Friday, February 14

Daily WHUFC News - 14th February 2014

Hammers get down to work in Dubai
West Ham United's players went through a tough training session in Dubai on

West Ham United got down to work on their warm-weather training camp in
Dubai on Thursday. The Hammers have jetted out to the United Arab Emirate
for a four-day visit ahead of their return to Barclays Premier League action
against Southampton on Saturday 22 February. Sam Allardyce's squad are in
Dubai having won their last three fixtures and will look to use the benefits
of their warm weather training to good effect over the final 12 games of the
season. West Ham have travelled to the same location for the past two
seasons, before going on to clinch promotion from the Championship, and a
top-ten finish in the Premier League last season. This week, West Ham's
players will train twice daily at the state-of-the-art Dubai Sports City
without having to worry about disruptions and distractions caused by, among
other things, the weather and travel problems. After training, the players
and staff happily signed autographs and posed for photographs with
supporters, including members of the Dubai Hammers Supporters' Club. As well
as the psychological positives, the Hammers will benefit physiologically by
training under the bright sunshine, which contains vitamin D - a fat-soluble
vitamin produced by the body after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the
sun. Vitamin D aids the absorption and metabolism of calcium and
phosphorous, which have various functions, especially the maintenance of
healthy bones.

Jarvis salutes Hammers' spirit
Matt Jarvis believes the Club's togetherness has paid dividends in the
Hammers' recent results

Matt Jarvis saluted the spirit of his West Ham United teammates to come
through a testing period with flying colours. The Hammers found themselves
in the Barclays Premier League's bottom three prior to January's daunting
trip to Stamford Bridge, but have been on the road to recovery ever since.
Tuesday's 2-0 win over Norwich City was the Hammers' third in succession and
sees Sam Allardyce's men within touching distance of the top ten. The
27-year-old winger insists the dramatic upturn is just reward for the
squad's work ethic, not least the collective will to continue racking up the
clean sheets. "Tuesday was a fantastic result and hopefully this run can
continue," Jarvis told "It shows the commitment of everyone in
the squad and that everyone's fighting for each other, which has culminated
in the clean sheets and the wins that we've had recently.

"We've shown such commitment in defending our goal and we've been able to
attack and get the vital goals that have won us the games. "We've been
working so hard to push us right up the league and eleventh at the moment is
not too bad at all! "Tuesday really keeps the spirit high in the camp and
gives us a real confidence boost. We've got a fantastic squad and everyone
who plays is doing their utmost to make sure that they stay in the team."

Jarvis also joined the ever-growing queue to praise in-form goalkeeper
Adrian, whose saves paved the way for the Hammers' late show against the
He continued: "He was superb. He made a number of great saves that kept us
right in it and then obviously we were able to get the goals that won us the
game. "He showed patience at the start when he wasn't in the team and when
he got to play he did well. Ever since he's nailed down his spot he's been
outstanding. As you saw against Norwich, he kept us in the game a number of

Adrian's heroics meant the Hammers were able to head off to warm-weather
training in fine fettle, with the focus firmly on bagging a fourth
successive league win upon their return. "With a break coming up you want
to leave that with a good result and not be itching to play the next game
having lost. Hopefully we'll keep the run going when we get back. "It's nice
to get a change from the rain, which has been so bad here, so hopefully it
will be nice to get a bit of warmth and the sun on your back. It's all about
the change of scenery and just staying positive."

Could your band play the Boleyn?
We're on the lookout for bands to perform at forthcoming West Ham United
home matches

Are you a Hammers fan and in a band? Then you could have the opportunity to
land your dream gig as the Club continues to improve the matchday experience
for supporters. We're looking for bands to perform before home matches as
part of our matchday entertainment - so send us a video clip of your band
and tell us your story to to give yourself an
opportunity of landing this rare opportunity.

We have slots to perform at the games against Southampton, Hull City and
Crystal Palace, so get in touch and you could follow in the footsteps of
Moore, Bonds and Di Canio by playing the Boleyn Ground!

