Saturday, February 1

Daily WHUFC News - 1st February 2014

Swansea City match preview
Find all the important pre-match information ahead of Saturday's game
against Swansea City


Match Sponsor

• West Ham United entertain Swansea City in Saturday's early kick-off in the
Barclays Premier League, looking to record their first home win of 2014.
• The Hammers will be hoping to follow up a superb goalless draw against
Chelsea on Wednesday night with a first home league win since a 3-0 victory
against Fulham on 30 November 2013.

• Five home games have passed without a win since the triumph against
Fulham, with a 3-0 Capital One Cup semi-final second leg defeat to
Manchester City the team's last outing at the Boleyn Ground.

• Sam Allardyce's side also suffered a defeat in their last league match in
front of the home fans, going down 3-1 to Newcastle United on 18 January.

• Saturday's visitors Swansea City arrive on the back of scoring their first
league win in nine matches, having beaten Fulham 2-0 at the Liberty Stadium
on Tuesday night.

• The Swans have however gone five away league games without a win, their
last success on the road being a 2-1 victory against Fulham at Craven

• Michael Laudrup's team have risen to eleventh place in the Premier League
following their latest victory, five points above the Hammers.

Team news

West Ham United

• Joey O'Brien will miss the game after dislocating his shoulder in the 0-0
draw with Chelsea on Wednesday night. Mo Diame was also forced off against
the Blues with a suspected knee injury and it remains to be seen whether he
will feature.

• Winston Reid and Ricardo Vaz Te are back in full training and may be fit
enough to feature against the Swans.

Swansea City

• Garry Monk is a long-term absentee and will not feature against the

• Michu and Jose Canas are nearing a return following injuries but Saturday
may come too soon for them.

• Goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel is likely to continue to deputise in the
absence of Michel Vorm.

Last time out

Chelsea 0-0 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
29 January 2014

West Ham United: Adrian, Demel, Collins, Tomkins, O'Brien, Diame (Jarvis
30), Taylor, Noble, Nolan (Nocerino 80), Downing, Carroll (C Cole 64)
Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, McCartney, Morrison, Borriello

Swansea City 2-0 Fulham
Barclays Premier League
28 January 2014

Swansea City: Tremmel, Rangel, Davies, Williams, Chico, De Guzman (Pozuelo
88), Hernandez (Dyer 58), Britton, Bony, Shelvey (Amat 79), Routledge
Subs not used: Taylor, Cornell, Lamah, Alvaro
Goals: Shelvey 61, Chico 75

Previous meeting

A wet and windy match at the Liberty Stadium ended in a goalless draw as
both sides toiled in the difficult conditions. Jussi Jaaskelainen made a
couple of great saves to preserve his fifth clean sheet of the campaign
whilst Ravel Morrison, Guy Demel, Mo Diame and Kevin Nolan were all guilty
of missing chances at the other end.

Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Taylor, De Guzman, Britton,
Dyer, Michu Routledge (Hernandez 61), Vazquez (Bony 66)
Subs not used: Tremmel, Amat, Tiendalli, Canas, Pozuelo

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Reid, Tomkins, Rat, Diame (C Cole 64),
Noble, Downing, Vaz Te (Jarvis 34), Morrison (J Cole 78), Nolan
Subs not used: Adrian, O'Brien, Maiga, Taylor

Head to head

Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)

27 October 2013 Swansea City 0-0 West Ham United
2 February 2013 West Ham United 1-0 Swansea City
25 August 2012 Swansea City 3-0 West Ham United
13 January 1999 Swansea City 1-0 West Ham United (FA Cup Third Round Replay)
02 January 1999 West Ham United 1-1 Swansea City (FA Cup Third Round)
07 October 1985 Swansea City 2-3 West Ham United (League Cup Second Round
Second Leg)
Overall record v Swansea City (all competitions) W 26 D 13 L 17

Ten-year record

West Ham United

2012/13 Premier League 10th (46 points)
2011/12 Championship 3rd (86 points - promoted via Play-Offs)
2010/11 Premier League 20th (33 points)
2009/10 Premier League 17th (35 points)
2008/09 Premier League 9th (51 points)
2007/08 Premier League 10th (49 points)
2006/07 Premier League 15th (41 points)
2005/06 Premier League 9th (55 points)
2004/05 Championship 6th (73 points - promoted via Play-Offs)
2003/04 Championship 4th (74 points)
Swansea City

2012/13 Premier League 9th (46 points)
2011/12 Premier League 11th (47 points)
2010/11 Championship 3rd (80 points)
2009/10 Championship 7th (69 points)
2008/09 Championship 8th (68 points)
2007/08 League One 1st (92 points)
2006/07 League One 7th (72 points)
2005/06 League One 6th (71 points)
2004/05 League Two 3rd (80 points)
2003/04 League Two 10th (59 points)


• West Ham United and Swansea City have met each other on 56 occasions with
the Hammers prevailing 26 times, Swansea triumphant on 17 occasions and 13
matches ending as draws.

