David Moyes: I want every new signing to understand West Ham United
David Moyes wants every new signing the Club makes to ‘understand’ what it means to be a West Ham United player.
With a Premier League place secured and the summer transfer window now open, the manager can turn his focus towards reshaping his squad for the 2020/21 season.
January signings Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek added strength, talent and commitment in forward and midfield areas and Moyes wants to bring more players with similar characteristics to London Stadium this summer.
I think we need to make sure we have a group who understand West Ham
“I think we would like to strengthen in a lot of areas, but we have an awful lot of attacking wide players,” he told the Evening Standard. “We are shorter of defensive cover now. We are also looking to see what positions will change, which could alter our direction.
“The owners have spent a lot of money over the last few years and I thought the way we spent it in January was relatively good. We will attempt to get players we think will be here for the long term and can develop.
“I think we need to make sure we have a group who understand West Ham.”
Ideally, the Scot wants a squad that blends youth with experience, with every single player aware of just what it means to wear the Claret and Blue shirt in the Club’s 125th anniversary year.
“We’ve got the likes of Mark Noble, Declan Rice, Aaron Cresswell who understand West Ham and who have been here a long time, so you have to think about bringing people in for the long term,” he continued.
“We are trying to bring in a younger group. We have the makings of a young group and I think if we can keep adding to that that’ll be good, but we want them to be good players and want them to be players who can come in and help us but we are also not neglecting our most senior players. Central defenders, for example, are often a bit better when they’re more experienced. So, we will just need to see what comes at the right time for us.”
There are real echoes of Moyes’ time at Everton, where he arrived midway through the 2001/02 season and guided the Toffees to safety, before setting about rebuilding the squad in his own image.
Young, hungry players were brought in, many of them from the Championship, and under the Scot’s management, Everton finished in the Premier League top-eight in eight of his final nine seasons in charge between 2004/05 and 2012/13, qualifying for Europe on four occasions.
The manager wants to play in European competition regularly again, but he knows the nature of football means that will only happen with careful, sensible planning and recruitment, and steady improvement on and off the pitch.
“I want to challenge for the Europa League,” he concluded. “I can’t promise that though, and I don’t want to promise West Ham supporters something that I can’t deliver. But I want to give them hope that that’s where I’m trying to get to. I’ve been there before, and it can’t happen overnight.”