Ashton happy with Hammers form
Former West Ham United striker Dean Ashton has been impressed with his old
club's recent performances
Dean Ashton is backing West Ham United to maintain their recent run of form
and achieve Barclays Premier League safety. The former Hammers and England
striker was back at the Boleyn Ground to watch West Ham overcome another of
his former clubs, Norwich City, in midweek. During his visit, Ashton spoke
to West Ham TV about a wide range of subjects, including the relegation
battle, Andy Carroll's England chances and his own media career.
Dean, what have you made of West Ham's recent run of 13 points from 18 that
has lifted them away from the bottom three?
DA: "West Ham are on a very good run of form. Kevin Nolan has come back
into the goals with a couple of braces and it always helps when you have a
player like him in the team who can come into the team and get goals. A lot
has to be said about the defensive unit as well because they have been
absolutely outstanding. Adrian has come in and been outstanding, as have
James Collins and James Tomkins."
West Ham have been without Andy Carroll in their wins over Aston Villa and
Norwich, which shows they can win with or without him. That's encouraging?
DA: "After what happened with the red card and everything that went with it,
I think people probably thought that West Ham would have gone to Villa and
got beaten, but they went there and put in a great performance. Kevin Nolan
can score goals with or without Andy Carroll. It's easier when Andy is
playing, because he can feed off the knockdowns, but he showed he is a
quality finisher at this level with or without Andy."
Sam Allardyce said during our early-season injury crisis that he should only
be judged when he had his full squad available. Has the recent run proved
DA: "I have been saying in interviews that you could not really judge Sam
until he had his best players back. Any team, like Manchester United this
season, when they have been without Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, they
are not the same side. West Ham had four or five of their best players not
playing for quite a while. Anyone would miss that. It's been proven that now
they are back and results are starting to pick up and I could see why Sam
was complaining about the injury side of it. It was a fact that his best
players were injured."
Can West Ham stay away from the bottom three now?
DA: "I can see maybe two or three teams getting out of the relegation
battle, but I can see there being a good seven or eight teams being in it
right until the end. Obviously, for someone who isn't playing or a fan, it's
brilliant to watch. Obviously for the fans of those teams, it will be
difficult for them, and I think the next month or so will be really
important to see if any of those teams can get away from the pack and ease
When he returns from suspension, can Andy Carroll force his way into
England's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad?
DA: "He's different to everyone else and that's what he's got in his favour.
He's unplayable at times. He's 6'5" but he's got a great leap as well and
he's competitive. I'd hate to play against him if I was a centre-half and I
know centre-halves hate playing against him. I'm gutted for him because,
after coming back from a long injury, all you want to do is play and now
he's out for three games but he's not injured. I'm sure he'll be champing at
the bit when he does get back. I'm pretty sure, if he can put a run of games
together, he can get in the England squad.
You may have retired in 2009, but you still get a great reception from West
Ham fans, don't you?
DA: "They have always ben superb with me. It's a real shame I didn't get to
show more of my talents, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Since I
have finished, I always get their support and it's unbelievable. It's the
same with the Norwich fans and I just want to see both teams stay up,
Finally, how is your media career going? You appear to enjoy your role as a
commentator and summariser on TV and radio?
DA: "I mainly work in the media side of things now, commentating. I've tried
a bit of coaching but I'm not quite ready for that. I enjoy the commentating
and want to be as close to the action as I can be, without the same
pressures as playing. You're always looking for that edge and to give an
insight to people watching and listening into something they wouldn't know.
Being a player, I have the insight from inside the lines, which the likes of
Gary Neville are doing. You've got to be as honest as you can be, because
that's the nature of the job."
U18s thrash Royals
West Ham United scored a comfortable 4-0 Barclays U18 Premier League win
over Reading at Little Heath
West Ham United continued their excellent Barclays U18 Premier League South
form by overrunning Reading 4-0 at Little Heath on Saturday. Hammers
midfielder Moses Makasi popped up in the right place at the right time to
give the Hammers a one-goal lead at half-time, before second-half goals from
captain Kieran Bywater, striker Jaanai Gordon (pictured) and Amos Nasha
secured the points. U18 boss Steve Potts was without defenders Kyle Knoyle
and Lewis Page, along with midfielder Josh Cullen, who all featured in the
Hammers' Development Squad victory over Southampton U21s on Friday night.
