Journalist paints a grim Hammers picture


Doom & gloom appraisal paints a grim picture for Hammers

Guardian journalist and Irons fan Jacob Steinberg has painted a grim picture of the current situation at West Ham. The club is grappling with an injury crisis, coupled with apparent financial constraints for the transfer window.

In his newspaper article, Steinberg suggests that discontent among some players and a squad seemingly not up to the demands of Premier League football add to the challenges at The London Stadium.

Reading his piece, it’s hard not to be concerned about the current situation at West Ham.

Summarising his article:

  • Michail Antonio’s potential six-week absence due to a knee injury may force West Ham to adjust their transfer plans.
Antonio_West ham_Strikeris injured again

Grim picture for Hammers. Antonio is injured again.

  • Injuries to key players like Jarrod Bowen and Lucas Paquetá during the FA Cup draw with Bristol City add to the disruption. Mohammed Kudus is also unavailable due to the Africa Cup of Nations.
  • Lack of attacking depth has been exposed, and West Ham aims to improve squad quality. However, budget constraints may limit incoming transfers, potentially relying on sales.
  • A move for Wolves defender Max Kilman depends on Nayef Aguerd’s departure, and loan options might be explored for short-term solutions.
  • Despite being open to offers for players like Danny Ings, Saïd Benrahma, and Pablo Fornals, circumstances, especially Antonio’s setback, might affect transfer decisions.
  • The club is considering left-winger signings, with interest in Ajax’s Steven Bergwijn and Sunderland’s Jack Clarke. However we must sell first (easier said than done).
  • Defensive strengthening remains a priority, given Aguerd’s absence, Thilo Kehrer’s loan to Monaco, and Konstantinos Mavropanos undergoing tests for a rib injury. Right-back Vladimír Coufal’s discontent with a one-year contract offer and uncertainty over Ben Johnson’s future add to the challenges.

Hammers problems are easily solved

The problems at West Ham are clear. With the squad decimated by injury and absence there can be only three solutions. Either we promote youth, purchase players or utilise the substitutes.

Given there is a reluctance to use the flourishing academy and the bench is seemingly ineffective, there is only one option  . . . buy some players. Football finance expert Kieran Maguire has explained the FFP situation and the Hammers are fine. Yes, there will be some balancing of the books required by UEFA for the 2024/25 season. However that’s next season! It gives the club plenty of time to offload players.

So it really comes down to finance. What is the point of having three billionaire owners if we can’t afford to buy a defender from Wolves and a winger from Sunderland when we’re barely able to field a usable eleven?

The proposed stadium expansion to 66,000 hints at West Ham wanting to be a big club . . . perhaps it’s time we started acting like one.

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Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose