So West Ham need a striker. Here’s an exclusive glimpse into the future as we reveal how their search pans out…
January 6: West Ham players return to training after four days off. Sebastien Haller, fresh from a morning of missing cows’ arses with oversized banjos, holds talks with David Moyes. He is informed of Ajax’s interest: “F**k, ja!’ he replies on his way through the door, heading for the airport with the fleet of foot Moyes has never before seen from the £45million forward.
Moyes immediately picks up the phone and dials the number of Moussa Dembele’s agent. But upon identifying the caller, the Lyon striker’s representative enters a tunnel, from which he is seemingly yet to emerge.
January 8: Haller, scarcely able to believe his luck, is presented as an Ajax player having taken a pay-cut to move to Amsterdam. He poses next to what appears to be a cardboard cut-out of Edwin van der Sar. West Ham immediately make it known that the £20million will be available to Moyes to spend on a replacement. Agents the world over spring into action.
— Sébastien Haller (@HallerSeb) January 8, 2021
January 9: West Ham’s IT systems crash after Moyes receives videos of every centre-forward ever to have played a professional minute in Europe and South America. When the network is restored, Moyes and Stuart Pearce settle down to binge watch Will & Grace and some cat videos.
January 10: David Sullivan asks Real Madrid if they will accept £10million for Karim Benzema. Florentino Perez changes his phone number. Sullivan tells Jim White how he came so close to signing Karim Benzema.
January 11: West Ham are knocked out of the FA Cup after losing 1-0 to National League side Stockport, despite having 96% possession. With Michail Antonio’s hamstrings not risked on the icy Edgeley Park pitch, and Tomas Soucek rested, all of Aaron Cresswell’s 112 crosses drift harmlessly out of play.
January 14: Moyes recalls to Sullivan and Gold the time he almost signed Gareth Bale, Cesc Fabregas and Toni Kroos. He just likes telling the story.
January 16: With Moyes’ family threatened if he plays Antonio for a minute longer than three-quarters of an hour, the West Ham boss pilots his striker-less formation in the goalless draw with Burnley.
June 2019 West Ham had Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez, Lucas Perez and Andy Carroll on their books with Michail Antonio as an Auxiliary striker if needed.
18 months later January 2021 West Ham have Michail Antonio as the only player on their books who can play striker.
— Mark Harrison (@MarkHarrison23) January 8, 2021
January 17: Moyes goes to Lyon to watch Dembele but upon hearing of his presence, the striker locks himself in a toilet cubicle and refuses to play against Metz.
January 20: West Ham fancy their chances of signing Sparta Prague’s phenomenon Adam Hlozek, but it quickly emerges that they have been fed horse sh*t by an agent and they are, in fact, 427th in the queue.
January 22: West Ham agree a fee to re-sign Marko Arnautovic from Shanghai SIPG but the deal falls through because they can’t match his billion-a-week wages.
January 24: West Ham can’t reach their Czech scout because, seeing as he’s a f***ing magician, he’s been snapped up by Bayern Munich along with Hlozek.
January 26: Moyes asks Steve Bruce about Dwight Gayle*, but realising he can’t borrow a replacement from Man Utd’s cast-off bin, the Newcastle manager refuses to do business. Moyes also asks about the big lad with the pony tail.
January 27: After the 0-0 draw at Palace which turns scores of fans off football forever, Roy Hodgson offers up Christian Benteke but Moyes, clearly desperate, decides he’s not that desperate.
January 28: Moyes is given permission by Southampton to speak to Shane Long but upon hearing that he might have to play for longer than 12 minutes at a time, the striker hangs up.
January 29: Sullivan likes the sound of Rangers’ top scorer but his £1.5million offer for right-back James Tavernier is rejected. Sullivan returns with a second bid of £1million.
January 30: Now desperate, Moyes contacts his old pals in the transfer bunker at Carrington. Having looked at 804 right-backs when they signed the hopelessly-unsuitable Aaron Wan-Bissaka, surely they can point him in the direction of a striker?
They recommend a 26-year-old Ivory Coast international who has recently started banging them in for Ajax.
West Ham have signed 40 strikers since Gold and Sullivan took over in 2010 and at the moment the only senior striker we have in the club is a former right back whose hamstrings are made of Play-Do
— Fake Carlton (@_CarltonCole9) January 8, 2021
January 31: Moyes uses the trip to Anfield to ask Jurgen Klopp about Divock Origi but is told Origi is needed to play in defence after Glenn Hysen becomes the umpteenth centre-back to be injured this season. Klopp laughs. Moyes doesn’t know what was funny.
Craig Dawson plays as centre-forward. He scores the Hammers’ equaliser from a header off their only corner after Liverpool fail to capitalise on their 85 per cent possession. But, f**k me, Thiago plays some pretty passes.
Monday February 1: It’s deadline day.
The owner’s son tweets something about transfers but still can’t shake the emptiness inside.
Giroud stays at Chelsea because what’s Didier Deschamps gonna do about it? Drop him?
Moussa Dembele’s agent, apparently, is still in a tunnel.
An enquiry for Maxim Tsigalko proves unfruitful.
West Ham sell Declan Rice to Chelsea for £70million.
But the Hammers can’t agree a fee with Bournemouth for Joshua King, who vows never to get out of bed on deadline day ever again.
Sullivan and Gold appear on Talksport to pin the blame for their failure to sign a striker on a combination of Covid, Brexit, 5G and the lamestream media. They offer to pose for a photograph with Ian Abrahams, but he’s not interested and tells them they aren’t friends anymore.
Tuesday February 2: In the 23 seconds beyond the 72 and a half minutes that West Ham’s medical team have sanctioned for Antonio, the forward injures his hamstring in a 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa. The twang is heard throughout Shropshire.
Wednesday February 3: West Ham offer Daniel Sturridge a contract but upon hearing that he can’t work from home in Los Angeles, he thinks better of it.
Thursday February 4: West Ham sign Wilfried Bony on a six-month contract.
Sunday May 16: Sebastien Haller finishes the season as the European Golden Boot winner.