• The clubs first met in an FA Cup first round tie at Vetch Field on 7
January 1922, when the Third Division Swans held the Second Division Hammers
to a 0-0 draw.

• That stalemate saw the sides meet again four day later - the first
encounter between the two at the Boleyn Ground - and again saw a draw, this
time finishing 1-1 with Vic Watson scoring for the home side.

• West Ham's biggest home win against their Welsh opponents came back on 18
January 1958, when Ted Fenton's team recorded a resounding 6-2 win in the
Second Division.
• Swansea have only ever enjoyed victory at the Boleyn Ground once, that win
coming on 25 August 1956 in a Division Two encounter.

• The last encounter between the clubs at the Boleyn Ground on 2 February
2013 ended in a West Ham win thanks to Andy Carroll netting the only goal of
the game 13 minutes from the end of the match.


• Saturday's referee will be Howard Webb. Webb began officiating in
Yorkshire in 1989. He took charge of his first Barclays Premier League match
as a referee in October 2003 and has since been the man-in-the-middle for a
host of high-profile fixtures, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup final
between Spain and Holland in South Africa.

• He also refereed the 2012 npower Championship Play-Off final at Wembley,
when West Ham United beat Blackpool 2-1 at Wembley to secure promotion.

• Previously, Webb also refereed the 2005 FA Community Shield, 2006 FA
Trophy final and in the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Championships, as well
as taking charge of his first UEFA Champions League match in 2006. The
former police officer was referee for the 2007 Carling Cup final and was
selected as England's representative at Euro 2008, taking charge of the
first match of the tournament between Austria and Poland and the Group D
fixture between Greece and eventual champions Spain.

• This season, Webb officiated the Hammers' opening Barclays Premier League
match against Cardiff City and the 0-0 draw with Aston Villa, also at the
Boleyn Ground.

• Webb will be assisted on Saturday by Sian Massey, Scott Ledger and the
fourth official will be Jonathan Moss.

General information

• Tickets for Saturday's Kids for a Quid match are still available. To buy
tickets view our ticket page by clicking here.

• The weather forecast for Saturday afternoon is sunny intervals with
temperatures around 7C (44F).

• Click here for the latest travel news on TFL routes, here for Greater
Anglia services, and here for c2c services.

Hammers snap up Armero
West Ham United have signed Colombia international Pablo Armero on loan
until the end of the season

West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of Colombia
international Pablo Armero on loan until the end of the 2013/14 season.
Left-back Armero joins the Hammers from Italian Serie A side SSC Napoli,
having previously starred for America Cali in his homeland, Brazilian side
Palmeiras and Italian club Udinese. A regular for his country, the
27-year-old has been capped 49 times and featured in all but one of
Colombia's 16 qualifiers as the South American nation reached the 2014 FIFA
World Cup finals. Born in the port city of Tumaco in south western Colombia,
Armero made more than 100 league appearances for America Cali before moving
to Palmeiras in 2009. The 5'9" left-back spent 18 months in São Paulo,
helping Palmeiras to reach the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals and earning
himself a move to Europe in summer 2010. Armero's first season at Udinese in
2010/11 was hugely successful, with the defender helping The Little Zebras
to finish fourth in Serie A and qualify for the UEFA Champions League. He
was also voted into the Serie A Team of the Year. After starting regularly
for Udinese throughout the 2011/12 and opening weeks of the 2012/13 seasons,
Armero was loaned to Napoli in January 2013 before making the move permanent
last summer. After being used mainly as a substitute last season, the
defender has made nine Serie A starts this term. He also started four of
Napoli's six UEFA Champions League group-stage fixtures, including the 2-0
home win over Arsenal in December.

