The glaring West Ham summer transfer window mistake that could have dire consequences
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'It was only three months ago we were having probably the best time West Ham has ever had. Let's be fair, probably the last three years has probably been as good a time as West Ham has had. Sixth, seventh in the league, semi-final of Europe. A final of a European competition.' David Moyes, there, pontificating with the air of a desperate politician. Generally speaking, once a Premier League manager resorts to nostalgic bargaining, it does not end well.
On Sunday afternoon, Moyes' West Ham were beaten 6-0 on home soil by a brutally rampant Arsenal side. By half-time, the Hammers were already four down, and the situation was so dire that thousands upon thousands of supporters flooded to the exits like swarms of miserable lemmings. Those unfortunate to stay behind were subjected to the heartbreak of seeing one-time favourite son Declan Rice seal their abjectness with an absolute pearler of a strike.
The result could hardly have come at a worse time for Moyes, either. Granted, there is never an ideal juncture to ship six in a London derby, but it does feel as if the tide of claret and blue appreciation has turned against the Scot somewhat in recent weeks. Many fans have grown frustrated with his conservative approach, with many more baffled as to how something that, by Moyes' own admission, was so recently prosperous has turned so stale in such short order.
And then just when it feels as if the club has hit its lowest ebb in a decent while, Jacob Steinberg pops up to twist the knife a little further. According to The Guardian reporter, West Ham turned their nose up at the opportunity to appoint everybody's favourite Australian, Ange Postecoglou, prior to his arrival across the capital at Tottenham Hotspur.
Writing on his X account (Twitter, to you or I), the respected journalist said: 'West Ham didn’t fancy going for Postecoglou last year - only managed Celtic, no PL experience, too much of a risk etc etc. The kind of thinking that makes you question the vision at the club.'
Now, in fairness to West Ham, you can understand why they didn't elect to oust Moyes at that specific point in time. It would have been remarkably unfair to replace a manager who, by and large, has propelled the Hammers to new heights of late. But as the disgruntlement sets in like woodworm, and hindsight does its maddening thing, it is difficult to shake the feeling that the Irons may come to regret their decision.
Whereas West Ham have stagnated - and perhaps even regressed - in a tactical sense this season, Spurs under Postecoglou have flourished into one of the most courageous and aesthetically pleasing sides in the entirety of the top flight. They are forward thinking and creatively diverse, and while they are still some way off establishing themselves as genuine title contenders, there is no denying that they do their utmost to take each and every game they contest by the scruff of the neck. These are exactly the qualities that West Ham are so sorely lacking at the present moment in time.
Again, to reiterate, you can almost forgive the Hammers for not pulling the trigger on Postecoglou when they had the chance, but with each passing week, and with every creeping disappointment, you get the impression that the scale of their misjudgement grows a little more.
On this current trajectory, there is every possibility that Moyes will no longer be in charge at the London Stadium by the time the summer transfer window rolls around. If he is relieved of his duties, you would imagine that for many associated with West Ham, the ideal replacement would be somebody of Postecoglou's ilk. If only they had realised it a little sooner.