Collins delighted with rare goal
West Ham United defender James Collins scored his first league goal in two
years on Tuesday

James Collins was delighted to end his long wait for a Barclays Premier
League goal when the Hammers defeated Norwich City on Tuesday night. Collins
notched twice in last season's 2-2 draw with Manchester United in the FA Cup
with Budweiser third round, but had not netted in his previous 54 Premier
League appearances. The Welshman was playing in Claret and Blue of a
different kind when he last scored a top-flight goal, beating Petr Cech in a
4-2 defeat for Aston Villa against Chelsea back in March 2012. The header
also represented Collins' first Premier League goal for West Ham United in
89 games dating back to his opener at Chelsea on 9 April 2006! So, he was
naturally thrilled to help the Hammers notch up a third straight victory as
they edged away from the relegation zone. He told "I was late up
for the free-kick because we played it short and I think I only got on the
end of it because I was late in the box.
"I heard the goalkeeper [John Ruddy] coming and as soon as I heard the shout
from him I thought 'If I get anything on this it's an open net'. Luckily for
me and the boys it went in. "It's two years since I had scored in the
league, which is not good enough for the amount of balls we put in the box,
and corners, so to get one at a vital stage was pleasing for myself and the

West Ham stuck two hammer blows to pick up the points on Tuesday, with Mo
Diame following up Collins' 84th-minute header with a deflected strike in
added time. To get to that point the home side had to ride their luck with
Gary Hooper, Robert Snodgrass and Alex Tettey all being denied and the No19
had praise for goalkeeper Adrian's Man of the Match display. He continued:
"Adrian was great. I said to the boys in the dressing room that we have to
thank him really. It was probably lazy defending from our point of view
[that Norwich had the chances], that we then got caught a couple of times
when they broke out. "We have got to thank him a lot because we could have
been two down quite easily. He's a goalkeeper and he's paid to make saves -
that's what he did on Tuesday.
"It's massive to keep four clean sheets in a row. That's what we base our
game on - if we keep a clean sheet we can't lose the game and that's what
the Gaffer drills into us. Everyone who is in the back four knows that's the
case - Norwich did have some chances on Tuesday, but the 'keeper was there
to dig us out and he was magnificent."

The three-point haul took the Hammers up to eleventh place, but the No19
says they cannot rest on their laurels yet.. He explained: "The pressure is
never off until you've got the sacred 40 points. We knew that, on Tuesday,
that we'd gone into it with three good results and it would have been quite
easy to think we'd done the job. "But it was a massive game, we realised
that, and to get the three points made it a big night for us."

Sam Allardyce has now taken his squad to Dubai for a warm-weather training
camp and Collins says it will help maintain their level of performance come
their return ahead of the home clash with Southampton on Saturday 22
February. He added: "You don't get the chance to do it [warm-weather
training] normally as a team, but the Gaffer does this all the time with
his teams, and a couple of weeks ago it didn't look like we'd be doing in
such a good mood, but with the wins and the way we're playing we'll be going
out there a lot happier. "It'll be good to get some nice training under our
belts and come back all refreshed. "It was a tough old game second half at
Villa on Saturday, when they put it right on us and we had to defend for
long periods, so there was a little tiredness in the legs for me on Tuesday,
but the crowd got right behind us again and we got the late goals which is
brilliant for the club. "The break between fixtures is helpful, there did
seem to be a few tired legs out there late on Tuesday. It's been tiring on
the brain too, because with the position we're in you're always thinking
about it. "That takes it's toll, and winning three in a row will lift a
weight off a lot of people's shoulders and allow us to go out there and
enjoy our football again. When you're down there you wake up in the morning
and that's all you're thinking about, so to lift that is a massive boost."

Mascot dances to Nolan's tune
Mascot Brandon Stirman replicated Kevin Nolan's goal celebration during the
pre-match handshakes

The sight of Kevin Nolan performing his trademark 'Chicken Dance' goal
celebration has been a familiar sight for Hammers fans of late, but on
Tuesday night the West Ham United skipper watched on as someone else
performed their version of his dance. Mascot for the Barclays Premier League
match against Norwich City, seven-year-old Brandon Stirman, strode out of
the tunnel alongside Nolan and took his place beside his heroes ahead of the
customary pre-match handshakes. As Nolan led the Hammers along the line of
the visiting Canaries, Stirman amused both sets of players by opting not to
shake hands and instead broke into the 'Chicken Dance' all the way along the
line. West Ham fans have seen Nolan's celebration four times in recent weeks
with the midfielder netting braces against Swansea City and Aston Villa, but
nobody inside the Boleyn Ground expected to see it performed by one of the
mascots, not least his Dad. Paul Stirman told "It was all his
idea and he didn't tell me he was going to do it! "As Kevin has been scoring
a few goals recently and obviously doing the dance, Brandon told Kevin in
the tunnel instead of shaking the Norwich players hands that he was going to
do the 'Chicken Dance'. "Kevin laughed at Brandon's idea so he decided to do
it! I was cracking up laughing when I saw it and he told me that he spoke to
Kevin before saying he was going to do it!"