Reece Burke covered in Page's absence at left-back, with former Peterborough
United striker Gordon returning from injury to be named on the substitutes'
bench. It was Reading who forced the ball into the back of the net first
early on, but visiting striker Harry Cardwell saw his headed goal ruled out
for a foul on West Ham goalkeeper Sam Howes. West Ham quickly responded to
the errors that almost saw them go behind and were soon ahead. Makasi was
allowed to wander into the Reading penalty area to finish after good team
play from Bywater, Djair Parfitt-Williams and Jordan Brown. After going
behind, Reading upped their performance and had several opportunities to
draw level, but neither Jake Sheppard, Nana Owusu nor Bogdan Vastsuk could
manage to finish past Howes.
The Hammers also had chances to double their lead, most noticeably when
Nathan Mavila had the ball at his feet in the penalty area late in the first
half, but he sliced it wide after rushing to take his shot. Into the second
half and it took the host's just ten minutes to double their advantage, when
Brown broke forward with pace, before sliding the ball into the path of
Bywater to finish for his 16th league goal of the season. Straight after
going 2-0 ahead, Potts decided to give Gordon a run out after a recent
injury and, just six minutes later, the powerful forward got on the end of
Mavila's right-wing cross to head in a third West Ham goal. West Ham
dominated the closing stages and, with just five minutes left on the clock,
Nasha scored a similar goal to Makasi's opener by strolling into the box and
finishing to rubberstamp the victory for West Ham. The victory keeps West
Ham in third place in the table, but they are now level on points with both
leaders Fulham, whose match on Saturday against West Bromwich Albion was
postponed, and second-place Tottenham Hotspur, who beat Leicester City 3-0.
U18s: Howes, Pike (Amoo), Harney, Onariase (Pask), Burke, Makasi, Nasha,
Mavila, Brown, Bywater, Parfitt-Williams (Gordon)
Subs not used: Guzman, Bailey
Potts delighted with 'deserved' win
Steve Potts felt the Development Squad fully deserved their win against
Southampton on Friday night
Steve Potts hailed Danny Whitehead's wonder goal after the Development Squad
saw off torrid conditions to beat Southampton at Rush Green on Friday night.
The midfielder struck with 52 minutes on the clock, sending a long-range
thunderbolt flying into the top corner of the net, to earn his side their
first win of 2014. Whitehead's strike lit up a contest which was badly
affected by swirling winds and driving rain and his super strike left Potts
raving about his second goal of the season. He told West Ham TV: "It was a
very good goal. The set-up was good, the ball came across to Danny, he got
the ball out of his feet and he struck the ball really well into the corner.
"I was watching him in the warm-up and he was hitting the ball really well,
he's got a good strike on him and luckily enough he connected very well for
the goal. "I think we deserved to win. The ball didn't fall kindly enough
for us in the box, had it have done then I think we might have got another
goal or two but overall I was very happy with them."
The Hammers played with the wind behind them in the first half and were
lucky not to go behind when Jake Sinclair scuffed a shot wide from just
eight yards out. That effort was a rare threat from Saints who couldn't cope
with the Hammers after the break, and Potts was left wondering how his side
hadn't won by a greater margin. "We mixed the game up fairly well second
half. We played it short when we had to and we also looked a threat behind
which was important because we said at half-time that any balls down the
sides were going to hold up more for us in the second half. "We created good
opportunities but it didn't quite fall for us. There were one or two
scrambles where I don't know how it didn't end up in the back of the net but
luckily we kept a clean sheet and one was enough."
Former Hammers defender Potts was standing in for Nick Haycock whilst the
coach is away with the first team and he was left impressed with how some of
his Under-18 contingent had handled the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.
Kyle Knoyle, Lewis Page, Josh Cullen and Vit Nemrava all featured against
the Saints and Potts believed they all showed they could handle the step-up.
"I think they've coped very well. It's not easy for a young player to
step-up, they can get a little bit nervous but I thought they coped with it
very well. "That's what it's all about, can they move to the next level.
