Monday, February 24

Daily WHUFC News - 24th February 2014

Manager on Monday
Sam Allardyce was pleased to see the goals shared around his squad during
Saturday's 3-1 win against Southampton

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce was delighted with the team effort
that secured his team's fourth consecutive win in the Barclays Premier
League against Southampton at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday. Big Sam was
left praising the contribution from all members of his team after goals from
Matt Jarvis, Carlton Cole and captain Kevin Nolan fired the Hammers to a 3-1
victory against the Saints. The east Londoners have now gone five games
without defeat since a 0-0 draw against Chelsea on 29 January and Allardyce
was delighted that goals are starting to come from all areas of the team.
"It's always about sharing goals around the team and if you share the right
amount of goals it gets you into the right position in the league," he
explained. "One thing we've turned around and why we're doing so well at the
moment is that we've stopped, apart from Saturday, conceding from set-plays.
"In the last eight or ten games we've started scoring some goals from
set-plays and open play and kept clean sheets once we've had our defence
back together. That was always a recipe for winning football matches. "The
quality of our front play and our final third play is key now. We're
resilient defensively but our final third play is getting much, much better
now and of course our finishing is in a top-ten position in terms of the
chances that we're turning into goals."

Before the team's current run of four wins from five games, the Hammers
occupied a place in the relegation zone. After Saturday's victory against
the Saints, Allardyce's side moved up to tenth in the Premier League and the
manager believes that the battling performance at Stamford Bridge was a
turning point for his side. "When you go to a Chelsea when you've been
struggling away from home, and you see a performance where you put your body
on the line and do whatever you need to do to stop the opposition scoring
and you come out of there with a point, then you can build from there. "That
started it, then when you win against Swansea with ten men it lifts
everybody. The new players that have come in all have a small factor in
building everybody's confidence, even though the new guys haven't played
very much. "It also adds pressure in terms of challenging for places which
is always a very healthy position. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon and
it's not where you are after five, ten, 15 or 20 games, it's where you are
after 38 games."

Loanee round-up
West Ham United's loanees were in action in England and Scotland on Saturday

West Ham United's loanees were in action on Saturday. Ravel Morrison made
his Queens Park Rangers debut by playing the full 90 minutes at Charlton
Athletic, but could not prevent Harry Redknapp's side falling to a 1-0
defeat at The Valley. Fellow Hammers loanee Modibo Maiga was introduced as a
70th-minute substitute for the Hoops, who sit fourth in the table, seven
points adrift of the automatic promotion places.

In League One, Jordan Spence played the full game for MK Dons, who are ninth
after a 1-0 defeat at Bradford City.

North of the border, Paul McCallum played the opening 52 minutes for Heart
of MIdlothian in their 2-0 Scottish Premiership defeat by leaders Celtic at
Tynecastle. The game was goalless when McCallum was replaced.

At Partick Thistle, George Moncur was an unused substitute for a shock 3-1
home win over second-place Aberdeen.

Sean Maguire will hope to make his Sligo Rovers debut in the League of
Ireland Premier Division side's Setanta Sports Cup opener at Northern Irish
Crusaders on Monday evening.

Brayley back at the Boleyn
FA Youth Cup winner Bertie Brayley is fast becoming a Boleyn Ground regular
once more

There was a familiar face back at the Boleyn Ground this week as West Ham
United Academy graduate Bertie Brayley popped in to reacquaint himself with
some old friends. Currently plying his trade with Chelmsford City of the
Conference South, 32-year-old Brayley was once a pivotal figure in the
famous FA Youth Cup-winning side of 1999. Alongside the likes of Michael
Carrick, Joe Cole and Stephen Bywater, Brayley netted three times in an
astonishing 9-0 aggregate win over Coventry City in the final. Incidentally,
it is only in recent weeks that Brayley has returned to the Boleyn Ground,
with almost four years having passed since he turned out for the testimonial
of Academy Director Tony Carr MBE. But with his son now firmly Claret and
Blue and the Hammers flying, Brayley is hardly about to stop now. "I've
brought my son to the last few home games and West Ham keep winning, so
we're going to keep coming," he told West Ham TV. "To be fair, I did give
him the choice of who to support, but there was only one team for him. "The
Club's doing really well at the moment. It's nice for the fans, because it
had been a bit of a slow start this season but we've turned that corner now
and things are going right at the moment, so it's all good."

