Tuesday, March 18

Daily WHUFC News - 18th March 2014

Planning for an elite future
FA director of elite development Dan Ashworth has many links with West Ham

West Ham United have long held close links with the Football Association and
the England national team. Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters
inspired England to FIFA World Cup glory in 1966, Ron Greenwood managed the
Three Lions from 1977 to 1982, Sir Trevor Brooking has served as the FA's
director of football development since 2003 and the Hammers have provided no
fewer than 38 senior England internationals. Working alongside Sir Trevor is
FA director of elite development Dan Ashworth, the former Norwich City
player and West Bromwich Albion sporting and technical director who was
appointed to his role in September 2012. Ashworth welcomed West Ham to the
FA National Football Centre at St George's Park last week, where his own
links with the Hammers were revealed - including the fact he was Jack
Collison's Academy coach at both Peterborough United and Cambridge United.
"Yes, that was a good few years ago now!" Ashworth told West Ham TV. "Jack
initially came through the youth system at Peterborough when I was there and
then came to Cambridge before he got a move to West Ham at the age of 16.
"Jack was always an exceptional player and he was always very professional
in his approach to everything he did and I'm delighted he's become an
established Premier League player. "He is another one who graduated at West
Ham, who have a fantastic track record of producing young players for their
own team, for other teams and of course for the national team. He is another
one to come off the conveyor belt of talented West Ham players."

In his role, Ashworth is charged with overseeing a wide range of areas
focused on producing the best possible players and coaches for English
football, from the grassroots to the elite level. "My role varies immensely
and that's the beauty of it. It involves working closely with Sir Trevor and
[England U21s manager] Gareth Southgate on developing the teams from U21s
down and the Women's teams from U20s down. "I also oversee talent
identification and performance services, which involves sports science,
psychology, physiotherapy and also coach education. It's really varied,
really interesting and based at a fantastic facility at St George's Park.
It's a really good job."

At present, West Ham have players in every age-group England squad. West Ham
TV asked Ashworth how the best teenagers are identified to represent the
national side between the U16 and U21 levels. "We have recently appointed a
new head of talent identification for the younger teams, which is the first
time we have done that. He is starting to set up some structures to give us
more comprehensive coverage across the country. "We have a series of
part-time scouts and also have good relationships with the clubs, so with
West Ham that means we would pick up the phone and talk to Tony Carr on a
regular basis. He has such vast experience that he knows the level and knows
which players would be suitable for England. "There is a little bit of both
us getting out and about and also the clubs working with us as well."

While there has been criticism of the number of English players representing
clubs in the Barclays Premier League, West Ham's U18s are going great guns
this season with an almost exclusively English team. So, does Ashworth
believe there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of the
national side?
"There are! I am really optimistic about the future, as I've said on many
occasions. Some of the changes we and the Premier League are making with the
Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) can only help in terms of contact time
with the players and higher standards for the coaches. "I'm really convinced
we are going to be a force going forward in a few years when all these
changes start to take effect."

Finally, Ashworth said the FA were delighted to welcome West Ham to St
George's Park for a second time as Sam Allardyce's side trained ahead of
their trip to Stoke City. "That was one of the reasons it was built - not
just for England but for English teams. We welcome professional teams here,
just as much as we welcome grassroots teams and the national team. "The
facilities are here for everyone to use, not just the FA but for the whole
of English football."

Djair at the double for U18s
Djair Parfitt-Williams bagged a brace to help the U18s see off Leicester
City on Saturday