Josh Cullen came in tonight and I thought he was excellent. "I'd like to
mention Vit as well, who was in goal for the second half, because that
wasn't easy to come on at half-time. Against the wind you think 'Ah we could
be penned in' and that he might have to save a lot of shots but I think he
coped very well with what he had to deal with and his kicking was
'It's amazing how quickly it changes'
The experienced Matt Taylor has enjoyed West Ham United's recent upturn in
Matt Taylor has been around football long enough not to take a three-match
winning streak for granted - but the midfielder is certainly enjoying West
Ham United's recent renaissance. The 32-year-old has played an influential
role in West Ham's run of 13 points from the last six matches, a sequence
that has lifted the Club away from the relegation zone and into mid-table.
However, with just a handful of points separating the bottom ten teams,
Taylor knows West Ham cannot afford to lose focus ahead of their final 12
league fixtures. "It's amazing how quickly football changes and in the space
of six weeks we've managed to turn our fortunes around in our favour," said
the No14. "We're sitting in tenth as I speak, but it's still really tight.
"Tuesday was a really gritty performance, Adrian made some great saves when
he had to and we took our chances when we had to. It was a wonderful home
Taylor has played his part as West Ham secured vital victories at Cardiff
City and Aston Villa and at home to Swansea City and Norwich City, as well
as an impressive draw at Chelsea. All five matches saw the Hammers take a
different approach to gaining an ultimately positive result, culminating in
a hard-fought success against the Canaries on Tuesday. "I think what we did
on Tuesday was stay in the game at vital times. Adrian made some really
vital saves at the right times, we had some good chances ourselves and Mo
forced Ruddy into a wonderful save, then Ginge popped up with a great header
from a short free-kick which we'd worked on. "It's all about trying to win
football games in different ways and we've done that again on Tuesday night.
It probably wasn't the most pretty of performances, but it was a fantastic
win for the Club."
Taylor and his midfield colleagues know they need to keep playing well, with
fit-again Mo Diame, new boy Antonio Nocerino and Jack Collison all pushing
for starts in the engine room. Diame was used as a substitute left winger
against Norwich and responded superbly, setting up James Collins'
84th-minute opener before scoring himself deep into added time. "Mo was
brilliant," said Taylor. "It also highlights the depth we have in the squad
now everybody is fit and we're playing ever so well. We can't really
complain. There are obviously lots of players champing at the bit to come in
because everyone wants to play, but that can only bode well for the Club and
for future results. "We've got 12 games left now until the end of the season
and we've got to pick up some vital points to finish as high up the league
as possible. "We've picked up some momentum but we shouldn't get carried
away. We've had four good results on the trot and that's definitely the
first time we've strung three Premier League wins together, so it's
fantastic for everybody concerned. We've now got another huge game to look
forward to against Southampton."
Before the visit of Southampton on Saturday 22 February, the squad will
recharge their batteries at a warm-weather training camp in Dubai. Having
enjoyed positive effects from similar trips in each of the last two seasons,
Taylor believes the players will come back from the Middle East physically
refreshed and ready to take on the in-form Saints. "It's nice to get the sun
on your back when you're training so it'll be a good session for us out
there. It'll be nice to get the t-shirt and shorts on with the boots, and no
doubt we'll be doing some work on the beach as well. "It's something that
the manager thinks is vitally important. He knows his statistics and if he
knows it works and it will work, he will continue doing it."
Hammers youngster nets for England
Academy player Jahmal Hector-Ingram helped England U16 see off Belgium on
West Ham United Academy player Jahmal Hector-Ingram notched his second goal
in as many games for England U16 as they saw off Belgium in the final game
of the UEFA Development Tournament at St George's Park. After bouncing back
from defeat to Spain by beating Denmark, the Young Lions ended their
campaign with a hard fought 3-2 victory over Belgium. Hector-Ingram made it
2-0 shortly before half time, before being withdrawn at the break and
watching on as the visitors halved the deficit through Ismail Azzaoui.
Kaylen Hinds, who opened the scoring for England, then restored the two-goal
buffer, before Belgium's Christophe Janssens ensured a nervy finale. England
held on to ensure they would end the tournament in encouraging fashion.
Goalkeeper coach Martyn Margetson is proud of his impressive group of
I must say, the performances of Adrian in recent matches have been a source
of great pride for me. It is all about the team, but goalkeepers do pride
themselves on keeping clean sheets, as do the outfield players. To be fair,
he has been there week-in, week-out, when we've needed him to make important
saves, he has made them. As a goalkeeper, that's what you're judged on.