While some 15 years have passed since Brayley lifted the FA Youth Cup, the
Basildon-born Hammer still regards that triumph as one of his finest hours.

He continued: "It was a great experience. It was great playing in front of a
full house at the Boleyn Ground. I scored at both ends in that game, so
walking back around brings back some nice memories. "It was a special group
that year, every single boy, and they were all very good players. It was a
great experience and probably one of the best of my life. "It really is
lovely to see people like Joe [Cole] and Michael [Carrick] win the Champions
League and trophies like that. I'm proud of them and it's good to say that I
was once alongside them."

With the Hammers' U18s currently top of the Barclays U18 Premier League, the
Academy is still as potent a force as ever and Brayley paid tribute to
long-serving director Carr. "The Academy has always been very good and I was
fortunate to be in one of the best youth sides that West Ham's ever had," he
explained. Above that you had Rio [Ferdinand] and Frank [Lampard], who were
two, three years older than us. "It was a good time to be at the Club and
it will always have a name for that [youth development]. Tony Carr has done
a fantastic job here over the years, so it's down to him."

In fact, 1998/99 was a fine season all round for the Hammers, with Harry
Redknapp leading his seniors to fifth in the top flight and subsequently
into the then UEFA Cup. For all the success on the pitch, Brayley was just
as thrilled to rub shoulders with some household names. "You had players
like Ian Wright, John Hartson and Razor [Neil Ruddock], some real
characters. The special thing for me was being lucky enough to get up every
morning, not have to go into work, go to training and mix with those sort of
characters, Paolo Di Canio and people like that, it was amazing. When you're
living it you don't realise how lucky you are. "I would go in the old gym at
Chadwell Heath with Wright in the mornings and we used to play two-touch
against the wall. Just little things like that. Everything about it, it was
just fantastic."

U18s go top of the table
West Ham United went top of the Barclays U18 Premier League following a 2-0
win at leaders Fulham

West Ham United went top of the Barclays U18 Premier League following a 2-0
win at leaders Fulham on Saturday. The Hammers made it five wins in a row
and nine in ten league matches with a deserved victory at Motspur Park.
Jordan Brown continued his impressive recent run of form with the opening
goal before half-time. Bermuda-born winger Djair Parfitt-Williams (pictured)
then added a second on the hour-mark to complete a fine day's work for Steve
Potts' side. West Ham have lost just one of their previous 16 league matches
and now sit three points clear of Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur, whose
Saturday fixture with Arsenal was postponed.

After a free weekend, the Hammers return to action on Saturday 8 March, when
they travel to London Colney to take on Arsenal.

U18s: Howes, Pask (Gordon 60, Bailey 89), Harney, Onariase, Burke, Nasha,
Makasi, Diangana (Amoo 46), Bywater, Parfitt-Williams, J.Brown

Hammers going down under?
Filed: Sunday, 23rd February 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United could be off to New Zealand this summer for at least two
pre-season friendlies. West Ham, who have never previously visited New
Zealand could be set for a summer trip to the country, from where West Ham's
central defender Winston Reid's hails. That's according to Wellington
Phoenix midfielder Vince Lia, whose side are hoping to play host the Hammers
this summer. Speaking in an interview with broadcaster Tony Veitch, Lia
said: "If it does [come off] it's great for us, it's great for the game in
New Zealand. Just think back about seven years ago when LA Galaxy came to
Wellington and how football mad the town was." Wellington Phoenix are
currently seventh in the ten-team Hyundai A-League, the top tier of New
Zealand football.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce expects Kevin Nolan to miss out on an England
Last Updated: 23/02/14 3:21pm

