David Moyes says that the Hammers are hoping to strike some quick deals this summer.
The Irons are close to qualifying for the Champions League, sitting just three points behind Chelsea with four games of the season to go.
At the very least, the Irons should seal qualification for the Europa League and that would necessitate a level of investment this summer, as the Hammers look to build a squad strong enough to compete both at home and in Europe.
Moyes hopes that the deals get done relatively soon but he is aware that both he and his staff need a well-deserved break after so much football over the last year-and-a-half!
Speaking to reporters before the Everton game, Moyes said: “I’d like to say yes (that deals will be done quickly this summer) but I couldn’t promise that it would happen because I don’t know the timings and how things would go.
“Because we’ve just finished about 18 months of football I think we’re all knackered and we can’t wait to get a break ourselves for a little bit of time.
“I’m not saying that will get in the way but it is something which we’ve got to think about as well. I hope we’re able to add to the squad but like every transfer window it is difficult. Lots of names fly about but in truth you have to pick the right ones and get the right prices.”
Mischief makers in Manchester possibly connected to agents seem to do their absolute best to run wild speculation on an imaginary move for Declan Rice to Manchester United and now Manchester City.
First, it was a rumour of a swap deal for Delcan Rice for Jesse Lingard and two other Red Devils while another tale suggested Jesse Lingard plus some cash from the Manchester United. Now the latest reports say City are interested.
Last month, it was claimed that Declan Rice spoke to Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw about Manchester United whilst on international duty for England ahead of a supposed possible move to Old Trafford this summer.
As we have said many before Rice is a family man settled in his new Surrey home so a move up north would be very surprising.
Both he and his long term girlfriend Lauren Fryer are said to family people who were born and raised in Surrey and have no intention of moving away.
Dec travels to training each day from his Surrey base and even resisted the temptation to move closer to East London despite the daily commute.
David Moyes faces another massively important game this weekend (aren’t they all right now) when Everton, visit the London Stadium.
Moyes’ time with the Toffees also provided him with his most successful managerial spell – until now that is we hope!
With just four games to go in what has already been a remarkable season for the manager and West Ham, there is no room for error between now and the end of the campaign.
But as the pressure grows, and I for one am feeling it even from my armchair, like most of us I suspect, Moyes appears to becoming more relaxed and at ease with himself.
The side he fielded on Monday certainly played with a refreshing freedom and spring in their step – reflecting the smile on the manager’s face in his pre-match interview – which had grown a few centimetres wider by the time the post-match chat came around.
The once dour Scot appears to have been replaced by a manager more comfortable and at ease with the task he faces and the way his players approach it.
Whatever happens from now until the end of the season. Moyes knows he’s proved his point – and he’s proved an awful lot of people wrong in the process.
The accusation in some quarters he was a ‘yesterday man’ – left behind in his thinking by a new breed of younger more progressive managers, looks way off beam right now.
With a close-knit support team behind him, David Moyes has transformed our club, and he’s done it on limited funds and what many have frequently called a wafer thin squad.
The irony in Sunday’s game is that Moyes did a similar job with our opponents Everton. When he joined them in March 2002 the club were in freefall and looking certs for relegation, but he conjured the results to see them to safety. Sound familiar?
He then worked to take the Blues to a fourth place finish and Champions League spot in 2005 – as well as finishing fifth twice between 2007 and 2009.
“I see an awful lot of similarities from that period (at Everton) to where West Ham are just now,” admitted Moyes.
“I hope I can build West Ham just as well as how that period at Everton was.”
Moyes clearly has fond memories from his time on Merseyside – but now only has eyes on victory and three more points for West Ham.
“I have great respect for Carlo Ancelotti and great respect for Everton,” he admits. “So that all makes it a big day. We are both fighting for Europe…so we’ve got to keep playing well and give ourselves that chance.”
Having already beaten Ancelotti’s side 1-0 in the league this season, the Hammers are going for their seventh double of the campaign, and another vital three points.
The form the team displayed and the manor of victory they enjoyed on Monday, at a ground where we rarely fare well, suggests after two disappointments we’re very much back in the game.
Victory number 18 this season is well within our grasp.
David Moyes – as is always the case was in no mood to give anything away – when discussing the possible return of Declan Rice against Everton.
Mind you, that he spent a great deal of time talking about him and bearing in mind that he was only missing last week after failing a late fitness test it would be no surprise to see him in the squad.
It’s always dangerous to try reading between the lines as far as the manager is concerned though so nothing will become entirely clear until an hour before kick off when the teams are announced.
Personally I expect to see him in the squad but given the success of the team on Monday night would expect the same again with Dec available hould we need someone to make a serious difference.
Commenting at his presser ahead of the game Moyes said: “We’re obviously getting closer to getting Declan back, because we’re another week down the line and we’re hoping that we can have him available.”
“He’s back on the grass and closing in on it. Undoubtedly he’s a big miss for us and we’ll try to get him back as quickly as we can.
“He’s so important for us and we need to get him back as soon as we can. He can make the difference in the games and we have a big game coming up this weekend for a starter.
“We’ve got a few people back on the grass, back training. We’ve got another day before we get to game time and we’re hoping we can get them back, but I wouldn’t put any timescales on it exactly for when I think it’ll happen.”
Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio returned from their hamstring injuries in Monday’s 2-1 win at Burnley and the boss is especially happy to have an increased number of options at his disposal at the sharp end of the pitch.
“We always felt that we had players and we’re starting to get a few of them back to fitness and we’re starting to have a few more options than we had,” he continued.
