West Ham Striker Crisis but was Moyes right to wait until the Summer?

David Moyes, West Ham. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
David Moyes, West Ham. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images) /

The transfer deadline passed and West Ham had not secured a striker signing which the supporters desperately craved.

Following the hammers best start to a campaign, entering February 5th in the league table and with an opportunity to jump into the champions league places with a victory over Sheffield United this evening, you would think the supporters would be more than happy.

However, with the departure of record signing Sebastian Haller in the early weeks of the January window, leaving West Ham with only one ‘winger transferred into striker’ Michael Antonio, the fans have grown desperately frustrated at the fear of not being able to kick on even further for the remainder of the season.

But, was Moyes right in this decision, here we will discuss the other side of the argument.

David Moyes, West Ham.
David Moyes, West Ham. (Photo by CLIVE ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Under GSB West Ham have signed 50+ strikers: how many have been successes and was Moyes right to wait?

Since David Moyes has returned to the club he has been very vocal about how important it is to get his recruitment right. He has even gone on record as saying how over the years the club has continued to get it wrong and thrown a lot of money at players that haven’t worked. Is he wrong?

Sebastian Haller, Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop, Jack Wilshere just to name a few are all players who now have either departed the club, or are not within the first team as they simply have not followed through on the investment made on them.

If we look at successful recruitment in recent times at West Ham, which names instantly spring to mind? Tomas Soucek, Jarrod Bowen, Vladamir Coufal and an ever-improving Said Benrahma. Who recruited these players? David Moyes.

So when the manager is making the decision not to sign a striker just for the sake of it, is this blind arrogance or is this actually a sign of what a lot of West Ham fans have called for now for the last few years: real change.

Tomas Soucek, West Ham.
Tomas Soucek, West Ham. (Photo by Visionhaus) /

Since Gold, Sullivan & Brady have been in charge at the club, West Ham have signed 50+ strikers, how many of these have been successes?

Certainly, not many spring to mind and the ones who have been a hit at West Ham have been Arnautovic and Antonio who joined the club as players who operated on either wing and the current manager was able to get the best out of them in the striker role.

In many ways, the supporters should be applauding Moyes for not bowing down and accepting any striker into the club, players years gone by like Jonathan Calleri, Wellington Paulista, Zaza etc who all were not original club targets but were signed regardless and of course, did not work out.

It is the stubbornness of Moyes fans could perhaps credit, to have actually identified his top two targets and not been successful and then just accept an agent offering is a sign of real change in the recruitment strategy.

Is it these changes that have led to the team’s current success by Moyes bringing in the right kind of a player who is invested in the club and not just looking for the big payday?

‘What if Antonio gets injured?’

The biggest concern of the hammers faithful is the worry around Antonio and the pressure that now falls on his shoulders.

Antonio has been known to be struck down by frequent hamstring injuries and the question is who then can fill the void?

Haller despite two excellent strikes in games against Sheffield United and Crystal Palace did not suit Moyes preferred set up and the difference in West Ham attacking play when Antonio starts is very clear to see in the results: proof is in the pudding as they say.

Jesse Lingard has recently joined the side and has been touted by the West Ham manager as a player who can cover multiple positions, including within a false number 9.

The 28-year-old has already notched up 2 goals within his first 2 appearances for the club. A front 4 of Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals and Lingard surely on paper is mouth-watering and is a potential option for David Moyes.

Jesse Lingard, West Ham.
Jesse Lingard, West Ham. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) /

David Moyes had spoken out on Andriy Yarmolenko being an option to cover this role but following a recent injury in typically timely fashion, the supporters have grown further frustrated at the lack of activity to sign adequate cover for Antonio.

The final alternative is one the fans would surely love to see is Mipo Odubeko. The 18-year-old Irish born striker has already been talked up and has reportedly been very impressive when involved within the first-team training sessions.

The backing the young striker received despite a difficult night showing in the cup defeat to Manchester United shows how eager the West Ham supporters are to see another player come out of the academy. The jury will be out on this one as to whether he is ready to step up but does give the manager food for thought.

dark. Next. Strikerless West Ham fans react to Josh Maja debut brace

In Summary…

Despite the huge disappointment of a striker not being signed in January, David Moyes must now look within his squad and only time will tell if his alternative options will work out. It is being reported the money not spent will be made available in addition to the summer budget.

Moyes will again be hoping to silence the doubters as the hammers continue the surge for a place in European football next season.