The Daily Telegraph - Business : 2020-09-14

Total Football : 14 : 6

Total Football

6 The Daily Telegraph Monday 14 September 2020 *** Total Football attacking players all the space they needed to run at defenders. Wilson admitted that he could have had a hat-trick, while Ryan Fredericks impressed more going forward than when guarding Newcastle’s left flank. “Defensivel­y we have been short of numbers and competitio­n to be honest,” Moyes conceded. “There are plenty out there and there is plenty being offered. We are trying to get ones in that we think will have a similar impact to Tomas [Soucek] and Jarrod [Bowen] and go forward with us. We would like to add to that department.” Burnley’s James Tarkowski would improve matters, but would he come? Fears over Declan Rice’s future What would Moyes not give for another player of Rice’s quality? Moving the versatile young England man into defence would certainly help there, but leave central midfield exposed, and the knowledge that Chelsea would love to take their former academy product back will keep Moyes awake until the transfer window closes. Rice was brutally frank after the game. “I don’t think we could have played any worse, to be honest,” he said. “The manager has said to us that it was such a poor game from us and there is no time to be playing poorly in the Premier League and we found that out last season. Some things just weren’t going our way, whether it was slack passing or the rustiness of our touches.” Limp display and player unrest immediatel­y put West Ham on back foot A horrendous fixture list West Ham’s fixture list looks challengin­g, to say the least, with Arsenal, Wolves, Leicester, Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool to come before the end of October. But although West Ham are often a soft touch for clubs in the bottom half, they can raise their game against the top six – which hints at deep character flaws, but can be useful all the same. “They’re the games we normally turn up in,” Rice said. “But we’ve got to turn up in these types of games as well because last year we beat Chelsea home and away and we beat other big teams, like Manchester United, but then Newcastle come here and beat us. We know we’re going to be up for those games because we always are, so it’s a good chance to beat the top teams and get some points on the table.” But is relying on a habit of producing shock results a longterm strategy? Or will West Ham be well adrift by Hallowe’en? Nick Szczepanik day’s limp display. “All is very well [in the squad],” he said. “Most journalist­s know me, I hope I speak as honestly as I can, I try to say it as it is, and the players have been fine. Players move on, things change all the time at every club. You might always look at something different if the performanc­e isn’t good, so I have to look to see the reason why.” Perhaps things would improve if more players shared Noble’s evident passion for the club. A lot of money has been spent over a number of seasons on a range of skilful but lightweigh­t attacking midfield and wide players, but most of them only seem to be worthy of a place on the bench these days. It looks like time to move some out, if anyone can be found to pay their generous wages, and invest in fewer, but more substantia­l, talents – but then the right decisions must be made about which new players have to be brought in. And that brings us to… at the London Stadium Club’s problems exposed as Newcastle stroll to 2-0 victory No new signings a concern with tough games coming up Unhappines­s in the camp Before the home defeat by Newcastle United, West Ham United fans called on owners David Gold and David Sullivan to go and take vice-chair Baroness Brady with them, while some players’ unhappines­s at the sale of promising young talent Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion earlier this month was made public by a tweet from captain and lifelong Hammer Mark Noble. Manager David Moyes, however, insisted that none of this unrest had any bearing on Saturwhile Lack of transfers While Newcastle had four new signings for the trip to east London, three of whom started and played well, the West Ham squad looked stale, with no new additions during the close season to offset the controvers­ial exit of Diangana. The balance of the squad must be called into question. No case for the defence The West Ham back four’s idea of close marking looks more like most people’s notion of social distancing. Perhaps dropping off was a ploy to combat the pace of Callum Wilson, but it only served to give Newcastle’s