By Matt Farr
Danny Murphy believes West Ham must improve their recruitment campaign this summer if they are to avenge this season’s disappointment.
West Ham have performed well below-par this season, with the east London outfit guaranteed to finish below last season’s seventh-place finish in the Premier League.
They are currently 14th in the league standings with five matches remaining, and they could have a relegation fight on their hands with just seven points between them and the bottom-three.
In his column for the Standard, Murphy believes that West Ham’s struggles this season have come from an unsuccessful recruitment campaign, with a number of their signings failing to improve the squad.
The likes of Simone Zaza, Jonathan Calleri, Gokhan Tore and Alvaro Arbeloa were all recruited last summer, but have had little impact in the first-team squad over the course of the season.
The continued failings of Zaza in particular, saw his loan deal terminated in January, as West Ham sought to cut their losses on the Italian flop.
But Murphy has urged the club to ‘be sensible’ and ‘build again’ this summer, provided they can first retain their Premier League status.
He wrote for the Standard: “West Ham simply must make a better job of recruitment this summer, assuming they stay in the top flight.
“Think about quality, not quantity. If you bring in players on big contracts, make sure they are better than the ones you have. The key for West Ham is not to panic or try to solve problems that didn’t exist.
“With the move to a new stadium and the loss of Dimitri Payet, it has been a tough season but it looks as though they will survive. It’s time to be sensible and build again.”
Slaven Bilic’s sought to make even further changes to his squad in January, using the money raised from the sale of Payet to bring in Robert Snodgrass and Jose Fonte.
However, the duo have yet to hit their stride for the club, and have offered little in West Ham’s bid to earn a respectable Premier League finish this term.
West Ham, who have just one win from their last 10 league matches, visit Stoke at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In other West Ham news, Stan Collymore has delivered his prediction for the upcoming clash.