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Irons board must dig deeper than ever before


Let’s be brutally frank about this, if the Hammers survive this awful season the board of directors are going to have to dig deeper into their pockets than ever before to sort out the mess in our squad..

Truth is that from back to front we look much less than average in most positions  and a total rebuild needs to be on the cards.

It’s going to cost a lot of dough but if the board are serious about retaining a place in the PL – should they remain in it this season – it really has to be done.


There’s no point in going into great detail about each position but briefly here’s where we are in my opinion:


Adrian: Once a stable presence but under pressure from first Darren Randolph and then Joe Hart appears to lack that vital edge.

Hart: Simply not good enough and on his way back to Manchester City – many will say “thankfully.”

Trott: The under 23 keeper is tipped for big things but at this stage looks the No 2.

Verdict: Position vacant


Zabba: Done really well this season but age catching up

Byram : Injury prone and honestly doesn’t look good enough

Reid: Injury prone and not what he was

Ogbonna: Inconsistent

Collins: Injury prone – great servant coming to the end

Cresswell: Disappointing in the main and another not looking the player he was.

Rice: Very good first season – needs more chances. Young and athletic legs much needed

Verdict: Big overhaul required


Noble: Not getting any quicker, can pick a pass and always energetic but form ebbs and flows.

Kouyate: Poor season. Competition needed in that area

Obiang:  Injury prone and another who is inconsistent

Mario: Lightweight and unlikely to stay

Masuaku: Great in that left wing role on his day but we need more of them

Lanzini: Keeping him fit is a problem at times but obviously a big player

Fernandes: Back from injury with loads to prove.

Verdict: Three quality players required minimum


Antonio: Questions to be answered after injuries and form dip but always a threat

Arnautovic: Top season in a poor team since finding a position new to him

Carroll: Zero comment

Hugill: Wait and see

Hernandez: Probably on his way from a team and tactical approach not suited to his style

Verdict: Sterength in depth required big time

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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

21 comments on “Irons board must dig deeper than ever before

  1. Saying it as it is needed Hugh!
    Even a modest team improvement would cost us 200-300 million.
    I think Adrian is a better GK than you suggested; likewise Joao Mario in midfield

  2. can’t agree on Ogbonna, by some distance our best defender this season and has played his way back into the Italy quad as a result

  3. Good assessment of true strength of our squad. If people don’t think Moyes has done enough, then here is the real reason for our predicament.
    Players who were said to be from the next level were obviously not.
    We need 2 CBs, a RB and a LB. As for Byram, he was never seen as instant Premier standard; he was supposed to go out on loan for a year. He should be given that chance before he is written off. Ogbonna has never been safe enough. He is not a youngster learning the game, so he will never be good enough.
    In midfield, Obiang will also never be what we need. Kouyate used to be a star for us but for the last 2 seasons he has just picked his wages up.
    2 Holding players and a more attacking type in central midfield are necessaties.
    We can get good money for Hernandes, who simply does not fit into the team play enough ( our game stalls too much with him in it ), and then we can buy at least one decent striker.
    Hopefully 1 or 2 of our better youngsters will show up well in the summer, and push into the squad, but as you say we need a complete overall.
    Whoever we buy will be critisized by some of our supporters because they won’t compare to what Man City have, but it’s time for realism.

  4. You forgot one element – a decent dose of motivation and passion a la Palace, Brighton, Burnley……

  5. This has to come to pass because of chronic under-investment in the squad.It is reasonable I think for a club of our size to be spending 60 million a year on players transfer fees.This year we made a profit of 20 so we should have 80 to carry forward plus 60 giving us 140 million next year.If spent wisely this would address the problems.if the board cannot make this financial commitment they really should sell up.we shall see.

  6. Looks easy on paper, basically we need a whole new team. Some fans will be expecting the club to sign everyone that is needed this summer. Never going to happen..
    To bring all these players in will cost north of £150m & wont be possible in one transfer window. Imho if we stay up this season the best we can expect for next is mid-table safety & push on from there.

    • agreed, the process will take 2-3 years, so we will need to make do sometimes, and push players like Cullen, Burke, Holland, Pask, Johnson, Browne and Quina, to see if they can survive there.
      Will our more doubtful supporters be able to accept that? Probably not, and that could be the biggest stumbling block to progress.

  7. If we had added 1/2 good quality players each season we could have kept up a decent quality squad. Because of a severe lack of investment we now face this dilemma. It has taken 5/6 years to get to this stage so I don’t expect us to get out of it instantly.

    • We are not even keeping up with the turnover of decent players getting old, let alone adding quality where there has been a deficit.

      Unless there is radically more being spent by the owners in a more sustainable way, we will be back here again next season, if we survive.