At international level, Armero has been a regular starter for Colombia since
making his senior debut in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying defeat in Chile
in September 2008. While Colombia narrowly missed out on qualification for
South Africa, Armero did feature at the 2011 Copa America, where 'Los
Cafeteros' reached the quarter-finals. The defender was an integral member
of Colombia's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, starting 14 of his
country's 16 matches as they finished as runners-up to Argentina. Barring
injury, he is almost certain to travel to Brazil.

Duo depart
Modibo Maiga has joined QPR on loan, while Razvan Rat has left the Club by
mutual consent

West Ham United can confirm that striker Modibo Maiga has joined Sky Bet
Championship side Queens Park Rangers on loan for the remainder of the
2013/14 season. The deal includes the option of a permanent move to west
London at the end of the season. Maiga, 26, has scored once in 14 Barclays
Premier League games this term and has not featured since Andy Carroll's
return to fitness earlier this month. The Mali international joined the
Hammers in the summer of 2012 from French Ligue Un club Sochaux, having
previously played for Stade Malien in his homeland, Raja Casablanca in
Morocco and Le Havre after moving to France. He has played 39 games for the
Club, finding the net six times in total, with half of those goals coming in
Capital One Cup fixtures - including memorably in the Hammers' 2-1 victory
at Tottenham Hotspur in December. The Club can also confirm that Razvan Rat
has departed after his contract was terminated by mutual consent. The
Romanian left-back leaves the Boleyn Ground after making 20 appearances for
the Hammers since joining on a free transfer in July 2013. The Club would
like to thank Razvan for his efforts and wish him all the best in his future

Macca relishing Laudrup duel
Assistant manager Neil McDonald is looking forward to locking horns with
Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup

Neil McDonald is looking forward to locking horns on Saturday with a man he
used to drool over during his playing days. Back in the 1980s, West Ham
United's assistant manager was a Newcastle United and Everton full-back and
a huge fan of Swansea City manager and former Juventus, Real Madrid,
Barcelona and Denmark attacker Michael Laudrup - a man considered to be his
country's greatest-ever player. While their paths never crossed on the
pitch, largely due to the ban on English clubs competing in European
competition, McDonald and Laudrup will face one another when West Ham host
Swansea in the Barclays Premier League this weekend. "He was a fantastic
player, wasn't he? Wow!" said McDonald, when asked about Laudrup. "For
somebody who played at the top level all the time, then to transfer that
into management and try to get the best out of his players, is fantastic.
"I've got a lot of admiration for him. I went to watch a match years ago at
Brondby and it was the first time I'd seen a manager with a leather jacket
and jeans on and I thought 'Wow! I wouldn't mind being a manager and looking
like that!" "He is in control of himself and knows what he is doing and I've
got a lot of respect for him."

Laudrup guided Swansea to ninth in the Barclays Premier League and League
Cup triumph in his first season with the club last term. This season,
Swansea are through to the UEFA Europa League last 32 and the FA Cup with
Budweiser fifth round, while a midweek win over Fulham has eased the Swans'
relegation fears. "As a manager, he has done very well," McDonald continued.
"He has won a cup and his team play some very good football. "We have taken
a point off them already this season and we are hoping to take another three
off them. It'll be a tough battle, that's for sure."

While West Ham may not pass the ball quite as often as Saturday's visitors,
McDonald moved to downplay Jose Mourinho's comments that West Ham played
'19th century football' against Chelsea in midweek. "I think, if you've been
to the majority of West Ham games, you can tell that we don't play like that
all the time! Jose doesn't come and watch us all the time, either! "We do
play some really good football and we have scored the majority of our goals
from open play, so I'd suggest we are not just a long-ball or defensive
team. We have a mixture and football is all about getting results, and it
doesn't matter how you get them. "At times, you have to be route-one and
sometimes you have to be expansive. We have a decent balance between those
styles. "There are lots of things we need to improve on this season -
attacking, scoring more goals and trying to keep more clean sheets - but we
have kept ten clean sheets this season and we just need to score more

Speaking on Friday morning ahead of the closure of the transfer window,
McDonald revealed that Ivory Coast midfielder Abdoul Razak has settled
quickly into training with his new team-mates. The 22-year-old has joined on
a short-term contract and will look to make his mark over the coming weeks.
"He has come in and trained with the rest of the boys and looked quite
bright and decent on the ball. He is a midfield player which gives us good
competition for places and we'll see how he develops over the next couple of
weeks with his match-fitness and getting up to pace."

