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Hammers’ transfer window: More good than bad

Sometimes you just have to keep the family silver.

As the transfer window rolled around, there will have been plenty of anxiety at the London Stadium surrounding potential departures.

Declan Rice was linked away, Michail Antonio had ended the season in red-hot form and could have been seen as a potential new striker for any number of clubs, Issa Diop’s star had somewhat waned, but he remained an elite, young defender, while Lukasz Fabianski is still perhaps the best goalkeeper outside of the top six in the Premier League.

There was every chance the Irons could be gutted and stripped down for parts in this transfer window.

Now, of course, we have to address the elephant in the room. Grady Diangana being sold was not the unforgivable sin some have made it out to be, but it was poor, and the reaction to it was justified. David Sullivan’s insistence that it would be worth it looks even worse in retrospect.

The signings, too, have been somewhat middling. Turning Tomas Soucek’s loan into a proper transfer looks a cracking bit of business and Vladimir Coufal had an excellent debut against Leicester, but one has to say we could have done with a few more bodies.

Nevertheless, the spine of this very good team remains intact and when they are all fit and firing, this is a starting XI to rival most teams in the league.

Who would have predicted before the games that the Hammers would beat Wolves and Leicester by an aggregate scoreline of 7-0?

It beggars belief, really, and there are, of course, bigger tests to come. The next three weeks following the international break, with games against Spurs, City and Liverpool, are huge.

They would have been nigh-on impossible tasks had Declan gone, leaving the defence woefully unprotected, or if Antonio had taken his leave, depriving the midfield of anyone to realistically stick the ball in the back of the net, or if another club had snaffled the brilliant Fabianski away, leaving his net essentially open.

Keeping these lads around is just as important as bringing new players in.

Ultimately, if the starting XI can stay fit, and a couple more players can be added – the domestic window is still open, allowing the Irons to sign players from EFL clubs – the Hammers are in good shape.

Let’s forget the doom and gloom and focus on the positives, shall we?

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.

50 comments on “Hammers’ transfer window: More good than bad

  1. We now have the smallest squad in premier we have a negative net spend and still you make excuses for the owners who promised to takebus to the next level when moving us into an athletics stadium . I am amazed

    • Hugh my son I don’t know you or you me so no abuse will follow. But you do and I think you realise it that your site and your views are mostly pro board hence you getting the label of being sullys mouthpiece! As for me I always say if it’s good or bad no matter what I think of this board. Firstly they did well bar Grady imo of getting rid of the waste of space players we have at present and reducing a wasteful wage bill for them. Those gone will be of no help if we got injuries bar Grady so well done and still we need to sell Anderson lanzini yarmo so not a complete success. My problem was they didn’t start to replace those they must have known were going with quality players only trying once again too late thinking they would get cheaper prices. Not a Moyes fan but must be given time to see what he can achieve this season at least and that won’t happen with players like Dawson and more arsenal rejects being touted! Hopefully Ben from Brent and Centre back and one that can play left back too if needed will join from the championship before we start seeing injuries and then hopefully a takeover of the club comes before Xmas and this great club with great supporters get some joy after this dreadful tenure of this board that promises only lies. Imo

      • Your perception and WRONG. Were you to know my personal history with Sullivan you would understand how totally wrong you and others are. But who I am I to try changing the perceptions of those who seem to know more about my life and beliefs than me. And how entirely pitiful that a bunch of people feel the need to come onto what the wrongly believe is a pro board site and insult those who run it. Sad and pathetic. If they need rage therapists find a psychiatrist. Oh wait, they cost money and these abusers don’t like paying for anything. The anger and hatred over a football club is just utterly absurd and will destroy those expressing it before it affects anybody with a modicum of self respect and tolerance. Thank you for your attempted analysis.

