Thursday, December 8

Daily WHUFC News - 8th December 2016

The Big Interview - Alvaro Arbeloa

Alvaro Arbeloa has enjoyed many high points during his career winning the
World Cup with Spain and the Champions League with Real Madrid. The
33-year-old is now facing a challenge of a different kind as he looks to
help West Ham move away from the bottom three and get their season back on
track as they prepare to face his former club Liverpool on Sunday. Arbeloa
has a wealth of experience at the top level and hopes he can use some of
that to help his team-mates get back on the winning trail and make amends
for the disappointing home defeat against Arsenal last weekend.....

Alvaro, the team is experiencing a difficult spell at the moment. Is this a
time when we need our experienced players and people who have won trophies
at the highest level to lift the other players in the dressing room?

AA: "Of course this is a very tough time for everyone at the Club and we are
facing pressure because we need points. "The main thing we can do as players
is to work even harder during the week and when we are on the pitch, we need
to stay together and fight until the end. "We need to be ready for
everything and focused on the game. We need to do everything perfect and do
our best. That is the only thing we can do now."

How much of a different challenge is this for you now, because you have won
major honours for both club and country and are now having to help the team
move away from the bottom of the table?

AA: "This is a different challenge but I am used to this kind of pressure
because when I played for Real Madrid, if we lost one game it was really bad
so I know what to expect. "Every week and every day at Madrid we were under
pressure so I am used to it but this is a different kind of situation. "We
have to train with a high intensity and we have to show our best form."

You have been fortunate enough to play in a number of successful teams. Can
you see the quality in the squad that will help turn the Club's fortunes

AA: "Of course I can see that. When I see my team-mates I know that they
have quality. "I think the players are hurting a great a deal after what
happened on Saturday. We have a great manager and great players. "We have
been hit by a number of injuries, but there is nothing we can do about that.
We are training as hard as we can and we need to stay together as a team and
get more points."

The Hammers had a memorable victory against Liverpool last season winning
3-0 on Merseyside. Can the team get a similar kind of result on Sunday?

AA: "It will not be easy but of course we can get a victory. They lost 4-3
against Bournemouth last weekend so it is possible. "West Ham won at Anfield
last season so there is no reason why we cannot do that again."

Have you been back to Anfield since leaving Liverpool and what do you
remember about the occasion?

AA: "I went back with Real Madrid two-years ago and we had an amazing game
winning 3-0. We had a great performance that night because Liverpool were
playing well at the time. "It was my first time back for a number of years
and it felt a bit strange going into a different dressing room. "But it was
great for me to sample the atmosphere again. The supporters were always
great towards me and it was nice for me to come away with a victory."

Can you see any comparisons between Liverpool and West Ham and the amazing
support that the fans show towards the team?

AA: "Liverpool are a massive Club and there is a good feeling between the
fans and the team. "I can see a lot of comparisons with West Ham because
when I first came to London I knew they also had really good fans and there
is a great connection between the players and the fans. "I could see that
when I used to play for Liverpool at the Boleyn Ground and I could feel that
from the West Ham fans. It is important to have that kind of support and
they are among the best supporters in England."

What would be your standout memories from your time at Liverpool?

AA: "I have really good memories but it was obviously disappointing to lose
the Champions League Final against AC Milan in Athens.
"For me every game that I played at Anfield was amazing and I remember
beating Real Madrid 4-0 at Anfield which was a great night and it was an
amazing final season that I had there when we were fighting for the title
with Manchester United. "I played with some great players like Steven
Gerrard, Javier Mascherano, Fernando Torres and they are legends at the
Club. "I once again see similarities with West Ham as they both have great
anthems when you walk onto the pitch and you can feel something special when
you go onto the pitch."

Ashton - Everyone needs to stick together

Memories came flooding back for former striker Dean Ashton when the Emirates
FA Cup third round draw was made on Monday night. The Hammers were drawn at
home against Manchester City and who could forget Deano's memorable brace
against City back in March 2006 which helped the Hammers come away with a
2-1 victory and set the Club on the way to their first FA Cup Final since
1980. Ashton enjoyed a number of memorable moments in a claret and blue
shirt but his performance at the Etihad Stadium ranks alongside one of his
best and he would now love to see the Hammers cause another big upset. The
former Hammers striker is well aware that the Premier League is the number
one priority, but feels a good cup run could only bring more confidence into
the squad at a time when everyone needs to come together.....

I had a great time at West Ham United but the Manchester City game in the FA
Cup is one of those games I get reminded about and the fans always talk to
me about the first goal I scored. It was a special night for everyone at the
Club and we felt at that stage that it was going to be our year. We came
into the game with a lot of confidence as we had been on a good run of form,
including a big away win over Arsenal. I had managed to get a few goals and
was showing what I could bring to the Club. I still love watching the
Manchester City game back and the first goal that I scored. I managed to
produce a flashy bit of skill after receiving a pass from Nigel Reo-Coker
and took the ball around Sylvain Distin who is no slouch and I managed to
smash the ball past David James into the corner of the net. It was with my
weaker left foot but I was so happy to see the ball go in and I still enjoy
watching the celebrations that followed. The victory brought even more
confidence into the squad and after beating Middlesbrough in the semi-final
at Villa Park, we came so close to beating Liverpool in the Final.
I know this is a tough draw for West Ham but the FA Cup is slightly
different and we don't know what kind of a team Pep Guardiola will put out
on the day. If we can manage to get a win, it will bring so much confidence
into the squad and it can help with the league form as it will give the
players a big lift. We found that after winning at the Etihad Stadium on
that Monday night and we were flying that season. This is a tough time for
West Ham at the moment but everyone needs to stick together. The Club is not
being helped by injuries to key players and the weekend defeat against
Arsenal was very disappointing. But we need to show more fight and be harder
to beat and that will allow players such as Payet and Lanzini to show a bit
of magic and nick a goal at the other end.
This is a tough run of fixtures but the team will have good memories of
their performance against Liverpool at Anfield last season and they need to
take that into the game. I believe this is a good time to play Liverpool
following their 4-3 defeat against Bournemouth on Sunday and I see it being
a close game.
When I look at the squad I believe there is enough quality to turn the
situation around but we need the strikers to start scoring again. We
obviously need players like Andy Carroll to come back and it will make such
a difference.

Stopper Trott signs first pro deal

West Ham United are delighted to announce that promising goalkeeper Nathan
Trott has signed his first professional contract to keep him at the Club
until 2020. The stopper is one of the country's most highly-rated keepers
and recently earned his first England call-up, joining up with the U19 squad
in October. Starring for the Hammers' Premier League 2 side this season,
Trott has won plenty of plaudits and pledged his future to the east
Londoners by penning a three and a half year deal. Trott has trained with
the first team at the Club's Rush Green base on a number of occasions and,
having put pen to paper on his first professional contract, is keen to push
on and impress further this campaign. He said: "I think it's a massive
achievement for me and my family and I can only thank the people who are
around me and support me every day to get where I am today. Nathan Trott"I
think my family have just supported me along the way. As a kid, everyone
wants to be a footballer but everyone knew I was really serious about
becoming a professional and each year they have just supported me. "I want
to give myself extra time for me to work and I want to try to prove to fans
that I can become a really great player. "I want to establish myself as the
No1 for the U23s and play week in, week out and get used to the feeling of
being No1. "

The Hammers recently secured the future of equally promising talent Domingos
Quina and have showed a lot of faith in young players, giving the likes of
Reece Oxford and Marcus Browne their senior bows over the last two seasons.
Bermudan-born Trott revealed the confidence the Club has in youngsters
played a huge role in his decision to sign before praising the work of those
in the Academy of Football. "It was probably the main factor in me wanting
to sign here," he continued. "Your work is always seen around the Academy
and you'll be given the chance if you deserve it. "[At the Academy], Terry
[Westley, Academy Manager] and Liam [Manning, Academy Coach and Assistant
Manager] have been very supportive of me and and my coach JJ [Jerome John,
Academy Goalkeeping Coach] as well.
"Those three are probably the main three who have pushed me. It's important
that now they keep onto me. "I also like the competition [at the Club]. I
don't see it as a negative thing. I think it helps me to become a better
player myself, especially when you're training with first team goalkeepers
like Randolph and Adrian. I think you get better as you train with people
who are better than you."

Finally Trott, who describes himself as a goalkeeper who depends on his
reflexes and has brilliant footwork, explained what it would mean to him to
make his first team bow at the Club's new London Stadium home one day. "It
would be a dream for me to make my debut at the new Stadium. Obviously
that's my main goal, and I want to work my way through the ranks at West Ham
and hopefully in a couple of years or sooner I can make my debut at London

Any Old Irons

Darren Randolph, Adrian and Julian Dicks paid a visit to the Any Old Irons
West Ham United Foundation and partners bring together older Hammers for
friendship and fun
Initiative held at East Ham Working Men's Club in Upton Park

Darren Randolph and Adrian enjoyed a trip down memory lane recently, at the
launch of a joint initiative between the West Ham United Foundation and
national charity Friends of the Elderly, aimed at bringing together Hammers
fans aged 65 and over. The pair were joined by Hammers legend and current
first-team coaching assistant Julian Dicks at Any Old Irons, a project
celebrating and exploring the Club's rich history, and giving those involved
the opportunity to bond over their shared love of West Ham United. Randolph,
Adrian and Dicks enjoyed a lively question and answer session with the group
of older supporters and then spent time chatting to them personally at the
event in east London. Any Old Irons is another brilliant initiative from the
West Ham United Foundation, offering support to older people in the West Ham

Randolph said: "It was fantastic to meet some of our older supporters and
see the passion they have for the Club. Some of them have been following
West Ham for a very long time and they had some great stories to tell. It's
so nice that they are able to get together at an event like this and share
their love of the club."

Dicks added: "Any Old Irons is another brilliant initiative from the West
Ham United Foundation, offering support to older people in the West Ham
community. "By bringing together Hammers' fans who may not be socially
active, Any Old Irons helps keep vulnerable fans connected. It's great to
see so many supporters from different generations bonding over our club and
their shared memories."

Run in conjunction with the Premier League and the Professional Footballers'
Association (PFA), Any Old Irons is part of the Football Friends programme.
The initiative gives participants the opportunity to connect with other fans
and locals in their community, bringing them together for fun and
friendship. Those attending can also learn how to stay in touch with their
fellow fans and the Club using digital technology.

Don Adams, 67, from east London, took part in the first Football Friends
programme in March 2015. After retiring six years ago, Don found there was
nothing of interest for him to get involved with. He said: "You hear so many
things aimed at senior women but little that also includes men. The Football
Friends programme has changed my life. "It's got me out of the house, it's
got me interacting with other people and I've made new friends."