While Club captain Nolan didn't find the net against Norwich, it didn't stop
his team from continuing their fine run with a 2-0 victory. Nolan will hope
to add to his six league goals in the coming weeks and one young fan will be
replicating his goal celebration once again when he scores for his own team.
"Kevin Nolan is his favourite player and he loves his 'Chicken Dance' goal
celebration, Brandon even does it when he scores for his team!"

Keep it clean
Filed: Thursday, 13th February 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham require just one more clean sheet in order to match a Club record
last set back in December 1985.

Sam Allardyce's Class of 2014 have kept the highest number of clean sheets
in the Premier League this season, four of which have come in the last four
games - a Premier League record for the Hammers.

But John Lyall's team were well on their way to achieving the Club's
highest-ever top flight finish (3rd place) when they kept an amazing six
clean sheets in seven matches in the run-up to the New Year with a back four
of Ray Stewart, Steve Walford, Tony Gale and Alvin Martin.

That sequence began with a 1-0 win (courtesy of Frank McAvennie) at Coventry
on November 23, followed by a resounding 4-0 thrashing of West Brom at the
Boleyn seven days later where the goals were scored by Tony Cottee, George
Parris, Alan Devonshire and Neil Orr.

Lyall's side kept their third successive clean sheet when they beat QPR 1-0
at Loftus Road for the first time in over a decade the following weekend,
with McAvennie -having recently returned from international duty in
Australia - on target again. A 2-0 win over Birmingham on December 14
(McAvennie and a Ray Stewart penalty) extended the run to four games.

Four days before Christmas, West Ham achieved their fifth consecutive clean
sheet with a goalless draw at Kenilworth Road against Luton Town - a
sequence finally broken when an 85th-minute Steve Perryman strike gave Spurs
a 1-0 Boxing Day win at Upton Park. But the Hammers' defence was as mean as
ever in their next outing, another 1-0 away win - this time at Leicester.

The feat was also achieved in the 1923/24 season when West Ham kept five
consecutive clean sheets between September and October.

This season, West Ham have kept out Chelsea, Swansea City, Aston Villa and
Norwich City in consecutive matches. Next to test that remarkable defensive
record are Southampton, who face West Ham at the Boleyn Ground on February

However the Hammers still have some considerable way to go if they are to
match Chelsea's record of 25 clean sheets in a season, a feat achieved by
the Blues back in 2004/05. The individual record for clean sheets in a
single season is held by Petr Cech, who was responsible for 21 of Chelsea's
25 in 2004/05 and former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwni Van der Sar, who
also kept 21 in the 2008/09 season.

Clean Sheets Table: 2013/14 Season

1. West Ham United (13)
2. Arsenal (12)
3. Tottenham, Chelsea (11)
5. Southampton (10)
6. Everton, Manchester City, Norwich City (9)
9. Manchester United (8)
10. Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Hull City, Liverpool, Newcastle Utd,
Sunderland, Swansea City

Goals Conceded Table: 2013/14 Season

1. Chelsea (21)
2. Arsenal, Everton (26)
4. Manchester City (27)
5. Southampton (29)
6. Hull City, Manchester Utd (31)
8. Liverpool, Tottenham (32)
10. West Ham Utd (33)

Club Record Consecutive Clean Sheets

Six in total (from 1980/81):

August 23: Preston (a) 0-0
August 26: Burnley (a) 2-0 (League Cup 2nd Round, 1st Leg)
August 30: Notts County (h) 4-0
September 2: Burnley (h) 4-0 (League Cup 2nd Round, 2nd Leg)
September 6: Chelsea (a) 1-0
September 13: Shrewsbury (h) 3-0

Blair ditched
Filed: Thursday, 13th February 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United youngster Blair Turgott has been recalled from his loan
spell at Rotherham. The 19-year-old winger joined the Millers on January 17
on a month's loan, but has returned to London having failed to make an
appearance for the League One promotion candidates since making his debut in
a 3-0 win at Shrewsbury just 24 hours after arriving at the New York
Stadium. Turgott, a current England Under 19 international had already
enjoyed a profitable spell with fellow League One side Colchester United
earlier in the season but failed to make an impression at Rotherham. A
statement on the club's website this morning confirmed that the youngster
was being let go early. "Turgott, who appeared just once for the Millers as
a second-half substitute in the victory over Shrewsbury Town will return to
the Hammers with immediate effect," it read. "We would like to thank Blair
for his efforts at New York Stadium and wish him well for the rest of the

