required cash for players but bottom line – our Premier League position – must never be in danger and an additional Euro campaign could therefore be a problem.”

He added: “It would be fantastic for the fans but it must be clear to everyone that things might get difficult with such a heavy programme of top level games.”

It’s a view I share whilst adding that apart from the odd game, the manager’s decision making process has been excellent and I’m sure such issues are very much in his mind.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

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

30 comments on “Hammers and Europe could be a problem

  1. Yeah lets ignore the 50m+ increase in revenue if we finish in the top4. You keep pointing out that finances are problem for every club but we would be the club with the highest increase in the revenue in the world most likely so surely that would put us in very good position to land a few bargain deals? I just don’t get it and never will.

  2. Chance to filter in the youth?

  3. Couldn’t agree more with this, Hugh. I’ve commented underneath a couple of recent C&H articles that it’s more important for WHU to establish itself as a top half table side under Moyes, and to improve both on-the-field performance and the playing squad season-on-season over a number of years. Think about it: how often have WHU actually done that in the past? I’d argue: very few times. We tend to have a good season or two on the back of good performances from one or two players (e.g. Frank Mac/TC, Di Canio, Payet), sell those players, bring in lesser replacements and then start to struggle. This cycle gets amplified when fans start to vent their frustrations at what they quite rightly see as the selling off of the silverware. Then, of course, we’re usually relegated. And the cycle starts again.

    I’d much prefer to see Moyes – and I think he can – break the cycle than to get CL/Europa League football next year.

    And, yes, I do understand that good players (Rice and Soucek) are more likely to want to stay if we’re playing European football. But it’s time – and I’ve been waiting decades – for somebody to take a longer term view and transform WHU for the better for the long term. I think Moyes can be that somebody.

    • Very good assessment of where we are and what we need to do going forward, totally agree with your view on this. Best outcome might well be to finish 4th for the income it would generate, buy in say 2 or 3 top quality youngish players and consolidate without going too far in the european competitions. Would not like to see us getting in half a dozen lesser quality players to bulk up the squad for europe; better to bring on the youngsters!

    • With you. Slow build, stay in top half of the table, develop academy players and look to Europe in a year or two.
      Alternative, make Champions, take the money and play the U23s so we get bounced out of the first round without worry (my nephews thoughts).

    • So what do you think would be the solution to all those PROBLEMS ! Mentioned in this David Sullivan artical if we do finish in either competition if money is the issue can you have the balls to write it down some solutions to the PROBLEMS ???

  4. Absolutely true! We don’t have the depth of quality in the squad. Our last jaunts into Euro competition didn’t go well. We didn’t make it out of the qualifiers (I stand to be corrected on that). So with the current squad and injuries it is probably better to finish 7. But on the other hand, qualifying for the Champions League will bring in some extra money to buy a couple of players.

    Anyway… I am still pinching myself. I can’t believe we’re having such a great season.

  5. What happened to living in the present? All well and good saying we need to solidify and build slowly but we may not get this chance again for another 35 years. Also, the extra revenue can be partly put back into the squad and a good Champions League run might plug some holes in the coffers. On top of that we have some extra revenue based on finished league position.

    We don’t have to break the bank for new signings. I read on here recently how many strikers in Europe are out of contract this summer (I think it was here). Marega, for example, could be a good, free signing. There are bargains to be had, especially during these times. As Mark says above, this could change our financial fortunes in a very positive way.

  6. I can’t believe people are saying we would be better off finishing 7th.
    That’s madness
    Who cares if we lose every game in Europe just think of the extra money
    Don’t need to bring in 5 players, just use what we have, take all the extra money and try invest that again wisely.

  7. I think, if the dream we’re all living through right now does actually come true (and I’m still not ready to believe yet, because if I do, it’ll implode!), we may well be able to bring in some quality on the back of getting in, but it’ll likely be a campaign that we just have to enjoy no matter what. I’m not saying the team shouldn’t give its all, and not try to win every game, because that would be both unprofessional, and an insult to us lot. But we all may have to accept that the competition that shall not be named (for fear of jinxing it) could be a step too far at the moment. However, if being in it allows growth on all scales, and allows us to go towards emulating Leicester, then even going out in the group stage will be far from a waste.

  8. Largely agree that its too early to stretch resources for Europe next season. However part of me wants us in the European championship as we were denied competing when we came 3rd in 1985. It was the year that Liverpool fans killed 39 Juventus fans and injured 600 others in the infamous Hysel stadium final. All English clubs were then banned for 5 years so our one and only chance was gone. You rarely hear about what happened unlike the Hillsborough tragedy, strange that?

  9. …And still you can’t refer to anyone who disagrees with you without being insulting. ‘Lunatic Fringe’? It’s as if you’re taking lessons from Mr Sullivan…

    • Anybody who tells somebody that after supporting a team for over 50 years they shouldn’t count themselves a fan because they are worried about resources affecting the premier League actually deserves to be described as a lunatic. You are obviously old enough to dislike and insult me. Thankfully I’m old enough not to give a flying toss! If you can’t join a grown up debate without such silly remarks leave the discussion to adults who can express themselves decently!

