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Summer 2020 – success or failure for the Irons?

By Craig Bird

All has not been well at West Ham United for some time. Not only did Pelligrini leave under a cloud after attempting to bring pure football back to the East End, but David Moyes was appointed and the club were almost relegated at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.

Then there’s a perceived lack of leadership and investment by the board but there any silver linings among the clouds? More specifically, did the summer transfer window provide a glimmer of hope?

Survival

Thankfully, the team pulled together and managed to ensure one of the longest-serving Premier League sides didn’t drop down into the Championship. During the final stint of the fixture list, the Hammers played nine games, only losing three. Along the way, Antonio became the first West Ham player to smash in four goals in a Premier League tie, while there were positive results against Man United (1-1) and bitter rivals Chelsea (3-2). A good run of form meant that we hit the 39 points mark and stayed up with five to spare.

But is that enough?

Obviously, every Hammers fan on the planet was over the moon when Premier League football was officially on the cards for the 2020/21 season. There’s nothing like looking at the fixtures and imagining what the atmosphere will be like against some of the biggest sides in Europe. Still, it was relief more than celebration because West Ham United shouldn’t be in the same conversation as Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion. Compared to the 2015/16 season with Bilic, when we made it into the Europa League places, the summer of 2020 was a massive step back for a club with the fanbase and history of West Ham.

The transfer window

If you’re a West Ham supporter and have spent most of the summer playing UK casino games online rather than watching the news for transfer updates, nobody can blame you! The window has been nothing short of dreadful, with only three players coming into the squad to strengthen the team.

Yes, the UK transfer market is open until the 16th of October and Craig Dawson is rumoured to fill the centre back slot, but the players the board missed out on are telling. Fikayo Tomori didn’t want to come even though Chelsea were offered £50k every time he didn’t play, Caleta-Car said no, and Wilshere left the club. As far as the summer is concerned, it was a very difficult time for supporters, and it was only made easier by the fact Declan Rice didn’t leave.

Beyond the summer

On the face of it, the summer of 2020 was a failure for the club. The team stayed up, but shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place, while the players needed to ensure it doesn’t happen in 2021 are nowhere to be seen.

Thankfully, there is cause for excitement as the failures in the summer seem to have galvanised everyone. After a slow start, the last two games saw us score seven goals in total, three of them against red-hot Leicester City away from home. Hopefully, if this form continues, West Ham fans can say it’s been a successful year.

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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

7 comments on “Summer 2020 – success or failure for the Irons?

  1. Yes, the usual West Ham rollercoaster Craig!

    I think this comment is a massive matter of opinion though “The window has been nothing short of dreadful, with only three players coming into the squad to strengthen the team.”

    I don’t think it’s been a failure at all but it seems as if the measurement for transfer window success or failure is now about how many players you sign rather than whether they will actually make much difference to the team.

    We signed a load ready for Slaven’s second season and most were a complete waste of time and the same with Pellegrini. Moyes seems to be holding his ground against Sullivan and is looking for a settled team that he’ll only add to if he really thinks a player will fit and make a difference. Personally I’m really pleased about this.

    • Agreed on the load we signed before Slav’s second season and Pellegrini’s first: the big difference between the loads, of course, was that the first a cheap load of rubbish; the second was an expensive load of rubbish!

      The common thread between the two, though, was, and is, a Board that refuses, or is unable, to support sporting success.

  2. Alan, I agree with you 100%. It has been proven time after time that if you bring in too many new faces, and try to integrate them into virtually a new team, you are destined for failure. Far better to do it gradually, and with Souceck and Coufal we are looking a lot stronger, together with keeping hold of Rice of course.
    All in all, I feel we have had a decent summer window, and the team are looking good!!

  3. Securing Soucek and buying Coufal are great, as is losing Anderson and Wilshere from the payroll we are too heavy in wingers but losing Diangana, Cullen etc the jury’s out on those time will tell. The chairman and his sidekick foot in mouth Brady constant drivel to the press has been an unwanted distraction, if there are two transfers I really want it’s those two gone and off the payroll.

  4. Fully agree with above comments. We concentrate on our actual needs, trust management team and don’t judge window success by other teams spending!

    • Well said, Graham.
      It’s the game on the field that matters, not the spending statistics. We’re looking much better now without the excess ‘baggage’. We can move forward. Injuries? We’ll sort that out when it happens. Just don’t sign Welbeck.

      COYI

  5. At least we got rid of that muppet pellegrini and now have a decent manager in Moyes. He has saved us twice over two half seasons. Can’t wait to see what him and his team can do over a longer period.
    Last two games are among the best I’ve ever seen a West Ham team play over a full 90 minutes. Against difficult opponents too. Things are definitely looking up. just a shame Moyes hasn’t had the backing from Sullivan in the transfer market.

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