The Any Old Irons event, held at East Ham Working Men's Club, also provided
an example of the club's ongoing commitment to providing support for the
community in the Upton Park area. The project is possible thanks to funding
and resource provided by West Ham United Foundation, Friends of the Elderly,
the Premier League and PFA.

The PL/PFA Fund supports community projects delivered by professional
football clubs, by allowing them to work in partnership with local agencies
and charities who deliver programmes that will help and support those taking
part. The Fund allows clubs to focus on areas of need for their local
community and develop partnerships that will look to address these.

Sally McLachlan, Senior Engagement Manager at Friends of the Elderly, said:
"We are really excited to be launching our rolling Football Friends
programme, Any Old Irons, with West Ham United Foundation. We know that
loneliness is an issue for older people for many different reasons. This
programme not only helps to overcome loneliness, but it also supports
prevention, giving participants the confidence to become involved in their
local community once again."

The project takes place at East Ham Working Men's Club and is open to anyone
over the age of 65. Places are limited and will be allocated on a
first-reserved basis - those interested in attending should call Friends of
the Elderly on 0330 332 1110.

Brooking - We need our big strikers back among the goals

Sir Trevor Brooking believes West Ham have shown they have the capabilities
to compete with the big teams in the Premier League and feels the return of
key strikers such as Andy Carroll and Andre Ayew will transform the way the
team is performing.

Brooking was at London Stadium to see the Hammers suffer a disappointing
home defeat against Arsenal last Saturday and knows it could have been a
different story if Slaven Bilic had been able to call upon his established
forwards if they had been fully fit.

The Hammers manager has suffered a number of injury problems this season,
particularly to his forward line and has been forced to do without the
services of Carroll, Diafra Sakho and Club record signing Ayew for the
majority of the season.

Brooking certainly knows a thing or too about getting on the scoresheet,
having scored over 100 goals for the east London Club and feels the return
of players such as Carroll and Ayew will make the Hammers a much stronger
outfit ahead of a crucial period of games.

Brooking said: "You can see the capability that the team has after we played
so well to get a victory over Chelsea in the EFL Cup and no-one has beaten
them in recent weeks.

"But we have suffered a number of injuries, so the form of certain players
has not been as strong and scoring goals has been a big issue. We have just
got to be patient.

"We have got a flurry of games coming up and we need to see how the team
emerges going into the New Year and that will give us a clearer picture of
what is ahead.

"We need more goals and I was really upset that Diafra Sakho got injured
again because he came back really well and made a difference in the
Tottenham game.

"He scored against Manchester United at Old Trafford but then got injured
again. He is a player who can turn defences around and it is a big loss.

"We saw last season what a threat Andy Carroll can be and he needs to stay
fit. When he is fit he is a handful and our biggest challenge has been to
score sufficient goals.

"I hope Andy can gradually come back and Andre Ayew can start to show his
best form. We also need to get Diafra fit again because he was starting to
show what we can do when we have a decent striker up there."

BrookingBrooking would love to see West Ham repeat what they achieved at
Anfield last season when they ended 52 years without a victory to secure a
memorable 3-0 win over Liverpool.

But with Jurgen Klopp's side going for the title this season, the Hammers
legend knows the difficult task facing his former Club and hopes they can
get something before they face two massive home games against Burnley and

Brooking added: "Liverpool have got a couple of injuries at the moment but
it is not an easy place to go and they are a bit like Chelsea this season
that they don't have European distraction and were always going to be
challenging for the title.

"They have got a lot of strength in depth and it will be a tough game. We
had great result there last year but I can't remember having the best of
times at Anfield during my playing days.

"The only game I can remember something positive from was when little Pop
Robson was playing for us and we were 2-0 up with ten minutes to go but they
came back and got a draw, even though we played them off the park.

"It is always a great place to play and the atmosphere and banter between
the fans is great.

"You normally look forward to it, but with the ways things are going and the
gaps in the squad, we want to emerge from it without to much damage.

"The next two home games against Burnley and Hull are massive and we want to
try and get back on a winning run."

Slaven Bilic: West Ham boss sets top-10 Premier League target

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic expects his side to finish in the top half of the
Premier League, despite sitting one place above the relegation zone. The
Hammers are winless in their past five league games and are just a point
away from the bottom three. Speaking to BBC Sport's Gary Lineker before
Saturday's 5-1 loss to Arsenal, Bilic, 48, said he was "confident" that his
side will finish "minimum top 10". "We are not happy with the position we
are in at the moment," he added.
The interview features on The Premier League Show at 22:00 GMT on Thursday
on BBC Two. West Ham, who relocated to the former Olympic Stadium over the
summer, finished seventh last term but have won just two home games in the
league this season. Bilic, who received the backing of club owner David
Sullivan at the weekend, accepts that there is pressure to improve results.
"We are in a position we are not happy with and where we have to bite our
nails," said the Croat.
"We are not directly talking about relegation but straight after your game
you have to look at the results here and the results there. It's not ideal
"I feel the support of the fans, the team and the board. My next few games
are my test."


Wednesday, December 7

Daily WHUFC News - 7th December 2016

Hammers pay tribute to brave Jack

Jack one at West Ham United has been deeply saddened by the passing of brave young Hammer Jack Howard. The 12-year-old succumbed to kidney cancer after a courageous fight boosted by the support of thousands of fellow West Ham fans from all over the world. After supporters and well-wishers raised more than £250,000, Jack travelled to California for pioneering treatment in September, having received a Facetime message from his heroes Dimitri Payet and Sam Byram. Sadly, Jack did not recover from his illness and he returned home last month after it became clear the treatment had not worked. Speaking on behalf of the squad, Payet and Byram paid tribute to him. "It's hugely saddening to hear about Jack's passing," said Byram. "His energy, positivity and strength were inspiring. "You could tell how passionate he was, so it's very hard news to take. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time." "I really enjoyed our conversation with Jack a few weeks ago, so it's very sad news," echoed Payet. "I'd like to say thank you to everyone who helped treat him and wish his family well."

Jack's aunt, Keely Howard, who led the campaign to raise funds for his treatment, spoke on behalf of his parents Nick and Zoe in paying tribute to the valiant schoolboy. "It's been overwhelming and we're really grateful for all the help and support, and Jack was grateful," she said. "As parents they did everything that they could, but unfortunately he slipped away. "He was with his Mum and Dad in bed when it happened and is now in peace with his West Ham shirt on. "The family are so grateful. They never thought they'd get that support and they're grateful that they had the opportunity to go to the States and give that treatment a go."

Jack, who loved nothing more than cheering his Claret and Blue heroes on from the stand, had previously undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy in 2013. He also had a kidney removed before going into remission in February 2014, but the cancer returned in December last year. Six months later, doctors thought he only had weeks to live. The Club became aware of the fundraising drive, with Payet and Byram cheering Jack with an unexpected call. Joint-Chairman David Sullivan donated £5,000 towards his treatment, while a West Ham-themed non-uniform day at his school, Gravesend Grammar. You could tell how passionate Jack was, so it's very hard news to take. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time

At the Premier League visit of Southampton to London Stadium, fans of both clubs dropped thousands of pounds into collection buckets outside the ground. Tragically, Jack took a dangerous turn just a fortnight before flying to Los Angeles, with UK doctors again unsure if he had days or weeks to live. Jack underwent a strenuous course of treatment in hospital, where he received messages of support from The Rolling Stones and LA Galaxy defender AJ Delagarza, but the brave young Hammer passed away at the weekend. The thoughts of everyone associated with West Ham United are with Jack's loved ones at this sad time.

Masuaku ready for a big change against Liverpool

Arthur Masuaku is confident he will soon be able to re-produce his best form and has no doubts his team-mates will have a big point to prove when they face Liverpool on Sunday. Masuaku has only just returned from a two-month injury absence after he suffered knee ligament damage during the EFL Cup game against Accrington Stanley back in September. The French defender appeared as a substitute during the EFL quarter-final tie against Manchester United last week after Aaron Cresswell injured his groin and was named in the starting line-up for the home defeat against Arsenal on Saturday. Masuaku says it will take him a bit of time to regain full match sharpness but is working hard every day to put things right and hopes to enjoy more success on the pitch when the Hammers travel to Anfield on Sunday. The 23-year-old admits the players were bitterly disappointed with the outcome against Arsenal and says they are determined to put things right and help turn their season around. Masuaku said: "I'm continuing to work hard in training and show my energy. "This is one of my first spells where I have been out of the team for this long, so I am just doing what I can to return to action. "The defeat against Arsenal on Saturday was not easy and it was a big defeat for us to handle. "Since the beginning of the season we have been enduring a difficult spell but we simply need to keep working hard to change things. "We cannot use the change in system as an excuse for the result as we have played with both a back four and a back five. We simply need to show better concentration."

Manchester United ballot now open

The Claret Members' ticket ballot for West Ham United's Premier League fixture with Manchester United at London Stadium on Monday 2 January 2017 is now open.

Claret Members who joined prior to this ballot opening can enter the ballot to secure tickets for the visit of the Red Devils between that date and the closing date of 9pm on Monday 19 December.

To enter, Claret Members are required to login to their Ticketmaster account here, select the fixture and add to basket. Applicants should ensure that correct bank details are provided sufficient funds are available when the ballot is processed on Monday 19 December.

Fans wishing to apply with other Claret Members should include all client reference numbers in the one transaction, and, if successful, will be seated together.

Supporters entering the ballot have the option of selecting up to a maximum of two price points. If you are happy to accept any price band, and thereby increasing the likelihood of being successful, kindly select your preferred area of the Stadium and leave the second option blank.

The ballot closes at 9am on Monday 19 December and successful supporters will be notified via email that day.

The window for Bondholders to select their own seats is also open and closes at 9am on Saturday 17 December.

Accessibility tickets are available in all areas for this fixture.

Disabled supporters can apply in the ballot by calling our Accessibility line on 0333 030 0174, visiting the Ticket Office at the London Stadium which is open 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sundays or by emailing

Hospitality packages for this fixture are available to buy now. For further information and to purchase, email or call 020 8114 2442.

Burnley priority window now open!

Burnley priority window now open to Season Ticket Holders, Claret Members and Waiting List members
Hammers host the Clarets at London Stadium on Wednesday 14 December at 7.45pm
Tickets start from £12.50 for Kids and £25 for Adults

West Ham United are pleased to offer supporters on our Season Ticket Waiting List a priority window to purchase tickets for the Premier League home match against Burnley on Wednesday 14 December at 7.45pm. Following the completion of the Members' ticket ballot, a number of extra tickets came back late from the unsold away allocation, which the Club made available due to the extraordinary demand to see fixtures at London Stadium. To reward the loyalty and patience of supporters who joined the Season Ticket Waiting List, we are now offering them a priority window to purchase these remaining tickets.