  2. I’m sorry Dave but you are just trying to find the positives and there aren’t many.
    We might have a good xi but as you know the further you go into the season the more chances of players picking up injuries and that’s when you need a strong bench.
    All might not be lost if we can pick up some good championship players but with sullivan holding on to the purse strings i’m holding my breath.

    • I think that moyes sullivan and co want players from the championship and that window still remains open. Watch this space

  3. Hahahahaha pro board propaganda of the highest degree .

    • If you knew our relationship with the board you would realise what a ******** sentence you’ve just written. Listen to me – people are allowed a view without unthinking fans giving it an 10 year old argument which were they to know a little bit more would understand was total garbage.Why do you suppose we ran a piece withy Redknapp saying the board should go…cos we are up their jacksies? Fool!

      • Ok Hugh . I guess the majority of the fan base is wrong then regarding their opinions of this site . Bore off .


          • hugh – i wouldnt waste your time replying to these people. they dont know how to debate its all insults. what i like about this site is you always let everyines posts throigh and you always give a right to reply. even if i dont agree with you i still need to respect you.

          • that’s what irritates. Marc. We give everyone a say and then the nonsense comes along from the no nothings. Thanks mate – means a lot


          • Look forward to it. Yes that’s how it works.

      • What an absolute cock you really are.

        At least try to cover up your love for the West Ham board.

    • If I’m insulted I will give the same back or is that not allowed? Oh now I have to be grateful to people who choose to insult me cos they pay nothing to be here and MAY click on the odd ad. Many come here to offer me their personal abuse. If they want to that’s their call as it’s mine how I respond. Nor do I write the piece. My own blog reflected precisely the same views as those who now want to insult me because they couldn’t work out who wrote the piece. If you wish to be an apologist for such behaviour that’s up to you but don’t expect me to sit and take what many want to offer. Those stupid days are gone and so will they be unless they can learn to debate properly without allowing personal comment to enter

  4. Sorry but you’ve got to be kidding. Great. We kept Dec for now – but we are still short a centre half and let back and if anything happens to Soucek, Dec or heaven forbid Antonio we’ll be really short in those areas too.

    A squad of 20 isn’t enough to see a club through a season. And why did we bother selling Diangana??

    Not good at all in my book.

    • Well said, Dave. On top of your points raised, we have some fantastic youngsters who might be able to step up if needed. Could do with a Josh King in my opinion, he’s more mobile than Haller but he isn’t going to come to us to sit on the bench I imagine. If I’m right that Cordoso wasn’t loaned out then he could be centre back cover for Cresswell as part of a back 3.

      Yes we have a small squad but look what Wolves have done the last few years using the same small group of players, Burnley too.

      The naysayers need something to moan about so they’ll repeat their same arguments against your post until we get relegated (we won’t). It’s a football fans prerogative I s’pose.

      • You are so wrong. We are relying on a striker with a dick hamstring and lose all pace in midfield of either Noble or Snoddy need to step in. We always get injuries and we do not have the players to fi the gaps. I am not aware of any other PL league team who has ever handed in a squad less than 25 and we now have only 20 senior players of which 3 are keepers, it is not good enough again. I don’t disagree with most of the outgoings but to not bring in 3 or 4 players who can add to the senior squad is both unforgivable and inept. I hope DM gets the chance to bring in 2-3 decent Championship players who are hungry and want to prove themselves but with Sullivan at the helm doubt that will happen.

        • If that is really the end of our transfer activity for 2020, then NO it is not more good than bad at all.

          A couple of injuries, (to the likes of ogbonna, Antonio or rice), and you will soon see.

  5. I’m sorry but whilst we have a good starting eleven the squad is very weak, and that’s down to the owners!
    When we lose any of Ogbonna, Rice, Soucek, Coufal, Bowen, Antonio to a long term injury we’ll be plummeting straight back into the bottom three.
    I really see no value in having Lanzini, Anderson, Yarmalenko and Haller on the bench. That’s circa £100m of players who add little value.
    We needed to add depth to the squad and we’ve not done that!