'We need to build momentum'
Matt Taylor wants the Hammers to build on their point at Chelses when they
face Swansea on Saturday

Matt Taylor says the Hammers are focused solely on themselves as they enter
a crucial period of the season. West Ham United take on Swansea City at the
Boleyn Ground in the early kick-off on Saturday, knowing that a victory will
take them out of the bottom three. Taylor says that is all the Hammers are
thinking about - and not what the other teams at the bottom of the Barclays
Premier League may, or may not, achieve. He said: "We're not too worried
about everybody else outside the football club - everyone would probably
have suggested that we'd have gone to Chelsea and it would be a case of how
many they'd win by. "But we went there, proved a lot of people wrong and now
we need to take some momentum into Swansea and pick up three vital points.
"We need to make sure we score more goals, but we have to take the positives
from Chelsea on Wednesday. The positives were that we went to one of the
best teams in the league and came away with what I believe was a well
deserved point. Hopefully we can build on that with a home game on Saturday

Taylor was at the forefront of the Hammers' magnificent defensive effort
which yielded a 0-0 draw. The No14 made a game-high seven blocks to help
frustrate the hosts and he was thrilled to hold the Blues at bay. He added:
"As a team we showed great resilience in our last game. "You've got to
realise that going to Chelsea, you sometimes have to take the sting out of
the game. Chelsea have so much possession, so you have to stick in and get
your bodies on the line.
"What we did on Wednesday was put our bodies on the line and show our
passion and resilience for the shirt. That was important, we gave our fans
something to go home happy with. "You have to do that in games like this and
we're over the moon that we came away with a point."

Carroll targets first goal
Andy Carroll wants to notch his first goal of the season when West Ham
United take on Swansea City

Andy Carroll would love to repeat his last Boleyn Ground outing against
Swansea City when the two teams go head-to-head on Saturday. The bog Geordie
headed the winner when Swansea visited E13 in February last year and another
three point haul would be much welcomed by Sam Allardyce. Carroll made his
first Barclays Premier League start since signing permanently for the Club
in midweek and feels ready to contribute more and more as he gains more
minutes under his belt. He told West Ham TV: "It has been great being back
around the lads and getting a few minutes on the pitch, and I'm looking
forward to starting again in the Premier League. "I can't wait to score my
first goal of the season, hopefully it comes on Saturday, "Scoring last year
against them was a good memory and hopefully I can do that again, to get on
the scoresheet again would be great. "I think we know how they're playing,
they're going to be passing it around and waiting for us to press them.
We've just got to see what the manager wants to do and work on his tactics
really. "The fans will be great for us on Saturday, they just have to get
behind us and lift the whole team."

Carroll has been happy with increasing his pitch time with each passing
game. He added: I thought I did alright at Chelsea, obviously I had a shot
before I came off, that I could've done better with. But I thought that I
put myself about and I felt good. "Obviously it's going to be hard for me,
not being fully match fit to go back out and do it all again, but I'm
confident that I'm feeling good and I felt good against Chelsea and in the
Manchester City game. Hopefully Saturday's exactly the same. "The body's
feeling surprisingly good, with all the work that I've been doing, before
training and before games and obviously in the games. So I'm feeling pretty

Macca on: Swansea City
Assistant manager Neil McDonald looks ahead to Saturday's lunchtime kick-off
against Swansea City

Assistant manager Neil McDonald is looking forward to locking horns with
Swansea City on Saturday, hopeful that West Ham United can build on
Wednesday's goalless Barclays Premier League draw at Chelsea.

In the interim, however, the Hammers will firstly negotiate transfer
deadline day, with Macca confident that the Club has already done some
excellent business this month.

Whether there are to be further additions or not, assistant boss McDonald
reckons that the return of key players from injury will add sufficient
pedigree to make for a much-improved second half of the campaign.

Neil, what's the latest on any prospective comings and goings?

NM: "It's all speculation. We're still looking to try and improve. I think
we've added to the squad excellently, so far this window, and if we can get
anybody else in it will be a bonus.

"We've got a goalscorer just coming back from injury in Andy Carroll. We've
got a goalscorer in Carlton Cole, who has been popping them in over the past
couple of months, so that's been really, really good and the competition for
places is getting much better with everybody coming back from injury.

"Mo Diame's an important member of the team at the moment for us and we want
all the important players to stay here with us to help us fight and get out
of the predicament that we're in. So hopefully he won't be going anywhere.

