Slaven Bilic emerged from last season with his reputation very much enhanced after guiding West Ham into Europe, but has seen that all-but washed away in five months where issues with the club's new stadium, injury problems and a host of insipid performances have contributed to an uncertain campaign. Three wins in a row either side of Christmas have at least eased any relegation fears, but there remains a perception the club are under-performing.
The transfer window offers a route to possible salvation for the Hammers, but if early signs are any indication then it could be another mad trolley dash rather than a structured assault on improving their squad. The riches offered by the London Stadium should ensure they can throw money at their plight, but Bilic's record in the window doesn't suggest it will be used in the right way.
What they need
With Diafra Sakho facing another extended period on the sidelines, Andre Ayew off to the Africa Cup of Nations and Simone Zaza set to depart, West Ham are badly in need of a forward. Michail Antonio is the club's top scorer with eight and no player has even half as many goals as the former Nottingham Forest man.
Meanwhile, neither Darren Randolph or Adrian have impressed between the sticks this season and at the back Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna and James Collins often look robotic and short of genuine pace –a combination that sees the club possess the second worst defensive record outside the bottom three.
Who could join?
West Ham's strategy so far has been a case of throwing everything against a wall and seeing what sticks. Bids have already been submitted for former youth product Jermain Defoe (BBC Sport), the £20m-rated Celtic forward Moussa Dembele (The Daily Record) and Brentford's Scott Hogan (Sky Sports) in an effort to cure their attack woes.
It appears unlikely that Brentford will be able to hold out for long amid the interest in Hogan, but the real coup would be bringing either Defoe or Dembele to the London Stadium. Defoe is widely accepted to be the difference between Sunderland being relegated and remaining in the Premier League, while Dembele is regarded as one of the hottest players in Europe having helped fire Celtic into a near-unassailable lead in the Scottish Premiership.
Who could leave?
After lighting up the Premier League last season, Dimitri Payet has failed to live up to expectations this term leading to rumours regarding his future at West Ham. Manchester United were credited with a cut-price move for the Frenchman, but recent reports have linked Marseille with a loan move for the 29-year-old in January, according to the Daily Express.
What the manager has said
"I think we are the club that are linked with the most players in Europe," Bilic said, according to the West Ham official website. "95% of that is not true. You have boxes you would like and you want the players to tick all the boxes. Young, cheap, scoring goals, if they have experience in the Premier League, they are handsome!
"Unfortunately you can't have players like that all the time as other clubs are looking for them. We are trying so many times. English and British players have priority as this is an English club. Even the great players need time to settle in. That is why we are looking for players who play in this league, then the risk is lower. But therefore the players are very expensive or very few, but we are trying to find them."