“It was good that we got Saïd into the position to contribute the way he did on Monday night, while Jarrod Bowen has been scoring the goals – he scored three in five prior to that game.
“We need to keep the options and the flexibility of the front players going as much as we can – I want to be able to rotate them at times and I want to try to make the right decisions for each game. Thankfully it worked the other night and we got a good result.”
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has finally ended its investigation into West Ham after four years.
HMRC officers raided club offices at London Stadium on April 26th 2017 – taking away computers, financial records and mobile phones as part of Operation Loom.
When asked by Sky Sports if it could confirm its inquiries into West Ham were at an end, an HMRC spokesman told Sky Sports News: “We do not comment on specific individuals or businesses, but in general terms it would be wrong to assume that the end of a criminal investigation means the end of our work.
“We have a raft of civil powers that we can deploy, including penalties of up to 200 per cent of the tax due, along with interest and payment of the disputed tax in full.
“We take all reports of suspected tax evasion extremely seriously and we thoroughly analyse and investigate them.
At the time The BBC reported it was related to suspected income tax and National Insurance fraud.
In 2017 West Ham United said in a statement it was “co-operating fully with HMRC to assist their inquiries” but there had been no arrests.
The investigation was allegedly related to transfer dealings Demba Ba between West Ham and Newcastle and then on to Chelsea.
All three clubs were involved were said to be involved in the investigation.
Sean wrote in a blog earlier today that there is some concern over the possibility of West Ham deciding to go down the digital season ticket route next season.
Quite rightly he expressed confusion as to first why that would be considered necessary given the problems it could cause for less tech individuals and older people generally.
I intended to write my own piece on it after being notified by a ClaretandHugh FB follower of what was going on.
He renewed his season ticket yesterday and wrote to me explaining that he’d been told the same as Sean discovered later in the day.
When I asked how and where it would be delivered on the smart phone he said, talking of the guy he’s spoken to when renewing: “He wasn’t sure whether it was straight to your phone or in an email – some sort of Barcode or QR. I imagine there will be more to it to prevent you just ‘forwarding’ it to another person? “
Another commented on our website forum: “How would a digital season ticket work in regards to my sons ticket? He’s to young to have a mobile phone?
Frankly, like Sean, I simply don’t get it as it is completely unnecessary given that all covid restrictions are planned to be off by the time next season around.
The card season ticket isn’t something that is handed from person to person so there’s no chance of it causing infection.
If there’s anybody at the club who can explain why this is even being considered it would be good to hear from them.
Thus far all they have told us by e-mail is: ‘Ticketing protocols are being finalised and we’re currently following the guidance issued to us by government, SGSA and the Premier League’
Ok but it makes little sense and will confuse many if that’s the way they decide to go.
West Ham are finally getting some recognition form Mark Lawrenson – strange though that may sound as he finally goes for broke and predicts an Irons win at the weekend.
The cynics among us may be a tad alarmed that he’s tipping us to beat Everton on Sunday given that many consider that the final kiss of death .
But nonetheless it’s good to hear him giving credit where it’s due following the Burnley win and hopefully – with every game now counting to the max – the lads can get out there and do the business.
He points out correctly that Everton are more impressive on the road than at Goodison Park.
However, in general terms the Toffees are in pretty average form right now have drawn three times and lost once in their last five games.
They have now slipped to eighth place in the league six points behind us and a win is vital should the Hammers want to hold any realistic chances of Champions League football next season.
Lawro comments:”West Ham were very impressive when they beat Burnley last weekend. I thought they were tailing off a bit after losing their previous two games, but they looked really strong at Turf Moor.
Everton are much better on the road than they are at home but I think they are in for a difficult day in east London.
The Hammers beat them at Goodison Park in January and I am expecting them to do the same at London Stadium on Sunday.”
West Ham have no intentions of selling Decan Rice to Manchester City or anybody else with one London Stadium source telling Claret and Hugh: “There’s zero chance.”
News broke yesterday that City boss Pep Guardiola was allegedly interested in Dec who could be back from injury this weekend and in line for a place in the team against Everton.
It was based on the fact that 36 year old City defensive midfielder Fernandinho may decide against signing a new deal at City this summer.
However, that seems unlikely with the defensive midfielder having played 33 games so far this season and still being in peak form.
The Hammers have received no inquries for Declan from anywhere and one commented: “We have heard all this stuff before – there’s zero chance of him leaving and we believe this has been leaked to get a reaction from us.
“The reality is Dec has a long contract with West Ham United and as far as we are not interested in inquiries .”
Some West Ham season ticket holders are concerned about the proposed introduction of Digital Season Tickets for next season when supporters return to the London Stadium.
The club are currently proposing to ditch plastic season ticket cards and replace them with an electronic or digital ticket on their mobile device, rather than the usual Season Card.
There is also likely to be an option to print at home also but some less tech supporters are worried they either don’t have access to a smart phone or a printer at home which could leave them looking for alternative solutions to access the stadium.
The club have told Claret and Hugh via Email ‘Ticketing protocols are being finalised and we’re currently following the guidance issued to us by government, SGSA and the Premier League. Any supporters who need assistance should contact the West Ham Ticket Office directly. The Club say they are here to help its supporters’
Digital season tickets was an aim for West Ham before the pandemic so maybe current restrictions are being used to push this idea through. As it stands all social distancing could be removed in June so that argument may not stand up to much scrutiny, it also difficult to understand why a smart phone would be safer than a phone in your pocket with regards to supporter safety for Covid transmission.
The old saying goes if it not broke, not fix it. We are sure many supporters would he happier to retain a plastic access card for next season rather than change for the sake of it.