"As I said, we've recruited really well so far in the January window and if
there's one more we can get, whoever it may be, that would be fantastic. If
we don't, then we've still got a strong squad leading up until the end of
the season.

"We've got George McCartney coming back, he's had a bit of whiplash in his
neck, so he should be fit, which is great. And we've got Razvan Rat as well,
so there's two of them competing for Joey O'Brien's place."

What do you make of Swansea?

NM: "They're a fantastic footballing team, they keep the ball and move it
around the pitch pretty quickly, so we'll have to be well organised, just
like we were against Chelsea the other night. Then we've got to get on the
front foot a little quicker than we did on Wednesday, try to play the ball
forward into the right areas and exploit their weaknesses, which we've
worked on at the training ground."

Will it be '19th century football' at home this time?
NM: "It will be 21st century football, of course! Listen, tactics are
tactics, sometimes you go away from home and you have to try and do as much
as you possibly can. Certainly when you're playing against a top four team
you have to be defensively sound. You have to be well organised and we
certainly were. It's good to get under the skin of the top four teams so
that they can't have it their own way all the time."

What did you make of Jose Mourinho's comments?
NM: "If you go with an open, expansive team, nine times out of ten you're
going to get beaten at Chelsea We went with a game plan to frustrate and try
and hit them on the counter-attack. We did create a few chances to try and
score, so it wasn't as if we didn't put two passes together. As I said
before, it's always frustrating for a team that's at the top not to get
three points, especially at home and we certainly frustrated them all game.
Had a little bit of luck, good fortune as well, but we felt we certainly
deserved the point that we got."
What did it to the morale of the squad to come away from Stamford Bridge
with a point and a clean sheet as well?
NM: "The clean sheet's very, very important. The morale's been very, very
good, considering the position that we're in, in the league. Results like
that give you a huge amount of confidence, especially when everybody in the
whole of the footballing world didn't expect us to get anything and possibly
counting how many goals Chelsea were actually going to score and beat us by!
So everybody's well chuffed and looking forward to the next game to try and
add points to the board.

How important is it to make Wednesday's point count with another positive
result on Saturday?
NM: "Of course, we want to try and make that point count. If we can get
another three points or making sure that we don't get beaten, that's for
sure, and pick up another point, because you have to respect the point. But
we'll be chasing all three. We've played them this season, we've competed at
their place and got a good draw and we beat them at home last season, so why
can't we do that again?"
A lot of players coming back from injury, does the team need a lot of
NM: "I think the regeneration is the players coming back from injury. James
Collins is back, Winston Reid is very, very close. Ricardo Vaz Te is close
as well and Andy Carroll is getting plenty of time on the pitch at the
moment. If we can add other players to that, that will give strength to the
squad and good competition to take us on for the rest of the season."

How's Marco Borriello getting on?

NM: "Marco has been training the last few days and, along with Antonio, is
getting better. It remains to be seen whether he [Marco] starts, or whether
he's on the bench. But from what we've seen in training so far, he's looking
good, he's looking sharp. He can certainly finish and put the ball in the
back of the net in training, that's for sure, so if he gets a chance on
Saturday, I'm sure he'll do his best to put it in the back of the net for

Is there added pressure on the team at home?
NM: "Well, the fans have been fantastic this season. I know we've had a few
defeats at home, but they've been fantastic home and away. We appreciate
their support and we're trying our best to put that form right. It's not for
want of trying and we've got some good home games coming up and we've got to
try and make as many points as we possibly can, and keep the fans onside,
which they have been all season."

Chadwell Chatter
Guy Demel on holding Chelsea and the challenge of facing Swansea City's
'tank' Wilfried Bony