Obviously, you might not be doing a lot for most of the game, so when you're
called upon, you need to be switched on and ready and able to make saves.
Adrian's decisions tactically have pleased me - how he has defended the goal
and he's taken on board things that we've been speaking about and working
on. He's certainly a star performer at the moment and he's taken his chance
A lot of the foreign goalkeepers have a different mentaility - they either
catch or their objective is to get the ball as far away from the goal as
they can. He does that very well. He works hard, when he doesn't catch, so
that the ball goes into 'safe' areas, as we call them. That's part and
parcel of his game and he does it super.
I went out to watch Adrian three times in Spain last season and the manager
came with me on the last occasion. A lot of people wouldn't realise that
there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to get a player like Adrian to
the Football Club. We put the groundwork in and we managed to bring him here
for nothing, which is a bonus from the Club's point of view. We knew he was
an outstanding talent and an outstanding young 'keeper and I think he's
proving that now of late. He's mentally really strong, beyond his years, and
he will get better and better. It's important as a goalkeeper and massively
helps you if the fans are behind you. It's a difficult position because the
crowd can give you stick, but he has policed that situation brilliantly. The
fans have responded to him magnificently, which helps him massively. With
the backing of the supporters and his team-mates, everyone can see he has
grown into the position game by game We've still got lots more to come from
I can't speak any higher of Jussi Jaaskelainen and his attitude - that's why
he is still in the game at the age of 39, nearly 40. Obviously he is
disappointed that he isn't playing, but to be fair to him, he's been
absolutely first-class. He has supported Adrian every step of the way and
tried to mentor him, also. My heart goes out to Jussi for not playing, but
his attitude and his application have been fantastic, as has his support of
Adrian. He deserves a lot of credit. Finally, Stephen Henderson has had a
difficult time with a serious injury - a dislocated shoulder - and he has
done well to come back a little bit ahead of schedule, which we're very
pleased about. As a goalkeeper coach, I'm thrilled with the goalkeepers we
have at senior level at this Football Club. We have Adrian and Jussi and, in
my opinion, Hendo is a top-class young goalkeeper too. He has a big future
ahead of him, then we have young Raphael Spiegel who people know about and
his potential is frightening.
From my point of view, I'm very excited!
Redknapp: Morrison's a gamble
Filed: Friday, 14th February 2014
By: Staff Writer
Harry Redknapp has admitted that taking Ravel Morrison to QPR on loan could
backfire. The former West Ham manager is set to sign the 20-year-old on loan
for the remainder of the season next week - meaning that were Rangers to
make the play-offs, Morrrison would be eligible to feature. However Redknapp
told the press this morning that the move represents a huge gamble. "He's
got fantastic ability, there's no doubt about that," he said. "If we get the
best out of him it could make a big difference. "He's got ability but he's
got to do it. People say how good he can be, but he's got to come here and
show just what he can do. I just hope he's not one of those kids you look
back on and say: 'He could have been a great player'. "I'm not saying it's
not a gamble. He is a gamble. If he didn't have a problem somewhere he
wouldn't be coming to QPR, would he? He'd be at Man United. But sometimes in
life you have to take a gamble. If you don't buy a ticket you're never going
to win the lottery. "All the reports are that he's a decent lad and he's
certainly a talented lad. I spoke to Lee Clark and he loved him – he
couldn't speak highly enough of him. Maybe at this stage we need a maverick
– someone who does their own thing at times."
Chief executive Richard Scudamore confirms plans for a Premier League 'B'
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey | Last Updated: 14/02/14 10:50am
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has confirmed that there
are plans for a 'B' league to come into existence. The new league would
replace the current Under-21 league format, and would be for Under-23
players with four over age players allowed. The league would involve the
same teams that are in the Under-21 league - which is those who are classed
as category one in the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP). That would mean
that current Premier League sides Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton,
Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle, Norwich,
Southampton, Stoke, Sunderland, Tottenham, West Brom and West Ham would be
involved along with Football League clubs Bolton, Blackburn, Leicester,
Middlesbrough, Reading and Wolves. Other clubs such as Crystal Palace, who
aim to achieve category one status soon, would also be allowed to compete in
the competition - with the plan to broadcast the games played from the main
club stadiums. Scudamore outlined his hopes for what he believes will be a
much-needed component to youth development in English football. "We
understand the challenge of developing English talent good enough to play in
the Premier League first team is how do you get them to transition from
Under-18s into first-team squads? It is such a huge leap. You have to have
the transition phase, the 'professional development phase' we call it," he
explained to the Daily Telegraph.