Buy Burnley tickets now

This is the first time the Club has been able to deliver this benefit to those on the Waiting List, as every other fixture - including the visit of Burnley before these tickets were returned - has sold out to the Members' ballot. The tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis and are set to sell quickly due to high demand, so hurry to avoid disappointment.

Tickets start from £12.50 for Kids and £25 for Adults.

You can book these tickets online, by clicking here, by telephone on 0333 030 1966, or by visiting the Ticket Office in person.
Although opportunities like this are limited due to the demand for match tickets at London Stadium, going forward we hope there will be further opportunities to offer priority to supporters on the Waiting List and enable our wider fan base to attend matches.

*These tickets are currently available to Season Ticket Holders, Claret Members and supporters on the Season Ticket Waiting List. The priority window for all groups ends at 9am on Thursday 8 December.


We have received some positive news at last, highly rated youngster Reece Oxford should sign a new deal by the weekend. Talks have been going on for a while and we were the first to also report that we had beaten off competition from Manchester United and Manchester City for the academy product a few weeks ago. Reece turns 18 on the 16th December when a longer term deal can be concluded. The terms are expected to be a wage of £20k a week plus performance related bonuses and clauses. Reece is currently out with an injury but he is expected to return to training in the next few weeks to give some options to a leaking defence.

Boardroom backs Bilic
Filed: Tuesday, 6th December 2016
By: Staff Writer

Co-chairman David Sullivan has give Slaven Bilic the dreaded 'vote of confidence' following Saturday's humiliating defeat at the hands of neighbours Arsenal.

Bilic's side conceded four goals in the space of 14 second half minutes as not for the first time this season, they ran out of ideas and energy as the game entered its final phase.

Yet despite the embarrassing result - which followed a 4-1 defeat at Manchester United and defeat at Tottenham, despite leading 2-1 after 88 minutes - Sullivan insists the under-pressure Croat has his full backing.

"Slaven cares passionately about the football Club and this defeat will be hurting him as much as anyone," he told the club's website. "I have no doubts that he is doing everything he can to address the situation and everyone is working together to ensure we turn our season around.

"We cannot forget the amazing job that Slaven did in his first season. With a bit more luck he could have taken us into the top four. His passion, commitment and outstanding track record at the highest level were among the many reasons we appointed Slaven in the summer of 2015.

"Despite what some people have said, there is still a great spirit among the players and everyone is working towards the same objective. We all need to stick together and get behind the team. We are all part of the West Ham United family and in hard times families pull together."

Yet partly mitigating the team's dreadful opening half of the campaign was the sheer number of injuries that have been sustained since the summer, added Sullivan.

"You cannot hide away from the fact that we were missing a number of influential players through injury for the Arsenal game, including both our first choice wing-backs," he added.

"Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell are key members of our team and are players who make a big difference to the way we play.

"Just when we thought the injury situation is clearing up, we then lost Diafra Sakho for another six weeks and Cheikhou Kouyate damaged his hamstring the night before the Arsenal game.

"To make matters worse, James Collins then had to leave the field after just seven minutes and all the planning that Slaven and his backroom staff had prepared for the game had gone out the window."

"Hopefully we will see a few of these players back in action next week and the team will show a vast improvement as we prepare for a massive week with big games against Liverpool, Burnley and Hull."

Written by @lee_wilko_12

This article from myself will cover my views on the current situation at the club regarding the board, Slaven Bilic and everything in between.

Another week passes and another West Ham defeat (well two this week actually). A midweek cup defeat at the hands of Manchester United and a Saturday evening mauling by Arsenal. It is turning into a regular feeling for me this season, every time we play I get my hopes up and pray we get the three points and we see a great performance and then after it all I am left disappointed and deflated. After Saturday's performance I saw West Ham Twitter go into overdrive, from abuse for the players, board and Bilic himself. Every account I follow had things to say regarding the situation and I saw a lot of very valid points, as well as a few stupid comments, which is normal.

I think it is safe to say this season has been an unmitigated disaster, from an early Europe exit and a summer of signings we all wished didn't happen, to what seems now like a relegation battle. As I mentioned in my previous column, I thought summer was tragic and we failed in every way to bring in not only the right type of players, but for the right positions. After the season we had in 2015/2016, we needed the type of quality to get us further into Europe and a good league finish, it was our best chance in a long time to sign some real quality players. The season before we played some great stuff and looked like a team on the up and could push even higher up the table the following season. A brand new stadium, Europe, a manager who was getting the results we had been begging for and a team that played so well together, worked tirelessly for each other and with passion and desire. The majority of Hammers fan went into the Summer window praying for a new right back, at least two forwards, a winger or two and a midfielder for some strength in depth. What we got was a joke to say the least, two cheap owners who refused to open their chequebooks, but instead decided to use their "cunning" to try and get players on free deals and loan deals. That was the first of many bad things to come in a season that has been horrible thus far and I wish was already over. Yet again we get knocked out of Europe in the qualifiers, so straight away people were not happy with the club, going out once to a team of essentially part-timers is in some form okay and could be seen as a fluke on their part, but for it to happen a year later to the same team is shocking.

Fast forward and a few games into the season and it isn't looking good, we haven't had a good start with results, the stadium is not liked by the fans, crowd trouble in every game and fans starting to turn on the board. In regards to the stadium, I know it is not Upton Park and it never will be, but the atmosphere definitely can be the same, the League Cup game against Chelsea was great, the noise levels and energy from the fans was electric. That is exactly how it should be and if were winning week in week out the stadium would start to feel more like home and teams would start to fear going there. At the moment with the way things are teams aren't afraid to come here, it isn't intimidating in the slightest, we sure as hell make noise when it is going right, but when it is going wrong it is silent. I do feel all in all the stadium will eventually be loved by the fans, but right now it isn't. I don't think the stadium was ready for us to move in and use as a home ground at all. There are so many problems with it, from seating to stewards and the fact we sell popcorn, which I find embarrassing beyond belief. If these issues get sorted, I can see it eventually becoming our new home, but right now it is far from that. It feels like the equivalent of moving from a lovely house you've owned for years, to renting a crappy one-bedroom flat. I feel like the seating needs to be sorted ASAP, get family sections and get a safe standing area, look at Celtic and their safe standing section, it is phenomenal, the noise is deafening and the energy of that stadium is something else, it is always bouncing. In regards to the stewards it really does feel like they are really out to catch the fans out, winding our fans up, ejecting them from the stadium and putting their names forward to get them banned is pathetic. We need to hire some real stewards who can do their jobs and can make the stadium a safe place to be in and can control any trouble if it does kick off, because right now if Millwall came to our ground for a game it would be absolute chaos, none of them would have a single clue what to do. Get the stewarding and seating sorted and you'll have the fans feeling happier and get the stadium feeling like home.

The fans are what make this club what it is, without us this club would be nothing. The passion you see from the West Ham fans every week is insane, when goals go in there are limbs flying everywhere and when we lose you better believe it hurts us just as much as the players. I feel like the board didn't think a great deal about how much the move would affect the fans, you think about the fans that have been visiting Upton Park since they were little kids and are now fully grown adults, they go from this place they call home, to a giant empty soulless bowl of a stadium which was built for The Olympics, not football.

Onto Slaven Bilic, I love this man, he is passionate and you can tell he cares very deeply for this club and his job. I think he is taking a hell of a lot of stick for the results this season, which can be understood, but at the same time he can only do so much. What are you supposed to do when your players cannot even do the simplest things correctly? I am pretty sure we are top for errors leading to goals, we cannot score goals, we cannot defend, we can barely string passes together, let alone win a game convincingly. I think I am going to get a lot of stick for this, but I don't want him sacked. I think he is the man to lead us forward, he is a huge step up from Sam Allardyce, who would get a 1-0 lead and then defend for the rest of the game. I do agree the post-match interview comments were very strange, such odd comments to make, saying we can't even get any intensity in training let alone games. If Bilic has lost the dressing room then I think his days will be numbered, just look at Jose Mourinho at Chelsea last season, one of the most decorated managers in football, he lost the confidence of the players and that was it for him. Last season I saw us play some of the best football I have ever seen at West Ham, we outplayed the big teams in almost every game with them. Injuries as always are a massive thing at the club and for the life of me I don't know why. It feels like we are the only club in the league that always has multiple first team players injured. Have we even had a fully fit squad at all this season? Every single week without fail there is someone new getting injured. I think the blame lies with the players for the results this season, the team seems so disjointed and they are acting like they haven't played together before. We are struggling to do anything right at the moment and we have three huge games coming up after Liverpool, which will be crucial to our season. If we can get a couple of wins back to back, it could really turn our season around, but it just feels like right now that isn't going to happen.

Now onto the reason I think we are in this mess, David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady. I now believe a strong majority of West Ham fans have had enough of them and want them gone, I know they don't control the results but they are accountable for the Summer Window and these "promises" we were sold for the new stadium. I could sit here for hours writing every single thing these people have done wrong for and to our club, but I am not going to do that. However, there are so many off the top of my head, starting with the summer transfer window, we were told a bunch of lies about how we were going to splash the cash and buy big and get a £30 million striker, which never happened. Sullivan coming out and spouting his mouth off about this in the first place was stupid enough, as clubs knew we would spend big and push the price up. Offering Carlos Tevez £150k a week wages and making it public knowledge, if I am a player and West Ham come bidding for me, then I know they have offered big wages and I will want high wages, as they are clearly willing to pay them. I don't know who has the final say on transfers, but it always seems Sullivan signs players he wants, I always have and always will believe the manager should decide, as he is the one in charge of the team and knows what he needs. Some of the signings made during the Gold/Sullivan era have been laughable, Modibo Maiga, Nikica Jelavic, Marouane Chamakh and John Carew to name a few. Lies upon lies regarding the new stadium, we were promised so much and we have been given so little. The stadium West Ham fans were sold and the one we got are two completely different things. It is even the stupid little things such as changing the badge after David Gold said they were never going to do it. Karren Brady's comments about no arrests being the real winner was embarrassing and she really should keep her opinions to herself.

In my eyes, I think it is time the board left or found some investment, as I feel and know a lot of other fans feel like this club isn't West Ham anymore. We are not a football club anymore, we are a brand, we are not fans, we are customers. It really feels like now it is all about the money we are making. We have been sold a bunch of lies for the past couple of years and if all three of them left, you wouldn't see me shed a tear. I am not saying get some rich Arab investors so we can hope to be the new Manchester City, because I don't want that. They aren't a football club in my eyes, they are filled with plastic fans and they can't even fill their stadium up every week, which is pathetic. I just want the old West Ham back, the family club, didn't matter if we won or lost, the fans laughed and had a good time, we weren't a brand we were a football club that you loved with all your heart and cheered on for 90 minutes every week. We are starting to lose our identity and I have even seen some fans that don't care anymore. The board have screwed us over this season with their stupid penny pinching in the summer window and it has cost us. We are in a relegation battle and we need to start picking up points fast and get ourselves up the table.