Hello everybody,

I am happy to report that I hope everything is back to normal now following
my concussion, which I suffered at Cardiff City. I managed to play on
Wednesday at Chelsea and that means I'm back to normal. It was a sad and
hard moment for my family when it happened, but now I am back on track and I
am happy to be here! I need to keep working hard on my shape because
football is a really strange sport. When you are out for a week, you lose
your fitness, so I've been working hard with the fitness coach and the
training staff and will continue to do so. On Wednesday I managed to play 90
minutes. It wasn't an easy game but my team-mates helped me. When you play
against a team like Chelsea, you know they are going to have the ball so you
have to be strong defensively. I'm pretty happy with my return to the team.
You have to expect that sort of performance from one of the big teams in the
league, as you do from Manchester City, Manchester United or Arsenal. They
keep moving in the midfield and don't stay in one position, so you really
have to stay concentrated and strong as a team.
On Wednesday we got the clean sheet, but that was not just the back four,
but the whole team. You need your striker and midfield to be good and, to be
fair, our goalkeeper Adrian was superb. He made some important saves and
helped us to get the point. We play at home to Swansea on Saturday and it
will be really nice to get our home form back, because especially now we
need points. We need to be clinical when we play at home to get the points
on the board.
Against Swansea, it's going to be a hard game, but after Wednesday we have
more confidence. We have to keep working hard because in the Premier League
every game is different. You cannot expect, because you drew against
Chelsea, that you will necessarily win against Swansea. That said, it's in
our hands, so we need to do the job.
Swansea have one player who I know well in their striker Wilfried Bony, who
I have trained alongside with our national team Ivory Coast. Wilfried is a
really good striker and that's why he has made it to the national team. What
can I say about him? He's a tank! When you see his body, he is a tank, while
he is also technical, has a good finish and is smart, so we have to stop
him. We need to defend well as a team, and we have the ability to do that.
James Tomkins and James Collins played very well on Wednesday, while Winston
Reid could be back. No matter who plays, we have to get back to our
defensive shape and make sure Wilfried isn't going to shine on Saturday!

Have a good weekend!

Transfer Deadline Day: Moncur & Buaben join Partick Thistle

Partick Thistle have signed midfielders Prince Buaben and George Moncur on
loan for the rest of the season from Carlisle and West Ham respectively.
But winger Ross Forbes has been released and has joined Dunfermline. The
20-year-old Moncur has been capped by England at under-17 and under-18 level
and has played in two first-team games for the Hammers. Former Dundee United
midfielder Prince Buaben, 25, joined Carlisle in October after his summer
release from Watford. The Ghana international spent four seasons at
Tannadice and was in the United team that won the Scottish Cup in 2010. A
graduate of the famous Ajax Academy in Amsterdam, Buaben moved to Vicarge
Road in 2011. Meanwhile, 19-year-old striker James Martin has gone on loan
to Belgian Third Division club KV Turnhout. Liam Lindsay, an 18-year-old
Thistle defender, has been farmed out to Scottish Championship outfit Alloa

West Ham sign Pablo Armero from Napoli

West Ham have signed Napoli defender Pablo Armero on loan until the end of
the season. The 27-year-old Colombia attacking left-back has made 18
appearances for his Italian club this season, including in a 2-0 Champions
League victory over Arsenal. He joined Napoli in the summer following a
successful loan spell from Udinese last season. Armero swaps a team third in
Serie A for one 18th in the Premier League. He was allowed to leave Napoli
after they signed Algeria left-back Faouzi Ghoulam, 22, from St Etienne for
an undisclosed fee.

Transfer window summary
Filed: Friday, 31st January 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United failed to spend a single penny in transfer fees during the
January window - yet still managed to sign a host of new faces to boost the
club's chances of Premier League survival.

Youngster Jaanai Gordon was the first signing of the window, with his
pre-arranged transfer going through on the opening day of the month. The
first to impact upon the first team was Roger Johnson, who arrived from
League One Wolverhampton Wanderers on January 6.

The central defender's arrival was followed by the re-signing of Carlton
Cole, who agreed a new 18-month contract on January 15. Next through the
door was Italian midfielder Antonio Nocerino, who was followed a matter of
hours later by fellow countryman Marco Borriello - the duo both signing on
loan for the rest of the season (on January 25).

Yesterday, West Ham confirmed that former Manchester City youngster Abdul
Razak was being signed from Anzhi in Russia. The final piece of the jigsaw
came in the shape of Pablo Armero, who signed today on loan from Napoli
until the end of the campaign.

The only first team player leaving the club on a permanent basis this
January is Razvan Rat, whose contract was terminated by mutual consent.