QPR to sign Ravel Morrison on loan from West Ham, say Sky sources
Last Updated: 13/02/14 8:35pm

Queens Park Rangers are to sign Ravel Morrison on loan from West Ham next
Friday, according to Sky sources. West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has become
frustrated with Morrison, who he feels could have played through his recent
groin injury and a move to QPR is now set to happen on Friday, February 21.
QPR have delayed the 93-day loan for the midfielder so that he would be
eligible to play in the Championship play-off final if they get there. The
21-year-old was a key performer for Allardyce earlier in the season, and his
form led to England Under-21 recognition, but injuries and a slump in form
have seen his first-team chances restricted. The former Manchester United
player has only played three games since the start of the year for West Ham
and has not started a game in the Premier League since December. QPR manager
Harry Redknapp revealed his interest in signing Morrison following his
side's loss to Derby on Monday night. Redknapp told Sky Sports News: "If he
does want to come and they want to loan him out, we'd be interested, for
sure. He's a talent, (and) can open doors and make the difference."

West Ham's Mohamed Diame says confidence is high after winning run
Last Updated: 13/02/14 12:50pm

West Ham's Mohamed Diame believes the side can keep their confidence high if
they continue playing well. The Hammers are currently on a run of three
consecutive wins, without conceding a goal, and Diame feels the side can
continue their rise up the table with positive performances. The 26-year-old
had a significant influence in Tuesday's 2-0 victory over Norwich City,
after coming on just after the hour as substitute, setting up James Collins'
goal and then converting one for himself in the final minute of the game.
Speaking to the club's official website, the Senegalese international said:
"It's great for our confidence. If you want to win games you have to make
sure you are strong in defence and not concede goals. "If you don't concede
you can't lose, so the team is doing well. We need to keep going and stay
focused on what we're doing to make sure this break before our next game
doesn't stop the momentum."
Diame also praised goalkeeper Adrian, who has kept four clean sheets in a
row, saying: "I think he was unbelievable on Tuesday, Adrian is a very good
goalkeeper and good with his feet as well. "He made a lot of saves on
Tuesday, and he's done that since he started to play for West Ham. I hope he
continues like that."

Winston Reid must fight for a recall at West Ham
Last Updated: 13/02/14 9:57am

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has warned Winston Reid that he will
have to prove that he is deserving of a recall into a winning team. A key
figure for the Hammers at the start of the season, Reid is back in
contention after undergoing ankle surgery. He has made two appearances off
the bench since returning to fitness, but remained stuck on the sidelines in
midweek as West Ham claimed a crucial 2-0 victory over Norwich City.
Allardyce's men have now taken maximum points from their last three outings
to pull four points clear of the relegation zone. Having found a system that
works, sticking with it is now the intention at Upton Park. That means
commanding centre-half Reid, who is currently away on warm-weather training
with the rest of the Hammers squad, will have to be patient as he attempts
to force his way back into the starting XI. Allardyce said in The Sun: "I've
got so many lovely problems. Winston Reid is chomping at the bit on the
bench but there's nothing you can do when the team is winning. "Take Joe
Cole, an excellent player who did not even make the squad for the Norwich
game. It's great for me, disappointing for them, but you can't really argue
with a team that's winning can you? And my two centre-halves are playing
ever so well."

By Sean Whetstone 13 Feb 2014 at 09:00
West Ham Till I Die

In March 2013 West Ham Joint Chairman David Gold was quoted as saying about
the Olympic Stadium bidding "We will only go there if it is fit for use. I
won't go there if I have to look over a running track"

A new image has emerged showing the majority of the running track at the
transformed Olympic Stadium will remain between the crowd and the football
pitch even with retractable seating fully deployed.The image below was
uncovered by Ali Worth after she reviewed thousands of pages publicly
available planning permission documents.