Banned fan reinstated
Filed: Tuesday, 6th December 2016
By: Staff Writer

The season ticket holder who was banned from the Olympic Stadium for displaying a flag calling for the removal of vice-chair Karren Brady has been told that he is welcome to return to the venue. Following KUMB's story yesterday, the fan in question was contacted by the club and told that the ban - which had been instigated at the behest of stadium operators LS185 and the Met Police - had been lifted.
A friend of the banned fan told KUMB: "West Ham contacted him and said his case was being dealt with and to expect a decision either way by the evening. "They called back and said the ban was from the stadium owners, LS185, not from the club. The Police and LS185 decided on the ban and were unsure when it would be lifted. "However he is now allowed back with immediate effect."

The flag displayed outside the ground before it was confiscated and the owner banned The fan in question has also been invited to a meeting with West Ham United's current Managing Director, Angus Kinnear, to discuss his concerns.

Goodnight, little Jack
Filed: Tuesday, 6th December 2016
By: Staff Writer

Young West Ham supporter Jack Howard, who had been receiving treatment for cancer in the US, has passed away. The 12-year-old's family confirmed the sad news via Twitter this morning, bringing to an end Jack's four-year battle against the disease. Jack, who was visited by West Ham players such as Dimi Payet and Aaron Cresswell during his latest stay in hospital was suffering from a Wilms tumor, a kidney-related cancer that is mostly found in children. Kind-hearted friends and West Ham fans had pitched in to raise the funds necessary to send Jack to the States in order to undergo pioneering treatment back in September. The fund currently stands at an astonishing £177,785. The thoughts of everyone at are with Jack's family at this difficult time.

London Stadium could stage 2019 Cricket World Cup matches

London Stadium will be considered as a venue for the 2019 World Cup, if it is found suitable for staging cricket. The England and Wales Cricket Board have been asked by the International Cricket Council to suggest high-capacity venues. The 60,000-seat capacity of the former Olympic Stadium is much larger than any cricket ground in the UK. But a feasibility test of the venue - including the size of the potential playing surface - is yet to take place. Only if that test were passed would London Stadium potentially be put forward as an addition to the 11 venues currently vying to host matches. Those grounds are Lord's, The Oval, Trent Bridge, Edgbaston, Old Trafford, Headingley, Cardiff, Southampton, Chester-le-Street, Taunton and Bristol. Of that list, Lord's has the highest capacity at around 30,000.
However, the ICC is keen to replicate the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which saw attendances in excess of 90,000 in Melbourne and games held at other large stadiums in Sydney, Adelaide and Auckland. Of those, Auckland's Eden Park, traditionally a rugby ground, has dimensions that left the straight boundaries incredibly short. London Stadium, which has been considered for T20 matches by county side Essex, would have to be able to accommodate a playing surface large enough to host international cricket. It would also need to be available, but with the tournament running from 30 May to 15 July, it is unlikely to encroach upon the needs of tenants West Ham United or affect the annual Anniversary Games athletics meeting.

Wigan Athletic are set to lose Reece Burke as West Ham United want to recall him according to a report from the Essex Live.

The Hammers have currently got a serious problem in the right back area due to a number of injuries and poor performances. Their usual man in that spot Sam Byram, who as signed from Leeds United last season, is not close to a return after suffering a serious thigh injury while James Collins was recently consigned to the treatment table when he was forced off with an injury in the 5-1 loss to Arsenal.

West Ham do have Alvaro Arbeloa as a reserve right back and he was brought on after James Collins was injured, but he'd go on to have a complete horror show with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain simply tearing him apart in that position, which has made their head coach Slaven Bilic very reluctant to play him again.

And because of that Bilic has looked to Burke who has been on loan to Wigan for most of the season. The young defender has been a massive success for the Latics this season and even got his first goal of the season at the weekend in the match against Huddersfield Town. He is also coming off a brilliant season after he picked up a number of Player of the Season awards while on his loan spell with Bradford City.

And with Arbeloa lacking any sort of form and fitness, West Ham are set to recall him and end his spell at Wigan so they can sort out of their own defensive problems.

Former West Ham forward Mauro Zarate eager to prove himself at Fiorentina despite difficult start
By talkSPORT - @talkSPORT
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mauro Zarate has no regrets about leaving West Ham for Fiorentina. The striker left the Hammers for the Italian side back in January for a fee of around £1.6m. But since the move he has struggled to settle and he has played just 98 minutes of competitive football this season. It has sparked rumours Zarate could be on the move again, but his agent - Fabio Firmani - insists that is not the case.
"Zarate is absolutely not thinking about the transfer market," Firmani told FirenzeViola. "He feels great in Florence and he's very grateful to the city from a human point of view for the affection he received in a difficult time. "He'll always feel indebted to the Florentines, and now he's totally focused on the Viola shirt. His first desire is to do well with Fiorentina, if the club change their plans then they'll tell us. "As with all situations, they could change their mind in January but so far I haven't heard anything about that."

West Ham co-chairman David Gold in fresh Twitter gaffe as Hammers fan dupes him with picture of TV star
A Hammers fan sent an innocent-looking tweet, asking Gold for a retweet in support of his Irons-supporting brother starting at a new school
11:26, 6 DEC 2016UPDATED11:29, 6 DEC 2016
The Mirror

West Ham co-chairman David Gold is no stranger to a Twitter gaffe - and the former Birmingham chief has been duped once more. A Hammers fan sent an innocent-looking tweet, asking Gold for a retweet in support of his Irons-supporting brother starting at a new school. However, the tweet was accompanied by Inbetweeners character Will McKenzie, complete with trademark briefcase, stood next to his mother. The tweet read: "Evening @ davidgold how are you? My little brother has just started his new school, only West Ham fan! Any chance of an RT? # WestHamFamily."
Gold quoted the original, and added: "Good luck young man. dg."

The London Stadium supremo has previously hit the news for wishing Hammers defender Winston Reid a happy birthday, only to accompany the tweet with an image of Kyle Knoyle. This came after he infamously announced the signing of Pedro Obiang alongside a snap of Angelo Ogbonna, before going on to sign Ogbonna as well. West Ham United Chairman David Gold poses for photographers outside the Olympic stadium on March 24, 2015 Last November, Gold retweeted a picture of a missing person appeal, seemingly failing to recognise the man in the image was in fact Irons flier Michail Antonio.
Oh, David.

Former Manchester City and Manchester United star Carlos Tevez poised to link up with Gus Poyet at Shanghai Shenhua
Carlos Tevez in action for Boca Juniors
By talkSPORT - @talkSPORT
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Shanghai Shenhua are closing in on a mega-money move for former Manchester City, Manchester United and West Ham star Carlos Tevez.
The striker is currently playing for his boyhood club Boca Juniors in Argentina but he now could be off to China. Shanghai Shenhua, who are coached by former Sunderland boss Gus Poyet, are in negotiations with the player over a deal worth around £600,000-a-week.
And Shanghai president Wu Xiaohui has revealed that talks have progressed well after weeks of discussions. "We have done a lot of work and it's safe to say that there has been a definite breakthrough in the negotiations," Wu told Shenhua News. "But for a variety of reasons, we have not nailed down the deal. Their club have problems that are still yet to be solved and I will spare you the details. "We will continue to put greater effort into this and strive to give our supporters a pleasant surprise as early as possible."

West Ham consider loan moves for Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini and Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic
Evening Standard

Relegation-threatened West Ham are pondering a loan move for Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini next month. The East London Premier League club are just one point and one place above the relegation zone and have conceded nine goals in their last two games.
Hammers manager Slaven Bilic feels the Belgium international could provide some much-needed physicality, either as a holding midfielder or to supplement a misfiring forward line. West Ham have badly missed the physical presence of the injury-prone Andy Carroll since the start of the season, although the striker did return as a sub last weekend in the 5-1 humbling by Arsenal — and scored. A move for Fellaini, 29, could suit both clubs. Manchester United fans have been far from convinced about the former Everton player, even more so after he came on in the second half against his former club at Goodison Park on Sunday and conceded a clumsy penalty that denied his team three points.
West Ham could also make a January loan move for Chelsea's reserve goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Adrian, West Ham's first-choice keeper, has had an indifferent season and was recently dropped by Bilic, with Republic of Ireland international Darren Randolph replacing him.
The 29-year-old former Stoke keeper is second choice behind Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge and would welcome the chance of first-team football.

Bromley's Blair Turgott shows his flair on the grand stage!
Posted on 6th December 2016 by Matt Badcock in England C, National League with 0 Comments

THERE can't be many footballers who have their own profile on the online film bible Internet Movie Database – Blair Turgott does.

It reads: Blair Turgott is an actor, known for Green Street (2005). Now, anyone who has seen the flick in question will know Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood is an American journalist turned West Ham hooligan.

So, what on earth is the Bromley and England C winger doing in it?

"It was crazy," says the former Hammer. "I don't even know how it came about. I was at West Ham and our manager came in and said there's a film our team had to be in.

"At the time we didn't know what it was about. We went to this school to film and Frodo came over! We basically played a game and they recorded it.

"We had another scene in a classroom. In the film they were drawn against Millwall in the cup and we had to cheer. It was rated 18 and I was only nine or ten, but I really wanted to watch it. A few of my goals were in there – it was alright.

"It was a great experience, but crazy. People have told me I'm down as an actor – maybe it could be something to look into after football!"

He's well used to mixing with the stars is young Blair. On his twitter account is a picture with football megastar Lionel Messi from when Argentina trained at West Ham ahead of a friendly with Croatia at Upton Park in 2014.

With the West Ham first team enjoying a week off on the international break, the youngsters were drafted in to train with Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the main man himself.

"We didn't really touch the ball that much because it was all about them – it was shadow work, but it's one to tell the grandkids about," Turgott smiles.

But the main story he wants to tell his descendants is about his football career. Turgott made one appearance for West Ham – in the infamous 5-0 FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest – with most of his first team action coming on loan.

He was at Bradford City for their incredible League Cup run where they beat Arsenal and Aston Villa on the way to the final at Wembley.


Spells at Coventry City and, last season, at Leyton Orient followed before the 22-year-old dropped into Non-League with National League Bromley in the summer.

"There were League One and League Two teams I could have gone to on trial in the summer, but it was about getting security and going somewhere I can show what I'm about," he says, perched on the end of his bed in England C's Tallinn hotel.

"Hopefully it's taking one step back to go two steps forward. That's the aim. I've been on loan at clubs and I'm quite experienced for my age – I've played games. For me it's about getting a run of games. Bromley have given me that opportunity. Hopefully I can repay them with my performances."

