Speaking recently on the Football Writers Podcast, Michael Calvin, John Cross and Ade Oladipo discussed several hot topics in the footballing world, and, in particular, West Ham United’s lack of consistency in their recruitment policy.
Since Sam Allardyce’s contract was not renewed as West Ham’s head coach back in the summer of 2015, the club has appointed four managers: Slaven Bilic, David Moyes, Manuel Pellegrini and David Moyes again.
Over the course of those four managers’ time in charge of the club (since the 2015/16 summer transfer window), West Ham have spent £387.27 million on incoming player transfers, including the likes of Dimitri Payet, Michail Antonio, Andre Ayew, Manuel Lanzini, Arthur Masuaku, Chicharito, Marko Arnautovic, Lucas Perez, Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko, Sebastien Haller, Pablo Fornals and Albian Ajeti, to name but a few.
Speaking on the Football Writers Podcast, Oladipo stated that West Ham’s regular changing of managers could have led to millions of pounds wasted in the transfer market, as each manager brings with them a set of individual ideas on the type of players they want to recruit.
He said: “I do wonder if it’s the chopping and changing of managers, who have different philosophies and different ideas and different ways in which to play.
“I think Moyes can do a good job if they give him money, but the recruitment’s been bad.
“I do think Jarrod Bowen is a good player to come in, I think he will do something, but you look at other players – Sebastien Haller has not worked and that’s £45 million.
“Fornals has not worked, another £25 million gone down the drain there as well. Yarmolenko, who they’re trying to get rid of, didn’t work – he was nearly £20 million.
“Money has been spent. Who is actually doing the recruitment – is it the managers, is it the board? It’s a big mess right now at West Ham.”
From Oladipo’s comments, it is clear that the journalist feels that West Ham have wasted money by not having a clear recruitment plan or structure, regardless of who the manager of the club is currently.
This is what a director of football is for, as, typically, the person who holds this role helps the club choose a manager who matches their own footballing philosophies, both in terms of playing style and recruitment, which, in turn, reduces the risk of wasting money on players, should a manager be sacked.
After looking at the vast amount of money spent by West Ham in the last five years, and considering the club only narrowly missed out on relegation last season, it would indeed seem as if the Irons are crying out for a director of football.