  8. Chronic under investment is definitely the main issue. Followed by short-termism.

    Our owners repeatedly fail to recruit to cover weak area’s of the squad. How long did they take to get a RB into the club, and a fit striker? 2 windows? 3?
    Then there’s the hole in midfield we haven’t addressed for a year as well.

    Thats’ without even bothering with upgrading on players who are getting too old or are always injured.

    Now we make a profit and cut costs in January, during a relegation battle?

    You have to spend more each season just to stand still in this league, the Dave’s are spending less! Either they are living in the past, or they are inherently tight.

    I hold little hope they will suddenly change next season if we are still in the top flight.

  9. I can understand that their first job was to stabilize the finances of the club, by whatever means so I can see their problem, but it is now about time to raise the bar. The club is now running well enough and more resources must be put into the squad just to make up for lost time.
    Then a higher level of spending must be kept up for the next few seasons to see an improvement of the clubs position.
    I think they were reluctant to finance Bilic to any great extent because they were still not convinced, but I’m sure they will do better for Moyes because they are convinced by him. Even if some of our supporters are not convinced, if the owners are it will mean more money will be spent.
    It will all take time and patience on the part of the supporters or it won’t happen.

    • They may have been reluctant to back Bilic Fishes, but what about the cronic under-investment in January coupled with the derisory Dendocker offer?
      They’re trying to wing it, imo, spend as little as possible with their fingers crossed behind their backs that we’ll finish 17th or higher.
      I think that for a fair few fans (obviously not all) the patience shown in the past has been totally eroded.

    • Sleeps you are sounding like we just came out of business rescue 2 years ago. They took over 8 years ago. We sold our ground for cash and generate more with a bigger stadium for the last 2 seasons. That “first job” was done a long time ago.
      It Is no excuse for the **** poor investment we have seen the last few years. If they were not convinced with bilic to spend money then why even continue employing him? Another poor cheap decision and excuse to not spend.

      What does the patience of supporters have to do with them spending or not? We have run out of patience with their excuses and lies and won’t spend anyway.

      • Spot on chek …I think the majority of fans have been very patient that’s why it has come to this ..we can’t keep saying we are starting a new plan every few years when the board keep on failing…. Like I said I think this is the 3rd plan since they took over …😂😂

  10. Why all this daily crap ?? .
    We have a season to finish and. It’s not all over yet . We will survive this bad time and emerge stronger . I still believe we can be amongst the top 10 clubs in the Premiership .
    Imo it’s about time people started to support us instead of downing us .
    Getting really ****ed off Now with these news items . Nothing but negativity , grow up the lot of you . Things go in circles , big clubs start to fail and smaller clubs start to grow In stature.
    It is ,,, OUR TURN TO GET BIGGER ,,, if that means a change of Ownership , then so be it .. we have a new Home and the sooner we accept it the better .

  11. Three points against the Southampton hopeful will be written into our History .. it will be written as the day West Ham United turned the elusive corner on the road to greater things .
    Eight games to play and plenty of room for positivity ,, let’s get on with it .
    Fans or so-called supporters that don’t share this optimism should stay away forever .

  12. WHEN have they ever dug deep ? And for some to say its a 2\3 year or 3=4 year plan its very annoying because back in 2015 go!d said then… we have a plan which will take 2\3 years and hopefully be playing with the big boys and competing constantly with them …and noiw its that time and again there saying its asnoither 3\4 year plan we have in place …Jesus come on its laughable…but at !east Sullivan has got a bit of tax relief 😂😂😂😂😂😂

  13. Some of our fans need to open their eyes. the board are not Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny all rolled into one. They have neglected the squad for season after season and now we are seeing the consequences. I appreciate the loyalty to the club but take a step back and look at the predicament we are in and consider what has caused it. It was not the fans.

    • I agree. The overall impression the owners give is that they HAVE to do everything on the cheap. And then show off they have pulled off a masterstroke by getting a great player for peanuts. Except Lanzini (cheap indeed) and Adrian (came on a free), I don’t see anyone matching that description. The upsetting false negotiations for Carvalho and Dendoncker are the latest examples. I am not sure Carvalho wanted to come to us, though I do know he wanted to leave SCP. We missed out on that one. Same for Dendoncker, who DID want to come to us, to make sure he would be part of the national team in Russia (Anderlecht is in a deep crisis right now). What is worse is that we apparently did have the money for Dendoncker, which makes this charade even les excusable.

      Right now, we need to take it by stages. Stage one is stay up, which will only happen if we support the team (and everyone must put their frustration away in a locker under key until the end of the season). Stage two is determine who is going to be coach/manager. At that point, we will know which players will WANT to stay and which WON’T want to. The ones who won’t will leave, together with the ones who NEED TO LEAVE and be REPLACED. Stage three is building a solid reliable squad, blending the players who will stay with young players and confirmed players (not any declining ones).

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