Already his electric performances have caught the eye of England C boss Paul Fairclough, who immediately picked him from the contingency squad for the Estonia trip after drop outs.

It's not the first time he's pulled on the Three Lions. As a youngster he represented his country through the age groups from U16s up to U19s alongside Raheem Sterling, Nathaniel Chalobah and Jordan Pickford.

He went to the U17 World Cup in Mexico and scored for the U19s in the same stadium England C beat Estonia U23s 2-1. His latest call of international duty, alongside other players who have slipped down the leagues, can give him the confidence to rise again.

"The gaffer said a lot of us have had knock-backs," he says. "We're all here for different reasons. But the common factor is we've all played at a decent level. So we all know where we want to be.

"Everyone's journey is different. A lot of the boys have been released, had injuries and setbacks for different reasons. For me it's about trusting the journey.

"You've got to stay strong mentally and just have confidence in yourself to make it."

Valencia open talks with Zaza
By Football Espana staff

Valencia have opened talks with Italian striker Simone Zaza - currently on loan at West Ham United from Juventus - according to reports in Spain. The Hammers loaned the Italian international from Juve in August for an initial €5m but a clause exists in his contract that if he plays 14 games for the London club, they must sign him on a permanent deal for €21m - a clause he is three matches away from triggering. However, Zaza has not been selected for either of the past two matches and a report in AS suggests they are unwilling to select him further to ensure the clause is not triggered and allow a January move elsewhere. The report goes on to say that Valencia have made contact with the former Sassuolo striker who 'did not say "no"' and a move in January would be favoured by Los Che who are keen to bolster their attacking options, with former Azzuri boss Cesare Prandelli eager to sign the 25-year-old.

Football troublemakers play cat-and-mouse at London Stadium
Patterns of bad behaviour are settling into habits, allowing police to adapt their tactics
10:06, 6 DEC 2016UPDATED10:06, 6 DEC 2016

A determined minority of trouble-makers are giving the London Stadium a very public stress-test, finding weaknesses on match day that were never there in theory. A cat-and-mouse game is going on, with supporters intent on causing a disturbance probing vulnerabilities with police changing their tactics in response. That is the conclusion of those responsible for West Ham match-day security, including the police, the stadium operator, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the club itself. They are now suggesting that the Stoke game was a turning point which saw a "maturing" of plans when trouble-makers and security staff reached an equilibrium that saw an end to the kinds of embarrassing scenes that marred the Chelsea match.
The London Assembly, which is examining the issue, was told that the hardcore minority were creatures of habit – and they were in the process of exploring and settling into "new norms". Commander BJ Harrington, who oversees football policing in the capital, said:"We are learning those challenges and we are learning to adapt our tactics – for example, which pubs certain supporters are beginning to use – which allows us to put control around those pubs. "When those norms of behaviour have been set out by the fans we can understand how to react to those threats and prevent those issues. They are learning so we are learning."
London Legacy Development Corporation chief executive David Goldstone said the club was 11 matches into a 99 year relationship while West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said: "We all accept that they were teething problems, which there always are when you move to a new stadium. "We have learnt from some of the issues, we have implemented strong and decisive action and we are adamant that we want to eradicate it. "
She pointed out there had been 18 arrests in 11 games. "We're coming to the half way point at the season Arsenal had 60 arrests for the whole season last year and Manchester Utd had 57 arrests." The London Stadium also presented "unique" challenges in the capital because of its openness and accessibility inside and out, said Cmdr Harrington. He said: "The Olympic Park is a wide open expanse – most stadia in London have natural segregation by streets, by furniture, by cars – here you have multiple points of entry and in policing terms very difficult to segregate."

Chief executive officer of operator London Stadium 185 Linda Lennon said: "It's easier for people to get round the stadium so one of the things we've started to introduce is much more hard checking of tickets. "The actual segregated areas have been extended, we've created a sterile area so supporters can't throw things down on other supporters and we've created a dedicated segregation route outside of the stadium."

The chief operating officer of Westfield Stratford City Peter Miller said retailers had noticed a drop in sales on match days but there was no evidence shoppers were being deterred. Asked whether the London Stadium simply wasn't suitable for football, Karren Brady said: "The stadium has been designated a Uefa Category Four status, the highest possible, which means that it can, for example, host a Champion's League Final so it is absolutely suitable."

West Brom and West Ham both keen on Ryad Boudebouz after seven goals in 15 games
Olly Dawes

Southampton, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United are reportedly keen on Montpellier playmaker Ryad Boudebouz. According to Algerian newspaper Le Buteur, Montpellier playmaker Ryad Boudebouz is a target for Southampton, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United. Boudebouz, 26, was billed as a top young talent in French football during his time with Sochaux, but left for Bastia in 2013, where eight goals in 66 games earned him a move to Montpellier in 2015. The attacking midfielder grabbed an impressive 11 assists and two goals in his first season with Montpellier, but his goalscoring exploits this season have seen him make headlines in Ligue 1.

Boudebouz has struck seven goals and two assists in just 15 appearances this season, making him one of the most impressive players in French football this season – and his performances haven't gone unnoticed. Algerian newspaper Le Buteur report that three Premier League clubs – Southampton, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United – are all interested in signing Boudebouz, and watched him score once in Montpellier's 3-0 thumping of Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday. The Algerian international, who has 24 caps for his country to his name, will certainly be familiar to Southampton boss Claude Puel, as he managed against Boudebouz during his spells in charge of Lyon and Nice. Southampton do have attacking midfielders at the club already with the likes of Sofiane Boufal and Dusan Tadic, but Boudebouz can also play out wide, and could be seen as another versatile attacking option for the Saints. West Brom are looking for more creative players having seen Nacer Chadli and Matt Phillips thrive this season, and a skilful, tricky playmaker like Boudebouz could fit the bill for the Baggies, who are expected to spend in January. A move to West Ham would be a major surprise though, as manager Slaven Bilic has an abundance of attacking midfielders at his disposal already. Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio, Andre Ayew, Gokhan Tore and Boudebouz's international team-mate Sofiane Feghouli. Marseille are also believed to be keen on Boudebouz, meaning we could see a real fight for the playmaker's signature next month after such an impressive start to the season.

West Ham paired with rivals Millwall in FA Cup third-round draw rehearsal
Evening Standard

West Ham may have drawn a tricky FA Cup third-round opponent in the form of Manchester City on Monday evening, but it has emerged that the club had earlier been drawn to face their arch-rivals Millwall in the rehearsal. Premier League and Championship sides entered the FA Cup third-round draw, which was made by Steven Gerrard and Ian Wright at the BT Tower on Monday evening, after a host of clubs - including Millwall - booked their place in the draw by winning their second-round ties over the weekend. Millwall came from behind to beat Braintree Town 5-2 on Sunday, and ensure they entered the FA Cup draw a day later. The League One club, who currently sit in ninth place in the standings, went on to draw Premier League side Bournemouth in the third round - but it could have been very different. BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey, who oversaw the draw, revealed that Millwall were in fact drawn to play their fierce rivals West Ham in the third-round rehearsal just hours before the actual one was conducted. Millwall and West Ham share a long and fierce rivalry - with the two teams' League Cup meeting at Upton Park in 2009 producing terrible scenes of violence both inside and outside the stadium. The game, which ended 3-1 to West Ham after extra time, saw fans invade the Boleyn Ground pitch and riot police guide fans towards the tube station while one man was stabbed in the chest following fighting between rival sets of supporters. West Ham will face Manchester City at the London Stadium in the third-round of the FA Cup, which is due to be played across the weekend of 6 to 9 January 2017, while Millwall will host Bournemouth.

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan backs Slaven Bilic - 'We all need to stick together'
Evening Standard

David Sullivan says West Ham cannot forget the "amazing job" under-fire manager? Slaven Bilic did last season, despite an underwhelming start to the current campaign. Bilic led the Hammers to seventh place in the Premier League table last term and the club was engulfed by a wave of optimism ahead of their move into the London Stadium. But the mood among supporters has quickly changed and West Ham are languishing just one point above the relegation zone following Saturday's chastening 5-1 defeat to Arsenal.
The team's disappointing form has seen pressure build on Bilic's position and Sullivan, who held talks with his manager yesterday, has urged the club to stay united as they attempt to climb away from trouble. "Slaven cares passionately about the football club and this defeat will be hurting him as much as anyone," Sullivan told West Ham official's website. "I have no doubts that he is doing everything he can to address the situation and everyone is working together to ensure we turn our season around. "We cannot forget the amazing job that Slaven did in his first season at the club. With a bit more luck he could have taken us into the top four. "His passion, commitment and outstanding track record at the highest level were among the many reasons we appointed Slaven. "Despite what some people have said, there is still a great spirit among the players and everyone is working towards the same objective. "We all need to stick together and get behind the team. We are all part of the West Ham United family and in hard times families pull together," Sullivan insisted. West Ham face Liverpool, Burnley and Hull City in the build up to Christmas and need to put more points on the board ahead of a busy festive period.
While Sullivan believes Bilic's side need to "show a lot more" if they are to returning to winning ways he is adamant a mounting injury list has played a key role in the team's problems. "You cannot hide away from the fact that we were missing a number of influential players through injury for the Arsenal game, including both our first choice wing-backs. "Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell are key members of our team and are players who make a big difference to the way we play. "Just when we thought the injury situation is clearing up, we then lost Diafra Sakho for another six weeks and Cheikhou Kouyate damaged his hamstring," Sullivan added.

West Ham must go big for Celtic star if ambitious bid for Sturridge fails
Damien Lucas

West Ham United are in desperate need of extra firepower and should raid Celtic if a move for Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge fails.
The Hammers are languishing in 17th place in the Premier League, one point off the bottom three as their disastrous second season under Slaven Bilic unravels with each passing week. Knocked out of Europe by Romanian minnows FC Astra, eight defeats from 13 games and the second worst defence in the league tells its own story. But West Ham's profligacy is as much to blame with Diafra Sakho the only Hammers striker to have scored a single goal this season, 20 competitive games in. Sakho and fellow African Hammers striker Andre Ayew both look likely to be away for the African Nations in January further exacerbating the situation. Bilic has been linked with a move for Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge to try and solve that problem, as reported by the likes of The Express.
But Jurgen Klopp last week insisted none of his squad was up for sale in January despite Sturridge slipping down the pecking order at Anfield. Should that move fail to materialise, the East Londoners should waste no time raiding Scottish champions Celtic for former Fulham striker Moussa Dembele. The 20-year-old Frenchman has scored 17 goals in 28 appearances for the Hoops since signing from Fulham in the summer. And the Paris Saint Germain academy product has the attributes West Ham need to start scoring the goals that will help them climb the league. His pace and movement would give fellow Frenchman Dimitri Payet an outlet and he could also work well alongside fit again Andy Carroll.

