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  • Writer's pictureJoe Murray

How Will West Ham Move Into 2024?

In a season of many shocks thus far, one team that seems to be flying under the radar is the league resurgence of West Ham United. Following the loss of captain Declan Rice to London rivals and league runners-up, Arsenal, West Ham looked doomed. A 14th placed finish in the Premier League in the 2022/23 season had fans worried for what could come with such a large asset to the club departing, but it seems that David Moyes' side are coping much better than initially expected!

So what is this down to? Well, a number of factors. The appointment of former captain and "Mr West Ham", Mark Noble, in the role of a Sporting Director is one that has gone severely under the radar.

Though many may look at the signings West Ham made - particularly in the likes of Mohamed Kudus and Edson Alvarez - as "Tim Steidten signings", it was actually Mark Noble that had his eye on the Ajax pair and identified them as potential signings for the club.

Not to discredit the work of Tim Steidten, of course, as the German helped get the deal over the line despite interest from larger clubs.

As a West Ham fan, you can really see how the "Declan Rice money" has been utilised and whilst Rice left a huge gap, it feels suppressed by the reinvestment into other key areas of the squad. For example, the signings of Konstantinos Mavropanos provides great depth for a number of reasons.

Mavropanos, or "Dinos", is someone that Tim Steidten had identified whilst at Bayer Leverkusen, though a deal with Stuttgart never came to fruition. With the departure of Nayef Aguerd for AFCON, the dodgy and unreliable knees of Kurt Zouma and the aging Angelo Ogbonna being the only real depth at the back, signing Mavropanos could be a smart and cheap resolution to their problems. Able to accompany Thilo Kerher, it provides a solid partnership at the back if necessary.

Edson Alvarez too. One of those players that perhaps could've been a risk, especially with the £35m price tag the club paid, yet has been a real asset in midfield for the Hammers. It came as a shock to me just how much we needed Alvarez and how much his presence, or lack of presence, has been felt in certain games. A real warrior in the middle of the park and not afraid to put a challenge in - it just screams West Ham.

The Liverpool performance in the Carabao Cup Quarter Final - what is there to say? A 5-1 loss to Liverpool, hardly having any of the ball and looking completely defeated from the first minute was not a good look for David Moyes. Our best opportunity to win a trophy in...well...six months. But an opportunity nonetheless!

I, like many fans, were hoping to steal a win at Anfield but it simply wasn't meant to be. There were obvious criticisms of how Moyes set up with the team and tactics, but I prefer to see the positives in the defeat.

West Ham play Manchester United at home today and looking on the face of it, there are actually a few positives to take from Liverpool away midweek. Players like Lucas Paqueta, James Ward-Prowse, Emerson and Kurt Zouma all got well needed (and in fact, well deserved) rests for an important league game. Not just an important league game, but with how Manchester United have been performing in recent times, an important, winnable league game. When you're playing this many games at a time and are in four different competitions, travelling home and away both across the country and in Europe, it's understandable that the manager wants to give his best players in a game that we were expected to lose in the first place.

Calls for David Moyes to be sacked have been going on for a while now too, mainly on Twitter (or "X"). Now as a journalist, I'd like to remain impartial to the debate, but it'd be hard to imagine life without Moyes. We finally get a manager that does the job for us, gets us European football for three consecutive seasons and wins a European trophy, and a lot of fans are calling for him to get the sack. Must be mind-boggling for a neutral to read that, I'm sure.


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