Tuesday, April 25

Daily WHUFC News - 25th April 2017

Manager on Monday
WHUFC.com

Slaven Bilic is keen for his West Ham United side to build on their run of five points from their last three Premier League games as the 2016/17 finishing line comes into sight. After picking up a useful point against Europe-chasing Everton on Saturday, the Hammers moved ever closer to the first target of 40 points - but the boss is still aiming higher with the top half of the table within reach.
Next up is a trip to Stoke City, with Bilic aiming to add a cutting edge to the solidity shown against the Toffees. He said: "Maybe 38 points will be enough, but maybe not. For every team, every game is going to be extremely hard to win because almost every team is fighting for something. "You don't want to go into the last couple of games or the last game with the radio on, wanting to know what the score is there and there. "We want to avoid that and, to be comfortable, we need a few more points. We want it, not only to avoid [that situation] but also to climb up the table. Still we can finish really high if we win a few games. "We need to approach every match game-by-game and try and win it. Or at least don't lose it. Then, move on to the next one and try and try. "I'm not talking about only about keeping the distance, but also about climbing the table. "Ronald [Koeman] said after the game, and he's very honest and straight, that only one team played today and only one team deserved to win. That was us. "We were better than them on Saturday, they are not happy with their performance. If they played like that [regularly] they wouldn't be where they are. "Part of the reason why they played like that was us. You can't say that they were a team without motivation to play for something. They are not middle of the table and waiting for the season to finish, but we were on top of them and aggressive."

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U15s narrowly miss out on Prague title
WHUFC.com

West Ham United U15s lost on penalties in the final of the Slavia International Cup
They drew 0-0 with Spanish side Malaga after normal time, but lost 3-2 after spot-kicks
Danny Searle remained proud of his players after their terrific efforts

Head of U15-18 Coaching Danny Searle remained proud of his U15s after they missed out on winning the Slavia International Cup by the finest of margins. The Hammers were the better side in the final – being played at the Eden Arena, home of Slavia Prague – but were eventually beaten 3-2 on penalties by Malaga after drawing 0-0 after normal time. Kai Corbett had the Hammers' best chance of the fixture, hitting the post just before half-time, and they restricted their Spanish opponents to very little in the way of chances on goal. But after failing to find a breakthrough in the allocated 50 minutes, the lottery of a penalty shootout followed with Malaga prevailing. "When you look at the semi-final, our class really shone through," said Searle. "We hadn't really hit the ground running at all on day one and two. "But the boys, through their grit and determination, managed to keep themselves in the tournament. To get to the semi-final and to see them play with the style we know they can play with, I thought we did take that into the final against a very good Malaga side. "We matched them all the way and probably edged it to be fair. To lose on penalties is just one of those things but I'm really proud of the boys. The Hammers made it through to the event's showcase match after battling to a deserved 2-1 victory over local side Sparta Prague in the morning.

They went behind early on but showed resilience to fight back and equalise just before half-time. Amadou Diallo – who was named Player of the Tournament at the competition's closing ceremony – let fly from 25 yards and found the bottom corner with a terrific curling strike. There may have been an element of luck about the winner when Kamarai Swyer's cross looped over the goalkeeper but the result was never in doubt after the Hammers' dominance. Then came the weekend's climax and a meeting of the two best footballing sides in the competition. It was a tense 50 minutes with both side's having their share of pressure, but West Ham's Corbett had the best chance of the match when he hit the post. Penalties followed and Malaga eventually won 3-2, but Searle felt his side deserved more than the title of "runners-up". "We were the youngest team in the tournament so it was always going to be tough," he added. "We had teams from the Czech Republic, Spain and Austria so it was a good test for the boys. They showed great resilience through the tournament and we got better and better as the tournament went on. In the end, it was disappointing because I think we deserved more."

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Reid – We dealt with Lukaku
WHUFC.com

Staying tight at the back and keeping Romelu Lukaku quiet was key to Saturday's impressive performance, said Winston Reid
The New Zealand international returned to the starting XI after a four-game absence due to injury
As skipper at London Stadium, the centre-back was solid throughout alongside fellow defenders James Collins and Jose Fonte
Keeping Romelu Lukaku quiet was crucial to West Ham United's impressive performance as they drew 0-0 with Everton at London Stadium on Saturday, according to defender Winston Reid.

The Hammers shut out the in-form Toffees and in turn prevented the Belgian forward finding the back of the net against the Hammers for the tenth consecutive match. And Reid, returning to the starting XI as captain having missed four matches with a groin problem, played a vital role in limiting Lukaku to just one attempt on goal in east London. Alongside Jose Fonte and James Collins as part of a three-man central defence, the New Zealand international, solid throughout, was pleased with the way his team dealt with one of Europe's top strikers. He said: "With a player like Lukaku, you have to keep tight to him and if he can't turn, then he can't score and it's going to be difficult for him. You try and keep him away from goal – it's pretty boring but it's simple and effective! "You have got to be on him when he's in the box and I think we did well today. Jose and Ginge were great at the back but also people in front were great; Harv [Nordtveit] put in a really good shift and that was good to see. "But Everton are more than just Lukaku, they have a good team. It was first about working out where they're good, and that's through the middle of the pitch. "They have good combinations and we minimised them to just a few chances. There weren't many, and it was that type of game."

West Ham dominated throughout on Saturday, going close in the first half through Jonathan Calleri and Cheikhou Kouyate before Manuel Lanzini and Diafra Sakho – making his London Stadium debut – worried the visiting defence in the second. And the success of Slaven Bilic's gameplan depended on the hosts' ability to stay compact at the back and keep a clean sheet, said Reid. "We've had a lot of injuries so first and foremost, we had to stop them scoring," the centre back continued. "Then, going forward, we had to get Manu [Lanzini] and Dre [Ayew], those types of players on the ball and try to get into good positions. "I guess that final ball wasn't always there today and the sharpness, but these games earlier in the season we would have lost and we're pleased to have come away with the point after working hard, which is what you always want. "It was a decent performance from the team. As long as we keep up this good work then we can get the points that we need from now until the end of the season."

Saturday's draw puts the Hammers on 38 points in the Premier League and Reid hopes the side can continue to perform and put points on the board as the campaign draws to a close. "We need to finish the season strongly. Things haven't been easy this season, and it's not an excuse, but the new stadium, we had a big turnaround in the squad…we will learn from these things next season. "It gives us experience. We have a young squad and I'm sure the young players will learn from these things. "It was good to be back out there today. I had just three or four days' training with the team so I was never going to be 100 per cent fit, but the two old boys next to me did all my running, so that was nice!"

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Nordtveit - We have big games to come
WHUFC.com

Havard Nordtveit excels on first 90-minute runout since January
Norway midfielder helped Hammers to a point against high-flying Everton
Nordtveit has eyes on strong end to the camapign, with Spurs and Liverpool to come at home

After picking up a point against Everton on Saturday, Havard Nordtveit is targeting a big end to the season at London Stadium. Following this weekend's trip to Stoke City, the Hammers return to east London to close their home slate of fixtures with mouthwatering match-ups against Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. Nordtveit, who was making his first start in Claret and Blue since January, felt the Hammers could have beaten Ronald Koeman's high-flying Toffees and that they are in good shape to end the season on a high. "We played well and might have got more than just a point," the No4 said. "We kept a clean sheet and also had a couple of chances to score, but we'll take the one point against Everton - they're a good team and we know that. "We were superb defensively. I don't know if they had any chances, not any big ones certainly, and that's really good for us. "For me personally I hadn't played 90 minutes for a while so it was tough, but the whole team worked well together defensively and offensively, so it was a good system. "I was a little bit nervous at the start, but this is my position and I felt that I came more and more into the game as it went on, especially in the second half. "We have some big games to come, and this result stands us in good stead for them. "We need to bring what we did on Saturday, with a little bit more, and I'm pretty sure the points will come. "It was a great atmosphere here on Saturday, and we are growing into this Stadium as our home now. We're looking forward to the next game."

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Loanee round up
WHUFC.com

There were huge results for both Josh Cullen and Jaanai Gordon in loan action this weekend
Cullen's Bantams sealed a play-off spot whilst Gordon's Newport climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time since November
Meanwhile, Reece Burke made his long-awaited comeback from injury to play for Wigan Athletic

With Enner Valencia unable to face his parent club West Ham United whilst on loan at Everton on Saturday, the only Hammers in loan action over the weekend were below the top flight.

In the Championship, Reece Oxford and Reading's slim hopes of catching Newcastle United in second place were all but ended when they were beaten by struggling Nottingham Forest 3-2. It was a much needed victory for the hosts, who had slipped into some relegation trouble at the bottom of the table, and Britt Assambalonga got things moving at the City Ground with the opener after half an hour. The forward added a second before Mustapha Carayol got in on the act to put the result beyond doubt. A Yann Kermorgant double unsettled the home crowd, but Reading – who kept Oxford on the substitutes' bench – could not mount a full comeback.

Elsewhere in the division, there was the long-awaited return of Reece Burke to Wigan Athletic's starting XI as he made his senior comeback at home to Cardiff City.
Burke's team could not get the victory they so desperately needed though, firing a blank in the goalless contest, and look set to be relegated back down to League One at the first time of asking.

Down in the third tier, Bradford City booked their play-off spot with a simple 3-0 win over AFC Wimbledon, though their top-six hopes have never really been in doubt. Josh Cullen played the full 90 minutes once again for the Bantams who scored twice through Tony McMahon either side of Mark Marshall's goal at the end of the first period. Stuart McCall's men will likely face Scunthorpe United in the semi-final stages of the play-offs.

Walsall's penultimate clash of an average season ended in disappointment, as George Dobson and co. were beaten 1-0 at relegated Coventry City. The central midfielder was brought on at half time but could not help the Saddlers overturn a one-goal deficit brought about by young striker George Thomas' goal.

Meanwhile in League Two, Newport County climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time since November as they beat Accrington Stanley 1-0 at home.
West Ham forward Jaanai Gordon was introduced in injury time as the Exiles recorded a massive win to lift them out of the bottom two just six weeks after they were eleven points adrift. Ryan Bird scored the all-important goal, and Mike Flynn's side now need to keep their heads just above Hartlepool United's if they are to preserve their Football League status.

Finally, goalkeeper Sam Howes helped Hampton and Richmond Borough to a 2-1 away win at Welling United on Saturday in the National League South.

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Stat's A Fact - King Arthur
WHUFC.com

West Ham United had strong defensive organisation to thank again on Saturday as Slaven Bilic's side recorded a second successive home clean sheet in the 0-0 draw with Everton at London Stadium.

