We’ve all heard of ‘The West Ham Way’ but who really knows what it means? Fluid, attacking football? Risking more for reward? The produce of our academy flourishing in the first team? Or is it plain and simply, go out on the pitch and give 100% leaving everything out there and the fans appreciating you for it?
The current state of affairs at West Ham is far from ideal, fans protesting against Sullivan, Gold & Brady after they appear to have fallen short of their ten year targets, but are they solely to blame? Personally I think they’re accountable, but not solely responsible for what has been happening to my beloved football club. The move to the London Stadium made sense, I’m sure you’d happily pay £208 per month to live in an £800k house, I know I would. Sure it’s not got the same atmosphere as Upton Park, but it was never going to, nothing could replace The Bobby Moore or the Chicken Run, it had character, but it also had it’s limitations. The move to the London Stadium came off of the back of a great season under Slav, so not only was there a new house, there was also high expectation to improve on the season before.
The board want Champions League football, they want to attract the best players and the best manager but I feel that because they haven’t sat at those tables they don’t have the network to get those kinds of deals done. Manuel Pellegrini should have been the start of something special, his reputation should have opened doors for West Ham, his links with Villarreal, Real Madrid & Manchester City let him dine out at the top level, but despite my love for him, at the end it felt like we were his last gig before retirement which might be unfair on him as I don’t think he’s ever had the type of technical players around him at West Ham to do the things he done at Villarreal, Real Madrid or Manchester City.
It’s time to move on though, the board will back the club and I’d rather have Sullivan, Gold and Brady than the times under Terry Brown, Eggert Maggnusson or the administrators. West Ham are the Newcastle of the south, a solid club that albeit flirting with relegation we have the infrastructure to push on to consistently be a top 10 club that fights for Europe & the odd cup run, but what do we need to make that happen?
- Get a manager that understands West Ham
- Get a scouting team to find talent to support the manager’s philosophy
- Stop Sullivan using his army of agents to sign the players that are available rather than the players we need.
- Utilise The Academy of Football, the years of Rio, Frank, Michael & Joe need to return, players that live and breathe West Ham.
- Win our home games. The stadium atmosphere is brilliant when we’re winning. When we’re poor it’s toxic. Focus on home wins first.
What will the West Ham Way look like in Football Manager?
- Create a tactical framework that encourages attacking football.
- Build a scouting team that will allow us to improve the playing staff by identifying talent and signing the players we need rather than the signings we can get.
- Utilise the Academy of Football and look to nurture their development through to the first team.
- Challenge for domestic trophies.
New Beginnings – Out with the old and in with the new
The backroom staff at West Ham has the feeling of ‘jobs for the boys’, we had the Pellegrini’s, the Husillos’, Pellegrini’s former player Enzo Maresca & West Ham ‘favourite’, Carlton Cole. How half of these got jobs at a Premier League side is beyond me and it’s rather indicitive of how the club has been run top to bottom. On day one I decided to terminate the contracts of anyone that I believed wasn’t good enough for the job.
NEW – Assistant Manager – Roy Keane
A man that needs no introduction, fresh from his stint on Sky Sports he comes in to the club as a Perfectionist, with a zero tolerance attitude when it comes to discipline.
NEW – Coaching Staff
When it comes to recruiting backroom staff I wanted to make sure that we had good coverage over the different areas of speciality. There are no members of staff that have come in that I have a particular relationship with, they were all picked based on their ability to do the job.
NEW – Playing Staff
With deals already completed for Fornals, *Cough* Roberto, Cardoso, Haller & Ajeti there wasn’t an abundance of cash in the coffers, so 2 players left which gave us a little bit to play with.
Pape Gueye | Le Havre | £1.5m
One for the future and possibly the replacement for Cheik Kouyate we’ve longed for. I wanted a defensive anchor that can step in when Declan needs a rest.
Lucas Tousart | Lyon | £6.25m
Signing Tousart seemed like a no brainer for the price, we’ve have a number of forward thinking midfielders and we often lack any defensive destruction in our midfield. Tousart will provide this.
Patrick Burner | Nice | £2.5m
It’s no secret that Zabaleta is on his last legs, so cover for the right back position was a necessity, Burner looks to have decent potential for his price tag and will give us options in the rotation.
Evan N’Dicka | Frankfurt | £5.5m
N’Dicka comes in from Frankfurt as Ogbonna’s potential replacement. He’s tall, strong and left footed which will give us balance on the left side of our defence.
Karl Toko Ekambi | Villarreal | £12.5m
West Ham fans will tell you that Haller needs someone to play off and I wanted someone that could run the channels and feed off of the flick-on’s from Haller. Ekambi comes in from Villarreal as a 1-in-3 striker, he has bags of pace that I hope can work in a partnership with the big man.
It will come as no surprise that Carlos Sanchez has left the club, arguably a bigger fraud than Ali Dia, I was surprised that Spartak Moscow paid £4m for him and I only had to pay them £25k per week for the privilege. Also leaving the club was Andriy Yarmolenko, I’m a big fan of Yarmo, but interest from Manchester United plus that fact that he doesn’t fit my tactical preference means I’d rather put the £34.5m to good use elsewhere.
I intended for this save to be a pick up to stop me progressing too far with PSV between posts, but as I started writing I found myself releasing the frustration I have with West Ham and the words just kept coming! The save itself should be enjoyable, I’ll be doing things the way I think the club should be run, so despite the team being the same, the DNA Director of Football save myself and Herb are going to collaborate on will be vastly different (I hope). I’ll more than likely update Twitter with match updates using the blog to update you on the recruitment and how we’re changing the foundations of the football club. That’s all for now. Come On You Irons.