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Worst case scenario – here’s an Irons Championship squad

The sad reality of life as a Hammer is that we regularly have to consider the relegation option and despite my regular praise for the bloke, it all comes down to Pellegrini if it happens.

Was I ever more wrong about a manager. Answer: A resounding YES.

With him gone there are those who will always need to find a scapegoat and that will inevitably be the board, David Moyes or both.

It’s called the ‘blame game’ and whilst getting nobody anywhere is always a stress reliever as people look around for outlets to declare their rage as they feel the need for some sort of therapy. I jest!

But in fact that’s all fair enough although today I have finally brought myself to look at the worst case scenario and consider the sort of squad we would have available were we to hit the Championship.

I’m not convinced by any manner of means that it will happen – Villa and Bournemouth have far tougher run ins than us but we will need to find some pace in midfield and form up front to be sure of results in games against Newcastle,  Burnley, Norwich and Villa.

However, the reality as I see it is that were the worse to happen and although it would mean goodbye to Anderson, Haller, Diop and Rice, the club wouldn’t be badly placed to fight a Championship campaign.

Although we have several players entering the last year of their contract they are older guys – Fabianski, Oggy and Antonio for example and they have the nous and experience to help  pull us back up.

And we also have some good kids who can be integrated into the first team squad as a matter of course.

Here’s the sort of squad we would probably be looking at: Fabianski,  Randolph, Trott; Fredericks, Johnson, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Cresswell, Masuaku , Noble, Diangana, Bowen, Snodgrass, Fornals, Cullen, Silva, Holland, Coventry, Yarmolenko, Wilshere, Antonio, Hugill.

Hugill may do a job for us were he to be recalled and another striker or two would almost certainly be added.

Sorry if this is all a bit of a downer but it’s always going to happen once the claret and blue specs come off!

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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

37 comments on “Worst case scenario – here’s an Irons Championship squad

  1. I don’t see Antonio, Bowen, Ogbonna, or Fornals staying if it happens.

    Bigger teams both home and abroad will be more than happy to cherry pick those players from us.

    More chance of Lanzini being here given he’s no form to secure a move away.

  2. Firstly, well done Hugh, Sean & the team for providing daily content throughout lockdown.

    Yes, Pellegrini was the ultimate culprit and, for me, the moment I saw the team sheet versus Newcastle (Zabaleta v St Maximin) was the time to say goodbye to him. But the board also has to shoulder part of the blame for leaving it far too long to remove him, giving the following incumbent little time to turn things around.

    You could argue that we were showing some promise prior to lockdown and I believe, had the season not been interrupted, we had the momentum to have secured enough points to be safe. But, the reality of our season is that, in pretty much
    every game we have never had every player putting in a shift. Reap what you sow!

    If relegated, I would expect Fornals to attract offers from Spain and I think Bowen has shown enough to be the subject of bids from PL clubs. What concerns me is David Moyes. I don’t believe he is the manager to bring us back up or take us forward.

    bids from a number of clubs

  3. All comes down to Pellegrini hahahahaha. He left in December ffs, by the end of the season Moyes will have managed the same amount of games that Pellegrini has. One constant for both of them though is the board, weird how you won’t call them out…

    • BECAUSE THERE’S PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO WANT TO DO IT AND BECAUSE THE MONEY WAS HANDED TO PELEGRINI to lumber us with a pile of crap. More than ever before but you carry on in your prejudice which is actually spelt as IGNORANCE.

      • Sorry dont agree with you regarding pelli yes he brought some crap but if fab hadnt of got injured dont thinl wed be in the position we are now. Moyes is not the answer at all poor manager. Unfortunately it is the boards fault althought you will defend your mates it was them who brought moyes in when we could of gone for some one like kovac who would 100% get the best out of haller and even anderson.
        Regarding the championship team bowen will be gone and so will fornals( although i like him and think the championship would help him. All round to build up the physicallity.
        Antonio would stay
        Id hope players like cresswell masuaku Wiltshire would be gone and noble to hang his boots up.
        Rip the team apart and start again with the youth spend a few seasons in championship and come up a whole new better team

    • You have missed the point entirely.Yes it may be December since he left but his tragic legacy lives on.These are nearly all players he and Husillos brought in and they have almost to a man not performed this season which leaves us in this God awful mess.I am not a huge fan of the board but they backed Pellegrini with money to buy these prima donnas who do not know the meaning of the words relegation scrap as its far easier to just go AWOL on the pitch than get stuck in.