Before the game, the key battle looked likely to take place between 24-goal, in-form striker Romelu Lukaku and the Hammers' back line. Not only does the Belgian sit atop the Premier League individual scoring charts but his record against West Ham had seen him score in each of the past nine meetings between the two clubs.

Lukaku was instead, though, limited to just one shot and failed to test Adrian in the West Ham goal throughout the afternoon.

The method to keeping Lukaku quiet was simple: "stop the service" Slaven Bilic explained in his Thursday press conference. Step in Arthur Masukau.

Whilst the performances of Jose Fonte, the returning Winston Reid, James Collins and Edimilson Fernandes all deserve plaudits, it was Masuaku who was the Hammers' stand out man at the back.

The Frenchman was a constant frustration to Everton's wide players, who rotated between being Ross Barkley, Kevin Mirallas and Tom Davies, and was on hand to make a total of four tackles in the game – bettered only by Havard Nordtveit for the Hammers. Masuaku also made 4 blocks and maintained the joint-highest pass completion rate (92 per cent) from 53 passes.

Not only was Masuaku impressive defensively, but his work rate and attacking influence was also a telling factor in the dominant display. He covered 9.6 kilometres of ground up and down the left flank, while also producing seven successful dribbles – the most by any player, and taking 77 touches.

The Frenchman admitted after the game that it was his "best performance with West Ham".

Masuaku 2 of action through injury this season and was made to wait patiently for his turn in the side, however recent weeks certainly suggest he is repaying Bilic's faith in him. Since returning to the side against Swansea in early-April, the Hammers have kept two clean sheets and remain unbeaten.

James Collins' five interceptions and eight clearances was the most by any player, Edimilson Fernandes and Jose Fonte topped the charts for blocking and aerial duels respectively, while Winston Reid's organisation and leadership was very-much welcomed back. It was a near perfect defensive display by West Ham.

Clearly, it was not a day for the Everton attackers but their defenders were called in to action on more than one occasion. Centre-halves Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams made 13 clearances between them, while Mason Holgate – often tasked with dealing with Masuaku – made five key tackles from right back.

Slaven Bilic's side make the trip to Stoke City's bet365 Stadium next weekend before welcoming free-scoring Tottenham and Liverpool sides to London Stadium in early-May. Unbeaten in three and two consecutive home clean sheets should allow Bilic and his defenders to take confidence in to this run of tricky matches so no doubt it will be a case of 'same again' when the defenders take to the pitch on Saturday.

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Westley – It was some performance
WHUFC.com

Terry Westley lauded his young U23s as they sealed their place in the Premier League 2 play-offs
The youngsters were terrific in a 4-0 away victory at West Browmich Albion
With Blackburn Rovers only managing a draw against Aston Villa, West Ham finished fifth and will take on Wolves in the play-off semi-final

"It was some performance," claimed Terry Westley as his young Hammers confirmed their place in the Premier League 2 play-offs with an emphatic 4-0 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion on Monday. The U23s travelled to the Hawthorns knowing results elsewhere had to go their way in order to finish in the league's top five, even if they were to beat the Baggies. And beat them they did in style, with goals from Dan Kemp, Martin Samuelsen – who bagged a brace – and Nathan Holland finding the back of the net in the perfect away performance. With Blackburn Rovers only managing a goalless draw against Aston Villa, the Hammers celebrated qualification to the play-offs with a semi-final tie at Wolverhampton Wanderers to follow.
Naturally, Westley was delighted with the outcome of the evening and praised his team for a complete display. He said: "It could have been our last game tonight, and we wanted to really play well. We wanted to see evidence of all the work that's been done over the last three years, and that culminated in a brilliant win away from home and also qualification [for the play-offs] with Blackburn and Villa drawing. We got both things we wished for. "Tonight, all credit to the players because it was some performance. We started right on the front foot. The front four really caused their back players problems. That was the difference. "If you do your money on good front players, they can open teams up and win you matches at any level. That was the standout. "I read an article this week about Martin Samuelsen and confidence. People give players confidence, and you saw tonight what an absolutely outstanding talent we have on our hands. "He's only 19 and we had too much for them. Let's not forget how talented some of our players really are."

And the age of the starting XI was something Westley was keen to point out, having fielded an extremely young side. "Our left-back [debutant Reece Hannam] was U16, the two centre-halves are U18, [Dan] Kempy is U18. [Joe] Powelly and Jahmal [Hector-Ingram] are U18 players. We are still very young in this league and the style and the philosophy of how we played tonight was the real thing for me. "I couldn't be happier with the way we played and that culminating in the play-offs. Now we go up to Wolves in a very tough match because I think they finished second, so it will be tough for us, but I think we will keep trying to play the way we played tonight."

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WHAT WE HAVE LEARNT FROM WEST HAM V EVERTON
BY EXWHUEMPLOYEE ON 23 APRIL 2017 AT 8:21PM
TheWestHamWay.co.uk

My five takeaways from the game this week by Steve Claydon @trbeat.

1. Defence comes good.

I wrote last week that having a good back line and a keeper is important for the foundations of keeping a clean sheet. With Winston Reid coming back from injury the switch to three centre-backs was made, and it worked well. All of them, Reid, Collins and Fonte were strong, co-ordinated and thankfully kept Lukakua at bay the whole game. It was one of the first times I have seen the Everton forward kept at bay, and the stats back this up. Lukakua has scored in the last nine games against us. I repeat all three were immense, with both Collins and Reid keeping the back strong which allowed Fonte to move the ball out from the back, something which he did quite well. I was very impressed with how that formation worked. Adrian must have loved it as he really had nothing to do, except have a small barney with Fernandez who put him under undue pressure with a poor backless throw-in. Other than that the back three and Adrian had nothing to do the whole game. Credit to all of them.

2. Viking Ships finally sailing

Håvard Nordtveit. Well look who played out of his skin, or maybe that's was we can expect from him when played in the right position (that's a theme we've all heard). This man was immense. He protected the back line very well and his constant harrying of the Everton midfield and forwards forced them into critical errors breaking down promising attacks. He played the Noble role very well, and dare I say it performed it, in this game at least, better than Noble. I like the way he started attacks; I like the way he played his position by not putting himself in dangerous situations or extending himself unnecessarily. It was a very solid game from a player that has been panned a little by some and a lot by others. Kouyate, who picked up a knock five minutes into the game seemed to be off, including a less that stellar defensive performance and poor final third passes. Had Kouyate played to his normal level, both of them would have run the game very well, not that we didn't anyway, but we may have even nicked a win.

3. Do we have a position battle?

I loved the play from Masuaku. He looked strong at the back and going forward added a dimension that has been missing from Cresswell this year. He was never afraid to take someone on and try and make things happen, which he did, many times. He worked really well as the wing back and hopefully he can translate this strong play as well when playing in a standard back four. The link up play with Lanzini was nice, and I would be intrigued to see him play a wide role in midfield and have less defensive responsibilities but either way, this man was awesome. His force down the left side kept Everton honest and made them think twice about using that side of the field to attack. While we are about it, Fernandez on the right side, was a lot quieter but did his bit. I was a little disappointed with his attack play as there were a couple of times that he got into good positions but fluffed his lines when it counted most. So if you have a fit Cresswell and Masuaku, who are are you choosing to start against Stoke?

4. It's very sad to see Carroll suffer.

I'd like to say that Carroll not starting was a shock and how can he be injured, again. While watching the game, the commentators mentioned that he aggravated his groin injury, again, when stretching to knock the ball back for Ayew's first goal last week. I hurt for a few days when I stretch to wash my car, but that's not my main job, and so it's sad. It's sad someone so young, with so much potential will never have a true football, long, and exciting career. So what does that mean for West Ham? It means come the summer, and actually, we need to start now, and I am sure we have, we need to figure out our striking options. As many people pointed out on social media today, when Calleri is starting for you, no matter how good or bad you think he is, it's a sorry state of affairs for a team that needs to push on into the upper echelons of the Premier League. I busted on Calleri last week, but he did run his heart out today. The problem is, it was a lot of huffing and puffing and it never really looked like we would score with him up top. Sakho did not look hugely better either, but I still prefer him leading the line. So let's review those three names; Carroll – often injured; Sakho – often injured, poor attitude; Calleri – lacks Premiership skills. So our striking line is in a poor way. We have the ability to fix it in the summer, but we need to be sensible about our targets, and we need our current strike-force to understand that their role will shrink next year along with, hopefully, their related salaries.

5. Lets Credit Bilic, for this game at least.

I'm not going to start or continue the Bilic in, Bilic Out game. Other people have better and more eloquent thoughts on this than I do. Just Listen to the radio show last week to get where I am coming from. The three at the back worked very well for this game, and as I wrote earlier that Lukaku was kept quiet the whole game, and the stats don't lie. Everton had a total of four shots with none on target. That says something. It would be easy to say that Everton was not on their game. I say that our game plan worked very well and negated theirs against us. Whether by actual design, injuries or suspension, Bilic got this one right. At times it was not pretty, but the confidence is starting to return, and for the Everton fans that said we parked the bus, you are wide of the mark, a long way wide. A point is valuable at this time of the year, and while we are not completely safe, (mathematically) if we can put together a few more games like this we should be safe in the next week or two. So I'll give Bilic a lot of credit for shutting down an Everton team that loves to score and beat us.

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AFTERNOON ROUND UP: BILIC SURGERY DELAYED, NORDTVEIT TARGETING BIG END TO SEASON, MASUAKU PRAISE
BY DAN CHAPMAN ON 24 APRIL 2017 AT 2:26PM
TheWestHamWay.co.uk

Good afternoon Hammers. Here is today's afternoon round up.

West Ham are targeting a move for Trabzonspor goalkeeper Onur Kivrak. (TalkSport)

I do not think this would be a wise move. If we are going to sign a goalkeeper in the summer, then we should be targeting Joe Hart or Jordan Pickford. Both have Premier League experience and are proven quality.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has delayed his hip surgery. (Telegraph)

Winston Reid has admitted that this season has been a steep learning curve for everyone at the club. (Express)

This season has been a learning curve for everyone associated with the club, all the way from the board to the fans. We have all had to deal with so much change this past year, but I believe things will get better. Once the players start improving on the pitch, then I believe the whole mood around the club will change.

West Ham are keeping tabs on Fleetwood goalkeeper Alex Cairns. (Daily Mail)

Havard Nordtveit is targeting a big end to the season at the London Stadium. (West Ham United)

I just want to give a special mention to Nordtveit. He has received so much stick from our fans for his performances this season, and I think it has been quite unfair on him. He got a chance to impress us last Saturday, and he grabbed the chance with both hands. In my opinion, he was nothing short of brilliant. I hope he gets a run of games in the side now and shows us his qualities.

