Tomas Soucek (mid) Slavia Prague – loan made permanent; Josh Cullen (mid) Charlton – end of loan;
Pablo Zabaleta (sp) (def) released; Carlos Sanchez (sp) (mid) released; Albian Ajeti (sp) (att) Celtic; Jordan Hugill (att) Norwich; Roberto (gk) Rayo Vallecano; Grady Diangana (mid) WBA – loan made permanent;
West Ham flirted with danger all of last season and only thanks to a series of 3 decent games in a row after the long COVID-break the Hammers survived. It won’t be true to say that after his appointment in December coach Moyes improved the displays and after so many failures as head coach for him in recent years the jury is still out on him.
West Ham are yet to spend money on new players this off season, although they made Soucek’s stay permanent. There are no important departures as of yet too, so right now the group of players is pretty much the same. With that in mind 4-3-3 formation with fluid front line (Antonio playing as false nine), or 4-2-3-1 shape with typical target-man (Haller) will be the 2 most used tactical approaches.
West Ham spent big 3 summers in a row without achieving any results, but what this means is that despite the lack of transfer activity this off-season the team is actually full of talented individuals that just need to be turned into a solid group as a team. Hammers also have very good depth, which, in the coming hectic season that is already shortened by at least 5 weeks, will be important.
West Ham’s front line is their main strength and especially down the 2 flanks they should be able to cause lots of problems no matter who plays. Bowen was solid after signing in the winter and individually he will be one to watch as he’s perfectly capable of having 10+ goals and 15+ assists campaign.
Yet to address their poor defence with new signings and hard to see how the back line will be improved if the personnel available remains the same. The other major weakness is coach Moyes as he failed in his last 3 jobs for a reason. His old-fashioned tactics and somewhat strange transfer targets hasn’t been working for many years now and he has lots to prove if he’s to keep his job for a full season.
After consecutive seasons of struggle the task now is to stay away from danger zone and possibly secure top 10 finish. To achieve top half finish Moyes and his players will need to be at their best.