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan hands backing to under-fire Slaven Bilic - "In hard times families pull together"
The Hammers have fallen to 17th in the Premier League, having won just three of their 14 matches so far this term
08:35, 6 DEC 2016UPDATED08:35, 6 DEC 2016
The Mirror

West Ham United co-chairman David Sullivan has handed his backing to under-fire manager Slaven Bilic. The Hammers were beaten 5-1 at the London Stadium by Arsenal on Saturday, disintegrating in the second period as Arsene Wenger's men scored four times in the second 45'. Bilic was highly critical of his side after the game, hitting out at his players' lack of intensity on the training field.
Having led the side to a seventh place finish in his debut campaign last term, Bilic's side have won just three games so far this term, and currently lie 17th in the table, one point above the drop zone. However Sullivan, who held talks with Bilic on Monday, has urged the club to stay united, and says that the "amazing job" Bilic did last season cannot be forgotten. "We are refusing to make excuses though and the players will know that the performance was not good enough and we need to show a lot more if we are to get back on the winning trail. "I saw Slaven's comments after the game and as always he was completely honest with his assessment. Slaven cares passionately about the Football Club and this defeat will be hurting him as much as anyone. "I have no doubts that he is doing everything he can to address the situation and everyone is working together to ensure we turn our season around. "We cannot forget the amazing job that Slaven did in his first season at the Club. With a bit more luck he could have taken us into the top four. "His passion, commitment and outstanding track record at the highest level were among the many reasons we appointed Slaven in the summer of 2015. "Despite what some people have said, there is still a great spirit among the players and everyone is working towards the same objective. "We all need to stick together and get behind the team. We are all part of the West Ham United family and in hard times families pull together."
West Ham head to Liverpool on Sunday, looking to end a run of six games without a win.

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic makes decision following Rio Ferdinand's offer to return as coach
Jordan Harris

West Ham United have struggled this season, prompting their former defender to offer to return in a coaching capacity. A report in the Daily Mirror has suggested that Slaven Bilic has rejected Rio Ferdinand's offer to return to West Ham to work with the defence following their terrible start to the season. Ferdinand recently stated that he would like to help his first professional club after watching them fall to another heavy defeat at the weekend, and the Mirror reports that the Hammers hierarchy were keen for the move to happen.
However, the Mirror now adds that Bilic - who played alongside Ferdinand during their time together with the Irons - has insisted that he is happy with the backroom team he currently has at his disposal, and thus, does not intend to bring the 38-year-old in, despite the growing pressure on his shoulders.
While the presence of Bilic and current West Ham coach Julian Dicks suggests that the club do have enough knowledge to help the back-line, it is clear that things need to change at the London Stadium if the Hammers do not want to be dragged into a relegation battle.
Currently, the Irons are one place and one point above the bottom three following their 5-1 defeat at home to Arsenal at the weekend. And while they have hardly been prolific in front of goal, the slightly more alarming statistic is the fact that only bottom side Swansea City have conceded more league goals this term. Therefore, it is somewhat understandable if the board decided that a person with Ferdinand's experience coming in would be a good addition, but Bilic appears to be confident about the current backroom team's chances of turning the club's fortunes around.


Tuesday, December 6

Daily WHUFC News - 6th December 2016

Loan round up

Enner Valencia was a second half substitute for Everton as they picked up a
point against Manchester United
Lewis Page was in FA Cup action for Coventry City on Sunday
During the week, Reece Burke scored his first Wigan Athletic goal as they
beat Huddersfield Town

Enner Valencia featured as a second half substitute for Everton on Sunday as
they salvaged a late point against Manchester United at Goodison Park.
Hammers loanee Valencia replaced Yannick Bolasie in the 68th minute and
helped the hosts increase the pressure on Jose Mourinho's men as the game
drew to a close. But it was not until the final five minutes that the
Toffees found the leveller, when Leighton Baines converted a penalty
following substitute Marouane Fellaini's clumsy foul on Idrissa Gueye on his
old stomping ground.
Straight after the 90th-minute restart, Ecuador international Valencia had a
shot blocked and it looked as if Everton were about to grab the winner, but
the clash eventually finished all square on Merseyside.

Elsewhere, the only other Hammer in loan action was Coventry City's Lewis
Page, who played all 90 minutes in his side's disappointing FA Cup defeat to
League Two outfit Cambridge United. The Sky Blues were thrashed at the Abbey
Stadium, going down 4-0 thanks to the brilliance of Luke Berry and his
four-goal haul. City had beaten Morecambe in the previous round but Berry
made sure they would not be in the hat with the big boys on Monday, bagging
his hat-trick before the halfway point. The midfielder put the cherry on the
cake with four minutes remaining, sealing Cambridge's spot in the third
round and condemning Coventry – still under the guidance of caretaker boss
Mark Venus – to their fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions.

During the middle of last week however, there were a number of excellent
results for West Ham United players out on loan. 20-year-old defender Reece
Burke – at Championship side Wigan Athletic – grabbed his first Latics goal
on Monday as Warren Joyce's men picked up a crucial 2-1 victory at
high-flying Huddersfield Town. Burke grabbed the opener five minutes before
the break, bursting forward as his team broke and eventually superbly
finishing off Yanic Wildschut's cross from the right.

And on Tuesday, George Dobson started and played 69 minutes for Walsall as
they were 1-0 winners at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane.
Neil Etheridge's late penalty save to deny Billy Sharp was just as crucial
as Amadou Bakayoko's winner in the 42nd minute and the victory means the
Saddlers, though they incredibly sit in 16th in League One, are just three
points outside the play-off spots.

#WHUAREYA - Noha Sylvestre

Swiss midfielder Noha Sylvestre has been an important player for the
Hammers' PL2 side this season, making 14 appearances and often being
utilised in a number of positions, testament to his versatility.

The 18-year-old is son of former Switzerland international Patrick
Sylvestre, who played for his national team at the 1994 FIFA World Cup and
travelled to UEFA Euro '96 in England.

Noha reveals how much of an influence his father has been in his career so
far, and also lets West Ham TV in on what he likes to do in his spare time,
including playing ice hockey and listening to French rap music.


So Saturday was a really mixed day for me. I was really nervous about our
first event and making sure it was a success and likewise about how the team
were to play that evening too.

Let's talk about the negative one first. I thought the performance was
terrible and that is being polite. I felt too many players were not
interested and seemed very off the pace. I was watching certain players who
were amazing last year such as Lanzini and Payet and they just seemed really
slow, unfit and half hearted. Lanzini tried hard but just didn't seem as
sharp as he had done and this could be said for a lot of other players too.
I find it even more concerning now following Bilic's post-match press
conference where he has said the players are not applying themselves in
training either. This is the manager and coaching staff's jobs to insure
that they are and to publically admit that seems a very risky move.

I think the board back Bilic; he will be given a few games yet but this
cannot go on much longer. The reasonable time to judge will be after the
Boxing Day result against Swansea but a decision should be made in my eyes
by then. If a new manager is to come in, you need to give him the January
window to bring in his own men, something the likes of Mancini (one of the
top names in the mix) would wish to do. Bilic is theirs and my man for now

The season has been a major disappointment as everyone involved with the
club would admit. There has been mistakes made at all levels from the very
top to the players. The board know that mistakes have been made around the
stadium and some of the signings in the summer. For me the two main ones are
coming out early and saying we will sign a £30m forward raised expectations
really high at the start and unless this was delivered there was always
going to be a negative view of the window. I also think mistakes at the
stadium were made with seating/standing and the PR around that, the
segregation of away fans and a failure to make the ground feel like West

Mistakes have been made by the manager. Many like to blame the board for
some of the transfers and yes they have made mistakes but the manager has
far more say then some would like to believe. The likes of Tore, Zaza and
Ayew were all deals that Slaven Bilic was very keen on. Some of arguably
the more successful signings: Masuaku (debateable in success), Fletcher and
Fernandes were Tony Henry's finds. So I think an equal share of the blame
can be made.

The decision to play Antonio at right back at the start of the season has
been more devastating than many would think too. He clearly wasn't a right
back, everyone around the club clearly felt that except the manager and we
lost too many goals because of this decision at the start of the year which
in turn had a knock on effect on the confidence and the player's trust in
the managers decisions as well as missing out on a number of signings who
could play there. It feels like Slaven has a lot more doubters within the
ranks this year than before. I like Slaven and I want him to succeed, I
really do, I hope he turns this around.

Another big factor is the players. I think some got carried away with their
successes last year and summer tournaments and have not applied themselves
as much as they did last year where the spirt of the Boleyn seemed to
motivate many of them. Also whilst it isn't their fault directly the
injuries have been crippling. Look at the players not available against
Arsenal: Kouyate, Byram, Antonio, Cresswell, Oxford, Calleri, Tore, Carroll
and Ayew (to start) and this has been the number for most games (I also
forgot Sakho when I first wrote this). The fact that Arbeloa, a player who
looks certain to be on his way out, got on the bench and then played shows
the injury situation. The loss of Cresswell, Kouyate and Antonio would
affect most teams in the league too.

I think negative press has also been a factor. Yes, we have created some of
the negative news ourselves but the media has seemed hell bent on focusing
on the stadium flaws and the fans' fighting even though similar incidents at
other clubs does not get reported. Even in the week when Ayew was
deliberately "rested" and put on an intensive fitness campaign to get back
to the standards we expected from him there were stories of a "bust up" with
Bilic and Payet not celebrating his goal because of it, which wasn't true.

The club plan to sign players in January and have an extensive list at the
moment but I guess the list could change if the manager does likewise the
list of possible departures too. Some of the names on there are really
exciting and people are confident many will be keen to join, although the
league position could be a huge factor. Forward and right back being the key
position. Everyone feels disappointed at the club and everyone needs to do
all they can to turn it around. What Bilic said yesterday about the training
could be inspired or could really come back to haunt him.

On to more positive things. Our West Ham Way Pre Match event was a real
success and we were delighted to see so many of you back at our home of
Upton Park at the East London Working Man's club and enjoying a traditional
West Ham event. Mark Ward, who will be the host at every event, was
brilliant and we have received nothing but positive comments about him and
Frank McAvennie and the event as a whole. The aim of the events it to keep
the traditions of the club alive and this is something myself, SDCC and Mark
Ward are especially passionate about.

There are learning curves for us as this was the first event and we intend
to make each event better and better. We will be making small tweaks to
insure that this does happen. Thank you to all those that have taken the
time to give us the feedback and we look forward to seeing you again at the
next event. These events will take place before every home game that is on a
weekend or bank holiday but not midweek. Our next event is on the 17th of
December before the Hull City game at 11-2pm and my first ever favourite
players and hero of our FA ,up Quarter Final win against Everton, Stuart
Slater, will be the guest with Mark Ward. We will have many great prizes for
our raffle and a chance to mingle with celebrity West Ham fans, Hammerettes
and true loyal and passionate fans! Tickets are now on sale here:

Let's hope we can have some positive news this week at the club and the
players come into training with greater determination to turn this around.