Slaven Bilic has revealed that Ronald Koeman said West Ham were the only team that deserved to win on Saturday. (HITC)

Arthur Masuaku has been praised for his performance against Everton last Saturday. (Football London)

Arthur is another player who deserves a lot of praise. He also received a lot of stick from our fans, and I think it was unneeded. Apart from West Brom away earlier in the season, he has performed well in every game he has played for us. I am glad that he is back in the starting eleven and proving everyone wrong.

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MY HONEST OPINION ON SAKHO BY @FAREHAMHAMMER
BY EXWHUEMPLOYEE ON 24 APRIL 2017 AT 9:06PM
TheWestHamWay.co.uk

Written by @farehamhammer–These are the opinions of the writer and not necessarily the website

Surely the cheers were not for the prima donna Diafra Sakho on Saturday? A player who has been on strike for the best part of a year, has had enough time to crash his £200,000 Lamborghini into a woman's wall after a collision with a Mini Cooper? Has a sulk and refuses to fly with the team? Demands a move and when one is granted, is not even fit enough to pass a medical? We need to shove the spoilt brat out of the door as quick as possible .The man is cancer! How humiliating it must be for Slaven Bilic, to have yet another round of 'clear' the air talks with this clown.

His hand was forced because we are bitterly short of strikers. Yet you still get fans making excuses for Sakho. He needs to be 'loved', "He needs to have an arm around him "What a load of tear jerking rubbish! Put him on The Jeremy Kyle Show! That's where he belongs! The love in for Sakho is really difficult to explain. Based on what? A stretch of seven games where he scored six goals in his very first season? A one season wonder in my book.

As a player he is most certainly not the most intelligent of players, certainly can't spot a pass, poor first touch and is easily forced away from goal. I think his injury record is as bad as Andy Carroll's if not worse .Yet Sakho's injury record hardly ever gets mentioned. His contribution on the pitch when fit, has been nowhere near what Carroll's is. Certainly not a 20 goal a season man that is for sure.

So where do go from here? The best we can hope for is that Sakho stay's fit for the rest of the season, scores a few goals and we can shift him in the summer. Providing he can actually bother to turn up for pre-season and get himself fit, and we don't have the same shambles as when West Brom tried to sign the player. I fear however, that the only way we are going to shift Sakho is to send him out on loan till his contract is up. Probably having to pay part of his wages.

Either way, Sakho will in years to come regret his spoilt brat attitude he has displayed while at the club. He should just speak to another 'rebel' Ravel Morrison and ask him how life panned out after he left West Ham.

He is on the virtual scrapheap battling to get into a poor Queens Park Rangers team. Or maybe he should pick up the phone and speak to Yossi Benayoun who despite playing for the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool. Always refers to West Ham as "home" or a special club. Yes, this season has not been what we hoped for and undoubtedly we need to do some shrewd work in the transfer window this summer.

However we need to have a clear out. Easier said than done I know! I am in no doubt that Slaven Bilic, will have the Prima Donna near the top of the list for departure. However it is NOT all gloom and doom. Although not perfect, the performance against Everton indicated that better days lay ahead! The one two between Lanzini and Ayew is what West Ham is all about! Football with a smile on its face. We are more than a football club, we're a way of life!

COYI'S!

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Bonzo joins Manchester Hall of Fame
KUMB.com
Filed: Monday, 24th April 2017
By: Staff Writer

Billy Bonds has been confirmed as one of eight new players to be inducted into the National Football Museum's Hall of Fame.

The former West Ham United captain and manager joins Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard Jnr (West Ham & Chelsea), Bob Wilson (Arsenal), Gary Speed (Leeds Utd etc), England Ladies' record goalscorer Kelly Smith, the Ladies most-capped player Rachel Yankey and (paralympian) Alistair Patrick-Heselton as new members of the Hall of Fame, which is based in Manchester.

The new inductees were agreed upon by a select panel of footballing greats, including Geoff Hurst, Gordon Banks, Bobby Charlton, Kevin Keegan, Peter Schmeichel, Roger Hunt and several other former legendary players.

"We're delighted to be inducting nine players who have amazed us with their commitment to the great game," said National Football Museum Interim Director Kevin Haygarth.

"The decision-making panel is made up of some of the greatest players and managers to grace the game, including some of the 1966 World Cup winning team, which makes the accolade even more prestigious.

"These footballing greats will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at an awards dinner in September."

Meanwhile PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor added: "We have been pleased to support the National Football Museum since its inception.

"Subsequently the Hall of Fame giving fitting recognition to those who have contributed their own special chapters to football's history book. This year's nominees fully merit their inclusion."

Bonds is just the latest in a long line of West Ham players to be featured at the Museum; he joins the likes of Martin Peters, Rio Ferdinand, Teddy Sheringham, Liam Brady, Geoff Hurst, Stuart Pearce, Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Moore in the 152-strong list.

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The Art of defending
KUMB.com
Filed: Monday, 24th April 2017
By: Staff Writer

Arthur Masuaku believes that Saturday's goalless draw against Everton saw him produce his best 90 minutes in a West Ham shirt. The left back operated slightly further up the field as part of a five-man defence that stifled the Toffees, who failed to conjure a single shot on target all afternoon. And the French defender admitted that he prefers to play at wing back, a position that allows hiim to burst forward more frequently - as he did to great effect at the Olympicc Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
"I think that was my best game for West Ham," he told whufc.com. "In my opinion I'm better when I'm on the wing because I can go forward and I can come back and defend. This is my best position, I think. "It was a good point for us against a top team. We played very well as a team and that's the key to success. We defended well, we were strong, we were solid and we didn't give them the opportunity to score."

Meanwhile Masuaku's defensive partner Winston Reid was equally delighted at returning to the fold having been sidelined with injury for a number of weeks. And he was particularly pleased at having kept West Ham's nemesis Romelu Lukaku quiet during the game - with Lukaku failing to score for the first time in eight games against the Hammers. "I think we did well today," added the Kiwi. "Jose [Fonte] and Ginge were great at the back but also people in front were great; Harv [Nordtveit] put in a really good shift and that was good to see.
"That final ball wasn't always there but we would have lost these games earlier in the season and we're pleased to have come away with the point after working hard, which is what you always want. "With a player like Lukaku you have to keep tight to him. If he can't turn, he can't score - and it's going to be difficult for him. You simply try and keep him away from goal; it's pretty boring, but it's simple and effective! "Everton are more than just Lukaku, they have a good team. It was about working out where they're good, and that's through the middle of the pitch. They have good combinations and we minimised them to just a few chances."

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Valencia linked with permanent switch
KUMB.com
Filed: Monday, 24th April 2017
By: Staff Writer

Enner Valencia's season-long loan spell at Everton could be made permanent this summer, according to reports from Merseyside. The Ecuador international is almost certainly on his way out of West Ham at the end of the current campaign and one potential destination is Goodison Park, where he has proved to be a moderate success on loan this campaign. With his asking price has been set at circa £12million - roughly the fee West Ham paid CF Pachua for his services three summers ago - Toffees boss Ronald Koeman is said to be considering making Valencia's season-long loan spell permanent.
And the signing would be approved of by many Everton fans, according to comments posted on the club's forums over the weekend. "He's not a first team starter but he has had a good season and been an effective impact player," wrote Chris CK1978. "I would like to see him stay especially if we get a spot in the early rounds of the Europa League."

Thoughts echoed by fellow Everton fan madden95, who added: "Every time he has come on he has played well. He hasn't moaned about not playing, works hard and gets on with the players. I would keep him."

However not all fans are in agreement about potentially landing the 27-year-old, who has also been on the radar of West Bromwich Albion in recent weeks.

"On the one hand has been effective in several games were we've needed him, and at the very least is a decent squad player," wrote Toffe3m4n, a member of grandoldteam.com. "On the other, if we're really serious about kicking on then we need to be buying better players than him, even ones who'll be bench players."

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Hammers linked with Super Lig swoop
KUMB.com
Filed: Monday, 24th April 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are being linked with one of the Turkish Super Lig's top goalkeepers. Reports emanating from Turkey this morning suggest that West Ham are taking a close look at Trabzonspor stopper Onur Kivrak. The 29-year-old is said to have been courted by Slaven Bilic during his previous role at Besiktas and is seen as an ideal replacement for Adrian and Darren Randolph, both of whom have been tipped to move on this summer. Nicknamed 'Butterfly' by fans of Trabzonspor, Kivrak - who represented his country at Euro 16 last summer - is out of contract at the end of next season (2017/18). His contract is understood to contain a release clause triggered at bids of €10million.

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Michail Antonio insists West Ham are 'a couple of players' away from challenging for European football
Michail Antonio is out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury
The England international suffered the injury in a win over Swansea in April
Antonio believes West Ham are a few signings a way from European football
He also praised the impact of West Ham manager Slaven Bilic on his game
By Andy Warren For Mailonline
PUBLISHED: 18:30, 24 April 2017 | UPDATED: 18:30, 24 April 2017

Michail Antonio believes West Ham are just a handful of new signings away from challenging for European football next season. The Hammers currently sit 14th in the Premier League in what is their first season at their new London Stadium home, but are just two shy of ninth place with four matches left to play. But Antonio, who is out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury, believes they are just a few quality additions away from challenging for Europe. He also offered an update on his bid to return to fitness.

'I am looking to be back around July, basically getting ready for beginning of next season,' he told ESPN. 'I'm hoping to be involved in the majority of preseason training. I might miss the first week, but I'll hopefully be back for the rest of it. 'We need to sign a couple of players - a right-back, one more centre-half, two strikers - and get more goals. If we can do that, we will be up there for European places.'

Antonio, who has scored nine goals so far this season, was full of praise for manager Slaven Bilic and insisted the Hammers boss has improved his game significantly. 'He has given me the opportunity to play games and given me the freedom to do what I do on the pitch,' Antonio said. 'I need that freedom; I pop up in lots of different positions and he has given me freedom to do that.' Next up for the Hammers is a visit to Stoke on Saturday, with Antonio once again missing from the line-up as he continues his rehabilitation.

