West Ham boss David Moyes has continually suggested that he prefers to work with a smaller squad throughout his years in management.
The Hammers are currently in the midst of a horrendous run of form. We’ve taken five points from our last seven Premier League games and have fallen from third down to sixth spot in the table in the process.
One of the main reasons why have been suffering so badly over the past six weeks is our lack of squad depth.
Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma are both out with long-term injuries. Meanwhile, Aaron Cresswell has been out for the last month with a back problem.
On top of all that, Michail Antonio is the only senior striker at the London Stadium. The 31-year-old has been in shocking form of late, his goal against Southampton not withstanding.
The West Ham players have hit a big bump in the road at the worst possible time. But could this all have been prevented?
West Ham squad admission from Moyes a real worry
The Scot has regularly suggested that he prefers working with a small squad.
Moyes said this back in January, as quoted by Claret and Hugh:
“Liverpool last year won the Premier League, if you think about it, they very rarely changed their team. Yes, they brought in people and they got through it, but it was not as if they had a big squad of 20 or so players. Sometimes you have got to be careful. I actually prefer to work with a smaller squad generally.“
The 58-year-old was beating this same drum during his time in charge at Everton as well.
The problem is, there is a very thin line between what Moyes perceives to be the ideal squad size and negligent planning.
The fact that we have just one striker is a pathetic joke. It was Moyes who decided to spend in excess of £30 million in Nikola Vlasic rather than bringing another striker to the London Stadium.
There were plenty of options out there.
Southampton signed Armando Broja on loan. The 20-year-old was an absolute handful for the Saints on Boxing Day and would have been absolutely perfect for us.
Moyes’s suggestion that he just couldn’t get the right striker for the right price through the door is an absolute fallacy.
Hopefully he changes that in the January transfer window. The Scot has worked wonders at West Ham and it’s hard to criticise him.
It’s just that the game has evolved since he was at Everton. Players are more athletic and explosive now than they were 10 years ago. And as a result, there are more muscle injuries.
Perhaps Moyes needs to reassess his views on squad size preference. Because in reality, we are at least four very good players short of having a squad capable of finishing inside the top four.
West Ham need to sign a top-class striker, a left-back, a centre-back and a winger/attacking midfielder at the very least.
Hopefully Moyes manages to strengthen all of those positions by the start of next season. And maybe then we can make real progress as a football club.
The question is though: Will GSB provide Moyes with the funds to do just that? That very much remains to be seen, but with the recent investment from Daniel Kretinsky, there is no reason why they shouldn’t.