  6. We have about 17 senior outfield players

    Are at least 5 if not more short

    And do you honestly believe this pathetic incompetent inept board sign 5 decent players from the championship?

    Of course they won’t

    Their time is up

  7. Like the others disagree and would say more bad than good, personally can understand why Diangana was sold because we need ed to raise cash. Having said that we have got some big wages off our bill and not adequately replaced them, Lanzini, Noble and Snodgrass are intermittent performers, we have Soucek and Rice without them teams cut through us like a hot knife through butter, lets hope they stay fit and healthy. Why we didn’t get RLC from Chelsea I have no idea as it is he will get relegated with Fulham. The window was a series of inept half baked attempts at buying players without any real intent, how did it take so long to get Coufal on board for peanuts. Watkins at £28m was a snip, keeping hold of Rice was good but no one put an offer in for him, same with Diop so thats not good business they weren’t tested, GSB are the reason players don’t want to come, we have two morons in Sullivan and Brady who will criticise their own players in the press, the sooner we can oust them for someone more competent the better.

  8. I don’t see the issue, we have got rid of loads of dead wood who were picking up loads of wages. No one that left added anything to the 1st team.
    Apart from Diagana the rest weren’t cutting it and had many opportunities.
    People keep saying give youth a chance, Conor Coventry etc now have a pathway.
    If we get one or two in either loans or whatever we should be ok.
    I can see another clear out next year with Yarmolenko and Lanzini also moved on.
    Time to stop giving these players a free ride at our club.
    I think unless you have big money for signings then the rest available were pretty average.

    • we have dave great point – just a shame you dont seem to grasp the fact that if you let 13 players go and bring just 3 in you might have a problem. just saying like…

    • Agree.

      Someone on here said we should have bought RLC!!! Cracking idea, get rid of Wilshere and bring in another exactly the same! Lol.

    • Jeez chill out. Because of these strange times there’s another transfer window In two months or so. Besides when first teamers get injured is traditionally when the younger u23 players would get their breakthrough opportunity and under Moyes I’d say theres a few who’ve got a chance of it.

  9. We’ve finally shifted the dead wood and injury prone players, but we really needed a centre back. If we are going to play 3 at the back, we need more 4 in the squad, Diop, Ogbonna, Balbuena and Cresswell. Playing that system we do actually have at least 2 players for every other position bar centre back and left wingback.
    2 Keepers, Coufals, Fredricks and Johnson right wing back. Centre mid we have Rice and Soucek, with Noble and Snoddy backup, Bowen or Yarmalenko on the right, Fornals or Anderson on the left, lanzini too. Antonio and Haller up front. Finally, a squad of players that aren’t half crocks. I’m actually satisfied with the rest of the squad, but a couple of injuries or suspensions at the back and we’ll be up against it.

  10. I’m sorry but I respectfully disagree with this article: –

    Yes there are certainly positives, in that we kept Rice (and Antonio, who I’m surprised was never looked at by bigger clubs), signing Soucek permanently etc.

    The big issue we’ve got is we now play one way – a back 3, good wing back on the left who doubles up as a winger, box to box midfielders and a striker who sits on shoulders and runs in to channels at pace. That’s all well and good, but one injury to any one of those elements and our whole game plan goes out of the window.

    An injury to Masuaku leaves no-one to effectively play LWB in this system – there’s no back up. It’s arguably the reason why Fornals has come in to form – Masuaku is covering the ground he no longer needs to.

    An injury to Rice or Soucek leaves us with no legs in midfield whatsoever. No back up and no-one who could get up and down.

    An injury to Bowen leaves us with no cover on the wing, and no player who can effectively attack and defend for 90 mins. Antonio is our only option here – see below.

    The worst situation, an injury to Antonio (or Antonio having to move position), leaves us with Haller. I’m a fan of Haller, I think he could be very good for us but he doesn’t offer any sort of the same game as Antonio does. He doesn’t run off the shoulder, he doesn’t want the ball in space – he wants service to his feet and head.