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce believes Kevin Nolan will be overlooked by
England, despite his fine recent form for the club. Nolan has played a key
role in the Hammers' recent surge up the table and the midfielder netted his
fifth goal in as many games in Saturday's 3-1 win over Southampton. England
assistant Ray Lewington was keeping a close eye on Southampton's World Cup
hopefuls at Upton Park, but Nolan outshone the likes of Adam Lallana and Jay
Allarcyce is delighted with Nolan's response since a costly sending-off
against Fulham, but fears the 31-year-old's chance of an England place has
passed him by. "He has had a lot of times that he has knocked on the door
and I don't think that's going to make much difference for him now," he said
ahead of Thursday's squad announcement for the friendly with Denmark. "It
would be nice if he did, but it is just about Kevin continuing where he is
now. "He is in his thirties now so he has got to continue his career as long
as he possible can by doing what he has always done and that is score goals.
"Apart from a short spell out in the Championship with Newcastle, he has
scored goals every single season he has played at a very, very high level
for a midfield player. "There are very, very few players better than him at
scoring goals from midfield."

Saints have not been short of goals this season, but Allardyce feels his own
side has a potent attacking line-up. "We all know how much praise has been
heaped on Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana about the goals
they've scored and the way they've scored them," Allardyce said. "But it's
our lads up front - it's Kevin Nolan, Carlton Cole, Matt Jarvis and their
quality which has outshone Southampton. "That's the reason why we've won
3-1, because we all know how good we are at defending. "We had a big
disappointment after just a few minutes when we gave away a free-kick and
lost a goal, but in the end it's an outstanding victory."

By Tony Hanna 23 Feb 2014 at 18:00
West Ham Till I Die

Back on the 1st of February things were not looking great for West Ham. We
had 22 points from 24 matches, were lying 3rd last and the two teams above
us had a game in hand. Aston Villa were in 10th spot in a very congested
league table and some five points ahead of us - things were looking grim and
relegation was not just a possibility but a probability. Out of the bottom
nine clubs, six had changed manager this season and the calls were out for
the Hammers to do the same and become the seventh. Despite a gruesome injury
list for much of this season, surely even the return of Andy Carroll and
Winston Reid would not be enough to turn our fortunes around? Was Big Sam's
time up?

Forward 23 days and can we stop pinching ourselves? The month of February
2014 can be etched with the stats of four wins in succession and four
without conceding if you include the 0-0 at Chelsea on the 29th January.
Here we are three weeks later in 10th position and some seven points clear
of Sunderland who are now where we were some 3 weeks ago - 3rd last! The
first of the four wins came against Swansea and the euphoria of winning only
our 3rd game at home of the season was soured by the sending off of Andy
Carroll who had been unplayable on the day. The decision by referee Howard
Webb was a tough one to take, especially with the theatrics of Chico Flores
who was apparently the victim of a careless arm across his hair bun. West
Ham threatened to go to the High Court initially in their attempts to get a
3 games suspension over ruled but in the end walked away with a new panel
review only, that was never going to reverse a flawed system. We had three
games left in the month that were winnable if we were at our best, but
without Andy it just looked like the football gods were against us.

What has followed since has been unbelievable when considering our previous
form this season. Two more successive 2-0 wins away to Villa and at home to
Norwich and this weekends 3-1 victory over Southampton now sees Sam
Allardyce ready to accept the poisoned chalice of "Manager of the Month"!
However, before we start getting too comfortable we must realise one bad
month can be just as devastating as one good one. On the 1st February, Stoke
and Sunderland were sitting OK in 11th and 14th respectively and now both
find themselves in the mire. We must keep our foot on the pedal with a very
tough finish to the fixture list. In our last eleven games of the season I
can only see the bookies chalking us up as favourites for two of the
remaining games - home to Palace and Hull.

So, what was the changing point to our season? There are many variables and
perhaps there are several reasons? What most of us thought a month ago was
that the return of Carroll and Reid would hopefully be the catalyst of
changing fortunes. Both have had very little play time so it surely can't be
that. Was Ravel a bad influence on the squad - there did seem times when
playing colleagues were getting frustrated with him on the pitch. Did Andy's
seemingly unfair dismissal provoke a backs to the wall attitude from the
players - Sam says no and surely the massive attitude we saw away at Chelsea
a few days before that incident would suggest not either. Is it the fact we
now have Tomkins and Collins in career best form, together with the attitude
and performances of Adrian our "new keeper" that has seen the tide turn? Or
perhaps that Kevin Nolan has bounced back from his dual sending's off and
found his desire and scoring touch again. Or perhaps it is the much maligned
Matty Taylor in a midfield role where his work rate and contribution has
added a new steel. Or was it the performance to grind out a magnificent
point at Chelsea that made the players believe once again?