"The Under-21 League is technically very good but not where it needs to be
in terms of meaningful competition for these youngsters. "The minute you
call it 'Under-21' people think it is no use. It needs a better name and a
better focus. All clubs recognise that. We need proper kick-off times, using
main stadiums, anything to create an experience that is more competitive and
more like the first team so it doesn't come as such a shock. And those
players in that group should be interchangeable with the first team. "They
should be category one clubs and we are happy for them to be in that league
with 16 of ours, and six of the Championship. If more cat one clubs come
along you structure it accordingly. "It should be in all our interests that
people have more cat one academies because that's the best it can be.''
Scudamore insisted that the new league would have no impact on the Football
League or its structure. "Having been chief executive of the Football
League, I believe in the pyramid. If you set up a club behind the Dog and
Duck, make your way up through those 44,000 others, and climb over enough to
get to us - brilliant, we'd love to have you," he continued. Scudamore
insists that the Premier League is firmly behind the Football Association's
drive to improve the youth development in England. "The night (in 2007) we
lost to Croatia 2-3, poor old Steve McClaren under the umbrella, I flipped.
I said: 'This can't go on, we aren't taking this reputational damage any
more.' It took a while to get this EPPP into place. "It is incongruous that
we have the (successful) league that we have and aren't seen to be doing
better on the international stage. The last eight of the World Cup is where
we naturally should be."
"It is incongruous that we have the (successful) league that we have and
aren't seen to be doing better on the international stage. The last eight of
the World Cup is where we naturally should be. The last four is bloody good.
To get to a final would be absolutely fantastic. It will happen in my
lifetime, that England will get to a final.''
FA chairman Greg Dyke has set up a Commission to look into the problems
within the English game and how they can build towards a successful England
side, and Scudamore feels that the Premier League will show they are doing
"I know the Commission will be taking a very good look at EPPP and will be
pleasantly surprised as to what is in place already,'' said Scudamore.
"All our clubs are searching for that local boy who can make it, the Steven
Gerrard, the Jamie Carragher, born within the environs of that club. That's
the holy grail. Fans will love any player who is good for their club but
there is a special place that fans reserve for the local boy made good. "I
hope the Commission spend some considerable time in their report addressing
the biggest issue we've got which is the propensity of people to want to
play at grass-roots level. But it's fragile. "Grass roots is always fragile.
We mustn't kill the willing amateur. Are we sure that young people have
access to the facilities, to play regular football, in this winter of all
winters, when you hear of teams who haven't played since November? Put in a
decent 3G facility and you could play a whole league over the weekend.''
Scudamore believes Dyke needs to push the Government for better funding of
the game at grass roots level.
"The money we are putting into grass roots is never enough but it wouldn't
be beyond the wit of the FA to find some more of their resources and then
Government funding again,'' said Scudamore.
"The key objective for the FA chairman is to get that sorted. The urban
areas of Britain aren't well served. There are lots of young people living
in high density accommodation without an escape through football which is
why our clubs are trying to do their bit through their community schemes.
"We can only do so much. What we are doing could be scaled (up) with input
from the FA and more input from Government. It is happening. Sport England
have now come along part-funding Kickz programme; they see the power of
using our club brands and expertise to grow this engagement.
"Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Zaha came through a Kickz programme in a
pretty challenging area in this country (London) and there must be loads of
kids like them. I can't believe there aren't some more kids of 13, 14, 15,
16, living in these huge tower blocks, who if they had the facilities and a
safe coaching environment would become footballers.''
THE BLACK AND WHITE SEATED OLYMPIC STADIUM
By Sean Whetstone 15 Feb 2014 at 09:11
West Ham Till I Die
During recent conversations with fellow West Ham fans it became apparent to
me that many had an expectation that the seats in the transformed Olympic
Stadium would be Claret and Blue. This is not the case as the seats will
remain black and white as they did throughout the London Olympics of 2012 as
pictured below from the 2013 submitted planning documentation.