West Ham United U18s returned to the summit of the Barclays U18 Premier
League South courtesy of a 2-1 win at Leicester City on Saturday. Djair
Parfitt-Williams struck in either half to fire Steve Potts' men to an
impressive seventh successive league success. Victory sees the Hammers
leapfrog Fulham at the top, who suffered a 3-1 home defeat by Southampton at
Motspur Park. The Hammers hit the front with 36 minutes gone, when
Bermuda-born Parfitt-Williams dispossessed City centre-back Sam Jones,
before slotting home his eighth league goal of the campaign. The lead,
however, would only last until six minutes after the interval, as Simonas
Stankevicius got the better of Manny Onariase and slotted past 'keeper Sam
Howes to make it one apiece. But it was Parfitt Williams who had the final
word, collecting from Jamie Harney, skipping beyond the full-back and then
driving home the winner with 82 minutes on the clock.
Academy director Tony Carr MBE was impressed with the Hammers' match-winner
on the day, while insisting there is still plenty to come from the Bermudan
youngster. "He's a very talented boy," Carr told whufc.com. "He's still
coming to terms with the European and British game, as his background is
"He's only in his first year with us as a scholar and hopefully he can
progress. But he's very talented, good on the ball and has got an eye for a
goal." As for the game itself, Carr admitted that conditions had meant that
it was hardly the prettiest on the eye, but he was nonetheless thrilled to
see the Hammers extend their winning run. He continued: "It wasn't the best
of games in terms of football. It was very windy and a bit of a bobbly
pitch. But it was certainly very competitive. "In the end it was a worthy
win, a good win for us and one that keeps the run going. Steve Potts and
Mark Phillips, as ever, marshalled the team very well, with a couple of
changes from the week before. It obviously paid dividends and the team
marches on. "I think we're playing to our full potential. We've got a very
talented team and they're playing very well. But it's only at this moment in
time. It's a question of whether they can continue that progression and
improvement and take it to the next level, which for them is the U21s and,
hopefully, beyond."

With just seven league fixtures remaining, the Hammers have their sights
firmly set on a top-two finish, one that would secure their spot in the
end-of-season national Play-Offs. "We're sitting in the top two in the
league and the national Play-Offs are a nice target to aim toward for the
end of the season. "We're in good form, that's for sure. All runs have to
come to an end sometime but we're enjoying at the moment. We go onto
Tottenham Hotspur next week and see if we can maintain the same level of
performance and hopefully that will turn into a positive result."

West Ham United U18s: Howes, Pike (Mavila, 72), Burke, Nasha, Harney,
Onariase (Bailey, 58), Makasi, Amoo, Brown (Martins, 78), Bywater,
Subs not used: Nemrava, Bailey, Knoyle

Nobby ready for 'big week'
Kevin Nolan says West Ham United cannot dwell on defeat at Stoke City

Captain Kevin Nolan says West Ham United cannot dwell on defeat at Stoke
City. The skipper was left hugely frustrated as the Hammers relinquished an
early lead to go down 3-1 at the Britannia Stadium. Nolan saw a goal
disallowed for offside, headed narrowly wide and a strong penalty appeal for
handball turned down by referee Craig Pawson. While the temptation may be to
feel sorry for himself, the No4 says West Ham need to prepare for Saturday's
visit of Manchester United to the Boleyn Ground. "It was very disappointing,
because I felt we deserved something at Stoke," said Nolan. "If we got the
penalty, it goes to 2-2 and your back up and then who knows? "If we had come
off the pitch with a 2-2, then I think people would have probably said
'That's a fair enough result' and think the 3-1 flattered them a bit. I am
very disappointed to be going back home with nothing. "Two late sucker
punches in the last two games have done us, but we have a big week leading
up to what should be a fantastic game against Manchester United at home. "We
did quite well against them at our place last year [to lead twice and draw
2-2] and I'm hoping we can capitalise on that, start another run going
again. That is the aim and there is no reason why we can't do that."

At Stoke, Nolan felt West Ham missed an opportunity to collect another point
or more in their bid to secure Barclays Premier League survival. Andy
Carroll's early goal was cancelled out by Peter Odemwingie before two second
half strikes from Marko Arnautovic and Odemwingie put the game beyond the
"To be honest, even when they went 2-1 up I thought we were still in control
and that we were going to score again - you have that feeling and that was
certainly still the case at that time. "I had a header at the back post that
was a bit too high and the one that was off-side. I didn't think I was at
the time, but having seen it again, it was a bit offside. "They hit us with
a bit of a sucker punch, which was a great finish from Arnautovic, to be
fair, and you are going to get that in the Premier League sometimes. Against
the run of play, they got a goal. "Then there was the incident where their
left-back [Marc Muniesa] blatantly handled. It was blatant handball and you
just expected the decision to follow and it hasn't, so we are very
disappointed. "They got a third and it put us to bed then, so overall, we
were very disappointed."

Loanee round-up
A number of West Ham United loanees were in action at the weekend

Ravel Morrison led the band of West Ham United loanees in action at the
weekend as his two goals inspired Queens Park Rangers to victory. The
midfielder scored either side of former Hammer Bobby Zamora's goal to earn
the R's a convincing home win against Yeovil Town in the Sky Bet
Championship, in which Modibo Maiga was an unused substitute. Morrison's
brace took his tally for Harry Redknapp's side to four goals in five matches
since his arrival at Loftus Road in February.