Whatever the reason I am sure Sam has a stat for it. For me it is a
combination of all of the above but a big factor must also rest on the fact
that our injury list is now manageable and the key is we have been able to
send the same side out in successive weeks. When Winston Reid can't get in
the run on side at the moment you know things must be going well!

West Ham's sprint away from relegation zone shows I was right to sacrifice
Cups says Sam Allardyce
Feb 23, 2014 22:30 By Hector Nunns
The Mirror

After crushing defeats in the cups and deep in the relegation mire, an
under-pressure Sam Allardyce was backed by United owners David Gold and
David Sullivan in January. A glance at the table shows five out of the
bottom six have opted to sack their manager, but it is the resurgent Hammers
who can now boast four consecutive league wins after Saturday's 3-1 victory
over Southampton. The turnarounds for the club, its manager and talismanic
captain Kevin Nolan, after the disgrace of his two red cards at the turn of
the year, have been astonishing. And Allardyce, now feted but pilloried just
weeks ago, believes decisions such as his controversial team -selection at
Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup have been shown to be correct. He said: "The
worst week was when we lost to Forest [5-0] and then [6-0 to] Manchester
City. But that was in the cups, so it proves my point again, doesn't it?
That's why I'm good at what I do, isn't it? "The cup is not the material
thing, the Premier League is - for everybody apart from the top four. They
need to win the Premier League and get into the -Champions League, everybody
else needs to stay in the Premier League first and go for other things after
that. "I don't need to feel vindicated, I'm just doing my job properly. It's
not a sprint, it's a marathon. It's not where you are in the league after
five, 10, 20 games, it's where you are after 38. "Unfortunately, patience
has long gone in the game today. I could get sacked just by new owners
coming in. "You have just got to do your job and get results for that club.
And if you can do what your club's philosophy is, then you should be OK. The
owners have picked you to do that." Nolan's redemption also appears
complete, after his sending-off at Fulham on New Year's Day triggered a
frank exchange with Allardyce and work with the club psychologist .
Christopher LeeFebruary 22: Smiles all round at Upton Park over a fourth
league win in a row After West Ham fell behind to Maya Yoshida's early
header, Nolan made the -equaliser for Matt Jarvis, a first league goal of
the season. And then, after Carlton Cole put the home side ahead, Nolan fed
on the striker's knockdown, acrobatically hooking in his fifth goal in four
matches. Jarvis said: "Kevin has really turned things around, it shows
exactly what a character and leader he is. His goals have been sensational
and really kicked us up the table. It was a bit of us helping pick him up
and him doing it for himself. He is very mentally strong."

MORRISON WATCH: Midfielder angers QPR fans
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on February 23, 2014 in News Agenda

Ravel Morrison found more trouble on his first game for Queens Park Rangers
at Charlton over the weekend. The on loan West Ham midfielder left the
travelling Rangers fans incensed with a lack-lustre display following by a
petulant reaction at the end. He stalked off after the late 1-0 defeat
without acknowledging the fans who had travelled to the New Valley. And that
brought a frosty response from club sources who preferred to remain
anonymous with one declaring: "We all know his reputation but we didn't
expect that - there's a lack of class involved in that isn't there?
"Applauding the fans at the end of a disappointing display - or at any time
- is the very least we should expect."
Morrison's mood may not have been helped by missing two simple chances to
put the game beyond recall before Johnnie Jackson's late smash and grab raid
gave Chartotn the points. He had sidefooted wide of an open goal before
placing an even better chance gently into goalkeeper Yohann Thuram's arms
from point blank range. QPR boss Harry Redknapp had believed Morrison could
be the key to his problems after a shocking February which sees them
win-less and with a single points from their efforts.


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