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Study shows West Ham have two of the best 20 dribblers in Europe in Lanzini and Antonio
They are wizards with the ball at their feet
Football London
BYSAM INKERSOLE
15:00, 24 APR 2017

Despite his display at the weekend, Arthur Masuaku doesnn't make this list unfortunately. But, two other West Ham stars have been named in a list via the CIES Football Observatory which has crunched the numbers to reveal the best dribblers of a football in Europe.
Step forward, Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio. The Hammers duo are on the list at numbers 12 and 17 respectively, with the Argentine magician narrowly missing out on the top ten. Lanzini has been given a rating of 83.6/100, making him the sixth best dribbler in the Premier League. The player who leads the way might surprise you - Adam Traore (100) and Eden Hazard is just behind him with 99.7. Lanzini has attempted 115 dribbles this season and has completed an impressive 63% of those. Compare that to someone like Neymar at Barcelona, who has attempted 150 more dribbles and completed just more than half of them, Lanzini is far more efficient. His dribbles have led to seven goals, two assists and an impressive 42 chances created this season, showing the Argentine has stepped into that Dimitri Payet-shaped void pretty well.
The CIES Football Observatory notes that: "The dribbling index is calculated by dividing the number of dribbles attempted by the percentage of successful ones. This allows us taking into account dribbling skills from both a quantitative and a qualitative perspective." Whatever that means.
As for Antonio, he finds himself inside the top 20. He has attempted 139 dribbles - before his season was cut short by injury - completed 54% of them to give him a rating of 82.2, better than Paul Pogba if you're interested. Antonio is West Ham's top scorer this season with nine, while his dribbles have 31 chances for his teammates and given the winger three assists for the season.

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Is the much-maligned Havard Nordtveit about to prove his West Ham doubters wrong?
HITC
Vincent Ralph

The West Ham United midfielder looked like a different player against Everton. If you were to ask a selection of West Ham United fans who their worst performers of the season have been, the same names would come up time and again. From the old guard, Mark Noble and Aaron Cresswell have divided opinion for much of the campaign, while from the summer signings it is a case of take your pick, with the now departed Simone Zaza, Jonathan Calleri and Havard Nordtveit among those to be berated for their below-par performances. However, 26-year-old Nordtveit could be about to prove his doubters wrong in emphatic fashion; certainly if his performance against Everton on Saturday is anything to go by. The versatile Norwegian has been something of a jack of all trades since arriving at the London Stadium. However his performance in his preferred position as a holding midfielder helped West Ham secure an impressive point, and an equally impressive clean sheet, against the previously free-scoring Toffees. There is still plenty of work for Nordtveit to do, but it could be a case of judging him too soon and somewhat unfairly given his use as a makeshift right-back in a bid to solve a problem of Slaven Bilic's own making. If Nordtveit can play well between now and the summer, West Ham could have an unlikely new midfield hero as they bid to kick on next season and beyond.

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West Ham handed blow in Zabaleta chase
By Josh Challies - Apr 24, 2017 0
ReadWestHam

West Ham have been eying big-name recruits ahead of the summer as they seek to improve on what has been a disappointing season. Three games unbeaten has seen the Hammers move away from the relegation zone, securing a seven point advantage over Swansea City, but two draws in that run will be disappointing. Slaven Bilic's side will also be aware that their work is far from complete as they face a difficult final four games against Stoke, Tottenham, Liverpool and Burnley. With their advantage though, the Hammers should be able to prepare for another season in the Premier League- although their chances of signing an experienced defender have been handed a blow.

ClubCall state Manchester City are considering handing Pablo Zabaleta a contract extension this summer, which would rule-out a free transfer for the Hammers. The Argentine international has impressed Pep Guardiola this season and a new deal could be offered to the 32-year-old, which would see him extend his stay in Manchester. However, the Hammers may still have hopes of a deal as West Ham can offer first-team assurances that the Citizens may not be able to provide.

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Cult hero James Collins full time antics continue to endear himself to the West Ham faithful
The Ginger Pele's legendary status is increasing
Football London
BYSAM INKERSOLE
13:31, 24 APR 2017

James Collins has started the past five games for West Ham and they have kept two clean sheets in that time. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not, but after looking as though he may well be on his way out of the club at the end of this season, now he looks indispensable to West Ham. Of course, his displays on the pitch have been excellent of late but it's what he has been doing at full time that is endearing himself to Hammers fans even more. Over the past five games, Collins has been the first to travel over to the away fans at full time, even in defeat. The Hammers' travelling army have had long trips to Hull and Sunderland in recent weeks without seeing their team win and it shouldn't be underestimated how much they appreciate it. It's at the London Stadium though where "Ginge" is enhancing his cult status even more.
At the end of the past two games, Collins has walked over to one of the stands in the stadium and given his shirt to a lucky fan. He is always the last West Ham player to leave the pitch, despite the result.

Jack Lebeau @JackLebeau66
James Collins. Touch of class. One of West Ham's cult heroes. #WHUFC
5:32 PM - 22 Apr 2017 · Stratford, London
1 1 Retweet 11 11 likes

He did it again on Saturday and it was caught on video. Just listen to the reception Collins gets from the Hammers fans at full time.
The 33-year-old signed a new two-year deal back in 2015 which runs out at the end of next season and said at the time: "The thought of not being involved in this Club, and with the fans who I have got a special relationship with and have always been great to me, was playing on my mind." The Ginger Pele has a special relationship with West Ham fans and long may that continue.

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Winston Reid says West Ham will kick on next season after difficult campaign
KEN DYER
Evening Standard

Winston Reid believes West Ham will emerge stronger from the trials and tribulations of this season. The Hammers are on 38 points following the goalless draw at home to Everton and both Reid and manager Slaven Bilic believe another two points will bring Premier League safety. Reid, captain for the day against Everton in the absence of the suspended Mark Noble, said: "It was a decent performance and as long as we have that determination and work ethic, we should get the points we need to be safe and then build towards next year. The players will learn a lot from this experience. It has been a roller-coaster ride and not easy, with the new stadium and the big turnaround in the squad. We will learn from this." "It was always about those 40 points as long as I can remember but we want to try to win every game and if not — don't lose it." Havard Nordtveit took full advantage of West Ham's injury situation to star in a holding midfield role. He said: "When you get the chance, you need to be good."

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Clarity Causing West Ham's Problems?
http://www.ironviews.com
By Ed Drayton on April 24, 2017 in Opinion

West Ham United – From reaching Europe to battling relegation in a year. A drastic change in 12 months and one that didn't seem possible after our highest ever Premier League points total. But is that true? Or were the signs of this dreadful season already developing when Payet's free kicks and talk of a Mark Noble England call up were all we were thinking of?

Read any tweet, article or forum post and you will see people blaming the manager, the players, the owners or Payet each depending on the fans opinion. But I think the West Ham malaise kicked into gear years ago. West Ham United, you see, is not United. Not United in terms of a clear coherent ideology. A strategy from the top to the bottom of the club has not been present at West Ham United in my lifetime. The academy, transfers, staff recruitment and finances have all been a patchwork of ideas for a long time.

Look at the renowned 'Academy of Football'. The last time it produced a first XI player was James Tomkins nearly 10 years ago! But the path to the first team is a difficult one for the talented youngsters. The U23s do not get coached with the same ideology as the first team. I am not in the know, but I doubt that the head of the academy and the first team coaches even work together that often. Just reading the academy-centric articles on the official website shows this. They talk of Terry Westley's ideas within the academy and barely mention Bilic.

Transfers as well. Nobody is sure who signs our players. Töre seemed to be Slaven's man, Feghouli Sullivan's and Masuaku Tony Henry's. Having three different conflicts of ideas can't be helpful. Look at Southampton. They have a system where they have a detailed scouting network in place so when the manager, a coach or a player leaves they have a replacement lined up who is usually perfectly suited to the club. No wonder they have dealt with losing their key men so often, so well. Koeman followed Pochettino. Tadic followed Lallana. With West Ham Robert Snodgrass followed Payet. (No offense to Snoddy, he's good, just not one of the best players in Europe good…) At the other end of the spectrum you have the Tony Pulis' of this world. They are in control of everything at the club. Some of the transfers and tactics may be dodgy but at least everyone knows where they stand. Slaven has not experienced this trust at West Ham. I'm not saying any one way is the right way, but it has to be better than the West Ham chaos!

West Ham is not perfect but I don't think any one party deserves to shoulder the blame. Many areas of our club could be improved but surely a clear message of structure needs to be present. Right down from the board to the kit men we need to have a target, an aim, a plan otherwise I fear we will have another 30 years of up and downs, highs and lows, brilliant football and shocking football. But that's why we love West Ham right? Would we have it any other way?

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West Ham FC transfer news: Trabzonspor goalkeeper Onur Kivrak linked with Hammers move
By talkSPORT - @talkSPORT
Monday, April 24, 2017

West Ham United have been linked with a move for goalkeeper Onur Kivrak. According to reports in Turkey, the Hammers are in talks with the 29-year-old Trabzonspor captain ahead of the summer transfer window. Inconsistent performances from Adrian and Darren Randolph have meant that Bilic is on the lookout for a new keeper and Kivrak, who has kept 13 clean sheets in 27 appearances this term, is reportedly their ideal choice. Kivrak is no stranger to Slaven Bilic - the Hammers boss tried to sign the Turkey international during his spell in charge of Besiktas. The report also claims that Trabzonspor have already turned down an initial approach from West Ham for their prized shot-stopper.

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West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic delays hip surgery as his side limp towards 40-point mark
Telegraph.co.uk
Gerry Cox, london stadium
23 APRIL 2017 • 10:45PM

Slaven Bilic cuts a forlorn figure on the touchline as West Ham limp towards Premier League survival. The Croatian manager has endured a poor second season with the club, in contrast to the success of his first. Since last summer the east London club have struggled to adapt to their new home, suffered a series of hammer blows on the injury front and been destabilised by the behaviour of their now-departed star player Dimitri Payet. The point they earned here moved them one closer to the traditional safety post of 40, although Swansea moved two points closer to them with victory over Stoke. But Bilic knows points will not be easily earnt, with tricky away games at Stoke City and Burnley either side of the visits of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. "We need points," he said bluntly. "As long as I can remember, it is about 40 points. But I don't think that way. You cannot calculate how you will get them. Not even Chelsea can say that. It is the greatest thing about this league."

So his focus is on one game at a time. "I'm not talking only about getting out or keeping the distance [from the bottom three]. I'm talking also about climbing the table." Only then will he be able to think about this season. "I don't like to moan about the obstacles we had." And himself? "My hip is nothing worse than it was last year. I don't have time [for surgery]. You need six weeks for the operation – but I am not a player!"

Everton's unusually torpid display without a single effort on goal, meant they missed a chance to move into fifth place and Ronald Koeman was angry. He will spend the summer hoping to retain Romelu Lukaku and looking to increase his squad options. "There are questions for the end of the season, and to bring a strong squad in. We saw today with the young players, it's difficult to perform always in the Premier League – they need to improve and need to be stronger and all that kind of stuff. We will make decisions at the end of the season."

