Why West Ham's nightmare is just beginning…

West Ham’s nightmare is just beginning… after morale-sapping loss to Newcastle and captain Mark Noble hitting out at the under-fire board amid fans’ protests, David Moyes’ men face HORROR run of fixtures

  • West Ham finished last season well and were hoping to use it as a platform 
  • But Mark Noble slammed the board for selling Grady Diangana to West Brom 
  • The Hammers have had few incomings too and have struggled to sell other stars 
  • They also face Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool in their next six games

New season, fresh optimism? Not really where West Ham are concerned.

Inspired by Michail Antonio, West Ham finished last season well and secured survival, something they were hoping to build on this season.

But the negativity that has been building during the summer was compounded by a dispiriting, morale-sapping opening day home defeat against Newcastle.

And things are not about to get any easier looking at their fixtures to come. Here, Sportsmail looks at some of the issues surrounding the east Londoners. 

There is little optimism for David Moyes and West Ham at the beginning of this season

Davids Sullivan and Gold have come under pressure again due to the club’s transfer inactivity

Declan Rice summed it up perfectly. ‘I don’t think we could have played any worse,’ he said succinctly.

West Ham are used to starting the season on a downer, losing their last five first-day games in a row and 14 in Premier League history, three more than any other club. 

That familiarity does not make it any easier to deal with.

Declan Rice (centre) admitted West Ham could not have played any worse against Newcastle

That’s only part of the problem though, right?

Correct. There is negativity everywhere you look when it comes to West Ham. Their squad is low on quality and unbalanced after a quiet transfer window.

Captain Mark Noble was the loudest voice criticising the club’s decision to sell Grady Diangana, which brought the dressing room discontent into the public domain.

Former players have also joined in with digs at the club and board while the ill-feeling among the supporters towards the board remains as strong as ever.

Captain Mark Noble was the loudest voice criticising the club’s decision to sell Grady Diangana

So what has happened – or maybe hasn’t – on the transfer front?

Not enough. Tomas Soucek’s loan move was made permanent but, unfortunately for West Ham, there have been more outgoings than incomings. 

Diangana – more on him shortly – Albian Ajeti, Jordan Hugill, Jeremy Ngakia, Roberto Carlos Sanchez, Pablo Zabaleta have all gone. There wouldn’t be too many arguments with those who have been moved on would there?

No… aside from Diangana. The disappointment about his departure in a £20m move to West Brom was shared by players and fans alike. 

The disappointment about Diangana’s (right) £20m move to West Brom was shared by fans too

Diangana was popular among his team-mates. They considered him different and more direct to the other attacking midfield options they have. 

They also liked the fact he was young, hungry and capable of injecting some freshness and urgency into a team that is largely slow and pedestrian. 

After his impressive season on loan at West Brom last season the next natural step seemed to be that he would kick on at West Ham but the fact he had to be sacrificed sparked the anger among the players, led by captain Mark Noble but backed up by the likes of Rice, Issa Diop and Jack Wilshere.

Tomas Soucek’s loan move was made permanent but more players have left than have arrived

So why did they let Diangana go?

Simply, they had to in order to bring in some money. The situation at West Ham has been clear since the beginning of the window… they need to sell before they could buy and couldn’t afford another big outlay after spending around £100m over the last year. 

The hope was that they might find a buyer for one of their other attacking midfielders, an area of the squad overloaded. But with nobody in for the likes of Felipe Anderson or Manuel Lanzini it was felt the offer for Diangana was too good to turn down. 

Because of their financial situation and inability to move quick enough West Ham have seen a number of their targets seal moves elsewhere, including Matty Cash, Eberechi Eze and Ryan Fraser.

West Ham have seen several of their targets, like Eberechi Eze, seal moves elsewhere

So what now?

David Moyes’s preference would have been to keep Diangana but the situation due to the club’s finances meant there was little that could be done and have left him operating with one hand tied behind his back. 

Money was needed to bring in defensive reinforcements, which is West Ham’s priority between now and the end of the window. They’ve moved for James Tarkowski but Burnley’s £50m price tag will surely put him out of reach and are looking for new faces right across the back four. 

Meanwhile, they can’t afford to contemplate losing Rice, amid interest from Chelsea, especially in the current circumstances.

They have moved for James Tarkowski but Burnley’s £50m price tag will put him out of reach

What do the fans think about it?

The anti-board section of the West Ham fanbase need little invitation to voice their displeasure at Davids Gold and Sullivan, and Karen Brady. This summer’s goings on have done nothing to change that long-running ill-feeling. 

Things are toxic between the fans and owners. Despite the fact games are being played behind closed doors some supporters still travelled to the London Stadium to vent their fury and maintain the pressure on the hierarchy. 

They have some vocal support from former players, including Trevor Sinclair, who says the owners have promised the world but failed to deliver and accused the club’s decision makers of getting too many calls wrong. 

The anti-board section of the West Ham fanbase need little invitation to voice their displeasure

So what next?

Sinclair fears West Ham will find themselves bottom of the league in the next month and it’s not hard to see why. 

Between now and the end of October West Ham face Arsenal, Wolves, Leicester, Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool, six of the sides who finished in the top eight last season. 

It would be a tough run for most clubs at the best of times, never mind one weighed down by all of West Ham’s early-season problems.

Trevor Sinclair fears West Ham will find themselves bottom of the league in the next month




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