Gianluca Scamacca shows why he deserves chance to improve West Ham’s poor league start as new signings impress

·3-min read
West Ham eased past Viborg in Thursday night’s play-off second leg  (AP)
West Ham eased past Viborg in Thursday night’s play-off second leg (AP)

It was David Moyes’ natural inclination to plead caution after Gianluca ­Scamacca made it two goals in as many starts in West Ham colours on Thursday night.

“We can’t be expecting too much from him, too soon,” Moyes said of his £30.5million summer signing, whose fine opener set the Hammers on their way to a 6-1 aggregate triumph over Danish side Viborg and a place in the Europa Conference League group stage.

“We need to give him a chance to get ready, but he certainly did a great job for us.”

It is not Moyes’ style to chuck new arrivals in at the deep end. Last night, he admitted he had been “a wee bit concerned” at starting three of them — Maxwel Cornet, Thilo Kehrer and Scamacca — in the same match so early in the season, so goodness only knows what he makes of affairs at Nottingham Forest.

The Hammers have made seven signings this summer, not all of them before the start of the season, and injuries, timing and fitness have played their part, but it remains a fact that between them they have started just one league match.

That was Kehrer, pressed into service against Brighton last weekend due to defensive injuries just days after his arrival from Paris Saint-Germain, and that the German conceded a penalty in that match was perhaps a degree of vindication for Moyes’ gently, gently approach.

However, the policy has still caused frustration among Hammers supporters, who have watched their side fail to register a point or a goal in three straight defeats to start the domestic campaign.

Surely, ahead of a crucial trip to Aston Villa on Sunday, the time is now.

Scamacca’s appearances so far have not been barnstormers of Erling Haaland or Gabriel Jesus impact, and there are obvious caveats about the level of opposition against which he has scored his two goals, but in his finishing alone, the Italian has shown he is ready to improve an attack that has fired blanks in the Premier League this term.

There have been encouraging signs in his link-up play, too, particularly with fellow new arrival Cornet, who, in another lively showing, set up Said Benrahma to double the Hammers’ lead last night and then somehow lifted over the bar with the goal gaping after Tomas Soucek had made it 3-0.

“I think they ready,” Moyes said, when asked whether Cornet and Scamacca could feature more prominently at Villa Park. “If you said to me: ‘Do I think they are ready to play 90 minutes in the Premier League?’ they might not be ready to play that but they are certainly ready to play good parts of it.”

After Villa comes a pair of crunch London derbies next week, against Tottenham and Chelsea, and it hardly takes a huge leap of imagination to fear that should West Ham slip to a fourth straight defeat against Steven Gerrard’s side, a fifth and sixth could quickly ­follow.

More time, Moyes would love, but it is time he does not have and Scamacca & Co. must be given chance to kickstart the Hammers’ season sooner rather than later.