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Transfer window misery? You ain’t seen nothing yet


Gonzo has real worries as he looks towards the summer transfer window


A little over a year ago West Ham sold Sebastian Haller to Ajax for a whopping £25m loss.

Whilst the Hammers failure to get the very best out of their record signing was hard to stomach it was clear that he was unsuited to our style of football.

Purchased under the stewardship of Pellegrini as a goal poacher Haller was never going appeal to a coach who prefers his strikers to be fast and attritional.

Following the sale, Moysie was keen to assure the press that funds had been made available to him and that he was actively seeking a replacement striker.

Little did we suspect that the quest would still be going on during  the summer window when it was clear to all that Michail Antonio would require support.

Fast forward to now and the most recent fudged transfer attempts and it’s hard to make the case that Moyes has found the striker he really wants.

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If Darwin Núñez really was the chosen one the why did we make our first bid 48 hours before the window closed?

I suspect that the Uruguayan forward was in fact 3rd or 4th choice and the hurried attempts to secure Duvan Zapata in the final hours would support that.

All of the above begs the following question . . . . If the club can’t sign a striker in a year when new scouts and a recruitment specialist have been hired how will we manage buy TEN players this summer?

And before you start to think that 10 players is just a sensationalistic and clickbaity line take a look at who we’ll have to replace in a few months time.

  • Kral: He’s not fancied now so unlikely to be retained
  • Areola: See above
  • Yarmolenko: Out of contract
  • Martin: Out of Contract
  • Noble: Retiring
  • Masuaku: Clearly not in the manger’s plans
  • Randolph: Leaving in the summer
  • Fredricks: Out of contract
  • Diop: Not part of Moyes long term plans
  • Ogbonna: Will be 34 if and when he recovers

Then ask yourself, do you think the squad is currently too thin? Clearly the answer is yes which means that even ten new players is probably insufficient.

I’ve purposefully not added Rice and Bowen into the mix but it’s clear that we need to source a whole team of players. A recruitment drive on that scale takes massive planning, forward thinking and a structured and decisive application.

Something has to change and it will have to happen fast. As things stand it’s taken over a year to sign one player and I see precious little evidence to suggest that West Ham are capable of constructing an adequate squad ahead of next season.

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About Gonzo

ST holder, West Ham video blogger, www.hammerschat.com @Gonzobignose

19 comments on “Transfer window misery? You ain’t seen nothing yet

  1. Areola and Ogbonna are proper players and I see them being back next season. It is good we have players like Yarmo, Fredericks and Randolph out of contract, none of them should ever have been signed. This will allow younger players to come into the squad. This summer is going to be unique as there are a huge amount of players out of contract so the market is going to vibrant but if we have learned anything from this window cannot wait for the summer to start our planning, we should now identify the players we can get that will improve us and put the right steps in place now to secure these signings. I have no confidence in the recruitment team anymore and I am beginning to lose confidence in Moyes in terms of recruitment but what I will say in his defense I feel he has been let down by Newman. Everyone wanted a left sided CB and there are some cracking Left CB’s there like the Lille CB but everyone is after him. Our recruitment team should be looking for as good as CB but who is not yet as established and go and sign him. I did not fancy Car from Marseille but I would have taken him on loan so 100% agree with Moyes on that one. I also liked the approaches for Raphina and the Benfica striker, bith would have been amazing. However I am worried that he sees Phillips as some want that is worth spending 50m on when we have so many other positions to fill. We have a thin squad as it is biit I just hope Moyes starts playing Ashby, Baptiste etc instead of the likes of Fredericks, Masuaka and Yarmo.

    • Can’t see Bowen moving.
      Liverpool have just bought Luiz.
      City have many other options.
      Man Utd will buy an overseas star.
      That’s probably the top 4.

      Still in Europe and he’ll be the main man.

  2. That’s not inspiring let’s hope we get the players we need and show real ambition!

    • Thankfully West Ham now employs experienced professionals to answer all of the questions posed in this article by somebody who, no offence meant, has, it would appear, absolutely no experience in elite sports management.

    • Looking at some of the players who will soon be out of contract at other clubs I was wondering if Moyes was using the January window to prepare for the summer rebuild rather than stop current gaps. The risk is having a small squad might leave us in a similar situation to the 06 cup final. My lasting memory is of a static Marlon Harewood, almost unable to walk, standing in the area hoping for a chance to fall his way.

  3. How right-you aint seen nothing yet. that will happen in the summer with the break up of the team.The stupidity shown in this window beggars belief.Wouldnt budge on a loan deal for the Marseille player ! At about 15 mill, .STUPID. .Left it all to the last minute .STUPID. Wouldnt increse bids when it looked like a deal could be done STUPID. Moyes -newman and the board equally culpable in my opinion. Disgraceful -disappointing-and the beginning of the decline. AGAIN. Had a chance to kick on and blew it.,

  4. Best piece of journalism I’ve read so far in 2022.

    We are up the regents canal with no paddle.

    • This isn’t journalism. It’s speculation. Everybody – Gonzo included – is entitled to speculate, and to form and share opinions off the back of the speculation. That’s the beauty of the internet and Claret and Hugh. But this isn’t Ken Dyer-type, source-led journalism, where the sources are within the Club.

      • Hold on, papers such as u mention and most others run any amount of such features and this site, like them, runs many source led pieces for which we also get criticism. After 50- years I think I know what is and isn’t journalism and there will always be a place for views including yours. Ken Dyer was brilliant .

