As the Premier League remains in limbo, what will happen to the richest sporting league in the world remains to be seen. Will the 2019/2020 season end without another ball being kicked? Football is limbo, from the league, players, and even revenue streams like sports betting, TV contracts, and matchday tickets.
All bets are off when it comes to the current state of football. Premier League revenue is taking a massive hit with no games currently being held. Next in line are the clubs, who are also likely to lose millions during the lockdown. From a loss of gate revenue, sponsors and even top betting websites, Premier League clubs are simply not as rich as they were even two months ago.
When will the 2020/2021 season kick-off? Either way, it is clear West Ham will be starting from a base of zero… starting all over again.
And no, zero does not mean 0 points at the start of the 2020/2021 campaign. Whether next season starts on time or is delayed to accommodate the end of the 2019/2020 campaign, it arguably makes a slight difference to the Hammers. Relegated or still in the Premier League, it is clear the club is back to square one.
So, where do West Ham stand? Well, it depends whether you’re a glass half full or a glass half empty kind of fan. On the one hand, the club is in a fairly poor position as football heads towards an uncertain future. On the other hand, some fans might argue the club was already at square one so they may as well see the 2020/2021 season as a fresh start regardless.
Either way, there are some clear issues that need to be addressed if progress is to be made. Below we will look at some of them, but importantly we avoided talking about the running of the club. While the management of West Ham is paramount, it is on the field matters that are arguably easier to resolve.
While David Moyes does not deserve the level of ridicule he receives, he is hardly someone who inspires confidence. Let’s put it another way. Moyes is a decent journeyman manager, but is he the answer for a club that wants to move into a modern era? It’s a cliché but he is in the group of managers that remained stuck in 2007 and never adapted.
Ok, this is coming off as a hatchet job on Moyes, and it really isn’t. He was ill-qualified for Manchester United but clearly had to take the job. Since then, his record has been as good or as bad as most other managers who pass in and out of the Premier League. If West Ham want to just survive in the Premier League, he’s likely enough to do the job.
However, Moyes will not be the manager exciting players, attracting new players, or even formulating a fresh plan. In other words, forget about the club becoming a well-oiled machine that plays good football and can challenge in the top half anytime soon.
If Moyes remains in charge next season, expect more of the same.
West Ham’s squad is perhaps the strangest in the Premier League. It is a mix of many players, most of which are a nightmare for a manager to deal with. First, there are talented players who will only show up for one in three games. Then there’s the players who are past their best, for one reason or another. Finally, there’s the group that will never be good enough.
Most clubs have some of those players, but few clubs have a group comprised of all those players. West Ham lack a bona fide match-winner, the go-to guy, the best player at the club. Think about it, who is it?
The squad is such a combination of different recruitment policies that it has zero unity. Combined with Moyes’ safe approach, there’s little wonder the football isn’t always exciting to watch.
With transfer funds likely to be limited for the foreseeable future, the current group of players is what we’re probably going to be left with. It hardly inspires confidence and could mean West Ham have to do their best to tread water and remain in the league next season.