From the Boardroom - David Sullivan

There is no disguising the fact that everyone was bitterly disappointed with
the home defeat against Arsenal on Saturday. We were determined to build on
the impressive point we had gained at Old Trafford the week before and this
was the first big game being played under the lights at London Stadium since
our memorable win over Chelsea in the EFL Cup. Unfortunately we were unable
to reach the same standards that saw us produce such an impressive victory
back in October. We are refusing to make excuses though and the players will
know that the performance was not good enough and we need to show a lot more
if we are to get back on the winning trail. I saw Slaven's comments after
the game and as always he was completely honest with his assessment. Slaven
cares passionately about the Football Club and this defeat will be hurting
him as much as anyone. I have no doubts that he is doing everything he can
to address the situation and everyone is working together to ensure we turn
our season around. We cannot forget the amazing job that Slaven did in his
first season at the Club. With a bit more luck he could have taken us into
the top four. His passion, commitment and outstanding track record at the
highest level were among the many reasons we appointed Slaven in the summer
of 2015.
Despite what some people have said, there is still a great spirit among the
players and everyone is working towards the same objective. We all need to
stick together and get behind the team. We are all part of the West Ham
United family and in hard times families pull together. I and my family feel
the same frustration and disappointment as you when we lose, and the same
joy and elation when we win. It is the same for my fellow Board members.
West Ham is in our blood, just as it is in yours. We all want the same for
our fantastic Club, and together we are stronger. Only by remaining united
can we turn things around. You cannot hide away from the fact that we were
missing a number of influential players through injury for the Arsenal game,
including both our first choice wing-backs. Michail Antonio and Aaron
Cresswell are key members of our team and are players who make a big
difference to the way we play. Just when we thought the injury situation is
clearing up, we then lost Diafra Sakho for another six weeks and Cheikhou
Kouyate damaged his hamstring the night before the Arsenal game.
To make matters worse, James Collins then had to leave the field after just
seven minutes and all the planning that Slaven and his backroom staff had
prepared for the game had gone out the window. Hopefully we will see a few
of these players back in action next week and the team will show a vast
improvement as we prepare for a massive week with big games against
Liverpool, Burnley and Hull. We have shown this season that the players have
the quality to compete against the big teams and we need to show the same
mentality when we travel to play Liverpool on Sunday. I am sure the players
will not need any reminding about our famous 3-0 win at Anfield last season
which was our first victory since 1963, and it was a memorable day for
everyone at the Club. We would now love to see a repeat performance and
repay the fans for the magnificent support they show towards the team.

Rio to return to West Ham - as coach?
Filed: Monday, 5th December 2016
By: Staff Writer

Former Hammer Rio Ferdinand has offered his services to West Ham after the
club's latest Premier League humbling. Having conceded three against
Tottenham and then four against Manchester United, the Hammers went one
better on Saturday by conceding FIVE at home to Arsenal. And that shambolic
recent run of form has prompted former Hammer Ferdinand to offer to assist
the club's coaching team.
"There is no life, no passion," said the Peckham-born defender, who recently
retired as a professional. "It was one of the weakest West Ham teams in
recent years. "It could have been a lot worse, they need to have a look at
themselves for some of that defending at the end."
Ferdinand is a former team mate of current Hammers boss Slaven Bilic, who
nurtured the then precocious teenager through his opening Premier League
matches when they featured in Harry Redknapp's side together during the
mid-to-late nineties.

No Payet bid, say PSG
Filed: Monday, 5th December 2016
By: Staff Writer

French giants PSG has ruled out a January move for West Ham midfielder
Dimitri Payet. Paris are one of a string of clubs linked in recent days with
a move for the French international, who has thus far endured a difficult
second season at West Ham. However a source at the Ligue 1 club has refuted
suggestions that they are set to make a move for the Euro 16 star, telling
Le Parisien that rumours of a £30million are wide of the mark. Arsenal are
also said to be interested in signing the midfielder, who is 30 next March.
On Friday, Arsene Wenger described him as "one of the star players now in

Slaven Bilic: West Ham boss backed by co-owner David Sullivan

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has backed manager Slaven Bilic and called
for the club to "stick together" after the 5-1 defeat by Arsenal on
Saturday. West Ham are one point above the relegation zone after failing to
win in their last five Premier League games. Sullivan said the 48-year-old
did an "amazing" job in his first season in charge, as the club finished
seventh. "Slaven cares passionately and this defeat will be hurting him as
much as anyone," he told the club website. "I have no doubts that he is
doing everything he can to address the situation and everyone is working
together to ensure we turn our season around."
Bilic said he was "humiliated" by Saturday's defeat at London Stadium, where
West Ham have only won twice in the league since their move from Upton Park
in the summer. "Despite what some people have said, there is still a great
spirit among the players and everyone is working towards the same
objective," added Sullivan.
"We all need to stick together and get behind the team. We are all part of
the West Ham United family and in hard times families pull together."

Believe in Bilic
Filed: Monday, 5th December 2016
By: Jamie Norwood

We're in a bit of a mess right now, aren't we?

A disappointing (and that's being kind) defeat on Saturday to a very good
Arsenal side leaves us looking over our shoulder with Sunderland winning
again. More than the result, the most frustrating thing for me was the
players attitude.

Where was the fight? I looked round the team when we conceded and it was
just hands on hips, not a care in the world. We have no leaders. I love Mark
Noble but where is his passion?

In recent seasons if we were struggling in the game he would run round the
pitch and make a big challenge to get the crowd going. None of that now.
Meanwhile Dimitri Payet doesn't look like he wants to be here, he should be
nowhere near the pitch with the attitude he has shown in recent games.

You want a move? Play for one! I think he'll be off in January. And the way
things are going will he even be missed? The only positive I can really
think of is Ashley Fletcher, who I thought played really well and didn't
stop running all game.

We need fighters, players who want to play for the shirt. We're in a
relegation fight. The only one who showed emotion and that the defeat hurt,
was Bilic. It was hard to see him look so defeated. The players have let him
down massively.

The Arsenal fans were singing 'You're not West Ham anymore' – and it is hard
to disagree. Last season we were 2-0 down at home to Arsenal but you could
almost feel that we could get back into it. This year we go a goal down -
and heads drop.

It doesn't get any easier with Liverpool away next, but we have nothing to
lose really, no-one expects anything so let's change things about. Give some
youngsters a chance, at least they know what playing for West Ham means.

Recall Reece Burke from Wigan. Give Reece Oxford a go. Marcus Browne
consistently plays well for the Development Squad, whilst Toni Martinez
scores nearly every game. Josh Cullen was our best player vs Juventus (one
game, I know..) but he's playing every week for Bradford; bring him back for
the fight?

They couldn't do any worse than the current 'first team'. Following the trip
to Anfield we face Burnley and Hull in the space of three days at 'home'
(sigh). Two massive games.

The club is a mess at the moment, let's be honest. It started in the summer
when our transfer business was awful. The board completely let Bilic down,
trying to get deals on the cheap and hoping someone comes good. Zaza,
Calleri, Nordveit, Tore, Arbeloa… the list goes on.

We've just moved into a new 60,000 seater stadium, with 52,000 season
tickets sold – yet we're still scrapping around looking for loan deals and
free transfers. Promised a 20-goal-a-season a striker, surprise surprise we
are still relying on Andy Carroll being fit.

The stadium move has been a disaster, fans are now being filmed by 'security
teams' (ie treated like criminals), otherss getting thrown out for standing
up trying to create an atmosphere etc.

Bilic is so far away from the pitch it takes him an age to give out his
instructions. The problem is there is no going back and we have to try and
make it work. Although it seems an impossible task right now…

We have to get behind Bilic, in my opinion. I feel so sorry for him. He
clearly cares about the club. Don't get me wrong, he has made some bad
decisions as well, but after last season he deserves a chance to turn it

The Burnley and Hull games are huge and we have to win them both. In January
we need to invest in the team, improve the first XI and not bring in squad
players who are not good enough for the league.

We need fighters and players who are prepared for a battle, we are just so
easy to play against at the moment. Do we trust the board to spend some
money and get the right players in? I'm not convinced!

The board should come out and back Bilic rather than hiding away in their
mansions. They are quick to talk to when we are doing well. How about
positively backing the manager?

* You may follow Jamie via Twitter at @JimboNorwood.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the
author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be
attributed to,

Man City at home in FA Cup

Hammers to host Manchester City in Emirates FA Cup third round
Pep Guardiola's squad to make first visit to London Stadium in
weekend-commencing 7 January 2017
West Ham have won two of the three previous FA Cup meetings between the two

West Ham United will host Manchester City at London Stadium in the Emirates
FA Cup third round. The Hammers were drawn at home to Pep Guardiola's
Citizens by the man whose late goal denied them a fourth FA Cup trophy in
2006 - then-Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard. The tie will be played over
the weekend 6-9 January 2017, and will mean West Ham will kick-off 2017 with
home matches against both Manchester clubs, as Jose Mourinho's Manchester
United visit on Monday 2 January. West Ham have won the FA Cup on three
occasions, in 1964, 1975 and most recently in 1980, and finished as
runners-up in 1923 and 2006.

The Hammers famously beat City 2-0 on their way to the 2006 final, with Dean
Ashton scoring both in a sixth-round win at the Etihad Stadium. Prior to
that, Eyal Berkovic and Steve Lomas - both of whom would also play for City
- scored in a 2-1 fourth-round win at Maine Road. Since Ashton's big night,
the pair have been drawn together just once, with a 1-1 draw at the Boleyn
Ground being followed by a 1-0 third-round replay win for City in January
2008. Manchester City have lifted the famous trophy on five occasions -
1904, 1934, 1956, 1969 and 2011.

A date, kick-off time and ticket arrangements for the tie will be confirmed
in due course.

West Ham backing manager Slaven Bilic - Sky sources
By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 05/12/16 2:39pm

West Ham are standing by their manager Slaven Bilic and have no intention of
sacking him, according to Sky sources. Bilic admitted he was "under
pressure" after his team lost 5-1 at home to Arsenal on Saturday. Sky Sports
News HQ understands West Ham owners have confidence in Bilic and expect him
to turn things around. A source at the club said: "We back our managers and
we give them time."
West Ham have lost three of their past five games and dropped to 17th in the
Premier League table - one point above the relegation places. Bilic, who was
appointed in the summer of 2015, said he was "humiliated" by Saturday's
performance. West Ham have had four managers since David Sullivan and David
Gold bought the club in 2010 - Gianfranco Zola, Avram Grant, Sam Allardyce
and Bilic.

