Saturday, January 25

Daily WHUFC News - 25th January 2014

Howes hails Tottenham test
Academy stopper Sam Howes enjoyed pitting his wits against an experienced Spurs side on Thursday

Academy goalkeeper Sam Howes is currently studying for his GCSEs this summer, but took on altogether different test on Thursday when turning out in a behind-closed-doors-friendly against Tottenham Hotspur.

In a performance which belied his years, the 16-year-old produced superb saves to deny Lewis Holtby and Paulinho, as a youthful West Ham United XI went down 3-0 to a Spurs outfit containing no fewer than eight internationals.

A pupil at Sackville School in East Grinstead, Howes is knuckling down both on and off the pitch, keen to strike the right balance between football and academic pursuits. And for those still to learn of the goalkeeper's ascent through the Academy, Howes was on hand to fill in the gaps. Speaking after the match against Spurs, he told West Ham TV: "I was born in Sussex and I've lived there all my life. I've been at West Ham for six years now, progressed through the ranks and at the moment I'm playing regularly for the Under-18s and getting chances for the Development Squad. "Obviously games like today have given me the chance to play with players like Guy Demel as well and play against what was pretty much Tottenham's first team, so it was a really good experience for me as a young player. "I'm into my last year at school where I'm doing my GCSEs. Getting the balance between football and school is very important to me. It's going well so far, the Club have been very supportive of me and my studies, so it's been very positive."

On Thursday afternoon, Howes' opposite number was Brad Friedel, a 'keeper who, at 42-years-old, is 26 years his senior. The West Ham stopper did not look out of his depth in the encounter, showing the skills which have made him a regular for Steve Potts' U18s and seen him appear for the Club's Development Squad this season. Combining his studies with a burgeoning football career does not seem to faze the level-headed youngster, who has so far taken it all in his stride. "The school are really good with me and I've dropped a couple of GCSEs, so I'm not doing quite as many as some other students," he explained. "In U21 football I've been coming up here and going to places like Cambridge after school to play, so I've just had to adapt to it really quickly. "I haven't had any problems and my advice to anyone who is in my situation in the future is just to keep your head down and keep focused, that's the best way forward."

Howes will be back in action on Saturday when the U18s take on Chelsea at Littleheath and the gloveman will be hoping to continue the form which has already seen him earn high praise from the Club's staff. The stopper believes that working with the Hammers' goalkeeping coaches has been at the heart of his improvements through the season. He continued: "Shot-stopping is one of my strengths, my decision making is getting better and also my kicking. Confidence-wise I'm pretty confident before every single game. "All the coaches here have been very good to me, especially Jerome John. Obviously Lee Harrison has come in now with Martyn Margetson, so they've all helped me out big time. They've passed a lot of experience onto me and I'm taking on board everything I can so it's all been very good."

Ross McCormack: West Ham bid for Leeds United captain rejected

Leeds United chairman Salah Nooruddin says they have rejected a bid from West Ham for captain Ross McCormack. Nooruddin wrote on Twitter: "I'd like to reassure all (Leeds) fans that we're working hard for the club and can confirm we've rejected an offer from West Ham for Ross." Leeds will not confirm the details of the bid, which is reported to have been around £3.5m. McCormack, 27, is the Championship's top scorer with 17 goals this season. West Ham have been in the market for a striker, having only just welcomed back striker Andy Carroll from injury. Their pursuit of Monaco striker Lacina Traore failed, with the 23-year-old Ivorian moving to Everton on loan. Leeds managing director David Haigh added: "As a club we showed our intentions as far as Ross is concerned during the summer." Leeds rejected several bids from Championship rivals Middlesbrough earlier this season before the Scottish international signed a new four-year contract.