Although the retractable seating will bring fans closer to the action it
clearly shows much of the running track (shown as white lines) remains
between the fans and the pitch on the east and west sides of the stadium. It
appears many fans on both sides will in fact be looking over a running track
after all although the visible parts of the running track shown as white
lines on the diagram below will be hidden by a green artificial grass carpet
on the 25 days it is in football mode. As we know the running track is 9
metres wide so we know the gap between the front row and the the pitch will
be in excess of 9 metres at the half way line.

Although I have been openly pro Olympic Stadium from day one I thought I
would share this information in the spirit of transparency to all fans
regardless of your views on the impending move to the Olympic Stadium. It
could probably be equally argued that you could squeeze in a running track
between the current East stand and the pitch at the Boleyn ground. Whether
this actual means anything or is just a technicality is up to you to decide.
It does highlight we will not be on top of the pitch which has been claimed
by some over eager marketing people in the run up to the decision to move.

This is what the final plannings documents published March 2013 say about
the running track and the pitch.

The Stadium field of play is proposed to be retained in its athletics
capability with the ability to host the IAAF Category 1 Athletics Events and
the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships..The layout of the running track
will be similar, but has been designed to enable a multi-purpose use of the
Stadium.The field of play has been reduced in length by approximately 2.5m,
(192.5m long) but remains at the same width (138.5m wide). There is no
change to the track size (400m track is 180m long by 9m wide). The grassed
infield area is proposed to be 120m long by 72.3m wide. The size of the
athletics field of play allows the possibility to overlay the track and jump
pits with a
temporary grass and artificial turf surfacing for other sports. The field of
play layout is designed with the flexibility (using overlay where required)
to host a number of different sports including football, rugby, American
football, baseball and cricket, as well as the ability to hold concerts and
other community and cultural events. Only minor and
temporary changes to the field of play would be required for these events.

The seating bowl design has been amended to incorporate a retractable and
re-locatable seating solution to the lower tier which gives better proximity
to the Field of Play for pitch sports. This will be the first retractable
seating tiers in the UK, and it will allow for a fast transformation between
athletics and pitch sports. It will also provide for excellent viewing
during pitch sports. When in pitch sport mode the lower seating tiers will
be moved away from the existing podium and concourse area that will contain
the spectator facilities and bridges will be installed to connect the
seating tiers to the concourse.

A new permanent mid-tier is proposed on the West Stand in order for
spectators to gain a view over the pitch-sport position of the western lower
tier, as the sightlines from the existing midtier are obscured by it.
Additional demountable seating is proposed behind the lower tier on the
eastern side of the Stadium.In reconfiguring the seating arrangement in the
lower tiers and in the new mid tier on the West Stand, existing seats will
be reused and repositioned, and some new seats will be procured to the same

West Ham starlet Ravel Morrison set for loan move across London to join
Harry Redknapp at QPR
Feb 13, 2014 17:03 By Alan Wilson
The Mirror

Ravel Morrison is set to join QPR on loan from West Ham. The mercurial
England Under-21 star has been plagued by injuries in recent weeks that have
limited his chances with the Premier League side. The talented but troubled
midfielder started the season in great form, but his performances have
suffered in recent months But now Morrison is set to move to drop down
division in a bid to regain his fitness. As Mirror Sport revealed last week,
QPR, Derby and Leicester were all interested on taking the Morrison on a
short-term deal. And the 21-year-old is ready complete an emergency loan
move to QPR in a bid to get some much needed game time under his belt.

West Ham's Ravel Morrison subject of loan interest from QPR, Derby AND
Feb 10, 2014 12:22 By Darren Lewis
The Mirror

Ravel Morrison is at the centre of a three-way tug of war between Leicester,
QPR and Derby who all want him on loan within the next 24 hours. The England
Under-21 midfielder is desperate to keep his World Cup hopes alive by
gaining some regular first-team action. Rangers boss Harry Redknapp made the
first move to land him but both Championship leaders Leicester and
fourth-placed Derby remain hot on their heels. A decision on the riding
star, who has been battling a groin problem, is set to be made on Tuesday as
Rangers play on Monday night, ironically against Derby. Morrison has not
played since featuring in West Ham's 3-1 defeat at old club Manchester
United. Talks over a new contract broke down early last month and saw Fulham
make a bid for him. The offer fell way below West Ham's valuation, however,
and he has remained at Upton Park. Even then, he has been kept out of the
side by a return to form for former Newcastle midfielder Kevin Nolan, who
has scored in the club's last two wins. Now Morrison is set to go out on
loan to a 'top Championship club' within the next 48 hours.


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