The official planning documentation makes it clear that the upper tier seats
will remain black and white and that any new seats procured for the lower
tier must be purchased to the same specification of the existing black and
white seat units, and must be arranged to blend into the existing Olympic
'fragment' pattern. There will actually be 60,000 permitted seats within the
transformed Olympic Stadium but 6,000 will be screened off in football mode
to comply with UEFA category 4 stadium standards.The maximum capacity for
concert events will grow to 80,000 people although this will vary depending
on stage size and positions.
What is not clear is what will happen to the other 8,000 seats in the upper
tier. The Olympic Stadium was built with a capacity of 80,000 made up of
25,000 in the lower tier and 55,000 in the upper tier. We know the lower
tier will reduce to 19,000 because of the design of retractable seating but
the upper tier will remain largely unchanged meaning it must reduce to
41,000 seats to make the 60,000 seats limit defined in the planning
permission. In reality this could mean up to 14,000 seats that need to be
removed or screened off in total in the upper tier. In the match segregation
section of the planning documentation it shows how West Ham must allocate
15% of the 54,000 seats to away fans if we remain in the Premier league
meaning we could see up to 8,100 away fans at our home matches. It indicates
that the away fans will have a vertical segregated section which includes
both the upper and lower retractable tiers. I was hoping the away fans would
be stuck up in the gods like Newcastle but this does not appear to be the
case. The 15% zone is clearly marked in the diagram at the bottom of this
Although I know the colour of seats might bother some people, personally it
doesn't bother me as long as there is claret and blue and West Ham branding
elsewhere in the stadium. When I looked at my faded seat in the Sir Trevor
Brooking last Tuesday night it didn't look very claret in colour to me. Many
years ago the seats were wooden at the Boleyn. A fellow SAB member on the
Stadium Match Day experience group suggested the club told them that the
colour of the seats has yet to be determined. This planning documentation
approved last year appears to say otherwise and so appears wishful thinking
on the club's part.
I have shared this information in the spirit of transparency for our
impending Olympic Stadium move but remain firmly up for the move despite the
The sections below are straight from planning documents published in March
To achieve the transformed seating bowl, repositioning of the seats will be
required, particularly for the upper tier former press areas, as mentioned
above, and also to suit the revised allocations of hospitality and general
admission seating on the west side. It is intended that existing seat stocks
will be reused and repositioned, and some new seats will be procured to the
same specification of the existing black and white seat units, and be
arranged to blend into the existing 'fragment' pattern.
The seating standards established for the Games mode stadium will be
retained, with 'best practice' 800 mm deep tread depths on the lower and
upper tiers and seats spaces at a minimum 480 mm centres. Seating
allocations for hospitality guests on the lower, mid and upper west stand
tiers will be set at a minimum of 600 mm centres, with some tread depths on
the mid-tier set at 850 mm.The new west stand mid-tier will have super-riser
platforms to the wheelchair accessible and amenity seating areas. Th e new
private suites will have two rows of seats in front of the glass enclosure,
raised to a super-riser condition above the three rows of hospitality seats
in front. For the Games mode scheme, all spectator seats were designed to
achieve a minimum C-60 sightline standard for the athletics event. This
sightline parameter will be maintained for all seats in the stadium
transformation in athletics mode; although there is a change in focal point
for rectangular pitch sports . The moving tier configurations maintain the
sightline to a minimum C-60, with approximately 90% of the 54,000 capacity
allocation exceeding aC-90 standard.It should be emphasised that the
sightline calculation is a diagrammatic abstraction of the view
characteristics, taken perpendicular to the FOP focal point, and that
diagonal views out across the arena generally improve as the head turns.The
accessible seating strategy for the transformed stadium is largely unchanged
from the Games mode, with wheelchair accessible viewing positions to the
back of the lower tier, back of the mid-tier, and front of the west stand
upper tier.Wheelchair user viewing platforms are inserted into the tiers,
and generally laid out as a pair of wheelchair spaces each with an adjacent
companion seat. The companion seats will match the design and quality of the
adjacent seating standard. Amenity seats, located close to vomitories will
also be provided and have a wider seat spacing than the standard seats.
