Moyes and West Ham transfers – The Record


Blind Hammer looks at the transfer record of David Moyes.

There is a narrative that David Moyes is a dithering dinosaur in the transfer market, with an all too obvious record of bumbling ineptitude.

This is one of the biggest sticks used by those who seem, even now, determined to force Moyes out in favour of some unidentified managerial saviour who will sweep into West Ham to bring sparkling trophy winning success alongside free flowing attacking football.

Call me cynical, but this was precisely the narrative that forced Moyes out last time, in favour of the alleged modern tactical saviour in Pellegrini. That did not work out so well did it?

Pelleghrini really did make some awful and expensive transfer signings.

But is this description of Moyes alleged transfer ineptitude really fair or even accurate?

I remember a West Ham Way Podcast interview where the late David Gold actually celebrated Moyes’ acumen in the transfer market. Gold revealed that in previous times, if West Ham achieved a success rate of 50% or more in acquiring players they thought they were doing well.

He contrasted the past history of West Ham and transfers, which was dominated by flops and under achieving gambles compared to the solidity of Moyes’ recruits.

So was Gold right? Jordan Hugill is often trotted out as the biggest striker flop that Moyes recruited but to look at a more accurate picture I went to Transfernet to try and identify a wider reflection.

I have rated them as solid or flops to try and identify Moyes alleged ineptitude.

1. Saïd Benrahma: Solid with more to prove.

2. Jarrod Bowen: Not just solid but outstanding.

3. Jessie Lingard: – Not technically a recruit as a loan but his inspired input helped propel West Ham into Europe in his short stay Definitely solid business.

4. Tomas Soucek: Solid with more to prove but has justified transfer.

5. Jordan Hugill: Undeniably a flop.

6. Vladimir Coufal:Very solid with excellent start – needing to recover from injury.

7. Darren Randolph: Re-Recruited as a backup mainly training ground goalkeeper. Solid for role.

8. Craig Dawson: A quite outstanding solid buy from Moyes who received ridicule for his judgement in this purchase at the time.
9. Alphonse Areola: Bought as number 2 to Fabianski and has performed creditably in Europe and Cup competitions. 

10. Philo Kehrer: – Needed time to adjust but has become stronger as the season has progressed. Solid squad player now.

11. Emerson: Moyes again received early criticism for this recruitment but Emerson appears first choice now ahead of Cresswell who is in talks with Wolves. Solid.

12. Aguerd: Solid – hopefully excellent in the future, a lot more to come.

13. Paqueta: Took time to adjust but became a matchwinner as season progressed. Definitely solid.

4. Downes: Bought as a squad player with potential – certainly not a flop and looks solid.

15. Scamacca: Injury record hints he may become a flop but also shows exciting glimpses of the player he may become. Jury out.

16. Cornet: Injury ravaged season makes assessment impossible at the moment. A proven PL performer in the past.

17. Zouma. Moyes set his stall out to sign this player from Chelsea, despite “Cat-gate”, he has become first choice in his position. Definitely solid.

18. Ings. One of the more criticised Moyes signings and the jury is still out because it is not clear where he fits into a Moyes system. Nevertheless arguably scored two of the most important goals in the season in a key season defining home win against Forest. His presence in the squad appear to galvanise Antonio’s performances in the latter half of the season.

19. Vlasic:- one of the clearest flops in Moyes’ recruitment record. Vlasic was a nearly player who obviously can excel in less competitive environments than the Premier League. West Ham are still trying to recover some transfer value.

So I make that a surprisingly large number of 19 players signed by Moyes. Signing 19 players does not seem to fairly fit the narrative of dithering Dave to me.

Out of these 19 recruits only Hugill and Vlasic stand out as obvious clear flops.
Mainly because of injury concerns it is difficult to make proper assessment of Scamacca and Cornet.
Similarly it is still early days with Ingsbut he is certainly not the worst forward West Ham have ever signed.

So I make that Moyes has overseen 14 proven solid recruitment out of 19 transactions, with the jury out on 3 recruits. Far in excess of the 50% Gold had previously hoped for in previous managerial regimes.

The more I think about it, the more I find it increasingly difficult to identify a more successful transfer record for a West ham manager. Redknapp was the most famous wheeler and dealer but even he will admit to signing as many flops as successes. For every Di Canio you could set aside a Marco Boogers.

I think it is time to set the Moyes transfer record straight.

David Griffith

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My Father, born in 1891 was brought up in the shadows of the Thames Ironworks Memorial Ground. I remember as a child jumping over the settee when Alan Sealy scored in our 1965 European Cup Winners triumph.

My first game was against Leicester in 1968, when Martin Peters scored what was adjudged by ITV’s Big Match as the Goal of the Season.

I became a season ticket holder in 1970.

I was registered blind in 1986 and thought my West Ham supporting days were over. However in 2010 I learnt about the fantastic support West Ham offer to Blind and other Disabled Supporters. I now use the Insightful Irons in-stadium commentary service and West Ham provide space for my Guide Dog Nyle.

I sit on the West Ham Disabled Supporters Board and the LLDC Built Environment Access Panel.

David Griffith aka Blind Hammer


  • duckwhu1958 says:

    A bit of sense about Moyes at last 👍

  • barnie884 says:

    Again, a voice of reason amongst the consistently moaning masses! Great article

  • Eug says:

    A really good and precise article. Presents facts not opinion. Where Moyes got it wrong comes straight out and says so. But surprisingly gets far more right than wrong.
    Maybe what everyone is really annoyed about is why do we/Moyes leave it so late in the transfer window. I think if we were better prepared and got the business will do nice and early in the window, there would not be a problem.

  • dirk says:

    A refreshing change to read amongst the persistent anti-Moyes negativity from other contributors. Thoughtful analysis. Well argued.

  • westham64 says:

    Just waiting on our regular misanthrope Johnham1 to come on and moan about most of those signings and your assessment of them as “solid” 😂

  • salesb says:

    Absolute slander about my boy Jordan HuGoat

  • Hammeroo says:

    I think the criticism “Dithering Dave” is because of Moyes’ procrastination and indecision over intended targets, not about the success or otherwise of his signings.

  • Clive says:

    What an excellent article. Not influenced by negative opinion about Moyes but just stating the facts as they are.

  • johnham1 says:

    Good article I think for me Aguerd, Cornet, Paqueta and Scamacca are 4 serious signings I think Cornet and Scamacca could be like two new signings this season. I actually don’t criticise Moyes in terms of signings made too much it’s just his playing style and negativity that gets me. I just don’t enjoy watching us play when he sets us up so defensive where we have only 20 or 30 % possession. Also he went after alot of very average players like Abrahams but he chose to go to Italy – now Jose wants rid – he has got lucky too on some really dodgy deals.

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