And there's more... Hammers poised to land Cameroon midfielder
Filed: Friday, 24th January 2014
By: Staff Writer

It's been a hectic 48 hours for West Ham on the transfer front - and there was yet more movement tonight with Osasuna's Raoul Loe reported to be on his way to Upton Park. According to sources in Spain, the 24-year-old Osasuna defensive midfielder has flown to London via Bilbao airport this evening to undergo a medical ahead of a €2.2million move. Navarra Sport claim the Hammers will pay €1.1million up front for Loe - who made his sole international appearance last year and has made just seven appearances for the Primera Liga side this season - with the remaining 50 per cent to follow this summer. In other transfer news, former Liverpool midfielder Mohamed Sissoko has claimed he rejected a move to West Ham earlier this week. The 29-year-old, who has not played since last season is now set to join Crystal Palace.

Leeds confirm McCormack bid
Filed: Friday, 24th January 2014
By: Staff Writer

Leeds United confirmed tonight they have rejected an offer from West Ham for their striker and captain Ross McCormack. In a statement posted on, the Championship club confirmed that a bid - thought to be worth around £3million - had been knocked back. "The London club made an offer for the player on Friday afternoon which was rejected by the club's board," it read. Leeds' director David Haigh added: "We received an offer from West Ham this afternoon for Ross which we have rejected. As a club we showed our intentions as far as Ross is concerned during the summer by offering him a new contract."

The Yorkshire club are thought to be holding out for around £5million for the 27-year-old Scottish international, although a figure somewhere between that and the Hammers' opening gambit is likely to sway Leeds. West Ham already have Carlton Cole, Modibo Maiga and Andy Carroll on the books with Marco Borriello set to become the club's fourth striker this weekend. That sudden abundance of strikers has led to speculation that Sam Allardyce may be looking at a more attacking approach for the remainder of the 2013/14 Premier League season, which has 16 games left to run.

Italian duo set for medicals
Filed: Friday, 24th January 2014
By: Staff Writer

Roma striker Marco Borriello is understood to have signed for West Ham United, according to fresh reports. The 31-year-old striker is reported to have put pen to paper on a contract that will see the Italian join West Ham for the remainder of the current season. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Borriello agreed to move to London on a temporary basis this morning and is due to fly to England tomorrow for a medical. His agent, Giuseppe Bozzo is understood to have arranged the contract on behalf of his client. Meanwhile fellow Italian, midfielder Antonio Nocerino, has also flown into England today for talks with representatives of West Ham. The 28-year-old Milan star flew to Gatwick via Turin this morning and is expected to agree a similar deal with the Hammers.
West Ham's next game is against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next Wednesday, giving the Club plenty of time in which to register one or both deals.

Leeds United reject West Ham bid for striker Ross McCormack
Last Updated: 24/01/14 10:18pm

Leeds have rejected a bid from West Ham for their captain Ross McCormack. Sky Sports understands the bid was in the region of £3 million plus add-ons. West Ham are expected to come back with a new offer over the weekend. Sky Sports revealed earlier on Friday that the Hammers had made a bid for the Scotland international striker, who is the top scorer in the Championship with 18 goals to his name already. McCormack signed a new long-term deal last summer, when Leeds fended off multiple bids from rivals Middlesbrough for the the 27-year-old. And on Friday night a statement on Leeds' official website read: "Leeds United have rejected an offer from West Ham United for striker Ross McCormack. "The London club made an offer for the player on Friday afternoon which was rejected by the club's board."

Separately, Leeds' Managing Director David Haigh tweeted: "As a club we showed our intentions as far as Ross is concerned during the summer." And chairman Salah Nouruddin said on Twitter: "I'd like to reassure all #lufc fans that we're working hard for the club and can confirm we've rejected an offer from West Ham for Ross." Sam Allardyce's Hammers, who are desperate to bolster their squad as they battle to avoid relegation, saw McCormack as a potential solution to their goalscoring problems. McCormack has just been made captain at Elland Road by manager Brian McDermott.

West Ham line up Italians Marco Borriello and Antonio Nocerino
Last Updated: 24/01/14 7:30am

Sky Sports understands West Ham are in talks to capture Italy internationals Marco Borriello and Antonio Nocerino. 31-year-old striker Borriello is currently with Roma, but is on the fringes of the first team at the Stadio Olimpico. Sky Sports understands that Borriello is due to fly to England in the next 48 hours, subject to him agreeing to a loan deal until the end of the season. A source close to the deal told Sky Sports that they expect Borriello to have a medical on Saturday. Likewise, West Ham are hoping Milan midfielder Nocerino, 28, will agree to move to Upton Park. Nocerino would also be a loan deal until the end of the campaign.

