West Ham has been one of the biggest disappointments in the Premier League this season. After finishing ninth last year under the guidance of big-name manager Manuel Pellegrini, the expectations were sky-high in East London.
The ownership had stated ambitious targets such as reaching the top four and recruiting world-class players and personnel. That ambition was backed by relatively generous war-chest to be used in transfer market. “But like my dreams, they fade and die” as the famous West Ham chant goes, it all fell apart not long into the 2019-2020 season.
Much like Slaven Bilic before Pellegrini, Hammers did well to start their journey under new management. Bilic took the team seventh and 11th, until getting replaced after a lousy run in early November. David Moyes then replaced the Croatian, pulling the team to safety of 13tf place, but not much more. Pellegrini lasted a season less than Bilic and was replaced by who else but David Moyes.
The Hammers problems are evident and their ambition is backfiring due to misjudging their squad’s ability. They have not recorded a positive goal difference since that Bilic’s first season, which took them seventh. Yet not much has been done regarding the defense nor the defensive end of the midfield. All due respect for Mr. West Ham, Mark Noble but at his best he should not be a regular starter for commanding midfield role – at least not anymore, aged 32.
Instead, money has been spent in the offense with not much to show for. Felipe Andersen has showed glimpses of excellence only to hide in the shadows for the next month. Andrii Yarmolenko is the same and has spent more time in the physio-room than on the pitch. Jack Wilshire’s proneness to injury was no surprise to anyone. Come and gone are flamboyant Marko Arnautovic and fan favorite Chicarito, who could’ve provided a good pairing with the current lone man up front, £36M signing Sebastian Haller.
Under Moyes, West Ham has performed even worse than these past four seasons. Out of five games they’ve won one and lost three – embarrassingly falling to Championship side WBA at home in their last fixture. There’s still time to turn the course, but it is time to put the money where the mouth is and start performing at a Premier League level. The next opportunity comes soon as they are facing league leading Liverpool at home on Wednesday.