      • He misses the point cos the board is always to blame as far as he’s concerned. Idiocy

        • Nothing to do with the board at all! In vast numbers we thought Pellegrini was a good appointment and we (in the majority) liked his signings too – it didn’t work out as it so often doesn’t in football unless you can buy the very best player, which we can’t.

          Too many lacklustre performances and too many players that show a lack of desire, heart, work rate and guts. If we have to blame someone then surely the players deserve some of it. Sullivan isn’t out on the wing giving the ball away easily and not fighting to win it back is he?!

        • Moyes is the worst manager in our history, Hugh. I know Sullivan’s probably sent you some money to say the things that you do, but make it less obvious next time x



          • That is no libel as you can remove it yourself. Also for libel you have to prove it has damaged your reputation and then also provide evidence of what it has cost you. As you say you don’t get paid to do this that isn’t possible and therefore what can you sue someone for?

            Also as the site administrator why not just remove the comment if you don’t like it.

            Also your reputation for accuracy as opposed to just reporting favorable articles that suit your agenda and keep the board happy is what the majority of people view this site as a chance for the board to leak stories they want people to read

            Also it was the boards choice to appoint pell as it also is with Moyes. The board are out of date with what the game requires now. The same as moyes and the fact we spend as much as do on agents is a key problem.

          • My brief sees it differently ‘John Smith’ He’s also interested in the third par of your comment. James Gunn has now been in touch privately and the matter has been settled amicably. It is not a matter for discussion with anybody else.

      • The board are the constant in this we have a stadium at a virtual peppercorn rent. We have the second highest number of season ticket holders in premiership. We are in a part of London with both its two financial hubs canary wharf and the city of london virtually adjacent and they still cant achieve a modicum of success. There record in running and buildingfootball clubs is not good

  4. All pellegrini’s fault?

    Laughable .

  5. What the Hammers are left with s a huge mess , largely cause bu y Pellergini signing players on a wing and a prayer like Wilshire and Sanchez. the likes of Fornal and Rice will be sold to pay off the debt . The squad will be decimated . Moyes isnt the right man but after Boxing day , The board had not bothered to shortlist anyone .It was Moyes or no one. They lurched to Moyes because an potential candidates such as Pearson had already been snapped up. THE board are guility of a failrure in one respect which is going to end West ham’s time in the premiership . DITHERING OVER SACKING PELLEGRINI FROM THE BEGINNING OF NOVEMBER. I hope Bowen stays above all and the likes of Lanzini and Anderson can bog off. It would be very useful if Antonio stays loyal

  6. I actually think Pellegrini was a good coach. His first season we came 10th and played some good stuff. The problem is the owners not knowing what to do with the recruitment and trusting Pelligrinis judgement on Husillos. Both their sons were given full time scouting/ consultant roles (talk about nepotism) and all left when Pellegrini did, leaving Moyes with 1 scout. Somehow he managed to secure Bowen, Soucek and Randolph – all excellent signings.

    The failure of this season rests solely on Husillos and D+G transfer plans. Although it could be argued that no hammers manager has left a better team than what they started with since Allardyce, this is also a massive problem.

    Think about Husillos transfers – sold Kouyate, Obiang and Fernandes – all would walk into the team now. He bought Wilshere and Sanchez who cant play because they are useless crocks. We are incredibly lucky that Rice has developed his game so much otherwise we would be screwed in that position.

    Anderson – overpaid
    Haller – overpaid
    Roberto – one of the worst signings in the clubs history
    Fornals – overpaid
    Ajeti – LOL
    Balbuena? – christ

    Quite simply Pellegrini took a decent side over and improved us slightly in terms of the coaching aspect, but Husillos destroyed us with these awful signings. We have the 8th highest wages bill and 7th highest transfer spend and have been rewarded with no players of note.

    I looked at the team the other day:

    Fabianski – sorted before Husillos (he wanted Roberto) one of our best players.
    Frederick’s sorted before Husillos free transfer
    Diop – decent signing
    Balbuena (pants) Oggy – best defender signed by slav
    Cress – signed by allardyce
    Noble – academy
    Rice – academy
    Soucek – Moyes
    Fornals – okayish – husillos
    Bowen – Moyes
    Antonio – Slav

    How can we have spent 100s of millions and it’s the same players playing from years ago. All our problems keep coming back to recruitment. We need a proper director of football / technical director who sets the vision and rules for recruitment. No players over 25, 2 year max renewals for over 30s. No player to be signed for over 10 million without at least 8 scout reports etc. Start building a vision of what we want this team to look like. Then the tec director hires a manager that works under their philosophy of what they want from a coach. THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

  7. Both board and Pelegríni to blame. Pellegrini saddled us with an overpaid, unbalanced team. One look at Leicester, Wolves, Sheffield United and even Southampton shows the boards short comings. Poorly managed on 2 fronts.