      • Doesn’t most journalism come with a hint of speculation?

        I can’t argue with any of the points made in the article, how is dithering Dave going to cope with having to replace all of those potential exits, let alone Rice Bowen and Soucek probably losing faith and taking their chances in the summer.

        • Thank you Danielson and you are of course correct. I’ve yet to find a ‘paper or site than doesn’t include speculation. Bizarre comment in the first place 🙂

        • I suppose the point that I’m trying to make, Hughie and Danielson, is that we need to be careful that we’re not injecting pure speculation into the informational void, which David Moyes has created with his ‘no leaks’ policy, in a way that’s really unhelpful for the team. There’s a danger that the speculation – which is generated by people that have no insight into what has gone on behind the scenes, or into Moyes’ rationale for not signing players – spills over into vocal frustration at a time when we’re actually doing really well, and we have, for the first time in a long time, a really capable manager who has created a really effective team spirit. In the past, when printed sports journalism was much better quality than it tends to be now, Ken Dyer, Michale Hart and there were lots of others, including one Hugh Southon no doubt, would have attempted to fill informational voids, and get to the heart of the stories, through their access to the likes of David Moyes. I might be naive about that, though. I’m certainly not saying that all speculation is wrong and that there’s no speculative element to journalism. I’m just saying that we need to discern between pure speculation and stories that come from the horse’s mouth.

          • Nothing here is ever written without insight my friend. Trust me. That’s why I personally and others have been in the biz a long long time. You have heard from the horse’s mouth several times – there’s no one better. if you choose to believe that, fine.There is also room for pure opinion as is again the case in every media outlet. And I knew Ken and Mike as pals as well – great lads

  5. I don’t believe Moyes will get to do the re-build. Anything than a guaranteed Euro spot next season sees him f sacked I believe. And Europe seems slim odds at the moment.
    But I respect that he didn’t panic buy, as I’m sure KGSB were in his ear telling him to get on with it.

  6. Despite the obvious like mark noble retiring, what evidence is there for all these players not being in the managers plans? For example I kept reading that Diop would be sold if we found another defender in the window but that made no sense to me considering he’s young and could improve compared to Ogbonna and Dawson who are nearing the end of their careers. Unless Diop has asked to go back home to France? As it turned out we never signed a defender so we never got to see if Diop was in the managers plans or not. I’d love to know who was or wasn’t in Moyes plans but I’d only be guessing because I don’t think Moyes is going to tell me any time soon.

    • Hi Clive.

      The ‘obvious’ isn’t just mark Noble retiring though.

      It’s obvious that Kral and Areola are returning to their parent clubs.

      It’s obvious that the club are releasing Yarmolenko, Randolph, Martin and Fredricks because they’ve not been offered new deals (they are currently allowed to sign pre-contract agreements with other clubs).

      It’s obvious that Diop is Moyes’s last resort/4th choice in central defence and very apparent that Ogbonna has an injury which someone 10 years his junior would struggle to recover from.

      Much as I’d like to think that the only position we have to replace is Noble’s the reality is quite different.

      So do we know for certain that all of the above will leave? No. However it’s not the stuff of fiction to extrapolate and predict that most of them will be gone.

      And let’s be perfectly honest here . . . . with the exception of Areola & Ogbonna they aren’t good enough.

  7. Gonzo, If the current squad can get West Ham into the PL top six, to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup and potentially the same (and beyond) in the FA Cup – not to mention the last 16 of the Europa League – they can see us through the next four months. It’s not ideal, and we will have to keep Antonio fit…… but it’s not as bad as ‘everyone’ seems to be saying. With all of those players out of contract and moving on, the squad will need a complete renovation in July for sure.
    It will be good progress under Moyes if the team reaches the last eight of the Europa League and likewise, the FA Cup…..AND another top six finish in the Prem. A cup double is not beyond this West Ham squad from here.

    • Hi Trevor.

      I’m not actually too concerned about this season. I still believe that we have a very good team who’ll get somewhere in the region of 50-60 points.

      This was primarily about our ability to recruit numerous players when Moyes’s recruitment criteria process appears to take such a long time.

  8. When it comes to this summers business I hope nobody starts dreaming of superstar signings. Because Kretinsky said back in Novemeber, not long after he bought into the club, that he didnt believe in spending huge in a transfer window as it doesn’t guarantee success and that he had his fingers burnt trying to do so.

    The funny thing is with him on board fans decided to ignore his statement and believed we were going to get all Viv Nicholson and spend spend spend. This unsurprisingly didn’t happen.

    Quote :
    “Our investment will bring a positive improvement to the club’s capital structure, initially enabling a reduction of its long-term debt and increasing the ability to further direct funds generated into key areas.”

    “I hope our business acumen and experience of football will also prove beneficial to West Ham United. We have come to support the club but – so as to manage supporters’ expectations – that doesn’t mean big spending in the January transfer window.”

    Even if we by some miracle make it into the top four (we wont, we’re top 8 squad at best) I still wouldn’t expect to see the rash of signings we would need to “level up”.

    Of your list Gonzo, I can see 4 potentially being re-signed / kept on

    Martin – Decent enough as a 3rd string / training ground keeper (and cheap)
    Diop – We’ll need to get someone in first and given recent history.
    Ogbonna – Already has been told he’ll get an extension
    Masuaku – Unless he’s released who is going to buy him?

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