Amenity seats are provided to all sides in the lower tier bowl, at the back
of the mid-tier, and at the front of the upper tier in the weststand. Where
there is lift access in the east stand, amenity seats are provided forward
of the adjacent tier vomitory positions. For further detail on the
provision, types and potential for accessible seating please refer section
9.4 of this document.
If the stadium is used for football league, premier league or international
matches, then spectators may need to be physically separated into
segregation groups. Th e percentage of seating required for the away
supporters will vary from a minimum of 5% for football league, 15% for
premier league, and 50% for international matches. In order to allow for
away spectators to enter separately and have separate coach drop-off
facilities, a new set of stairs and lift are proposed to the southern edge
of the podium, connecting to the multi-purpose south parking area. This
allows for separate access to, and egress from, the podium in all match
modes. Should the venue be used for Champions League or similar
international events, then the segregation zones can be extended to a 50%
capacity division, by the introduction of a third segregation boundary to
the east side of the bowl. Segregation barriers will be used in the seating
bowl and internal concourses.
RAVEL MORRISON CAN BE MY NEW DI CANIO SAYS REDKNAPP
By Sean Whetstone 14 Feb 2014 at 13:00
West Ham Till I Die
Harry Redknapp has been speaking at a press conference today about the
impending 93 day loan of West Ham's Ravel Morrison to QPR.
Harry said "We need someone who can unlock the door, I've always had someone
in my teams who can change a game. I had Di Canio and Merson at Portsmouth.
I've had someone special who can turn a game for you. Thought the other day
we dominated but Ravel may be one of those lads who can do that for us. It
is a gamble for us. He has got baggage or something else.If we didn't have a
problem somewhere he wouldn't be here, he would still be playing at
Manchester United. He has that talent. It's the chance you take. Somewhere
in life you have got to take a chance and take a gamble. Sometimes they come
off and sometimes they don't. Maybe we do need a little bit of a maverick on
the pitch. Someone who can do his own thing at time. Adel was the main
reason they got promoted. Talk to Clint he was the difference and the icing
on the cake that got them up. Hopefully Ravel can do the same.As far as I
know he is fit and ready to play. Hopefully he is ok."
The short term loan is not expected to include an automatic option to sign
the player permanently. It appears Ravel's long standing groin injury has
miraculously cleared up.
Ravel Morrison's unravelling at West Ham United is a tremendous waste
Midfielder who gloriously waltzed through Tottenham Hotspur's defence is cut
loose by club and heading to QPR
The Observer, Saturday 15 February 2014 22.37 GMT
West Ham United's Ravel Morrison is dropping down to the Championship in a
loan deal with QPR. Photograph: Stephen Pond/PA
There is a clip of Ravel Morrison, from an England Under-21s training
session, when a corner comes in from the right and no matter how many times
you watch it, even in slow motion, it is still almost implausible how he
creates that lovely sound of ball against net.
It is as if heading the ball, or going for the volley, is just too
straightforward and too bland for a player with his gifts. He twists his
body, his back leg flicks around and he is mid-air, facing away from goal,
when it connects. It is the kind of finish that would ordinarily be found
only on a computer game but Morrison saunters away as if it was the most
normal thing in the world.
Morrison had already had one round of applause on those blowy pitches in
Staffordshire, after chipping the goalkeeper with the delicacy of a champion
golfer pitching in and before anyone raises the obvious, nobody can say he
is just a training-ground player. His goal at Tottenham earlier this season,
waltzing past a couple of challenges and advancing from the halfway line,
was a demonstration of high skill and balance that suggested we were seeing
the flowering of the potential that once had Sir Alex Ferguson acclaiming
Morrison as the most talented youngster he had seen since the schoolboy Paul
The two he scored in his first full match for England's Under-21s were not
too shabby either and it does not feel too long ago since a group of us
journalists were breaking bread with Roy Hodgson in the Soho Hotel,
reflecting on the senior team qualifying for the World Cup after the
previous night's win against Poland, and the conversation turned to which
players could force their way into his squad. Morrison was one of the first
names the England manager mentioned and there was nothing at the time that
felt incongruous about it.
