Report 3 In 3 Out For Moyes

Even before the unique situation the Barclays Premier League finds itself in, Hammers manager David Moyes had been quoted as saying it was his intention to bring the average age of his squad down 'substantially', and for that purpose the search begins at home. Lacking the funds that were lavished on his predecessor Manuel Pellegrini, Moyes has either to look out for 'bargains' or promote from within, the latter being the preferred option.

Although Moyes is in the unfortunate position of having little or no money, unless via player sales, he does have a stellar selection of young talent available to him, and it should be noted that the current crop are really good and not just distant hopes as has been the case in recent years. Grady Diangana and Ben Johnson have been 'earmarked' to play an active role in the first team, by including them the average age of the first team would come down considerably for starters, in addition there is the Jeremy Ngakia situation to negotiate, he is a great talent as he was able to show just before the season was suspended.

The blot on the landscape however is that Ngakia is out of contract at the end of June, both he and his agent have rejected out of hand the club's standard contract offered to players moving off apprentice terms, believed to be around £3000 per week. West Ham are in danger of losing a valuable asset as a result of 'Oxforditis', a well known condition caused by giving a young talented player a fat contract at an early stage in their career. The once bitten twice shy element is that although Reece Oxford didn't live up to the hype and justify his £20,000 per week wages, one of his contemporaries, Declan Rice did, and what a player he has become.

As with Rice, the club were reluctant to hand out a similar contract to that which they gave Oxford, but a compromise was reached. Apparently Ngakia's representatives are looking for wage parity with Rice, and that isn't going to happen, however it appears that the club may 'box clever' by offering a deal that has incremental payment increases should Jeremy progress to the level that is anticipated both by the club and the player's agents. This resolution, should it happen, would suit all parties and ensure that no one loses face over what should really have been a side issue, but the club can't afford to lose such a talent as a result of past experiences or as an act of brinkmanship!

Should David Moyes get his wish, who would make way for the trio of youngsters from the first team's previous evolution? Johnson and Ngakia are full backs by trade and if there ever was an area that needed strengthening and scrutiny it is in defence, Pablo Zabaleta's contract expires at the end of the season leaving just the injury prone and unpredictable Ryan Fredericks at right back. At left back Aaron Cresswell is no spring chicken, despite his youthful looks he is over 30 years old now, and his 'back up' is Authur Masuaku, a player capable of being inspiring and truly awful in equal measure during the same game, he is neither a full back nor a winger and is a 'luxury' player Moyes cannot afford to countenance.

On the face of it Authur Masuaku's days are most definitely numbered, especially given the noises emerging from Rush Green that David Moyes "cannot trust Masuaku" and that the player has "regressed in the last twelve months". So with the full backs covered the next area of concern is the midfield, the defensive side is covered by Rice and hopefully Tomas Soucek who has already shown what an important player for the club he will be in the future, so long as it stays in the upper tier. If David Moyes does want to include Grady Diangana in the first team, who would make way?

Something has to give, although it could be argued that given West Ham United players' propensity for picking up long term injuries that there is a need for at least two players in each position! Diangana plays in the same position as Manuel Lanzini, Pablo Fornals and Felipe Anderson, so there is a distinct likelyhood that one of those three may well be leaving the club, Diangana can also play in the same zone as Yarmolenko, a player who was signed on huge wages despite having a poor injury record, and of course Grady can also play in the same position as Jack Wilshere, a player who needs no introduction.

Suffice to say the Hammers hierarchy are desperate to lose Wilshere, Yarmolenko and that old 'stalwart' Carlos Sanchez as well as 'Radio Gaga' Roberto, if, and it is a big if, they can be offloaded it will release around £15 Million in wages per annum. Money that could be used to offset the pandemic losses which are bound to occur, but also to ensure the club's future by holding on to it's assets of which Ngakia is one, the club don't have to be stupid by biting of their nose to spite their face in order to avoid another Reece Oxford situation, but they also need to strike the correct balance.

With a bit of luck David Moyes will actually be able to select a team that he is proud of, and one that he has helped develop and recruit, the first issue will be how to fit the best players into the same team. The 'new look' line up might be ......
Fabianski, Ngakia, Diop, Ogbonna, Johnson, Rice, Soucek/Noble, Diangana, Bowen, Fornals, Haller, the 'B' team wouldn't be too bad either......
Randolph, Fredericks, Balbuena, Cardosa, Cresswell, Anderson, Lanzini, Snodgrass, Silva, Masuaku, Antonio. Got a better selection? Feel free to post it! -Ed



i would play Antonio instead of Haller in the first team other than that not a bad team

11 users have voted.
moore2come's picture

I am unfamiliar with this guy. Has he been at the club long? What does he offer to us? Intriguing

10 users have voted.
nevillenixon's picture

I thought we had been on his case recently so much it was unfair, mind you for £100,000 per week....

11 users have voted.

For a bag of sand a week!! ;)

11 users have voted.
moore 6 legend's picture

lol,that's very cheap rates in todays market dave,theres not much money jumping out of washing machines anymore, now if you jump out of a tumble dryer you'll get 100 bags of sand a week,he's very astute is wheelchair ;)

9 users have voted.

Its me age mate!!

8 users have voted.

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