Jordan Spence didn't enjoy the same winning feeling as his MK Dons side
crashed to a 2-0 home defeat against Peterborough United in Sky Bet League
One on Saturday The centre-back picked up a yellow card as Posh took all
three points thanks to Britt Assombalonga's second half double.

North of the border, George Moncur didn't get on as Partick Thistle saw off
Hibernian 3-1 at Firhill in the Scottish Premiership. With Heart of
Midlothian not in action this weekend there was no game for striker Paul
McCallum who has made five appearances during his loan spell with the Jambos
so far. In the Skrill
South, Taylor Miles was introduced after 52 minutes as Concord Rangers went
down 1-0 away to Hayes & Yeading, while Rob Girdlestone did not feature.

Wigan are lining up a move to sign West Ham's Jack Collison on loan
By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me: @skysportspeteo | Last Updated: 17/03/14

Sky Sports understands Wigan are lining up a loan move for West Ham
midfielder Jack Collison. Wigan boss Uwe Rosler is in the market for
midfield reinforcements after losing Ben Watson and Chris McCann to serious
injuries recently. A host of midfielders have been linked with moves to the
DW Stadium, but it appears Rosler is ready to push through a swoop for Wales
international Collison. Collison has struggled to hold down a regular place
in the West Ham side this season, making just six Premier League starts and
Sam Allardyce is happy to loan him out. The 25-year-old enjoyed a spell at
Bournemouth earlier this season and he is keen to go out and play regular
first-team football at Wigan and boost their bid for promotion to the
Premier League.

Nedum Onuoha believes Ravel Morrison can shine for England in future
Last Updated: 17/03/14 11:35am

QPR defender Nedum Onuoha has backed Ravel Morrison to become a big star for
England in the future. Morrison, who is on loan at Loftus Road from West
Ham, scored another two fine goals in Saturday's 3-0 win over Yeovil. The
England Under-21 international has now found the net four times in his last
three appearances to boost Rangers' promotion bid. Onuoha said: "He's got an
awful lot of potential. "He's a good player now, but if he continues to be
nurtured and does things in the right way then he is going to be something
special for the country." While Morrison was shooting down Yeovil, his
parent club West Ham were being comprehensively beaten at Stoke. The Hammers
could, in theory, call Morrison back this week, once the initial 28 days of
his loan spell is up. The 21-year-old was arguably West Ham's best player
during the first half of the season and many of their fans are baffled as to
why QPR are reaping the benefits of his talent rather than them. Assistant
manager Kevin Bond hopes it will not come to that, though. "What will be
will be," said Bond. "He's here, he's enjoying his football and he's
figuring. He's done great for us."

Wigan to make loan move for West Ham's Jack Collison and he could play in FA
Cup semi-final
Mar 17, 2014 18:17 By Simon Austin
The Mirror

West Ham midfielder Jack Collison is set to join Wigan Athletic on loan
until the end of the season and could play in their FA Cup semi-final
against Arsenal.
Collison has failed to secure a regular first-team place at Upton Park and
has already been on loan at Bournemouth this season. The Wales international
is out of contract at the end of the campaign and it's unlikely he will stay
at Upton Park. Wigan manager Uwe Rosler has also been linked with a move for
Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell. Collison will also be eligible to
face Arsenal at Wembley because he did not feature in the FA Cup this

West Ham's summer transfer plans revealed
Date: 17th March 2014 at 8:12 pm
Written by: Irons Maiden |
Forever West Ham

The ever reliable and brilliant @ExWHUEmployee has produced a piece for
Claret and Hugh detailing our summer transfer plans (should we remain a
Premier League club).

Here's a summary of the major points

1 – £20million budget

2 – Shift in transfer policy to focus on younger players

3 – Pablo Armero has impressed in training and club hope to make deal

4 – Winston Reid to be offered new deal with wages similar to Carroll

5 – Ravel Morrison likely to be sold but performances at QPR may result in a
change of heart

6 – Jack Collison and Joe Cole to be released

7 – Club will try to sign either Wilfried Zaha or Ashley Young from
Manchester United

8 – Strong interest in Jelle Vossen who plays for Genk

9 – Jussi Jaaskelainen will be released



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