The West Ham faithful in the Transfer Tavern are beginning to look ahead to a new era at the club following the appointment of David Moyes.
The Hammers welcomed the former Everton and Manchester United manager to the club earlier this week following the dismissal of Slaven Bilic, after another heavy Premier League defeat last weekend left the East London outfit in the relegation zone after 11 matches. Plenty of finger-pointing and scapegoating has taken place at the club in recent weeks, but such is the nature of the Premier League, the responsibility for failure ultimately rests with the manager.
Anybody seeking to analyse and explain Bilic’s downfall should concentrate on his shortcomings on the training pitch and in the transfer market during pre-season. West Ham broke their club-record to land Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic in the summer in a deal that could rise to £25 million.
On paper, the signing of Arnautovic was a no risk decision given his performances at Stoke City during almost four years with the club. However, thus far, the Austria international has fallen desperately short of the standards he set for himself at his former club.
Without a single goal or assist to his name this season, speculation regarding his future has began to circulate in the mainstream media, as reports from The Daily Mirror claim Moyes wants to sell the Austrian in January to fund new signings.
Yet the West Ham manager would be smart to reconsider his approach before he makes any drastic decisions.
Moyes should first experiment with his system and allow the £13.5 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) the opportunity to prove himself at the club over the course of the season.
During his time at Stoke, Arnautovic proved he has a glorious ability to find his team-mates with crosses from wide positions and win games single-handedly with his ferocious long-range efforts. With time, he has the ability to build an understanding with Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez, and thus drive the Hammers clear of a much-feared relegation scrap this season.
Given that West Ham would struggle to get more than half what they paid for the Austrian in January, a knee-jerk decision to sell their club-record signing would be financially disastrous as well as ill-informed.
The current Hammers squad is more than capable of improving their current league position, so Moyes should strive to improve the club’s fortunes from within, rather than seek an overhaul in January.
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