Alan McNee's column: Just who is advising Roger Johnson and what has he done to deserve West Ham?
Jan 24, 2014 08:070 Comments
The Mirror

In 2004 Buck's Fizz's very own Cheryl Baker had a colonic irrigation broadcast on national telly for Channel 4's The Salon. That same year, cameras whirred as she was pushed out of an aeroplane at 10,000 feet for our delectation. Fun to watch, but I wondered at the time exactly which showbiz agent was advising our glorious Eurovision 'skirt-removing' champ to demean herself like this.

Ten years later, and I feel sure the same person has now transferred his dubious skills to the world of football agent-ing. His latest client? One Roger Johnson, the new West Ham centre back. Roger is a pretty decent defender, so who on earth has brokered the deals that took him to clubs that between them were relegated three times in as many now.. to West Ham, teetering on the edge.

Unlike Cheryl - we haven't witnessed any of Roger's colonic expulsions, though Negredo certainly extracted the urine out of him at the Ethiad, the other week. What I'm saying is, the lad deserves better. Come on Rog' ....who's advising you, pal!?

Leeds reject West Ham's opening £4m bid for McCormack
PUBLISHED: 22:30, 24 January 2014 | UPDATED: 22:57, 24 January 2014
Daily Mail

West Ham have had a bid for Leeds striker Ross McCormack rejected by the Sky Bet Championship club. Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has been looking to bring in reinforcements during the January transfer window to aid his side's fight against relegation from the Barclays Premier League. However, an offer for McCormack has been rebuffed, Leeds announced on Friday night. A statement on Leeds' official site read: 'Leeds United have rejected an offer from West Ham United for striker Ross McCormack. 'The London club made an offer for the player on Friday afternoon which was rejected by the club's board.' Scotland international McCormack is the Championship's leading scorer this season with 17 goals, one more than Jordan Rhodes of Blackburn. The 27-year-old was also made Leeds captain just last week. Leeds chairman Salah Nouruddin said on Twitter: "I'd like to reassure all £lufc fans that we're working hard for the club and can confirm we've rejected an offer from West Ham for Ross.' Managing director David Haigh, who in August gave McCormack a new deal amid interest from Middlesbrough, added: 'As a club we showed our intentions as far as Ross is concerned during the summer.' Haigh is currently attempting a takeover at Leeds with his own consortium, having been part of the GFH Capital group which bought Leeds from Ken Bates in December 2012. West Ham are third from bottom in the Premier League with 18 points, the same amount as the two teams below them Sunderland and Cardiff, and one behind Fulham and safety.

Mohamed Sissoko closes in on Crystal Palace switch after West Ham snub
Evening Standard
Published: 24 January 2014 Updated: 19:16, 24 January 2014

Mohamed Sissoko is closing in on a switch to Crystal Palace after rejecting the chance to join London rivals West Ham. The former Liverpool and Juventus midfielder, 29, is currently a free agent and held talks with the Eagles on Friday, with boss Tony Pulis reportedly keen to sign him on a short-term deal. But it is also understood that Sissoko, 29, has already turned down the opportunity to join West Ham earlier in the week having met with Hammers officials on Wednesday. Sam Allardyce's men were in pole position to sign him as cover for injured Mohamed Diame but could not agree personal terms. And that has given Pulis the opportunity to sign a player he was linked with during his spell as Stoke manager. Sissoko's agent Jose Segui denied any agreement had been reached on Friday night but talks are thought to be ongoing. The Mali international has been without a club since leaving Paris Saint-Germain in June. He has been offered to several Premier League clubs having reportedly recovered from injury problems. With Allardyce having also failed with a bid to sign Michael Essien on loan from Chelsea, that makes Sissoko the fourth player to turn down West Ham in this window following John Heitinga and Lacina Traore.

