David Sullivan and David Gold mark 12 years since West Ham takeover today but transfers are now key for reaching fabled next level.
Today, January 19th 2022, marks 12 years since Sullivan and Gold – along with vice-chairman Karren Brady – took control of West Ham.
It says a lot that about the trio’s time at the club that they are now commonly acronymed GSB (Gold, Sullivan and Brady) as a result of the GSBOUT slogan attached to protests led by disaffected West Ham fan group Hammers United.
There is no hiding the fact that the years since the controversial move from Upton Park to the London Stadium have been turbulent.
Sullivan and Gold pledged the move to the former Olympic Stadium would help – and indeed was needed – to take West Ham to the ‘next level’.
They were two words Sullivan and Gold probably regret using as they soon became a stick for fans to beat them with during tough times.
The list of grievances supporters have with GSB is long and well documented.
David Sullivan and David Gold mark 12 years since West Ham takeover but transfers are now key for reaching fabled next level
But 12 years into their tenure it is almost impossible to deny the club is seriously heading in the right direction.
The team is flying high in the Premier League and in Europe.
London Stadium is far from perfect but is being steadily improved with further plans in place in the near future to bring stands closer to the pitch and increase capacity.
Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky is on board as the club’s second major stakeholder and has been linked with a full takeover – possibly next year.
West Ham’s scattergun, incoherent approach to transfers is – thankfully – a thing of the past.
David Moyes was handed full control of the football operation on his return to the club two years ago and recruitment has improved immeasurably as a result.
But it is that very thing – recruitment – which now stands between West Ham and that fabled ‘next level’ this month.
As things stand, the Hammers are fourth in the Premier League table with 16 games to go. They are in the last 16 of the Europa League – three ties from a final in Seville. Should Moyes’s side go all the way in that competition then Champions League football is the tantalising reward.
The Hammers are still in the FA Cup too.
Who knows when West Ham will get this chance to reach the next level again?
And as Sullivan and Gold bring up their 12 year anniversary with Kretinsky on board, supporters want to see Moyes backed to improve his side and give the Scot every chance of making a hugely promising season an unforgettable one.
There will of course always be supporters who adjudge West Ham’s recent success as more luck than judgement from Sullivan and Gold.
But whatever you think of the duo, they were the ones who re-appointed Moyes and handed over full control of the football operation. So even if it is through gritted teeth, they deserve credit.
Conversely take last season as an example. Undeniably a West Ham success story, finishing sixth, making the Europa League and playing brilliant football along the way.
Fans had warned, though, that the club needed to sign another striker with Michail Antonio the only recognised forward at the club. Another midfielder was needed too supporters warned amid an over-reliance on Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek.
Yes Jesse Lingard came in on loan. But Sebastien Haller was not replaced by Moyes and the board. And West Ham ended up agonisingly missing out on a Champions League spot by a solitary win. It could easily be argued that was a direct result of not having replacements for Antonio and Rice during their spells out through injury at pivotal times when West Ham failed to win several games they should have. And all it would have taken was one victory!
Surely Sullivan and Gold would love nothing more than to make some statement signings this month and give Moyes every chance to make that ‘next level’.
Fans are expectant after the arrival of Kretinsky and his reputation is under scrutiny this month too.
They say never look a gift horse in the mouth. And Moyes has a potential thoroughbred on his hands with this brilliant West Ham side.
Moyes insists he has the board’s full backing to make signings this month. And while the Scot is famous for doing his due diligence on signings, some fans believe the money may not be there to go out and get the manager’s top targets.
With less than two weeks to go of the window, Moyes and the West Ham hierarchy simply must do everything they can to make sure this is not another opportunity missed.