Exclusive David Moyes: West Ham boss admits their big summer spending ‘didn’t work out as well’ as he would have liked | Soccer News
After finishing in the top seven in successive Premier League seasons for the first time, West Ham raised expectations last summer when they splashed out £179million. Only Chelsea and Manchester United spent more in Europe.
But the Hammers have fallen back dramatically in the Premier League and sit in the relegation zone, one point from safety.
“We’ve brought in a lot of new players and I’ve decided we need to make some changes to keep trying to develop the club and bring the team forward,” West Ham boss David Moyes said exclusively. Sky sports.
“I have to be honest and say it didn’t work out as well as I would have liked.
Sunday, April 2, 1:00 p.m.
Kick off 2:00 p.m.
“But I don’t think it’s necessarily down to the changes, we’ve had a lot of players here who maybe haven’t shown the form they’ve shown in recent seasons.
“We introduced a lot of new players, and in the Premier League that takes time.
“I don’t think we could have done anything different, but we just have to try and see if we can get through this and hopefully look forward to getting back next season.”
The most expensive of the nine summer signings was Lucas Paqueta – who cost a club record £51.3m – and Gianluca Scamacca at £35.5m, but both struggled to justify their prices .
“It would have been difficult for us not to buy players,” Moyes says, “so if we had to buy cheap players we would have said that was the wrong thing to do.
“This summer, we brought in two Italian internationals (Scamacca and Emerson Palmieri). We brought in a Brazilian international (Paqueta), a Moroccan international (Nayef Aguerd), a German international (Thilo Kehrer), who we considered quite good to make our team stronger for the Premier League and for Europe.
“I still believe wholeheartedly that we have a much stronger team.
“Are we playing as well as a team this year? No, we’re not. But ultimately that’s the next step, we have to try to get that, we have to integrate them all.”
With a squad awash in international quality, many consider West Ham too good to fail – including the statisticians.
Opta’s season predictor gives them just a 15% chance of being relegated, with only Crystal Palace and Leicester having a lower percentage of the bottom nine teams.
“I am convinced that at the end of the season we will be in a strong position,” insists Moyes.
“There were games where I was really happy with the way we played, but there were others I wasn’t so happy with, so I’m trying to find more consistency. in the team and we’ll have to show that over the last couple of months.”
Their pivotal Premier League run-in begins with a home game against bottom Southampton on Sunday, live on sky sports.
A win could see West Ham climb to 13th place. Lose, however, and they could fall low. It’s really a so-called “six point”.
But that’s not the first “six-pointer” the Hammers have faced this year. Home games against fellow relegation contenders Everton and Nottingham Forest were touted as must wins – and they delivered both with convincing victories.
So surely Moyes is encouraged that his team seems to react when the pressure is on?
“Well, I hope it is,” he said. “I think we’ve had to play some great games over the last two seasons here, whether we’ve been really tough at the top of the league or tough in the later stages of the cup competitions.
“Hopefully those kinds of experiences help us and get us through this, but at the end of the day, it’s one game at a time at the moment.
“We are not in the same place as a few years ago.”
Their lack of goals from crosses and set pieces seems to be a major reason.
The Irons have scored just one Premier League goal from a cross this season, having scored 30 from crosses in the previous two campaigns combined.
They have also scored just four goals from set pieces – the second-lowest number in the division this season – having topped the table for that stat in 2020/21 (16), when they were ranked fifth last season. last season (14).
“Maybe we don’t have Craig Dawson,” Moyes said when asked about their set piece issues. “We didn’t have it at the start of the season and then we lost it (to Wolves) in the January window.
“Maybe we didn’t have Aaron Cresswell (the defender had an injured season), who was one of our deliverers.
“It can be very small things. It can be the delivery, it can be the people directing the ball.
“I’ve always said that when we score a lot of goals from set pieces, you need people who want to put their heads on the ball, who want to go attack the ball – that’s how you score.