    It’s hugely concerning that our season could be derailed by bringing in a sub-standard player to cover for an injury – just look at what Roberto did last year. Completely derailed the entire season.

    We desperately need players who can offer ‘similar’ attributes to the players we have now. If this is to be our philosophy, then fine, but the players we buy need to buy in to that. We need a box to box midfielder, a solid defender (although I argue that we don’t need one as much as Moyes wants one), a left winger or LWB who can take pressure off Fornals so he doesn’t have to drift left, which is not his position, a right winger (although Antonio can cover this) so long as another Striker is bought, that can do the running Antonio can.

    The window has been poor – but it’s saveable. Rodon, Benrahma and a box to box CM from the championship gives us enough cover with a solid first 11.


  11. Appreciate youre trying to be positive in a very depressing situation. I could not disagree more. Forget the 18m for Diangana. Forget weve only spent £5m and let 13 players go now in total. As all fans like me who are cincerned can now see the real problem is the size of our squad. it is pitiful. but the things that gets me the most given all the above? Our failure to not only get Loftus Cheek an outstanding central midfielder, the fact that FULHAM beat us to him. Hugh, youre an exprienced man who knows this club – how on earth can sully get away with this? you know and i know that just 1 or 2 injuries is going to be a big problem. Maybe we wont get them and we will be lucky it does happen. But my view of this disgusting board has just gone down even more. they harrass us “customers” to buy season tickets and shirts but how do they treat us in return? Worse than a championship club. Even Mike Ashley has spent a fortune? Mike F-ing Ashley!!! We will support and celebrate our team but my hatred of sullivan has just gone to new levels

    • I get away with it cos I said exactly the same in a blog – we are paper thin – need replacements – are stuffed if the board don’t buy. Have you read it or do you just like a moan up and get personal. In case you failed to notice I didn’t write this. as for new levels of hatred ypou are the only person getting eaten up as a result. You ain’t hurting him or anyone else. The rest of us have our own view and mine is not to become part of a herd hatred mentality, I want new owners but I ain’t carrying on like you and many others cos I like balance in my life

      • Think you may have gotten the wrong end of the stick there, Hugh… Marc wasn’t having a pop at you…

  12. stripping the squad down to its bare bones is hardly a good transfer window.What happens if just 1 or 2 of the starting 11 are injured?.We all know the back up is not up to scratch in any positions around the pitch.In any other occupation what the owners have done would be called asset stripping.Burnley did not buy anybody but neither did they get rid of around 8 to 10 players.

  13. If Anderson goes to Porto, then the decision to offload Diangana looks really stupid. Who is there to cover Fornals on the left? Looks like Lanzini, who is still yet to show that he can get back to his old form. I guess you could move Antonio out there and put Haller in the middle, but I wouldn’t want to rely on Antonio staying injury free. We actually need some left-wing cover now.

  14. Lots of comments about not signing Loftus Cheek.
    Loftus Cheek as never manged to play more then 24 game in a whole season because of injuries. Do we really want to sign another injury prone player? Surely we’ve learnt that lesson by now.

  15. I’m glad to see most of the comments disagree as I believe our transfer window has been woeful. Keeping Rice and Antonio, who are both irreplaceable, cant be looked at as a positive when there hasn’t been an offer for either of them. We have a half decent starting eleven but everyone knows we needed to improve our defence with at least 2, possibly 3 coming in as our current crop show consistent inconsistency. As with every transfer window, we’re told the club is in talks with all these great players but as usual we dont get any of them. The fact that we’re allegedly looking at Craig Dawson, a 30 year old who has been relegated twice before, shows the ambition of our owners.

