Two players could be about to make West Ham boss David Moyes look utterly foolish indeed as the world watches.
The excitement was palpable when West Ham agreed a club record £51m fee to sign Brazil star Lucas Paqueta from Lyon in the summer.
The signing of Paqueta was described by The Times as ‘pinch yourself stuff’ for West Ham fans.
They have a point. The West Ham of old would only have gone after a player like Paqueta when he was perhaps past his best and the wrong side of 30.
Here Moyes, Rob Newman and the West Ham owners managed to sign one of Brazil’s key starters in his prime.
West Ham fans felt lucky to have him and excited about what they might achieve with the 25-year-old in their side.
But fast forward a few months and Moyes is under pressure with West Ham just two places and one point off the bottom three.
And the Scot is facing accusations he simply does not know how to get the best out of a player of Paqueta’s talents.
Not for the first time either.
After giving up on Sebastien Haller – who went on to score with ridiculous regularity after being shipped out of by Moyes for just £20m – there are also fears that the Scot is at a loss over how to make it work with new £35m striker signing Gianluca Scamacca too.
Nikola Vlasic looks to be another example of Moyes’ inability to get the best out of an expensive attacking signing.
Vlasic failed to establish himself at West Ham under Moyes last season following a move from CSKA Moscow which could have reportedly cost the Hammers as much as £33m and a minimum of £26m.
And he was shipped out on loan to Serie A side Torino this summer with the Italian club also having the option to make the move permanent for half that figure.
Many West Ham fans felt Vlasic was not given a fair crack of the whip in his preferred central number 10 role. And the 25-year-old’s performances in that very role on loan at Torino are giving credence to that theory.
Moyes is too rigid in his approach, an accusation levelled at him not only by fans but the likes of Gary Neville and Louis Saha recently too.
Paqueta and Vlasic are two players who could be about to make West Ham boss Moyes look utterly foolish indeed as the world watches.
Paqueta was the standout player of Brazil’s World Cup qualification campaign. This is a Brazil team currently ranked by FIFA as the best in the world.
But on his first start for West Ham, Moyes essentially deployed him as a defensive midfielder such was the setup for the game.
Meanwhile Vlasic has been transferring his superb form for Torino to the international stage with Croatia recently too.
It seems almost inevitable that both will shine on the biggest stage and leave fans baffled as to why West Ham’s manager cannot get the best out of them at club level.
Moyes has already written Vlasic off – hence the option to buy being included in his deal. But he must find the answer to that question when it comes to Paqueta – and fast – after the World Cup.
The beleaguered Hammers boss might end up watching Brazil and Croatia games through his fingers with his head in hands.