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"He controlled the midfield" - West Ham fans heap praise on Havard Nordtveit after stunning display against Everton
The Norwegian midfielder had his best game in claret and blue
Football London
BYSAM INKERSOLE
10:30, 24 APR 2017

Havard Nordtveit put in by far his best shift in a West Ham shirt against Everton at the weekend and Hammers fans certainly let him know it. The Norwegian has been a peripheral figure at most this season and when he has played, it's been at right back and not in his natural defensive midfield position. But, he got the chance to play in midfield at the weekend for only the second time this season and he grabbed it with both hands, putting in a superb display. Nordtveit had an 82% pass accuracy, four tackles and two interceptions as he kept the in-form Everton midfielder Ross Barkley very much in check throughout the 90 minutes. With the return of Mark Noble from suspension for the trip to Stoke on Saturday, Nordtveit might struggle to keep hold of his spot in the team unless Slaven Bilic drops Edimilson Fernandes but in any case, Nordtveit certainly did his case no harm.

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http://vyperz.blogspot.com

Monday, April 24

Daily WHUFC News - 24th April 2017

Masuaku - My best game for West Ham
WHUFC.com

Arthur Masuaku shone at wing-back in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Everton
Toffees clash was fourth Premier League start in a row for Frenchman
Defender delighted to put early-season injuries behind him

Arthur Masuaku has had to show patience in his first season as a West Ham
United player. After bursting onto the scene at the start of the campaign,
the Frenchman had to take a back seat during the winter as niggly injuries
restricted his playing time. But that patience is now being rewarded and he
described Saturday's game against Everton - his fourth consecutive Premier
League start - as his best for the Club. Deployed as a wing back, the
23-year-old showed his qualities going forward and in defence as the Hammers
kept an in-form Toffees side - including the top flight's leading goalscorer
Romelu Lukaku - out.
Whilst they couldn't find the net at the other end, Masuaku felt the display
against Ronald Koeman's European football-chasing side bodes well for the
last four games of the season. "I think that was my best game for West Ham,"
he said. "In my opinion I'm better when I'm on the wing because I can go
forward and I can come back and defend. This is my best position, I think.
"It's nice to have played four games back-to-back. I can play without pain
after having trouble with my injury [earlier in the season]. "Now everything
is behind me, hopefully I can keep going and play like I did on Saturday. "I
think it was a good point for us against a top team. We played very well as
a team and that's the key to success. "We defended well, we were strong, we
were solid and we didn't give them the opportunity to score. We have to keep
going like that in the next game against Stoke City."

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LUKAKU WENT CUCKOO
By Zaman Siddiqui 23 Apr 2017 at 07:00 351 comments
WTID

Lukaku didn't score. Let that sink in: Romelu Lukaku didn't score against
us. So this is what it feels like to play against Everton without the one
goal Lukaku handicap. Prior to this match, the Belgian scored a goal against
us in each of his nine previous appearances. Had he scored in this match, he
would have been on double figures for consecutive goals scored! Going into
this match, I was deeply concerned, given the fact that he has already
scored two dozen goals so far this season. This year could be the one he
makes a big move elsewhere. He is the top scoring PL player this calendar
year netting 14 times with just 23 shots on target. Only Lionel Messi has
scored more often in the top five European leagues than Lukaku with 17
goals.

Even though he failed to register a single shot on target in this match, I
have to pay homage to the Belgian striker who could make a bigger name for
himself at PSG, Barcelona or Real Madrid. I personally think that we won't
see him play in the Premier League next season. He has stated countless
times before that he wants to play Champions League football. Perhaps
looking back at his career will guide us to the answer. With that, we will
be able to better work out whether we are going to lose a potential six
points or not in the seasons to come (they all count)!

Lukaku signed for FC Anderlecht at the age of 16 in May 2009. It only took
him a few months to get into the first-team just in time for next season,
which he ended as the top goalscorer in the Belgian Pro League with 15 goals
and won the title with his side. He also scored four goals during the club's
run to the quarter-finals of the Europa League. Makes sense for a youngster
to get Europa League football, so that they can expect Champions League
football when they are older. Well, that's true if his name is Romelu
Lukaku. In August 2011, he signed for Chelsea for £17M (including add-ons).

When his team won the Champions League against Bayern Munich, he admitted
that he was disappointed with his involvement in his debut season, and as
such, refused to hold the trophy as he didn't feel like a winner. I mean,
wow! What 19 year old kid would say that they wouldn't want to hold arguably
one of the most difficult trophies to obtain? John Terry celebrated like a
complete wally, despite not even playing in that match, whilst Lukaku didn't
even let himself be happy. From there, it is worth noting both are talented,
but one actually cares about his footballing career on, and more
importantly, off the pitch. He later went on to outscore all of his Chelsea
teammates on loan at West Brom and Everton the two seasons after.
Additionally, he is the first foreign player to score 80 goals before his
24th birthday.

Our encounters with Everton over recent years have been awful – that is down
to one man. Lukaku's first appearance for Everton just had to be against us!
Back in September of 2013, he came off the bench for Nikica Jelavic in the
second half – who would play him? Oh, right. Us. Anyway, he came on in the
second half and scored the winner in the 86th minute. That is the simplest
way I can describe our relationship with him: he scores a goal and we lose
the game.

Despite the hype around Lukaku and Everton, this was one of the most boring
matches to watch all season. It is our first goalless draw this season and
indeed at the London Stadium. The thing is, that this wasn't an off day.
There is a reason they have now failed to win any of their last six away
games. Something that really caught me by surprise and indeed others who
made Lukaku captain in their Fantasy Football teams (admit it) was that
Everton failed to get a shot on target in the whole match. In fact, it took
them until the 70th minute to register their first shot. In all honesty,
Everton just weren't at the races. Koeman said that if he was allowed to do
so, he would have made 10 changes at half time.

Furthermore, I feel that whilst Everton didn't attack like they normally do,
we defended with a lot of confidence. Collins, in particular, played an
absolute blinder. In previous games, through balls have snuck through when
we've played with three at the back. With Lukaku to stop, it could have gone
all wrong. Fortunately, our defence was at hand making lots of clearances.
Masuaku and Nordtveit could have been forgotten about already had the
manager not given them second chances. Nordtveit kept his second clean sheet
out of two games playing in his native position, whilst Masuaku's new
hairstyle seems to have invigorated him, as he made seven dribbles and
tracked back well. Speaking of players that never should have been
considered to be completely dropped, Adrián kept his fourth clean sheet of
the season; the same number Darren Randolph has kept, despite the Spaniard
playing 10 games fewer. In short, we never deserved to concede. Something I
can't say too often this season.

Follow
West Ham News @WHUFC_News
When John Terry's contract expires at Chelsea, Mark Noble will become the
current longest serving one-club player in the Premier League.
10:49 PM - 22 Apr 2017
119 119 Retweets 403 403 likes

Some new signings work out and some don't – Calleri is currently in the
latter pile. Our lack of attacking options meant that we struggled to
finish. We had 15 shots with only three on target. In some ways, it is
disappointing not to have got all three points, but given the predicament we
are in regards to attacking options, we can't complain. On the plus side,
this draw shows the strength of our character. We have had 11 players out
for at least 2 months this season, yet are currently in 13th. It is
important that we keep this mentality against Stoke next week. If we can
somehow end the season in the top half, that form could carry on into next
season.

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http://vyperz.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 23

Daily WHUFC News - 23rd April 2017

Impressive Hammers held by Toffees
WHUFC.com

Dominant, but ultimately disappointed; for all the Hammers' control over
Everton in the Premier League on Saturday, Slaven Bilic's men could not find
a way past the Toffees' defence as they recorded a 0-0 draw at London
Stadium. West Ham the better side throughout, all three points should have
remained in east London. Instead, Ronald Koeman's side battled hard to earn
a share of the spoils and take a point back to Merseyside. Missing the likes
of skipper Mark Noble, full-back Sam Byram and talisman Andy Carroll, the
hosts' squad was short of regulars, but those who stepped in performed
impressively to create a deafening atmosphere at the Club's new home. Havard
Nordtveit superb in midfield, Arthur Masuaku a constant attacking danger and
dependable centre-half Winston Reid impressive on his return, there seemed
only one winner for the majority of Saturday afternoon. And West Ham had the
better of a first half which included few goalscoring opportunities.
Jonathan Calleri was lively and dangerous early on, and forced the first
corner of the game when his headed attempt from Edimilson Fernandes'
inviting cross was diverted wide via a deflection. Manuel Lanzini's
resulting corner was just out of reach of Cheikhou Kouyate, looking for his
second London Stadium goal in as many games. With almost half an hour gone,
the Hammers forced Everton again to defend as Nordtveit twice struck with
venom, but both efforts were well charged down. Minutes later, Kouyate –
like against Swansea – found himself with space 25 yards from goal, but
unlike a fortnight ago, the midfielder could not direct his strike on goal.
James Collins headed wide the final opportunity of the half, glancing past
the post from Lanzini's centre, but Slaven Bilic's men had shown their
intent with an impressive display over 45 minutes.
The second period began as the first had ended – with the hosts on top.
Lanzini came inches away from giving his team the lead, but his goal-bound
drive from 18 yards smashed the top of Phil Jagielka's head and was cleared.
Fernandes, bright and lively throughout, struck over from the
right-hand-side and with home outfit clearly on top, Lanzini even brought
out a stylish rabona cross on the left. 20 minutes from time, Everton
finally managed a first attempt at goal, though the young sub Ademola
Lookman fired a couple of yards wide from distance. It was then once again
Lanzini's turn to try his luck, but Stekelenburg did well to hold his
deflected curler with Andre Ayew and returning sub Diafra Sakho rushing at
him. And the Senegal forward, making his London Stadium debut, almost
ensured it was one to remember, as he had a dangerous shot blocked from wide
on the left. Applauded off on the referee's whistle, it was a West Ham
performance to be proud of, though ultimately not the desired result gained.
On to the next one.