“Maybe we just haven’t quite figured that out, and that’s what we’ve had in the past.”
Moyes would then have been delighted to see Declan Rice score from a free-kick during the international break as he secured England’s first goal from a corner in their 2-1 win over Italy.
Rice’s Napoli goal arose from criticism from sky sports pundit Graeme Souness that the 24-year-old doesn’t score enough and lacks creativity to be considered a world-class midfielder.
Asked about Rice’s offensive production, Moyes said: “He’s got a good shot, so I think Declan is capable of scoring all types of goals.
“We would like him to be a goalscorer as well, but he’s also a very good number six, which means sometimes you don’t go as far down the pitch as often as you would.
“You ask Dec and he would like to join us and move on as well, but sometimes we have to hold him back to do a job for the team.”
Despite these defensive duties, Rice is currently shooting and creating more chances than in any previous Premier League campaign.
“It’s something we tried to (work on),” Moyes said. “We wanted to involve him so that he advances faster, more often.
“But also Tomas Soucek, who scored 10 goals for us (in the 2020/21 season), was boxing and scoring, so somewhere down the line someone has to stay and sit in the middle of the pitch. They can’t all run forward, so that’s part of the job.
“We’re trying to see if we can get one of them to come forward, do the box or move around the box as often as they can.
“Whoever scores the goals, I don’t care as long as he helps the team.”
But Moyes is concerned about his team’s slow starts, with West Ham the only Premier League side yet to score in the first 15 minutes of a game this season.
“We are aware of that statistic,” he admits, “so it’s something we have to try to do.
“If we could be up front more often it would help us, but it’s interesting, we have to try to find a way to do better in the early parts of games.”
A quick start on Sunday would be the perfect way to start a hectic but “exciting” April for Moyes and the Hammers, who will face nine games in 27 days.
After Southampton at home on Sunday, it’s Newcastle at the London Stadium on Wednesday, live on sky sportsfollowed by a trip to Fulham on Saturday 8 April. Then West Ham’s attentions turn to a Europa Conference League quarter-final against Ghent.
Having won all 10 games in the tournament, their European form stands in stark contrast to their domestic struggles. It was certainly a welcome distraction for Moyes.
“We are in Europe in April after starting with a qualification (in August),” he said. “It gives us a positive light on what has been a difficult season at the moment, but we are really sure that we will pick up and hopefully have something very good at the end of the season.
Lifting a first major trophy in 43 years while avoiding relegation just might make the summer spending spree worthwhile after all.
Watch West Ham vs Southampton live on Sky Sports Premier League Sunday from 1 p.m.; kick off 2 p.m. Watch West Ham vs Newcastle live on Sky Sports Premier League Wednesday from 7:30 p.m.; kick off 8 p.m.
West Ham’s remaining fixtures
Sunday: Southampton (H) – Premier League, kick-off 2 p.m., live sky sports
Wednesday: Newcastle (H) – Premier League, kick-off 8 p.m., live sky sports
April 8: Fulham (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3 p.m.
April 13: Ghent (A) – Europa Conference League quarter-finals, first leg, kick-off 5:45 p.m.
April 16: Arsenal (H) – Premier League, kick-off 2 p.m., live sky sports
April 20: Ghent (H) – Europa Conference League quarter-finals, second leg, kick-off 8 p.m.
April 23: Bournemouth (A) – Premier League, kick-off 2 p.m.
April 26: liverpool (H) – Premier League, kick-off 7:45 p.m.
April 29: crystal palace (A) – Premier League, kick-off 12:30 p.m.
May 3: City of Man (A) – Premier League, kick-off 8 p.m., live sky sports
May 7: Man Utd (H) – Premier League, kick-off 7 p.m.
May 13: Brentford (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3 p.m.
May 20: Leeds (H) – Premier League, kick off 3pm
May 28: Leicester city (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4:30 p.m.