West Ham duo pile the pressure on Daniel Kretinsky and Rob Newman as first test nears with the January transfer window just around the corner.
If anyone was in any doubt that West Ham needed a better, stronger, thicker squad after the summer window closed then now they are getting a rude awakening.
Many West Ham fans and pundits totally underestimated just how much of a blow it was when Angelo Ogbonna was ruled out for the season with an ACL injury.
Ogbonna has been a man mountain for the Hammers for years.
He is one of the big leaders in the West Ham changing room and on the pitch, just ask David Moyes and Mark Noble who have said so themselves on several occasions.
Ogbonna is class and it has become all too apparent that losing the left-footed centre-back also impacts how West Ham start their attacks on that side of the pitch.
West Ham have become ponderous and slow in possession since his injury. And it is looking increasingly unlikely that there is a quick fix from within Moyes’s current squad.
Those calling for Issa Diop for example will surely have noted his rash and inconsistent performances in the last two Europa League games. There is a reason he is fourth choice under ex defenders Moyes and Stuart Pearce.
Then there is Michail Antonio. Without a West Ham goal since getting the winner against Spurs in October after which he declared he was ready to challenge to be the Premier League’s top scorer.
You don’t turn into a bad player overnight. All strikers have lean spells.
But most professional football clubs – let alone Premier League outfits – have three or four of them in a squad and can give a struggling forward a rest when that lean spell arrives.
Not at West Ham. The club’s failure to land a second striker – when the reality is they need THREE like most other sides let alone two – looks more and more negligible with every jam-packed passing week.
Think back to last season. Had West Ham shown that bit more ambition and gone and got a second striker AS WELL AS Jesse Lingard then they would have comfortably qualified for the Champions League.
West Ham duo pile the pressure on Daniel Kretinsky and Rob Newman as first test nears
Instead they missed out by a solitary win.
Well now Ogbonna and Antonio have piled the pressure on new Czech billionaire investor Daniel Kretinsky and head of recruitment Rob Newman.
All West Ham eyes are on the pair. Hammers fans will be expectant come January.
If you can’t show ambition with your club in the mix for a Champions League spot – both domestically and possibly via the Europa League – then when can you?
Newman has had many months, some spent on gardening leave from Manchester City, to identify players – and particularly a striker – that in his words are a good fit for West Ham and Moyes’s style of play.
West Ham fans will expect Kretinsky – bright-eyed, bushy tailed and presumably eager to impress his new fanbase – to join forces with David Sullivan and David Gold to deliver Newman’s targets for Moyes.
And how about being pro-active for a change and having signings lined up and ready to come in on January 1st rather than the 31st as always seems to be the case with West Ham?
After all having those new signings for the four or five games in that month could be the difference between success or otherwise. And West Ham may never get a better chance to do something special.
Moyes has plenty of credit in the bank with West Ham fans and rightly so.
But Kretinsky and Newman have to earn their stripes. And they face the first examination of what they can bring to West Ham in less than a month’s time.