George Parris: Our summer signings arrived late to the party but there’s still plenty of dancing to be done

It’s going to be interesting to see how the squad is managed with our European adventure

David Moyes (West Ham manager) at the EPL match West Ham United v Burnley, at the London Stadium, London, UK on 16th January, 2021. English Premier League matches are still being played behind closed doors because of the current COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, and government social distancing/lockdown restrictions.

Our summer signings were a bit like buses – we waited most of the transfer window for a meaningful one and then three arrived all at once.

I know there was no point West Ham spending for the sake of spending and I know Moyes said he only wanted to spend if he felt he was going to be signing quality that would improve the squad, but we left it all a bit late didn’t we?

It felt like it was obvious to everyone that with the Antonio situation, up front was the area we should have added to.

Only time will tell if not signing serious competition for Antonio will have been a good or a bad thing.

But we’ve made some great signings and it’s going to be interesting to see how the squad is managed with our European adventure because we’ve got the quality now to rotate.

This is going to be particularly important in the midfield area.

What I liked about all our signings is that they all have European experience and they are all internationals.

As a defender, I am excited about Kurt Zouma. He has got a wealth of experience, he has pretty much won it all and he’s still quite young.

He is a very good addition to the squad, no doubt, but I don’t know if he will slot straight into the first team in the Premier League.

It was important to add to the squad with our European campaign ahead but even more important to add when you are doing well because you can bring in that type of player; The international with a wealth of experience at the top because they look at West Ham and see we are on the up and don’t have concerns.

Now we’ve got a few months to see how the new signings adjust and what our injury situation is like before we can look to maybe add to the squad again in January.

If people aren’t injured, and if we have another season like last season where we didn’t have too many injuries, then Moyes is going to have the luxury of being able to rotate to keep everyone fresh.

This is going to be important with quite a hectic schedule.

So far though, we’ve carried on where we left off last season and it’s been great to see the same players still reaching the same level.

The performances we’ve seen so far this season are as good as they were last season, and if anyone had offered me seven points out of nine before the start of the season, I’d have taken it.

Sure, it was disappointing not to have picked up all three points against Palace but most would’ve had Leicester down as a draw so I feel like seven points is probably what we would’ve all wanted.

It’s all positive right now though and what I like about us so far this season is that we look like we’re able to score goals and that we are always carrying a threat up top.

Antonio is on fire at the moment and I’m really enjoying watching Benrahma.

He is playing with a freedom you get when you know that if you perform, you will be playing the next game.

Last season, even if he did play well with the time he had on the pitch, he knew that Lingard would start the next game.

Looking back at his time at the club, you have to give credit to Moyes for how he has handled him and integrated him into the side and the Premier League.

It was great to see Rice and England back in action again but it was a shame to see, yet again, the headlines being the same thing; Racism.

It’s got to the point now where those at the top need to have a hard stance with it.

Players are going to have to walk off the pitch or points need to be docked. Or the next time England play Hungary in a qualifying game, they forfeit the result.

That can be the only way. You always understand as a player that when you play away from home, the opposition fans are going to create a hostile atmosphere that will make you feel uncomfortable.

But there is a line and unfortunately we are still seeing fans crossing that line, and I just think firmer action is needed now – not just a tap on the wrist.

This wasn’t the first time this has happened with Hungary. They have had games behind closed doors, and look what happens when those doors are opened again.

It’s just disappointing that this has overshadowed what was another excellent England performance. 

To score four goals away from home in that environment and to keep a clean sheet – England are continuing where they left off in the summer and it’s great to see.

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