West Ham transfer window flops – no way!


Paqueta -now a sought after player

Blind Hammer appraises Rob Newman’s work.

The story earlier on Claret and Hugh about the imminent departure of Rob Newman caused me, yet again to consider his so called disastrous summer transfer window of 2022.

I am sure the story is well sourced and Newman will get the bullet but how fair is this, in reality?

I am consistently baffled by this description of a so called “disastrous” transfer window last summer. It seems to be based on an utterly unrealistic assumption that all transfers will fire with all players adapting instantly to the Premiership from the day they arrive and make their debut.

This rarely if ever happens at any club. Nunez at Liverpool amongst numerous other recruits at other clubs need time to adjust not just to settling into a new club regime, but often a new country let alone the most difficult and competitive league in the world. Even home grown talents like Bowen took at least a season to adjust to the challenges of the Premier League, being a consistent figure on the substitute bench in his early days at West Ham.

We better not have similar unrealistic expectations of the planned squad replacements for Rice’s departure next season.

In retrospect If there is to be any criticism of last summer’s transfer strategy it is because of its timing. We can now see that these players should have been all recruited a year earlier, bolstering the squad whilst it was relatively on a high, rather than having to come into an ageing, struglling, declining squad on its way down. All last summer’s recruits would have found it far easier to adapt in a more successful, rather than struggling team. Yet Newman can hardly be blamed for that as he was not at West Ham then.

So lets review the recruits. Parqueta is now apparently a sought after talent worth at least £70 million after his strong showing at the end of the season.

Again expecting him to perform at his later match winning level from day 1 was always unrealistic. Nayef Aguerd, despite being hit by serious pre-season injury proved a star of the World cup, and has shown himself to be a quality recruit who is likely to grow only stronger with more Premiership experience.

Emerson grew in defensive strength over the season and started ahead of Cresswell in Prague. Downes did everything a bargain low cost recruit could be expected to do, including some important contributions in Europe, Thilo Kehrer again definitely took time to adapt, but grew in strength as the season progressed and has probably forced Ben Johnson out of the club.

Even Danny Ings cored a crucial couple of goals against Forest without which our season would have looked very different and more importantly seemed to stiffen up Antonio’s resolve and performances with the competition for places.

This leaves Scamacca and Cornet who have barely played because of injury, who nevertheless when they have played have shown occasional flashes of what could be possible. Scamacca in particular was important in some of the early European rounds.

He has not proven himself in the Premiership yet and if rumours are correct may not be happy in England. But it is really far too early to dismiss his possibility of becoming a good Premiership Player.

I remember how Dion Dublin in an early Match of the Day analysis highligted how Paqueta was able to find some Scamacca runs. He said that West ham fans should be drooling over the possibility of a developing Paqueta/ Scamacca partnership.

These early signs of partnerhsip were disrupted by the World Cup and injuries to Paqueta’s sholder and Scamacca knee in particular. This has prevented any chance of this partnership developing since. Finally, Cornet is a proven Premiership performer but again has barely played because of injury.

So I make that every player a qualified success, apart from the 2 who have spent most of the season injured. Disaster – what disaster? Compared to other West Ham foreign recruits like Vlasic Anderson Haller et. al. it now seems an amazing quality window to me.

We may regret and rue the day we tossed Newman away.

David Griffith

By David Griffiths

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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


  • dirk says:

    Excellent post. We always look for the negative, and have unrealistic expectations. More analysis like, please!

  • barnie884 says:

    Thank you for this post, I couldn’t agree more!
    Hammers fans seems to have unrealistic expectations and do love a moan
    So many new players last season, mainly from outside the EPL – any football fan knows that apart from the odd exception like Haaland, most players take at least 6 months to adapt from a different league. The one caveat maybe is Scammacca – looks class and love to see him stay with maybe Barnes and Bowen on either flank with Paquetta behind, but was he (and Ings) the right type of striker for a Moyes team? Yes maybe the intention was to change our style a bit, didn’t work so we reverted to tried and tested by the end of the season. I know we were strongly in for Broja who is much more in the Mikey style, and maybe we should have gone for more of a runner/workhorse instead. But lets be honest, who actually knows?

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