  16. The Diangana sale could be explained at the time it happened… the club has a serious cash-flow problem – that this problem is entirely self-inflicted needs to be put to one side. But now we are moving on Anderson too the Diangana sale looks dubious at best. Some here are mentioning promising youth… who are they referring to? I would point to the plethora of young’uns, the latest being Cullen and Silva, who seemed unable to convince the manager to risk them around, never mind in, the first team squad.
    We are going into a season that could define us for a decade or more. That we are doing it with 17 outfield players feels like madness. It is not a situation we have suddenly found ourselves in, it has been years in the making.
    I am all for a glass half full attitude, but struggling to reach your levels. The addition of Coufal, the remarkable form of post lockdown Antonio, and the double pivot of Rice and Soucek give me great confidence in our first 11. But there are only 6 senior players to call on beyond that group… no wonder we so deliberately ducked out of the League Cup.
    Ipswich once won the old first division using just 14 players… even if we got that sort of injury luck who are the 3 players who could step up and keep that 11 strong enough? We all know we don’t have them.
    Shocking window but just another chapter in the car crash that is our time under these two. Please stop apologising for them.

  17. Why do you feel the need to insult your readers, Hugh? Not a good look, mate. Regardless of their opinion, these people are the ones who keep your site alive and drive revenue to your advertisers. I just think you need to be a little more thick-skinned and certainly more objective in your responses.
    As of today, I would think that the majority of fans do not think that this window was a good one for West Ham. Keeping some of our key players should be the bare minimum we expect if we want to progress, surely?
    The Board get a VERY generous 4/10 from me for this window. That’s for getting rid of some of the dead wood, reducing the wage bill and signing Coufal. But they’ve failed to address at least three other weaknesses in our (now very depleted) squad.

    • Well that’s fair, but ultimately hypocritical. You can’t insist on no insults from users with the threat of being banned and then insult them yourself. “Idiot”, “moron”, “fool” just some of the insults I’ve seen you lay on other people in the comments recently. You’re better than that. If you want to ban them, ban them. Don’t retaliate.

      • Barry, one question. Have I ever come on here and instigated abuse at anyone. Answer NO! It’s happened to me times upon number and eventually we all become hypocrites by responding in the wrong way. If someone lies about me as is usually the case based on what they want to believe I am not going to pull my punches. I may be better than that but sorry it becomes wearing in the end as it has done for an hour tonight. Now I’m done with it

    • Well said

  18. My view is keep powder dry until end of window with Championship. We need aspiring players either our own academy and/or from EFL who will not mind warming the bench more often than playing. All the so called star players mentioned in transfer window would expect to be first choices in team and could obviously see we already have great first team.

  19. I think that the squad are definitely short of numbers – and both Moyes and Alan Irvine have said as much – particularly regarding central defenders. I think that Ben Johnson can cover left back so I would see our biggest need as a central defender and a midfielder and perhaps an attacker. However I feel that people are not being honest when looking at the number of players who have left as Roberto, Carlos Sanchez, Jordan Hugill and Jack Wilshire just to mention 4, hardly constitute “asset stripping” and Coufal is essentially a replacement for Zabaletta – get in three or four more players and we should be OK

  20. I don’t get it, Hugh. Please give me a sincere and honest answer.

    You run a website based on opinions (and rumours from various newspapers and blogs) and yet you get squeamish and shout at people who tend to disagree with you. I realise it’s your website 🙂 and you can do whatever you want, but why on earth do you behave like that? No need to do like a very few idiots do.

    • I never instigate rudeness, or abuse. EVER. We report everything we can find from everywhere on West Ham. That was the initial idea. Your question is fallacious. The only time I become angry and rude is when people level personal abuse at me . It’s wrong and the ongoiig “up the board’s arse” nonsense has been shown to be utter tripe over recent weeks. When i am called a cock and a ***** I tend to respond as would most others. Well done on those who don’t. In pointing out that bored journalists make up rumours I quoted the Daily Express in particular. We don’t know how many of the rumours may or may not be true so we run them to keep the site busy. And that’s the honest answer

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