  10. I think that the problem is that teh Europa League with its Thursday games is more draining – in a way Burnley never recovered from qualifying for the Europa League a few seasons back – the Champions League would be great but its a big ask competing against Liverpool and Chelsea who seem to be coming into some form

    Anyway like others I am just enjoying the ride (or roller coaster if you look at the last three games)


  11. They have to invest anyway but if they get in ti Europe a minimum of 100 mil has to be invested..if Sullivan and Co love West ham like we hear all the time then they shouldn’t have any problems in putting some of there personal billons in ..this is a once on a lifetime chance of champions league so ifcwe did manage it unless we want to make complete fools of ourselves then they need to open there wallets…not being funny ifvi was a billionaire hammers fan I would love to…. ..getting in Europe will bring in its own revenue also and the higher we finish in the league the more money.. add that to the 30 million we decided not to spend on striker in the last window then we should be able to raise a good budget …imo

    • I don’t hear it all the time. Footballis a a business and nobody has any money at the moment. Once again O remind you that was spemnt accross the 19 clubs in January = 70 million. Anyone who doesn’t realise that the pandemic has wrecked finances is hardly living in the same world as the rest of us

      • Hugh you know these comments aren’t aimed at you personally all the time ..there just comments from Each individual, there not written to wind you up..it would be pretty boring if we just acted like sheep and agreed with everything you or the site writes …your replys always seem angry unless someone agrees with you…im just saying they need to invest heavily…once again I don’t care what the other clubs spend .or whatever was spent over this and that..i just don’t care…all I care about is Westham..and if I was a billionaire and supported West ham I would love to help….simple

  12. Hugh
    For a half a glass full rather than a half a glass empty guy can’t see the logic behind this element of caution.
    It’s got to be Champions League for me – even if it’s only to ruffle a few feathers of those Spuds, Gooner & Chelski types blah blah about it being their unabridged entitlement that dining at the Top Six Table and Champions League in their preserve and unalienable right, and who do those Wet Spam types think they are trying to gatecrash their cosy little club.
    If those mooted ideas from UEFA about an exclusive European Clubs based on historical pedigree – we may never ever get invited to the Champions League party again.

  13. Let’s just enjoy the season however it pans out. So much more fun than battling relegation! We may win all or none of our upcoming games. And let’s not be scared of Europe. WBA beat Chelsea who beat Porto etc …. If we finish in a European qualifying place then that will serve as firm evidence of the club’s development under David Moyes. In my opinion, this will have 5 main benefits.
    1. To demonstrate to any supporters looking for the ‘next level’ that we are finally making progress.
    2. To help convince the owners that supporting Moyes in the transfer market is even more essential this summer.
    3. To help keep our best players.
    4. To attract more good players.
    5. To give us oldies a few new European teams to reminisce about in our dotage – Dynamo Tsiblisi, anyone?
    It will also upset some of the supposed ‘big teams’ who feel entitled to European competition every year into the bargain … such a shame for them if they don’t make it next season. COYI.

    • Just to add, I get the arguments about a steady build-up, top half finish, don’t want Thursdays, haven’t got the squad depth etc. I’m more that way inclined myself. BUT – for reasons 3 & 4 above in particular, I hope we get there. And because it’s within touching distance now, don’t you think it will feel a bit like failure if we don’t make it – for the fans and maybe also the players? We’re past masters of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory after all! COYI.

  14. When West Ham qualify for the Champions League, they will receive money from which they can add a few quality players to the squad. (Or is that being overlooked by some of you?) We have a smallish transfer kitty and two or three (Yarmolenko? Anderson? Balbuena?) could be moved on, which will add a bit more. It’s not as bleak as some are saying …. Let’s have no more talk of us being better off by finishing 7th, eh? Third or fourth is very possible!!

  15. What a bunch of depressing rubbish this is.

    If we manage to qualify for the cl for the first time in our history, that should be seen as a cause of huge celebration. Not moan about the problems it might bring.
    It would be better to finish 7th and build slowly , what a load of garbage, life isn’t like that. Take the chance when you get it!

    If the reaction to this potential historic moment is to say let’s not go too far in it. We may as well pack up now.

    Just go for it ! We’ll make it work.

  16. Where exactly have I insulted you Hugh? Nowhere. Poor response I’m afraid.

    • “…And still you can’t refer to anyone who disagrees with you without being insulting. ‘Lunatic Fringe’? It’s as if you’re taking lessons from Mr Sullivan…2


  17. We will see the level of ambition our chairmen have if we do qualify for the CL, if we look at the quality we have bought from Slavia, we should look at the other leagues where players with European Pedigree, team players and good engines like Coufal and Soucek we can bring in, Moyes knows what he is looking for and he won’t be able to afford it from the major leagues so look to the likes of Czech, Serbian and Montenegro, Belgium etc if they can play twice a week at a high level and are affordable it could be a good model it will also raise our profile in those leagues as an attractive proposition.

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