Tony Cottee's column: Either play Ravel or sell him
Date: 24th January 2014 at 6:00 pm
Written by: Tony Cottee | Comments (1)
London 24

Tony Cottee is back with his EXCLUSIVE Forever West Ham column. Read about Tony's thoughts on Ravel Morrison, his career regrets and much, much more.

Capital One Cup

I went to the first-leg, not as a pundit or an ex-pro, but as a fan. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was at the performance – or the lack of it! There was a no passion, which I just cannot accept. I've played in a fair few West Ham teams and you could never accuse us of not trying. I'm not saying it is the right way, but someone like Bonzo or Dicksy or Stewart would've lost their temper, made a reckless challenge and received a yellow card, to show they're fighting for the cause. The fans deserved more. The second-leg was a dead rubber. I was a Sky Sports pundit for the night and it was an eerie experience being in a half empty Upton Park – I still feel that the board should've done more to slash ticket prices and get the numbers through the gates. What's done is done but I can't help but think we've missed an opportunity of a great day out at Wembley. I'm sure we all remember the day against Blackpool and the club and fans deserve a lot more of those moments.

Who is to blame?

I'm sure, like me, you didn't expect West Ham to be in the situation they currently find themselves in. Tensions are high and the fans, quite rightly, want answers; for me, it is a 'full house' with everyone open to criticism. It goes right back to last summer's transfer window policy (a policy that doesn't seem to be improving this window). The board has to take the flak for West Ham's shortcomings in the transfer market, as they're the ones doing the deals. Obviously, as manager, Sam Allardyce is open to a lot of criticism, as it is his players, his formation and his managerial techniques that aren't delivering the desired results.
Ultimately though, the players are the ones who can make a real difference. They continually choose to turn in passionless and below par performances.
Overall, I'm confident we will avoid relegation from the Premier League. There are 11 teams in the relegation dogfight and, on paper, I'm certain we have more than enough talent in the squad to finish at least fourth from bottom.

Ravel Morrison

Find a position for him or sell him, it is that simple. The problem is, Morrison's best position is probably as a 'No.10' but Sam prefers club captain Kevin Nolan.
Ravel does appear to be unsettled and if we aren't going to utilise his qualities properly, then we may as well get the money in and use that towards bringing in other targets.

Transfer Window

It's not looking good and things are starting to get desperate. We all thought we were going to sign Lacina Traore but Everton made an eleventh-hour bid to take him to Goodison Park. Traore's decision is no reflection on West Ham; as everyone knows it is a great club. Everton can just offer the lad more exciting possibilities and, if I take my West Ham hat off, I'd always choose a Champions League push over a relegation battle. There are several areas of the team that need addressing but that needs to be done in the summer. Right now, we are desperate for a goal scoring centre forward and another centre-back. Sadly, I think we will probably end up on transfer deadline day, bringing in two or three players that won't improve our starting XI.


I saw Alou Diarra's comments about moving to West Ham being a mistake for his career. I don't really want to get too focused on Diarra's comments – I'm sure you can have an educated guess at my opinion on the matter! However, it did get me thinking, do I have any regrets? It is easy to look back, after you've retired, and say: "I wish I hadn't done that." With hindsight, I would've loved to have stayed at West Ham my whole career, I probably wouldn't have gone to Malaysia and I definitely wouldn't have signed for Millwall. Each decision I made, though was right for me at the time. I made the decisions in good faith and I considered what was best for me financially and what was best for my family. Regrets? None. Things I would've done differently? Most definitely. Tony Cottee was talking to Forever West Ham's Editor

Borriello: 'Arrivederci Roma!'
By Football Italia staff

Marco Borriello confirmed his imminent move to West Ham by saying goodbye to Roma fans on Twitter. "A salute for all the fans of Roma... These have been fantastic months, crowned by a wonderful record. Thank you all!" It was reported in Italian media today that the 31-year-old had accepted a loan move to the Hammers, pending a medical and personal terms. It's also claimed by Sky Sport Italia that Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino passed the first part of his West Ham medical and will sign the contract tomorrow.


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