Hodgson met us for lunch again a few days ago but this time nobody brought
up Morrison. A player who was bewitching Premier League audiences before
Christmas will join QPR this week, dropping down into the Championship in a
three-month loan arrangement that pretty much takes a sledgehammer to any
chance of him being on the plane to Brazil. After that, it is unclear what
happens, other than to say it is amazing how quickly everything has
unravelled for him at West Ham. As it stands, it is difficult to imagine him
playing for the club again.
It is an unusual, complex story and, inevitably, football being the business
it is, there will be some who automatically assume he must have done
something wrong. In football, it has always been easier to get a bad name
than to lose one and Morrison's previous means there is an instinct,
sometimes, to apportion blame his way. It would be a lazy assumption.
Morrison has done some stupid things but it has been a few years now since
he knotted a tie for court. He is still paying the price for those juvenile
misdemeanours and he has had to get used to seeing his name prefaced in
print with words such as "wayward" and "bad boy". Yet everyone at West Ham
can confirm he has knuckled down and shown a level of dedication and
professionalism that was not always there. Morrison does not drink or go to
nightclubs. His diet is right. He has a steady girlfriend and better
influences outside the club than people realise. Of course, he still needs
guidance, but at 21 he is not the same impulsive kid of 17. Now, three
months after Sam Allardyce talked of Morrison reaching the very top of his
profession, he is being cut free. It is no wonder West Ham fans are feeling
The first thing to say is that it all feels like a tremendous waste, and
there is something deeply unsatisfactory about the chain of events that has
brought him to this point.
Towards the end of last year, Morrison was invited to a meeting with the
football agent Mark Curtis to see if he wanted to become one of his clients.
Curtis does this a fair bit with Allardyce's players. At West Ham, he either
represents or has links with Allardyce, Kevin Nolan, James Tomkins, Jack
Collison, Matt Jarvis, Andy Carroll, Jussi Jaaskelainen and Adrian. Look
through his history and there is a fairly astounding pattern of players
signing up to him from Allardyce teams. He also has a chequered past of his
own, with an official warning from the Football Association after the 2008
investigation into Luton Town's illegal transfer dealings.
Morrison was not keen but, since then, his complaint is that he has felt
under considerable pressure from Allardyce and Nolan to change his mind,
claiming it is brought up on an almost daily basis. His grievance is that he
wanted to go into training to learn and improve, not to have endless
conversations about an agent he did not want to employ.
West Ham have put this to the relevant people and they strenuously deny it.
Curtis says it is "nonsense", and there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing.
But Morrison has become disillusioned with his manager and captain.
Allardyce has talked of Morrison complaining about a groin injury when the
medical staff could find no problem. Relationships have broken down. A few
months ago, Morrison appeared to have the keys to the football universe. Now
he cannot wait to get out of the club.
The issue has been discussed as high as it goes at Upton Park. Morrison was
advised by one senior figure to put in a transfer request but decided
against it. Fulham put in a £4m bid and West Ham reported them to the
Premier League for alleged tapping up because of René Meulensteen saying he
knew Morrison wanted to join them. The dispute may have put off Fulham from
making an improved offer – West Ham wanted £10m – but no one should be too
surprised if the complaint ultimately comes to nothing. The relevant people
at Craven Cottage believe they have hard evidence, in line with this
newspaper's information, that Morrison had been informed he should look for
another club. If that is proven, West Ham's complaint will look hollow, to
say the least. It will also leave their co-owners, David Sullivan and David
Gold, with some awkward questions to answer.
The really perplexing thing is that a club with West Ham's ambitions should,
surely, want to build their future around players of this refinement. It is
not going to be straightforward filling 54,000 seats when they move to the
Olympic Stadium in 2016. Morrison, playing as he was before Christmas, would
have helped the process enormously. Instead, if the paperwork goes through,
Morrison will not be at Upton Park when Allardyce's team play Southampton
next weekend. He will be a few miles across London, making his QPR debut at
Charlton Athletic, with a permanent deal possible in the summer.
His story is a reminder of how quickly everything can change in football.
Except Morrison's belief is that little of this is actually about football.
His emergence at West Ham was probably the most exciting since the early
years of Joe Cole and Michael Carrick. He was the club's leading scorer and
outstanding player. It seems strange, to say the least, for West Ham to
shuffle that player out of the back door, especially when they are a club
who normally pride themselves on looking after their own.
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