Under 21 Pelly Ruddock has joined Luton Town on a full-time basis whilst
four further players leave the club on loan; Modibo Maiga to QPR, George
Moncur to Partick Thistle, Jordan Spence to MK Dons and Paul McCallum to

The January Transfer Window - Business (So Far)


Roger Johnson (Wolves) - free transfer
Carlton Cole - free transfer
Jaanai Gordon (Peterborough) - nominal/undisclosed fee
Antonio Nocerino (Milan) - loan for rest of season
Marco Borriello (Roma) - loan for rest of season
Abdul Razak (Anzhi) - free transfer
Pablo Armero (Napoli) - loan for rest of season


George Moncur (Partick Thistle) - loan for rest of season
Jordan Spence (MK Dons) - loan for rest of season
Paul McCallum (Hearts) - loan for rest of season
Pelly Ruddock (Luton Town) - nominal/undisclosed fee
Razvan Rat - contract terminated
Modibo Maiga (Queens Park Rangers) - loan for rest of season

Swansea and Chico Flores braced for battle with Andy Carroll and '19th
century' West Ham
Jan 31, 2014 22:29 By Matt Lloyd 0
The Mirror

Chico Flores aims to prove a cut above Andy Carroll in their battle of the
barnets when the pony-tailed pair tangle at Upton Park on Saturday.
Swansea's volatile Spaniard allegedly threatened team-mate Garry Monk with a
BRICK two weeks ago, but the coiffured centre-back is more likely to be
brandishing a hairbrush when he faces West Ham striker Carroll. Flores, 26,
said: "Andy Carroll is a tall, strong and physical player, so he is very
difficult to play against.
"He gives West Ham more opportunities to score. He is their danger man and
we must stop him if we want to get another three points. It won't be easy,
but that's what I must do."

Swansea head to east London looking for their first back-to-back Premier
League wins this season after Flores sealed a 2-0 victory over Fulham in
mid-week - ending a run of eight league games without a win. He said: "I was
happy to score, but the three points were more important. We have some big
games coming up against sides in and around the bottom of the table. "West
Ham is another important one for us and we want to keep on winning. It is
important we focus throughout the 90 minutes and keep another clean sheet."

The Swans' manager Michael Laudrup insists they will not be bullied by West
Ham's "19th century" tactics. Laudrup refused to endorse Jose Mourinho's
damning verdict on the Hammers' tactics at Chelsea this week, but knows his
pint-sized players will have a job on their hands to handle big hitters such
as Carroll. "Every game is different, you have to play the way you think is
best for your team in each particular game," said the Dane. "West Ham did
that and they were brave. Yes, they defended inside their own box a lot but
they got a point at Chelsea where, under Mourinho, Chelsea have not lost for
a long time.
"We know it will be a tough game, not because of what they did at Chelsea
but because they are physically stronger than us and I'm sure they will try
to use that. We know what to expect from Carroll, Nolan, Tomkins, Collins,
Diame and others so it will be a tough afternoon."

Swansea are well aware they do not have the size to go toe-to-toe with the
Hammers, so Laudrup – who terrorised defences as a player with his speed and
skill – knows his team must box clever. He said: "We don't have many players
who can cope with the likes of Nolan and Carroll because they are so big and
strong so we have to be clever. If we sit back or concede too many free
kicks, West Ham will bombard us."

Nathan Dyer is ready to start his first game in almost two months after
coming off the bench against Fulham, and new-signing striker David Ngog will
be among the substitutes.

West Ham stars have big love for Big Sam Allardyce AND his controversial
tactics says assistant Neil McDonald
Jan 31, 2014 22:29 By Mirror Football
The Mirror

West Ham No.2 Neil McDonald has rejected criticism of their style and
insists all the club's players are behind manager Sam Allardyce. And the
Hammers' assistant manager also says they had a "huge smile on their face"
when Jose Mourinho slammed their playing style after Wednesday's 0-0 draw
with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. "It stings you when they say that you don't
care," McDonald said, ahead of Saturday's home match against Swansea.
"[Allardyce] knows what he's doing, his team is right behind him. The team
is battling for him. "We've had criticism this season, even off ex-players
who are saying we haven't got any fight and heart for the jersey. "We're
certainly showing that. The players are all together and the club are all
together, the supporters are still supporting the team and we need to move
up the league."

West Ham release defender Razvan Rat just six months after arrival from
Shakhtar Donetsk
Jan 31, 2014 20:40 By Alex Richards
The Mirror

West Ham United have released Romanian defender Razvan Rat, just six months
after he joined the Hammers. Rat arrived at Upton Park in the summer
following a highly-successful, trophy-laden spell with Ukrainian club
Shakhtar Donetsk. However, he has struggled to show his best form in east
London, struggling with the physicality of the English game. And after
reaching an agreement with the club, has agreed to the early termination of
his contract, which had until June to run. The Hammers have swiftly swooped
to replace him, with Colombian Pablo Armero having joined on loan.


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