  8. I want to just say, i dont care if an angel from heaven was our manager, this squad is horrible. If we survive sell everyone, even Declan Rice. I love him but, we need to gut this team and rebuild and since the board is not giving funds, then we need to raise them. I wish someone would buy the club out.

  9. Spot on, Hugh – Pellegrini wasted millions on rubbish and then his cheap purchases Roberto and Sanchez, who could possibly be the two worst plsyers to ever play in the Prem’ for any club ! What worries me if we do go down is we need players with Heart & desire which we haven’t got at the mo’ although Moyes will want players who put their foot in, so hopefully
    that would be put right.
    Nobes is past it for even the Championship, I reckon.
    Wilshire and Yarmolenko totally dead wood – surely their contracts must be up soon ?

  10. I’d like to know your actual opinion insteaf of calling people simple, if you may?

  11. Currently, the only way to avoid the drop is … get rid Moyes … OR … Moyes get rid of his stupid ideas … and start choosing a West Ham die-hard 11 from the start.
    And then start understanding about impact substitutions and start using all that kinds subs in future.

  12. Moyes doesnt use subs because hw knows they wont make a sifference. They are all ineffective; wilshere yarmolenko andersin lanzini ajeti balbuena.ALL pellegrinis signings were poor. So rhw subs wont win games either. Except maybe Silva

  13. I’ll assume of course you were one of the few who didn’t want t him although of course always easy to talk in retrospect

  14. This thread seems to have split into two
    1) what will happen if we go down to the championship – I thought that Bowen has some kind of release clause which is what delayed his signing till the last minute _ I agree that he could be excellent. Nobes will be useful in the championship even if he cannot play in every game, like Gareth Barry at WBA – Josh Cullen would be our engine. I am not sure whether Oggy would stay – he is a model pro but I am not sure if he would take a wage cut
    2) who is to blame for our predicament – I would agree that Pelle left a worse legacy / more unbalanced squad than Slav. From our two games back, one thing that I dont really understand is the performance of Fornals who was showing good progress before lockdown but Moyes sees the payers in training and should know who will perform well in teh remaining matches. Whether Moyes should stay next season if we are relegated should be based on the plan that he presents for getting promoted

  15. No way will any of Ogbonna, Balbuena, Masuaku , Bowen, Fornals, Yarmolenko being here next season if we are in the Championship.
    With Moyes in charge we will never return to the PL.
    First few games this season we looked a top team, a couple of injuries & everything went belly up. Absolutely no plan B
    This still is Pellegrini’s squad +3 from January but appointing Moyes was never going to install confidence

  16. What has Moyes won in his career as a football manager? One trophy? The football community shield in 2013 and that’s it ! But he managed to stay in the premiership with Everton for 11 years with keeping them often in the top half of the premier league and that his he’s claim for fame in his words a winner and top coach ??? The team he nurtured at Everton were always a hard team to play against if not that attractive or entertaining but kept the Everton board happy who weren’t big spenders. But what Moyes had at Everton were players of British and Irish back grounds and with of course a good youth system (Rooney) being one of his success stories, similar to Chris Wilding at Sheffield United today?? The point I’m making is if Moyes does continue as manager that is what he will need to do with our current squad and it’s not going to take 5 minutes. The dead wood or the players that are the mercenary ones in the last year’s of their careers have to go?? And a new young team needs to be formed that are hungry and want to come or play for the Hammers in the mould of Rice and Bowen?? So players like Anderson and the like need to find another mug team to take money under false pretences??? Facing facts the whole of West Hams recruitment needs overhauling and if Moyes can’t do it try someone like Sean Dyche who uses home grown players at Burnley players with a sense of purpose and strength and hard to beat before in the past as in the west ham way the (Brooking’s) always had the (Bonds and Lampard snr) and such players that did the graft so that the flair players shone out.
    We need to go back to basics on recruitment and get the right people in top to bottom and if we do go down then we need to use that as a starting point for new beginnings and not carry on has we have done in the last 4 or 5 seasons buying players that are only in it for the money?? Keeping the faith C.O.Y.I

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