Rio Ferdinand offers to join West Ham United to help out struggling Slaven
Former Hammers centre-back, who began his career at Upton Park, has offered
to help out his old team as a defensive coach as they struggle in the
Premier League
George Cooper
The Independent

Rio Ferdinand is reported to have offered his services to West Ham United as
a defensive coach. West Ham's season went from bad to worse on Saturday as
they were hammered 5-1 by Arsenal at the London Stadium, leaving them just a
point above the relegation zone.
Slaven Bilic's side have conceded 29 goals in their first 14 games, with
only bottom side Swansea City having a worse defensive record this season.
The Daily Mail today report that Ferdinand, who began his career with the
Hammers and stayed at Upton Park from 1995 to 2000, has offered his services
to the board as a defensive coach. Ferdinand spent much of his time at West
Ham playing alongside Bilic and would be well-placed to help the manager,
who now finds himself under pressure after a dreadful start to the season.
The West Ham board are understood to have demanded clarity from Bilic after
he questioned his players' 'intensity' during the defeat to Arsenal. The
Croat is not under immediate threat of the sack, but does face crucial games
in the coming weeks against relegation battlers Hull City and Swansea City.

Slaven Bilic meets with West Ham co-owner David Sullivan with club concerned
by manager's comments
Evening Standard

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan will hold talks with Slaven Bilic today,
with concerns over the manager's admission that his side had lost their
"intensity in training". The East London club are just one point and one
place above the bottom three in the Premier League club following their 5-1
humiliation by Arsenal on Saturday, after which Bilic made the admission. It
was a comment which particularly concerned the club's owners, Sullivan and
David Gold, and one upon which they were seeking further clarification
A club spokesman said that there were no crisis talks planned but that it
was normal practice for Bilic and Sullivan to communicate following a game.
It is understood, though, that the Croatian, who guided West Ham to seventh
place in his first season as West Ham manager, will make changes to his
training schedule this week in an effort to rediscover that lost intensity
and avoid further injury problems. Bilic's squad have suffered a litany of
muscle injuries throughout this season so far, with nine senior players out
of action at the moment, including striker Diafra Sakho, who returned from a
lengthy back injury recently but pulled a hamstring after just two games and
is out for another five weeks. Bilic then lost both his England players,
wing-backs Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell, with groin injuries during
last week's EFL Cup defeat by Manchester United, while defender Cheikhou
Kouyate reported a tight hamstring before the Arsenal match. The final
straw came seven minutes into the London derby, when James Collins also
suffered a hamstring problem and had to be replaced. The West Ham board
remain supportive to Bilic but the former Croatian national coach is
realistic enough to know that the situation must improve. "I am 48 years old
and have been in football for 30 years," he said. "I know how it works."
Bilic is, however, confident he can pull things around. "I don't think about
how many games there is before a new contract, or the chop," he said. "I
feel positive, I want to change it and I think I can." After Liverpool, West
Ham's next four matches are at home to Burnley and Hull, followed by away
fixtures at Swansea and Leicester. West Ham's results in those games will go
a long way to deciding Bilic's future at the club.

Winston Reid: West Ham poor form not due to stadium… this is the real
WINSTON REID has claimed West Ham's poor form cannot be blamed on the club's
move to the London Stadium.
PUBLISHED: 10:35, Mon, Dec 5, 2016 | UPDATED: 10:53, Mon, Dec 5, 2016

West Ham are having a dismal season since moving to the former Olympic
venue, having won just two of their last 10 league games.
The Hammers sit just one point above the relegation zone and suffered a
humiliating 5-1 defeat to London rivals Arsenal on Saturday.
Many have blamed the upheaval of the stadium move for the club's downturn in
form, however, Reid thinks it is more to do with the application of the
players. "I think it feels like home now," Reid said. "It is different to
where I was used to playing at for the last six years, where everything was
tight at Upton Park. "Even when things weren't going for you in games, if
you made a tackle you could feel the crowd get behind you. "The atmosphere
is a bit different at this stadium. Because it is so big it has just taken
time to get used to. "But I certainly do not think it is an excuse as we
played against Chelsea [in the EFL Cup] and everything was fine.
"It was just the way we started the season at home. "We weren't the team we
were last year and the fans didn't have as much to get excited about. "At
the end of the day it's really only us on the pitch who can do something
about it, and get the fans behind you and supporting you." West Ham's next
fixtures will be pivotal for their season with winnable games against
Burnley, Hull and Swansea coming after Sunday's trip to Liverpool (4.30pm).

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand offers services to former club West
Ham as defensive coach
The Hammers have conceded nine goals in their last two games and have
shipped 29 in their first 14 Premier League fixtures
The Mirror

Rio Ferdinand has offered his services as a defensive coach to West Ham
after Saturday's beating at the hands of Arsenal. The Hammers were thumped
5-1 at the London Stadium, following on from their 4-1 defeat at Old
Trafford in the EFL Cup in midweek. Slaven Bilic's side have now shipped 29
goals in their first 14 Premier League fixtures, giving them the second
worst defensive record in the league.
Ferdinand started his career at West Ham and is keen to help his former club
out, report the Daily Mail. Bilic admitted he was 'humiliated' after the
Arsenal humbling, but is hopeful the Irons can recover, despite sitting just
one place and one point above the bottom three. He said: "I feel very brave
as a person and as a manager. I want to change it and I think that we, I,
can change it.
"I am very disappointed, frustrated and humiliated," he added. "I want to
say sorry to the fans and the club and everyone connected with West Ham,
because it was very bad."

Slaven Bilic is facing the perfect storm as Arsenal hammering leaves West
Ham in ruins and fighting for survival
KEN DYER at the London Stadium
Evening Standard

When West Ham played Arsenal at their now substantially dismantled former
beloved Boleyn last April, Arsene Wenger's side cruised into a two-goal lead
and more seemed likely. Then, in the space of two furious minutes at the end
of the first half, the human wrecking ball that is Andy Carroll turned the
London derby on its head as he scored a brace. Carroll completed his
hat-trick in the second half, while Arsenal salvaged a point with a Laurent
Koscielny goal. On Saturday night, Carroll came on late in the game, for his
first action since August, and scored again — but by then Slaven Bilic's
side were 3-0 down and capitulating quietly. When you boil everything down,
when you ignore all the side issues, the game is about players — and West
Ham's this season have largely been not good enough, not determined enough
or injured. If you throw in the continuing dissatisfaction with many of West
Ham's fans with their new home at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, there
is the sense of a perfect storm blowing full in the face of manager Slaven
Bilic. Nine goals conceded in their last two matches — four at Old Trafford
in the quarter final of the EFL Cup on Wednesday followed by the 5-1 Premier
League humiliation by Arsenal on Saturday — has left the personable Croat
exposed and vulnerable. There are reasons — not excuses — for his team's
fallibility. Firstly he was without nine senior players through injury,
defender James Collins being the latest when he limped off after just seven
minutes of the Arsenal match. And secondly, the club's summer signings, with
the exceptions of young players Edimilson Fernandes and Ashley Fletcher,
have just not been good enough. Even the team's star performer, Dimitri
Payet, has been far from his best. He still creates the vast majority of
West Ham's most creative moments but there have been times, increasingly
recently, when he has looked distracted, as if he would rather be somewhere
else but East London. Bilic was admirably frank and honest after the Arsenal
match but pointed the finger subtly at some of his players when, without
naming names, he admitted they have not always showed the same intensity —
in training and in matches — they demonstrated when they finished seventh
last season. "I've said it to the players, I feel responsible for this
because somewhere along the line — and I'm talking from pre-season — we lost
the intensity in training," he said. "I'm not trying to find excuses. It's
my responsibility as a manager and I have to get that back as soon as
possible. We can't lie, we can't say, 'if that volley had gone in' or
whatever. "Yes, we had a lot of injuries but that intensity and dedication
to the cause is missing."
His most pertinent comment, though, came when asked if he thought his
players believed they were good enough to keep West Ham in the Premier
League without working any harder. "We didn't play against Arsenal as though
we knew we had to work harder," he said. "It's about time for us to realise
what position we're in."
Bilic knows only too well exactly the predicament in which he finds himself.
"I'm very honest, optimistic and positive I can turn it around," he said.
"Do I enjoy to be in this position? No. Do I feel the pressure? Yes but it's
not about that. "Did I do enough last season to get some credit? Yes, I
think I did but I am 48, I am 30 years in football and I know how it works."
The club's co-owners, David Sullivan and David Gold, have, up to now,
acknowledged that credit but — as he says — he knows how it works. Bilic has
confirmed West Ham are in a relegation fight and the manner of the Arsenal
defeat will have appreciably cut his credit rating. And it does not get any
easier, with Liverpool, stung by yesterday's 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth, next
in line for Bilic's team. After that, West Ham play Burnley and then Hull at
home, followed by Swansea and Leicester away. Bilic must find a way to
rediscover his team's lost mojo by then, or else West Ham's season, like
their former home, will lie in ruins.

West Ham want answers from Slaven Bilic after he questioned his own players'
Jason Burt, chief football correspondent
The Telegraph
5 DECEMBER 2016 • 8:40AM

West Ham United will demand answers from Slaven Bilic on Monday after the
manager questioned "the intensity and dedication to the cause" of the
players following the "humiliating" 5-1 defeat at home to Arsenal. There
will not be a crisis meeting with Bilic – who admitted he is under
"pressure" and with growing speculation over his future - but the club want
him to explain what he meant about the players and the lack of "intensity"
given he and his staff organize training and the way the squad works. It is
understood that the club's owners, led by co-chairman David Sullivan, also
want to know why there are so many injuries – muscle injuries in particular
– which has ruled out eight players.
James Collins, Aaron Cresswell, Michail Antonio, Diafra Sakho, Gokhan Tore
and Sam Bryam are all suffering from 'soft tissue' injuries with Cheikhou
Kouyate and Reece Oxford also out which has limited Bilic's options. The
manager has a normal Monday morning phone call with the club which is set to
be more probing and demanding following the loss to Arsenal and also the EFL
Cup defeat to Manchester United last week and with West Ham sitting just one
point above the relegation zone.
After the Arsenal loss, Bilic said: "The dedication to the cause is missing.
The majority of the team, individually, have lost that intensity. It is not
'one of the reasons'. It is not 'maybe' that. It is a fact, 100 per cent,
500 per cent." He will be questioned over what he meant by this.
West Ham face Liverpool away next Sunday and then have a run of winnable
games against Burnley, Hull City, both at home, and then away to Swansea
City and Leicester City before the end of December. Sullivan and co-owner
David Gold do not like sacking managers, and have been keen to give Bilic
time to turn around the team's bad start to the season, but they cannot risk
relegation just a year after their controversial move into the London