Monday, February 10

Daily WHUFC News - 10th February 2014

By Iain Dale 9 Feb 2014 at 17:56
West Ham Till I Die

I understand that Ravel Morrison is very likely to join a championship club
on loan for the rest of the season in the coming week. The promising
midfielder, who turned twenty-one this week, was missing from the squad this
weekend prompting speculation as to his whereabouts.

The loan window for the Football League clubs re-opened on 8th February. You
can be sure Harry Redknapp and QPR will be at the front of the queue to take
the youngster's services on loan along with a number of other top
championship clubs chasing Premier League promotion.

I wonder whether that will be the last we see of Ravel Morrison in a West
ham shirt or whether he will return in the summer. My instinct is that we
may have seen the last of him, which is a great pity. No one can say the
club haven't made every effort to tame him, but sometimes you just have to
cut your losses – or probable profits in this case.

Match-winner Kevin Nolan pleased to repay West Ham after 'stupid' red cards
Evening Standard
Published: 09 February 2014 Updated: 17:17, 09 February 2014

Kevin Nolan feels he has finally started to make amends to West Ham
following his recent red-card shame. After Nolan was sent off for the second
time in four matches for recklessly lashing out at Fulham's Fernando
Amorebieta in a 2-1 defeat on New Year's Day, furious boss Sam Allardyce
threatened to strip the 30-year-old of the captaincy. As well as serving a
four-match ban, in addition to the three that followed his dismissal for a
lunge at Jordan Henderson in a 4-1 humbling at Anfield on December 7, it is
understood Allardyce fined the midfielder a fortnight's wages, understood to
be £100,000. Whatever words were exchanged between Nolan and Allardyce after
the game at Craven Cottage, the latter must have been suitably placated as
he has continued as skipper, reverting from hot head to captain fantastic
again. After his match-winning brace defeated Swansea last weekend, Nolan
repeated the feat in a 2-0 win at Aston Villa on Saturday, bagging his
double in the first three minutes of the second half, to banish lingering
memories of his two moments of madness. "I've worked with the gaffer since I
was 17 years old and I can't thank him enough for everything he's done for
me, especially over the last month when it's been really tough," Nolan told
the club's official website. "I really knew when that happened on New Year's
Day that the lads and the gaffer had my back, and I was overwhelmed by it.
"The last couple of weeks, with the goals, that's my little way of trying to
give a bit back for the support they've given me. "If I can keep chipping
away and get a few more goals then hopefully that'll be a little way of
paying back the stupidity that I suffered over the last month."

Back-to-back wins have enabled the Hammers to climb out of the bottom three
of the Barclays Premier League ahead of another crunch relegation clash at
home to Norwich on Tuesday. Appreciating the importance of the latest
success as West Ham fight for top-flight survival, Nolan added: "The most
important goals for me are the ones that win you games. "I'm just delighted
I've been able to get a couple which have got us on the road to three points
with another fantastic clean sheet. "I have had chances over the season, but
it just hasn't been falling right for me but now I feel confident and I'm
really looking forward to games. "The camaraderie that's been shown over the
season to be able to stay in there has been brilliant. On Saturday again
you've seen the togetherness and everything we're about. "It's not over yet,
we know it's going to be a big battle to the end of the season, but it's one
we're all looking forward to."

There was a minor scare when Nolan limped off with a groin problem in the
68th minute, but he has insisted he will be "fine" to tackle the Canaries.
With Nolan back in form, his presence is vital as West Ham attempt to
further prove they can live without striker Andy Carroll. The England
forward will serve the second of a three-match ban after the Hammers twice
failed to overturn the red card he received in the game with Swansea. As
Allardyce noted, the brace from Nolan "showed we don't have to have an Andy
Carroll to score goals".

With a platform beneath them courtesy of the wins, Allardyce knows now is
the time to continue building. "It's back-to-back wins for us, which at this
stage of the season has taken a lot of pressure off us," said Allardyce. "We
got another clean sheet - 12 now for the season - and things are looking a
lot better with 10 points from the last five games. "Now we have to try and
improve, to make sure we finish with more points than games played. "We've
played 25 games with 25 points, so let's try and better that total on
Tuesday when we play Norwich."

West Ham fighting relegation AND injustice claims Kevin Nolan after his
goals beat Aston Villa
Feb 09, 2014 22:30 By James Nursey
The Mirror

Kevin Nolan reckons West Ham's burning sense of "injustice" at Andy
Carroll's ban is galvanising their survival bid. Skipper Nolan, 31, was
again the hero with two more goals as the Londoners beat Aston Villa 2-0 to
make it back-to-back victories. The midfielder also scored twice in the
Hammers' win over Swansea last week, a match marred by Carroll's straight
red by referee Howard Webb for his infamous tangle with Chico Flores. West
Ham's legal bid to get the FA to take the case to arbitration failed as well
as their appeal, and Carroll will also miss Tuesday's home game with Norwich
and the visit of Southampton on February 22. But fired-up Nolan delivered in
the striker's absence at Villa Park with a quick-fire brace after the break.
Nolan, who expects to be fit to face the Canaries despite being subbed 20
minutes from time with a groin twinge, said: "We thought it was an injustice
and we were disappointed with the outcome. We have nothing against the FA.
They've just got to get it right. "When people get things wrong, we expect
them to hold up their hands and say, 'Yeah, I got it wrong' and move on.
Like we all have to do. "They had a chance to redeem ­themselves and they
haven't. Andy's ­frustrated because he feels it's an injustice and I felt
really sorry for him. But it was a case of sticking together. It's something
we have been doing all season long. We knew, as a group, that we were going
to get a bit of flak. "There's a togetherness in this team which is making
it much easier to keep clean sheets and win games. We have got to forget
about Andy for the next couple of weeks now. He has to work hard and get
himself ready because, if we keep winning games, it's going to be hard for
him to get back into the team."

Nolan struck after the restart with two clinical finishes in three minutes
for manager Sam Allardyce. But Villa rallied, hitting the woodwork twice,
and the visitors had to be resolute at the back to secure victory with their
latest ­shut-out. Nolan, who has six goals this term, added: "To have 12
clean sheets just shows that it's been goals we have been missing this
season. Now I've started to chip in with a couple. It's easy saying, 'Oh, he
gets 10 or 12 a season'. My goals that matter to me are the ones that ensure
we have got a point or three from matches. "I'm just crossing fingers we
don't get any more injuries or suspensions because I'm ­confident we can
start pushing on and getting back to where we feel we belong, in and about
that top 10."

Villa were poor as Paul Lambert's side badly missed injured centre-back and
skipper Ron Vlaar, who may return at Cardiff on Tuesday. But they were
boosted by the lively display of winger Marc Albrighton who came off the
bench to provide some quality crosses and also hit the post. Ex-England
Under-21 ace Albrighton, 24, is set to be out of contract and Lambert said:
"He was excellent. He was the bonus. He put some terrific balls into the box
and was unlucky not to score. "When he is like that, and in that type of
form, then he is certainly a good player. I thought he gave us a lift, he
took the game by the scruff of the neck."


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