West Ham United: Adrian, Fernandes, Fonte, Reid, Collins, Masuaku,
Nordtveit, Kouyate (Cresswell 79), Lanzini, Ayew, Calleri (Sakho 62).
Subs not used: Randolph, Fletcher, Holland, Rice, Makasi.
Bookings: Fernandes 33, Fonte 76

Everton: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Williams, Jagielka, Baines, Schneiderlin,
Davies (Lookman 46), Gueye (Barry 46), Mirallas (Calvert-Lewin 72), Barkley,
Lukaku.
Subs: Robles, Kone, Barry, Pennington, Kenny.
Bookings: Gueye 27, Williams 60, Barry 67

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Adrian - We could have got more
WHUFC.com

Adrian pleased with clean sheet on return to Hammers duty against Everton
West Ham United edged goalless Premier League draw at London Stadium
Spaniard had little to do due to superb defensive display in front of him

Adrian was pleased to keep a clean sheet on his return to the West Ham
United starting XI, but felt the Hammers could easily have turned a goalless
draw into a win against Everton. The Spaniard's goal was expertly protected
by a five-man defence and disciplined midfield at London Stadium, with James
Collins, Arthur Masuaku and Havard Nordtveit particularly outstanding in
keeping the in-form Blues at bay. Such was West Ham's outstanding resilience
that Everton did not muster a single shot on target, meaning Romelu Lukaku
was rendered without a goal for the first time in ten career appearances for
the Blues against the Hammers. That said, the home side failed to make the
most of their own chances, which included eight corners, four shots on
target and a host of other promising positions from both set pieces and open
play. "We could have got more from the game," admitted Adrian, who returned
to the starting XI for the first time in 23 Premier League matches dating
back to November. "We played very well in defence and had chances from set
pieces. The game was a bit open in the second half, but at the end of the
day it's a point and a clean sheet for us. "Everton are on a good run and
are fighting for Europe, so we had to give our best to stop them. It was a
tactical game and we want to win every game, but at the end of the day we
got a draw and a point." "After a very long time not playing, I had been
working hard to help my teammates, and today was good for me and for my
teammates because we kept a clean sheet. Now, we have to keep going like
this until the end of the season."
West Ham's draw means they now sit on 38 points with four matches left to
play, starting at Stoke City next week. Such is the logjam in mid-table that
the 13th-place Hammers are just two points from Southampton in ninth, and
just seven ahead of Swansea City in the final relegation place. "It's very
close," the goalkeeper observed. "The table is not very different between
tenth position and 14th or 15th, but we have to think just game by game. "We
have another away game next week, so we have to keep going and fighting
until the end."

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Ian Pearce – The back three were brilliant
WHUFC.com

Former West Ham United defender Ian Pearce was impressed with the Hammers'
back three as Slaven Bilic's men kept a clean sheet against in-form Everton.
The 42-year-old, who made 163 appearances in Claret and Blue during his
playing career, admired the performances of Winston Reid, Jose Fonte and
James Collins as the hosts shut out the Toffees and dominated proceedings at
London Stadium. Ultimately, West Ham could not grab a winner but Pearce was
delighted to see the Hammers play so well nonetheless. He said: "It was a
good point. Before the game, I was worried about Romelu Lukaku but
defensively we were really good today. "The back three performed very well
and that was the pleasing point – no goals against; perfect. It shows the
quality that West Ham have. We kept Lukaku quiet and that allowed the rest
of the team to build from that. If you don't concede goals, then it's a
great starting point. "Lukaku can be a beast and unplayable on his day. I
was really impressed with how we played against him."

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Slav hails 'eleven lions'
WHUFC.com

Slaven Bilic hails 'eleven lions' after injury-depleted West Ham United hold
in-form Everton
Hammers were without nine senior players through injuries and suspensions
Hosts restricted the Blues to zero shots on target at London Stadium

Slaven Bilic has hailed his 'eleven lions' after injury-depleted West Ham
United edged a goalless Premier League draw with Everton. Despite being
without nine senior players through injury and suspension, the Hammers were
the better team for long stretches against Ronald Koeman's in-form Blues.
While they looked defensively sound and kept Romelu Lukaku
uncharacteristically quiet, the home side just could not find the winner
their performance warranted at London Stadium.
"I am really pleased with the performance," the managed confirmed. "We were
expecting a difficult game and all that comes with that, but I told the guys
after the game that I simply couldn't have asked for more from them. "They
were there with their solidity, composure, effort, determination and
dedication, so top marks for them. I'm pleased with the performance and
pleased with the point in one way, but we were looking for all three. If any
team deserved three points, it was us.
"We played against Everton, who are confident because of the run they've
been on and the position they are in in the table and they have everything
to play for, so to limit them required great work and great concentration in
one-on-one situations. "If we have to talk about one negative, it was the
lack of quality or decision in the final third, and that we didn't score a
goal."
Bilic was without the injured Michail Antonio, Andy Carroll, Pedro Obiang,
Angelo Ogbonna, Robert Snodgrass, Sofiane Feghouli and Gokhan Tore, while
Mark Noble and Sam Byram were both banned. Despite those notable absences,
the Croatian was able to field a side that drew on experience and guile to
restrict Everton to next to nothing in terms of goalscoring opportunities.
James Collins, Havard Nordtveit, Arthur Masuaku and the returning Winston
Reid were all immense, while the likes of Edimilson Fernandes, Manuel
Lanzini and the tireless Jonathan Calleri also impressed. "I don't want to
moan before the game about the players who are unavailable, because we have
got what we have got and they played like eleven lions there, running for
each other," Bilic continued. "We are lacking some players who are long-term
injured and some players who are short-term injured and are out, but it's
all about the squad and they showed that today."

West Ham now have 38 points with four games to play and sit seven above
Swansea City in the final relegation place. So, does Bilic feel the Hammers
are now safe? "We are always talking about that magic number of 40, so we
might need a few points because we don't want to go into the last game with
a radio!" he half-joked. "Every game is going to be hard, especially now.
Every team is going to be nervous because virtually everybody is fighting
for something. "What pleases me is this performance. We have got five points
from three games and now we are going to approach the Stoke game, which is
another massive one for us and for them, in a positive way and we will make
good preparation for them."

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U15s reach semi-finals in Prague
WHUFC.com

West Ham United U15s have qualified for the semi-finals of the Slavia
International Cup
After dropping points in their first two fixtures of the day, they won the
last dramatically to make it through
Head of U15-18 Coaching Danny Searle praised his side's character

Danny Searle says his U15s showed great character to qualify for the
semi-finals at the Slavia International Cup. The Hammers dropped points in
the first two fixtures of the day, losing to hosts Slavia Prague and then
drawing 0-0 to the Chinese national team. However, Kai Corbett scored a
dramatic winner in their final group match against MSK Zilina to ensure
their progress through to tomorrow's semi-final. "We made it difficult for
ourselves and we had our destiny in own hands," he said. "It was below-par
performance against Slavia Prague but we still had chances to win the game.
Our performance was much better against China and we dominated from start to
finish but we were nowhere near clinical enough. "That left us needing to
win the final game and the boys showed great character to not only take the
lead but to keep a clean sheet and progress."

The Hammers started sluggishly in their opening day two fixture and went
behind early on. After failing to clear their lines, a Slavia Prague player
nipped in a slotted past Josh Roach. Toby King should have levelled on the
stroke of half-time and the Hammers were thankful to Roach midway through
the second half after he saved a penalty. Will Greenidge and Sam Caiger
missed two great opportunites late on but Searle's men dusted themselves
down and went again a few hours later against the Chinese national team.

The Hammers were frustrated in their fixture against the Chinese national
team, creating a number of openings but struggling to find a way past the
goalkeeper.
Caiger was thwarted early on and Amadou Diallo shot over in the second half
but all-in-all it was a disappointing result and it left Searle's players
needing a victory in their final match to make it through to the
semi-finals.

Their final match – against group leaders MSK Zilina – brought extra
pressure, as it was the Hammers who had to force the issue with their
Slovakian opponents only needing a point. The game had few chances but Kai
Corbett took the one that counted brilliantly, midway through the second
half, rifling beyond the keeper to spark jubilant celebrations. It was a
nail-biting final few minutes but the Hammers saw off their previously
unbeaten opponents to set up a semi-final clash against Group B winners
Sparta Prague tomorrow (10am BST). "We've earned the right to play in the
stadium but we want it to be the final. We must make sure we do our job and
focus on the semi-final. Most importantly we need to improve in the final
third," added Searle.

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Pixie enjoys London Stadium performance
WHUFC.com

Pixie Lott hailed the 'really special' London Stadium after performing her
new song at West Ham United's home. The chart-topping Hammers fan, Strictly
Come Dancing contestant and West End performer put on a superb rendition of
'Baby' at half-time in West Ham's goalless Premier League draw with Everton
on Saturday. After singing in front of nearly 57,000 fans, the 26-year-old
spoke enthusiastically to West Ham TV about the experience of singing at the
home of her favourite football team. "It was amazing!" she smiled. "I think
it was just really special because I've been watching West Ham growing up,
since I was a baby really! "I have come up here with my family, so to sing
out here on the pitch made this a really special day for us, and I am
feeling positive and think we're going to do well. "It's definitely up there
with the best venues I've sung at. It's obviously a really impressive venue
anyway, but it's also special and closer to my heart because I'm a massive
West Ham fan!"

Lott, who scored number one hits with her first two singles, is making a
return to the charts after a three-year absence, during which she has shown
her versatility on stage and screen. "My whole family are here and they've
been so excited to come to London Stadium, so it's been a special day out
for all of us," she enthused.
"I'm really close to all my family and us going to watch West Ham is
something we've all grown up doing, so I guess it just feels more special.
"I support West Ham through and through and I'm feeling positive. I'll be
back at London Stadium again soon, one hundred per cent!"

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West Ham United 0-0 Everton
By Matt Davis
BBC Sport

Everton missed the chance to move into the Premier League top five as they
drew against West Ham in an uninspiring encounter. West Ham's Slaven Bilic
will be the happier of the two managers as the point edges his side closer
to Premier League safety on 38 points, seven clear of Swansea in 18th, with
four games remaining. After a dire first half from both sides, it took
Everton until the 70th minute to register their first shot and they did not
manage an effort on target in the game. Premier League top scorer Romelu
Lukaku was reduced to a passenger and was kept quiet by the Hammers'
excellent three-man defence, his only effort coming from a blocked shot. The
match at the London Stadium had been underway for half an hour before either
side registered a shot and even that came via a deflection. Both sides had
made changes in goal for the game, with Adrian playing his first Premier
League match since 5 November for the Hammers and Everton goalkeeper Maarten
Stekelenburg starting for the first time since 19 December. It was Adrian
who looked the rustier of the two and he almost gifted Everton a goal on 15
minutes after miscuing a throw-in. Edimilson Fernandes threw the ball to the
Spaniard, who mis-kicked it before managing to smother it before Kevin
Mirallas could pounce. West Ham defender James Collins had had the best
chance of the half, heading wide from six yards out. It was the home side
who looked most like scoring after the break, but they continually wasted
chances as the game petered out.

