“Here we are, born to be kings, we’re the princes of the universe. Here we belong, fighting to survive in a world with the darkest powers” – Queen
I’ve had a theory for a while now that West Ham have been running on the margins and are in desperate need of recentring but have lost their way. David Moyes has to be given a lot of credit thus far for producing results and performances out of a squad that’s as thin as an anorexic’s recipe book but how long can it continue?
We have suffered and continue to do so with injuries and individual substandard performances. However if it were not for Moyes and the players rallying together over recent weeks then we would surely be staring into the abyss that is relegation.
Our recent hamper of woes can be traced back to last summer where we simply did not go far enough in the transfer window to secure the services of players whom we could rely upon to perform week in and week out. We started the season like a dysfunctional family: pulling in different directions, at each other’s throats and ready to pack it all in and drown our sorrows with a few cans of bargain basement beer.
Moyes took over this motley crew and soon whipped them into shape but he is a stepfather to a gaggle of unruly spawn and has yet to find a solution to the troublemakers in the group. We had hoped that the January transfer window would see the club flex their alleged muscles and show true support for their man in charge but we have been overwhelmed with their lack of enthusiasm to do so and struck by their apathy to act with any urgency at the beginning of the window period.
It was as obvious and cliched as a dreary pantomime that we lacked balance and depth to our squad and, to his credit, he acknowledged this as soon as he took charge but it seems he has been powerless thus far to convince the owners to unshackle the chains off their wallets. Loan players may fix the short term issue but it isn’t an investment in quality for the long term.
Many had dreamed that we would already be basking in the sunshine of two or three new additions. Bright sparks to ignite our midfield creativity and solidity whilst adding quality to our width play and crossing capabilities but, instead, we have been subjected to a month of daydreams and nightmares. So many rumours, so much posturing and lies, will he won’t he go, that most of the fanbase have lost the will to live and barely believe that any worthwhile signing will be made, certainly not on a permanent basis. So that leaves us with loan signings and unproven-bottom draw additions. We may be signing some late arrivals but if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve never heard of any of these players so there is no reason to become excited. We hope they turn out great but it’s another adventure into the great unknown without a blizzard blanket… Let’s just hope we don’t get frost bite!
There is a huge part of me that wishes the deadline day was last week, done and dusted and not really caring whether we signed anyone at all. I would be happier knowing that Moyes would struggle with what he has, introducing more youth to starting line ups and roll with the punches in terms of injury management. However, struggle being the most appropriate term as the youth are nowhere near ready to undertake the patch repair that is needed of them as yet (as seen in the FA Cup exit to Wigan over the weekend). I do however have confidence that our manager is doing a much better job than could be expected of anyone else given the same circumstances but he is being made to eat spaghetti with his hands tied behind his back. We know he can do it but it’s going to be very messy in the end, regardless of how delicious the dish might be.
Even if the club were able to bring in a few signings, there would undoubtedly be a settling in period. Unless the planets aligned to shower us with good tidings, then any new addition will need time to learn the Moyes’ mantra and how they fit into our lopsided squad.
When Moyes first took charge, the board were believed to have said that there would be £25million available for transfers in January. However, no sooner had Moyes taken charge, he began to deflect the imminent need to bring in players, almost reading off the script to protect the company purse strings.
We have been witness to the club trying to offload players, almost everyone has been linked with a move away from West Ham. It is obvious that we now have a sell before we buy policy but no one believes we will buy anyone of note even if we were to sell some of our players, so a completely fruitless exercise. It would also prove that the board would not be injecting £25million of new money at all. So one has to ask: Where is all the money going and where are these marquee signings that we were promised?
Whatever happens over the next week or so, I am convinced that we will not be welcoming any marquee players. In fact we will probably be rushing to our computers and smart phones to google who the hell they are, trying to convince ourselves that they’re quality players because we’ve seen a 30sec YouTube clip of them smashing in a goal from 35yds.
I could be wrong. I hope that the board will surprise the hell out of me and fully support a manager who’s done a very good job for us so far. If he’s given proper resources to bring us better attacking play whilst still able to remain resolute in defence, then I feel his value would certainly increase towards the end of the season and should be given a full-time appointment.
However, are we dealing with honourable men and women and will they deliver on promises made to the fanbase? I’ve been increasingly sceptical over the last 4yrs that the club will release the funds to make assertive strides in the league. We are supposedly in a very sound financial position, but that is largely due to having little capital assets and low rent. So most of our income is profit, which should mean mucho dinero to buy quality players, but that doesn’t happen and it doesn’t happen time and time again.
It’s like trying to pass water through a swollen prostrate when I think of our board who are supposed to be guiding this great club to the very next level. It’s a bloody struggle to believe in anything they say or do. I wonder what the future will hold. I wonder what fate will befall Moyes at the end of the season and I wonder what excuses or spin the board will try on in order to appease the fanbase. I think most have clarity in that respect and have had for some time now, that faith has been eroded away and is unlikely to ever be restored. Woeful, embarrassing and heartbreaking!
So we have another four months of games to ensure our survival. Another four months with Moyes picking from an empty squad and being force-fed spins from the doctors in their ivory towers. I am confident that he will do a good job and keep us safe. I have faith that the players will pull it out of the bag and continue to work hard to continue with these improved performances but it could’ve been so much better, some kind of wonderful, some kind of bliss. Instead, we’ll be running on empty and gorging on fluff for the rest of the season.