Following West Ham’s great start to the 2021/22 season, fans of the club are only inclined to be more enthusiastic about the team’s future. However, there are some glaring pain points that the club must address to ensure that their support doesn’t fizzle out in vain.
Potentially the most looming worry, West Ham is not in a financially safe spot to chase ambitious dreams. Even with their superb performance in recent years, such as being a few points shy of a Champions League appearance, finishing top six in the Premier League for the first time since 1999, and providing a consistent performance under David Moyes. Still, supporters can’t help but wonder if these gains will be boosted under the ownership of PAI Capital.
According to Nasib Piriyev, managing partner of PAI Capital, buying West Ham will change the standards of the club to a regular top 6 spot, improve fan relations and most importantly, provide a bigger budget in the transfer window.
We wouldn’t be quick to rule out the gold mine that PAI Capital could be, but there is something special brewing for the Hammers, and switching to a new owner could set the course off sail.
Rob Newman’s appointment in West Ham as the new head of Recruitment and Scouting is a positive move**. This is reflected in the recent transfer window. In August, the club signed new talent in the likes of Kurt Zouma, Nikola Vlasic and Alex Kral to support blooming players like Said Benrahma who is wonderfully adjusting to his new role as a goalscorer following Jesse Lingard’s departure.
Michail Antonio’s recent adoption of the number 9 jersey is also certain to have ignited the support of fans who have watched him do justice to the mantle this season.
The squad’s average age might be among the highest in the league at 29.4, but their performance delivers superbly. With U23 players like Mipo Odubeko (Huddersfield Town), Conor Coventry (Peterborough) and Frederik Alves (Sunderland in League 1) out on loan, they are sure to receive more priority in their respective teams against seasoned players. Upon their return, their performance is sure to be miles ahead of any previous potential they held in the senior team. This will undoubtedly lead to more options for David Moyes in his strategic vision for West Ham.
Off the pitch, West Ham has been making strides towards improvement with the unveiling of statues dedicated to club legends Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters at Boleyn Ground, the team’s former home.
Unfortunately, the Olympic Stadium lacks a traditional ownership from the club which is a severe minus for fans that love a real home turf to visit. If West Ham could convert from a renting model to a purchase of the Olympic Stadium, that would be ideal. However, judging from the current strides, buying a stadium doesn’t seem far off into the future. This would be a great move for players as well, because a custom training ground will have facilities prioritized towards team improvement.
Judging from the recent developments, West Ham can expect a top six finish in the Premier League, League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League respectively. David Moyes will have to take advantage of the recent transfers and proper training routines to ensure that players remain in top shape for what’s to come.
** PS: The new Director of Football appointment will begin in late September after Rob Newman served a period of gardening leave by his previous employer Manchester City.