Toffees' away form a concern

Everton had the opportunity to go fifth with a win, but their poor away form
continued. Ronald Koeman's side have now won just twice on their travels in
their last 13 games. Although they enjoyed 65.4% of possession in the first
half, they touched the ball only twice in the opposition's goalmouth. Koeman
tried to change things at half-time, sending on Gareth Barry and Ademola
Lookman for Tom Davies and Idrissa Gueye. It was 19-year-old Lookman who
finally managed a shot for Everton, sending one wide from distance. But his
efforts aside, Everton did not trouble the Hammers defence. The big concern
will have been the form of Lukaku, who leads the Premier League's scoring
chart with 24 goals, but managed just three touches in the Everton box. The
one time he did get on the ball in the box he was marshalled brilliantly by
Collins and it took until the 85th minute for the Toffees to send in a
meaningful cross for him to attack. Only Barcelona forward Lionel Messi,
with 17 goals, has scored more often in the top five European leagues than
Lukaku in 2017. However, only one of the Belgian's 14 goals this year has
come away from home. The point moved Everton into sixth, one point above
Arsenal, who have played three games fewer.

Man of the match - James Collins (West Ham)

Collins excelled in the three-man defence. He made a game-high eight
clearances and five interceptions, and kept Lukaku quiet

'A lot of negatives'

Everton manager Ronald Koeman told BBC Sport: "It was really far from what
we are used to, from the first minute to the last second. "We didn't get the
intensity. It was a poor performance with a lot of negatives. "One positive
is we kept a clean sheet. We like to perform to a certain level and it was
far from that. "I wasn't happy at half-time so we tried to do something. I
couldn't change four, five, six or seven. But I changed two to give a signal
to the team. "We need wins now to get a chance of sixth or fifth place."

'11 lions'

Hammers boss Slaven Bilic told BBC Sport: "I am really pleased with the
performance, I could not ask any more from my players. In terms of effort,
dedication and determination, they get top marks. If any team deserved three
points it was us. "To limit them to one chance requires a lot of hard work.
The only bit of negativity is that I felt at moments we lacked some quality
in our decision-making. We played like 11 lions, one for each other. "We
talk about the magic number of 40 [points for Premier League survival]. I
think we might need a few more points, so we are not going into the last
game [still in danger]."

Stalemate struggles

This was the first Premier League game to finish 0-0 at the London Stadium.
This is just the second time that these two sides have drawn 0-0 in the
Premier League in 42 meetings - the other coming in March 2003 at Goodison
Park.
Everton failed to find the net for just the second time in their last 17
Premier League games.
For the second time this season, Everton have failed to have a shot on
target in a Premier League game - a joint-worst record with Middlesbrough.
This is the first time in Lukaku's Everton career that he has failed to
score against West Ham - having netted in each of his previous nine
appearances against the Hammers.
Lukaku failed to have a shot on target in this match - the third successive
away game the Belgian striker has failed to do so. It is the longest run
without a shot on target away from home in the Premier League.
Adrian kept his fourth clean sheet of the season; the same number fellow
West Ham keeper Darren Randolph has kept but the Spaniard has played 10
games fewer (12 games).
What's next?

West Ham travel to Stoke on Saturday, while Everton host leaders Chelsea on
Sunday, 30 April.

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REF WATCH – ROGER EAST. WEST HAM VS EVERTON
BY SAMTWHWREF ON 22 APRIL 2017 AT 6:11PM
TheWestHamWay.co.uk

Written by Sam Royden

After yet another disappointing game last weekend against a team fighting
for Premier League survival. We welcomed Everton to the London Stadium, of
whom have not won away in the Premier League since January when they beat
Crystal Palace. As ExWHUEmployee confirmed earlier in the week, West Ham
have made four changes, with Adrian starting for the first time in goal
since November and Jonathan Calleri, who is making his first start of the
season. The referee appointed for this fixture was Roger East. This was only
Roger East's 9th Premier League game this season. East has been officiating
throughout the three EFL this season with a tally of 17 games.

In a first half, where there was only one shot on target between both teams,
Roger East's performance was encouraging for a referee who has had limited
exposure to the Premier League this season. The game as a whole was lacking
in quality for large parts with both teams giving the ball away far too
easily. Håvard Nordtveit got caught in position by Ross Barkley just inside
Everton's half and the West Ham man pulled the young England international
down and was lucky to escape without a card within 90 seconds.

Adrian was starting his first game since November and avoided embarrassment
after Fernandes' throw-in bounced awkwardly and the spaniard tried to clear
the ball with Romelu Lukaku looking to pounce on a mistake. Luckily for
Adrian, his clearance ricocheted of Lukaku and Adrian was there to collect
the loose ball.

There were two yellow cards in the first half, both of which were for
tripping an opponent. The first caution went to Everton's Idrissa Gueye
after Jonathan Calleri won the ball at the half way line and the Everton
midfielder tripped the Argentine. East made no hesitation to award the
free-kick and to issued a yellow card. The second yellow card was for
Edimilson Fernandes after the young Swiss brought Leighton Baines down after
catching the left back with an out swung leg.

There were a couple of fouls by Tom Davis and Morgan Schneiderlin which
could have been publishable of a yellow card. Tom Davis is still only 18
years old and looks a very good player but the young midfielder's challenge
on Winston Reid was rash & late, and caught the kiwi on the top of his foot.
I've seen these fouls given yellow cards before and East had a word with
Davis and moved on. Schneiderlin was guilty of bringing down a West Ham
player in the same way that both Gueye and Edimilson Fernandes were punished
for. As a referee, you need to ensure that you're remaining consistent with
your decision making throughout the game.

Lee Probert, who has only refereed once in the Premier League this season,
was initially the fourth official for this fixture however he was forced to
replace Sian Massey-Ellis as assistant referee due to an injury that she
picked up in the first half. Referee and assistant referees train with each
other on a daily basis throughout the week so I didn't expect the forced
change to cause any disruption within the team of officials.

I thought Roger East had a good second half and felt he controlled the game
very well. There were three cautions in the second half with Williams, Barry
and Fonte getting a black mark against their names. Ashley Williams was
cautioned after the Welshman was man handling Cheikhou Kouyaté and
eventually brought him down 20 yards outside Everton's penalty area. This
was certainly a yellow card and East was in a great position to make the
decision. Gareth Barry was a half time substitute for Everton and it didn't
take long for the most booked player in Premier League history to get his
tenth yellow card of the season. Andre Ayew's quick feet put the ball past
Barry before the ex-England international body checked the tricky Ghanian.
Jose Fonte was the second West Ham player to be cautioned after the
Portuguese international caught young player Dominic Calvert-Lewin late.

There were appeals by West Ham players for handball against Ashley Williams.
The West Ham corner came in and was won by a West Ham player. The ball
ricocheted off Ashley William's arm while in the air and whilst he was
challenging for the ball. For handball, it needs to be deliberate and on
this occasion, William's had no idea so it was the correct decision by Roger
East.

There was an incident late in the second half when James Collins was walking
a tight rope by holding Ashley William's shirt during an Everton corner.
Referees have been keen to crack down on off the ball incidents in the
penalty area this season and in my opinion I felt Collins was very lucky. If
East did see it Collins pulling Williams shirt and gave a penalty, there
would be no argument on his decision.

Overall, I thought that Roger East had a good game and taking into
consideration that he's only officiated eight games before this fixture, I
was unsure whether he would be up to the task but he definitely was. The
game wasn't as fast paced as other games this season but it was important
that he managed, controlled and kept up with the game.

I thought West Ham played well and with the injuries and suspensions, it was
good to gain a point against a good Everton side. I felt we had very good
chances and got ourselves into good positions but felt that we lacked
quality in the final third. West Ham currently sit seven points above the
relegation zone with four games to go. Our next game is away to struggling
Stoke next Saturday.

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WEST HAM 0-0 EVERTON – MATCH REPORT
BY BRIAN KNOX ON 22 APRIL 2017 AT 9:22PM
TheWestHamWay.co.uk
West Ham United 0 Everton FC 0
Match Report by @WestHamAmerican

West Ham drew even with Everton on Saturday in a scrappy defensive stalemate
on a glorious sunny afternoon at the London Stadium. Slaven Bilic, sitting
precariously in the bottom half of the table, limped into his home ground
without Andy Carroll, Michel Antonio, Mark Noble, or Sam Byram. With
injuries sidelining the first two, and FA suspensions for the latter two,
the hosting crowd had guarded expectations against an Everton side that is
having one of their finest seasons in years.

With missing regulars in the starting XI, Bilic made a number of changes:
Adrian found his way back into the goal for the first time since FA Cup play
ended. He replaced a struggling Darren Randolph. Also the gaffer inserted
Jonathon Calleri, Havard Nordtviet, and Winston Reid.

Everton also made a change in the net as Maarten Stekelenburg replaced Jose
Robles in goal. Ronald Koeman's side has been riding high as of late, as
Romelu Lukaku is leading the league in scoring and the Toffees are still
chasing a Europa League spot.

Early on, Adrian almost caused disaster in the opening minutes as he failed
to clear the ball, under pressure from Kevin Mirallas. Fortunately he was
able to gather possession and otherwise had a well-played match.

Shots on goal were rare for both clubs throughout the match. Both Nordveit
and Cheikhou Kouyate had long range attempts after the first 28 minutes of
play. Both were either saved by Stekelenburg or went wide. For Everton,
they didn't have a single shot on goal the entire first half of play.

Bilic's 5-3-2 seemed to keep Lukaku in check, as his streak of nine straight
goals against West Ham came to an end today.

The second half, saw Ronald Koeman boldly make two halftime substitutions to
try and spur his high-powered attack. Tom Davies and Idrissa Gueye were
replaced by Ademola Lookman and Gareth Barry for the second half. But the
result was the same. Lookman did have Everton's first shots as he took
consecutive attempts in the 70th and 72nd which were either over or wide.

Given the Hammer's recent futility in defending, the final whistle from
Roger East was a welcome sound as the one point result keeps West Ham seven
away from the drop zone. For the Toffees they climb to sixth ahead of a
struggling Arsenal team.

Of note: the defending was tenacious. With James Collins reminding his home
stadium why he is such a fan favourite. Manual Lanzini had brilliant
moments but without Dimitri Payet or even Antonio, he needs some assistance
on the attack. Diafra Sakho returned in the second half. Whether he can
finish the season uninjured and without his coach running him off the team
before the summer transfer window will be interesting. A fit Sakho is a
great attacking option but with only a few dates remaining on the schedule,
will he have time to find his form?

