David Moyes was finally able to pick all of his summer signings for the first time this season in their 1-1 draw with Aston Villa but demanded more from Italy striker Gianluca Scamacca.
West Ham remain embroiled in the relegation battle but Said Benrahma’s penalty lifted the Hammers out of the bottom three on goal difference after they fell behind to an Ollie Watkins header.
Moyes spent £170million on eight new signings last summer and another £12million on Danny Ings in January, but for one reason or another he had so far been unable to get them all in his squad at once.
Yet the mystery of Scamacca, the £35million striker, deepened after Moyes overlooked him again, even when the Hammers were chasing a late winner, opting instead to put winger Maxwel Cornet up front.
“We know that his physical data has got to be much better than it is,” revealed Moyes.
“Gianluca has got to get himself back. No manager wants to put out a bad team, you want to put out the players who you think are going to win for you, so you are always looking to put your best team out.
“I think his application is there, we just want the output to be bigger and more, that’s one of things we are looking for more (of).
“The general part of his play, his hold-up play, we like him for it, he’s really, really good at it and we’ve not seen it as much in the work we’ve been doing.”
All was not well with Lucas Paqueta, either, after the club’s record £50million signing walked straight down the tunnel after he was substituted with 15 minutes remaining.
“He wanted to stay on,” added Moyes. “But I’ve told him and I explained to him.”
Paqueta had earlier been booked, and Moyes said: “I didn’t want him to get sent off because then he’d be suspended for future games.
“It was getting to the stage of the game where maybe fresh legs could help. That was the thinking behind it.”
West Ham started the day in the drop zone after Bournemouth’s shock win over Liverpool.
They knew a victory would lift them up to 14th, but they were unable to find a winner with Ings drawing a blank against his old club.
A draw moved them up to 17th ahead of the Cherries on goal difference.
However, West Ham’s next Premier League match is not until April 2, by which time they could even be bottom with Southampton, Leeds and Bournemouth all playing before then.
Villa boss Unai Emery felt the penalty awarded to West Ham was harsh on Leon Bailey, who was adjudged to have hauled down Paqueta.
“I watched it and I respect the referees 100 per cent,” he said. “But in my opinion it was very soft.”
Asked if the match was a missed opportunity for a third straight win, Emery added: “It depends. I’m happy because we knew before the match that it was going to be difficult.
“After 90 minutes maybe we deserved more. We controlled the game and scored the first goal but they had chances as well. The second half was more open than I would have liked. It’s a fair result.”