Hammers history repeating itself in striker hunt


Hammers history repeating itself in striker hunt

West Ham’s recurrent issue seems to revolve around a chronic inability to seize the opportunities presented to us. Yesterday’s game against Aston Villa was yet another opportunity to move forward squandered. Had Moyes boys taken their chances, we would have been 5th in the Premier League and only one win away from the Champions League places.

This problem isn’t a recent development but has stretched back through several seasons, causing the club’s ambitions to stutter.

One of the early instances of this trend dates back to West Ham’s initial Europa League qualification. While securing a spot in the competition was undoubtedly commendable, it’s worth noting that around Christmas, a genuine chance to push for the Champions League was also within reach. However, this opportunity was allowed to slip away as the club failed to invest during the January transfer window.

Moyes-Antonio-West Ham

Moyes’s Antonio experiment has gone on too long.

A similar situation unfolded in the following season, with the club once again neglecting to capitalise on the chance to convince Declan Rice to commit to a new contract. Regardless of your opinion on Rice’s impact, the club’s inability to seize this crucial moment was more about ambition and recognising the opportunity rather than financial considerations. Once again it was a chance to move forward a level.

This scenario played out against a backdrop of us being an ostensibly solid team, doing well, but not quite excelling. The hallmark of David Moye’s tenure is the hesitance to grasp opportunities for rapid advancement. The club is often caught in a cycle of thinking long-term, building slowly, and not making the most of the present.

Conversely, we observe teams like Aston Villa, under Unai Emery’s management, taking a different route. Emery embraced the idea of making immediate improvements, aiming to build effectively now rather than wait for the long-term. His proactive approach to transfers highlights the critical role that rapid progression can play.

Carpe diem moment

The key issue at hand is West Ham’s striker situation, which has been a persistent problem. The club frequently fails to secure a recognised striker, despite Michail Antonio’s presence, who is far from the perfect fit for the position. This dilemma hinders the club’s ability to maximize its potential and chase opportunities.

Looking ahead, it’s crucial that Tim Steidten and David Moyes prioritise bringing a striker suited to the mangers tactics. The key lies in addressing the glaring need for a pacy, strong, technically proficient forward who can complement the team’s playing style. Avoiding the past mistakes of acquiring unsuitable forwards such as Gianluca Scamacca and Danny Ings is essential.

Gianluca Scamacca and Michail Antonio are set to follow Declan Rice by departing West Ham this summer.

Hammers history is repeating itself with the striker situation no closer to being resolved. 

Ultimately, the recurring issue of failing to recognise and seize opportunities poses a risk to the club’s progression and ambitions. It’s time to break the cycle, act decisively, and ensure that the next opportunity doesn’t slip through our grasp.

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