Despite two back-to-back draws, West Ham still is only seven points away
from disaster. While the bottom two is practically settled, the third
relegation spot is a dangerous moving target. A Saturday visit to
Britannia Stadium will be a monumental fixture, as Stoke sits only a point
ahead of West Ham. At least supporters leaving the London Stadium today can
take heart that, at long last, the Hammers finally seemed to remember the
West Ham Way of defending.

West Ham: Adrian, Collins, Fonte, Reid, Masuaku, Fernandes, Nordtveit,
Kouyate, Lanzini, Ayew, Calleri.
Subs: Randolph, Cresswell, Rice, Mikasi, Holland, Sakho, Fletcher

Everton: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines, Gueye,
Schneiderlin, Davies, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku.
Subs: Robles, Kone, Barry, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman, Pennington, Kenny

Referee: Roger East

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Slaven Bilic left 'gutted' after West Ham held by Everton
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 22/04/17 8:00pm
SSN

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic praised his side's performance insisted they
deserved all three points after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Everton. The
Hammers produced a superb defensive performance with centre-backs Winston
Reid, Jose Fonte and James Collins limiting Romelu Lukaku to a single
blocked shot. And they produced the better chances but it proved to be a
frustrating afternoon for Bilic and his side. "We deserved to win," Bilic
told Sky Sports. "To be fair I couldn't have asked for more from my players
and I told them that in the dressing room. "We can talk a little bit about
a lack of quality decisions in and around the box but the spirit, the
determination, the team effort, the defensive side of the game and how solid
we were was excellent. "It's not easy," he added. "We can talk about how
they were not good but it is Everton, a team that's very capable of creating
chances and scoring goals. To limit them to not a single chance in the whole
game you need quality and effort and that's what we had. "I'm only gutted
that we didn't win the game."

Bilic admitted before the game that he was wary of Lukaku's impressive
goalscoring run against his side, with the 23-year-old scoring in nine
consecutive games against the Hammers. At times this season West ham's
defending has been called into question, but that was not the problem
against Everton. And Bilic praised his side for their meticulous approach to
the game. "During the season we've scored enough goals," Bilic said. "Not
today obviously but for us it's been the question of conceding goals.
Against Everton we were great in that but with this game there is
frustration because we didn't have clear cut opportunities. "We did have
eight or nine situations though where we could have scored and we couldn't
but it is very positive. It was a really good team performance in front of a
great crowd. We got a point but we wanted three. "We knew it would be
extremely hard but we go to the next game in a very positive way."

The point means West Ham are seven points above the relegation places with
only four games remaining but Bilic insists the battle to best the drop is
far from over. "Unfortunately it's not a point that guarantees safety," he
added. "Swansea won the game and Hull won the game so it's still not sorted.
However, what pleases me is the performance and we move on to the next
game."

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West Ham 0-0 Everton: Ronald Koeman's men left frustrated at London Stadium
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 22/04/17 7:36pm
SSN

Everton suffered a setback in their bid for a top-five Premier League finish
as they were held to a 0-0 draw by West Ham at the London Stadium on
Saturday.
In a game of very few chances, West Ham, marshalled by Jose Fonte and James
Collins, nullified the threat of the Premier League's top goalscorer Romelu
Lukaku, who barely had a shot on goal. The hosts were the more threatening
side as the game wore on with Manuel Lanzini and James Collins both forcing
saves from Maarten Stekelenburg, but neither side could break the deadlock
on what was a frustrating afternoon in east London. The point inches Slaven
Bilic's side closer to top-flight safety - they are now seven points above
the drop zone with four matches remaining. Everton, they move back above
Arsenal into sixth but are two points behind Manchester United in fifth
having played three more games than Jose Mourinho's men, who take on Burnley
live on Nissan Super Sunday. West Ham made four changes with Jonathan
Calleri making his first Premier League start in place of the injured Andy
Carroll, while there was a change in goal for Everton with Stekelenburg
replacing Joel Robles. There was a slow start to proceedings at the London
Stadium with the pace of the game representing that of an end of season
game. Adrian, who was back in goal in place of Darren Randolph, nearly
produced a costly error when his clearance was charged down by Lukaku, but
the Spanish goalkeeper quickly pounced on the ball ahead of Kevin Mirallas.
It took until the 29th minute for the first shot to come and it fell to West
Ham but Havard Nordtveit's deflected strike was easily saved by
Stekelenburg. Cheikhou Kouyate then found some space 25 yards from goal but
fired his shot wide of the post before Collins headed wide from Lanzini's
cross as West Ham finished the half the stronger of the two sides. Ronaldo
Koeman reacted at the break by sending on Gareth Barry and Ademola Lookman
for Idrissa Gueye and Tom Davies. But it was West Ham who continued their
momentum and Lanzini was in the thick of the action again. Andre Ayew picked
out Edimilson Fernandes in acres of space on the right flank and the Swiss
midfielder's scuffed shot found its way to Lanzini, but defender Phil
Jagielka came to the rescue for the visitors, throwing himself at the shot
to block with his head. Lukaku had a brief sight of goal as he found space
on the right before brusting into the penalty area and beating Collins.
However, the Belgium international dwindled on the ball too long as Fonte
was there to dispossess the forward. Lookman, who had looked bright since
coming off the bench, produced Everton's best shot of the game after 71
minutes, dragging a shot wide of Adrian's post. Moments later, the
19-year-old created another opening on the left-hand side but sent effort
just over the crossbar. Another half-chance went begging for Ronald Koeman's
side late on as substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin produced the perfect cross
for Lukaku but the ball sailed over the head of the Belgian. A last throw of
the dice from West Ham in the final 10 minutes saw a corner find Fonte at
the back post but his header was saved by Stekelenburg.

Player ratings

West Ham: Adrian (6), Collins (8), Fonte (8), Reid (8), Masuaku (7),
Fernandes (6), Nordtveit (7), Kouyate (6), Lanzini (7), Ayew (6), Calleri
(6).

Subs used: Cresswell (6), Sakho (6).

Everton: Stekelenburg (7), Holgate (8), Jagielka (7), Williams (7), Baines
(7), Gueye (5), Schneiderlin (7), Davies (6), Barkley (5), Mirallas (5),
Lukaku (6).

Subs used: Barry (6), Calvert-Lewin (6), Lookman (7).

Man of the Match: James Collins

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Cheeky Pixie Lott shows off her bum in denim shorts during West Ham United
half time performance
The pink-haired singer donned a Hammers football shirt during the show
The Mirror
BYALISTAIR MCGEORGE
19:14, 22 APR 2017


Pixie Lott showed off her cheeky side on Saturday afternoon as she stepped
onto the football pitch at half time during West Ham United's match with
Everton.
The two clubs played to a goalless draw at the London Stadium in London, and
it meant the pink haired singer stole the show with her performance.
Stepping out in a tiny pair of denim shorts, Pixie flaunted her toned bum
and long legs as she belted out a track for the Hammers fans. She completed
her outfit with a West Ham shirt - with 'Pixie' and the number seven on the
back. The star couldn't stop smiling as she took the microphone on the pitch
and got cheered on by the crowd. Pixie certainly seemed excited to be
there, as she chatted on the club's Twitter page before kick off. "Hi, it's
Pixie Lott here," she said. "I'm so excited to be here and performing at the
half time. Come on West Ham!" Unfortunately, she didn't seem to be a good
luck charm, as the team were unable to score a goal in their draw with
Everton. It leaves the club 13th in the Premiere League, with Leicester
City, Burnley and fellow Londoners Crystal Palace all hot on their heels.

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La Liga duo ready to offer West Ham goalkeeper Adrian a route back to Spain
this summer
Adrian, 30, is frustrated at slipping down the pecking order behind Darren
Randolph after four years as first choice at West Ham
The Mirror
BYDARREN WITCOOP
22:00, 22 APR 2017

West Ham goalkeeper Adrian is a target for a host of La Liga clubs this
summer. The Hammers triggered an option to tie down the Spanish stopper for
another 12 months in March. But that has not scared off Espanyol or Athletic
Bilbao as they eye a £3milllion move for Adrian at the end of the season.
Adrian, 30, is frustrated at slipping down the pecking order behind Darren
Randolph after four years as first choice at West Ham. He is settled in
London but with West Ham open to offers, the interest in his homeland could
force a rethink.

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Slaven Bilic hails 'amazing' West Ham defence for stopping Romelu Lukaku
OLAWALE KUPONIPE
Evening Standard

Slaven Bilic believes a tactical change to a three-man defence helped West
Ham keep the Premier League's leading marksman Romelu Lukaku quiet during
their goalless draw against Everton on Saturday. Hammers centre-backs
Winston Reid, Jose Fonte and James Collins produced an excellent display as
the Belgian striker was limited to a single blocked shot. The West Ham boss
admitted he was wary of Lukaku's impressive goalscoring run against West Ham
prior to the game, with the 23-year-old scoring in nine consecutive games
against the Hammers, but praised his side for their meticulous approach to
the game. "It was about stopping the service to Lukaku," Bilic said. "He's a
major threat, scoring 24 goals. The next top goalscorer (for Everton) has
four goals I think so it is about Lukaku. We stopped the service to him from
(Ross) Barkley and (Kevin) Mirallas and when he was getting the ball, we
tried to double him up. "So the whole team, the three at the back, did a
really amazing job on him. "I'm really pleased with the way we played.
Especially if you are talking about how solid we were, how composed we were,
how we kept the shape. If you're talking about effort, determination and
defensive quality, then there's nothing more I could ask from the players.
"They did brilliantly, I told them to be proud of themselves and to use this
pattern as a motivation to boost their confidence for the remainder of the
season."

Bilic also confirmed that midfielder Robert Snodgrass missed out due to a
swollen knee. Meanwhile, Ronald Koeman admitted he felt like making 10
substitutions at half-time after his side's sub-par performance at the
London Stadium. The Toffees failed to register a single shot on target as
their winless run away from Goodison Park stretches back to Boxing Day. Tom
Davies and Idrissa Gueye were the unfortunate duo to be substituted after
the first half as Everton only had one touch in the West Ham's box in the
opening 45 minutes. "I feel sorry for Tom, Gana (Gueye), because if I was
allowed, I would change 10 players after the first half," the Everton boss
said. "(I'm) disappointed about the performance this afternoon. (We were)
far away from the level at every aspect of football. "One positive thing, a
clean sheet and we go home. "We didn't bring intensity to the game, I think
it was too slow. A lot of ball possession, too many players in the centre
position of the midfield. (We) took too much time - in my opinion if you
start a game like this, it's always difficult to change. "It's a nice
stadium, maybe the temperature was a little bit different in the last few
weeks. You try to find some reasons why the team was not at that level we
expect but it's difficult. "I'm not worried, because it's possible, it's
football."

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