The In-Depth Reasons to West Ham’s Failure in Recruitment
Posted by Matthew Jones | Published on January 7, 2017
It is becoming common knowledge that West Ham’s reason for sitting in 13th place in the Premier League and having been knocked out of every single competition is due to poor recruitment in the summer window. But why did the West Ham board disappoint the fans so badly?
Here are six big mistakes the West Ham recruitment team made:
Quantity Over Quality:
The biggest transfer budget in the history of West Ham United was spent on buying plenty of cheaper players to build up a large squad for the Europa League. The Europa League – a competition which West Ham were knocked out of by a Romanian side in August. All these new average players were then squeezed into a Premier League first-team for the sake of it – Gokhan Tore, Jonathan Calleri, and Simone Zaza to name a few. What is the point in building a squad especially for a competition which you are not going to take seriously?
Getting Knocked Out Of Europe During The Transfer Window:
Following on from the previous point – it did not help that West Ham couldn’t scrape past a few amateur Eastern European teams in order to reach the Europa League group stages. At least stay in the competition until the transfer window is shut so that your main selling point to draw top players to the club isn’t now irrelevant. Lacazette, Batshuayi, Bacca – come to West Ham where you will play in front of 60,000 fans each week, earn £100,000 a week and play European football. West Ham are so impressive and better than your current club. Oh, hang on a second – Astra Giurgiu just beat us in that 60,000 seater stadium you were supposed to play at, resulting in us being knocked out of that competition you were supposed to shine in. You’re still going to join, right? Alexandre Lacazette must have looked at David Sullivan and snorted in disgust at his ‘West Ham project’.
If you look at the top clubs in England, they get a deal done quick – even the mega money signings. Manchester City – De Bruyne, Nolito, Otamendi. Manchester United – Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan. Arsenal – Mustafi, Xhaka. The deals that collapse are the ones where clubs spend too much time on them, picking straws at the price of the player. Look at the Berahino saga where Tottenham must have bid about four times, trying to save a couple of million here and there, until West Brom got frustrated and the deal was dead. This is the strategy West Ham ALWAYS seem to use – deals in East London are never completed the easy way. Lyon came out and quoted West Ham with £40 million for their star striker, Alexandre Lacazette. What does David Sullivan do? Bids £35 million and refuses to pay the rest. Then the deal will linger for months on end, stalling West Ham in completing any other transfer deals because there is ‘always a chance’ that Lyon might compromise. But no – the deal fizzles out because £40 million was too much to pay for a world-class striker. Instead, £40 million is spent on Ayew and Zaza (if we had bought him permanently). If you’re going to spend the cash anyway, why didn’t you just pay the same amount of money and get Lacazette in the first place? Even in this January window, what is all this ‘testing the water’ about? Remember last summer when David Sullivan said Payet is “worth £100 million” because of his importance to West Ham, yet he bids £3 million for Snodgrass and £6 million for Defoe – two players who are invaluable to their teams avoiding the drop!
Publicly Boasting About Transfer Business:
Clubs who sign the top players in the league – Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool. Clubs who are in the headlines the most about signing the top players – West Ham. A few years back, Jack Sullivan was the main culprit of leaking transfer news and ruining deals – however, it was accepted that he was just a kid at the time. But is it seriously acceptable for the adult chairman of West Ham United, David Sullivan, to conduct an interview on Sky Sports, claiming to have placed two £20 million bids when in reality he has signed Simone Zaza on loan? Also, is it acceptable for Dave Sullivan to tweet this and then sign nobody?
@DaveSulley now Bacca to the drawing board to decide who we sign next
— DAVE SULLIVAN JNR (@DaveSulley) August 8, 2016
For someone representing West Ham United to virtually announce a player – not only was this a lie and we had not even had a bid accepted nor did the player want to come, but even if it was true why leak our targets to all the other clubs so that a bigger team can swoop in and take them? Oh wait, that did happen – Michy Batshuayi was our number one target for a long time, and all we had to do was pay the money. Not that simple. We waited until it was all over the press that we wanted him so desperately, so that other clubs became interested and the prices increased, pulling us out of the race on both financial and persuasive terms so that our London rivals Chelsea can sign him. Brilliant tactics.
Losing Out On Realistic Targets:
If you are a West Ham fan, you will agree that even if we had signed one of the big names discussed, it would have been half as exciting as it could’ve been due to the ridiculous numbers of stories and rumours for months on end – deals were close one day, dead the next. It was tiresome. There was an obsession with certain deals, which took an entire window to complete (or most of the time collapse). Too much time was wasted on Lacazette, Batshuayi, and Bacca when all three deals collapsed after so many months of negotiations. Whilst these pointless talks were happening, players we could have realistically bought, like Christian Benteke, were taken by smaller clubs. We stuck our noses up at Benteke, before failing to sign every top striker in the world. But that’s alright because Benteke will still be available when we come back for him – nope, he’s gone to Crystal Palace. Are there any strikers left? Oh yes, Simone Zaza – Juventus’ last choice striker with hardly any experience, who went on to score 0 goals for West Ham.
Having A 30-Name List Of Potential Strikers:
The best recruitment teams get business done as early as possible. However, West Ham create an extensive list of countless strikers and then ‘observe their situations’ the entire window, a.k.a sit back and do nothing whilst other clubs pursue our targets. This does NOT work – you should only have a select few targets per position and then you make it clear who you really want. This should be followed by actually buying them. Don’t wait around all summer until every player on the list is unavailable, forcing you to panic buy Simone Zaza. As you can tell by now, I really dislike Zaza.