Downing looks for quick response
Stewart Downing says the Hammers need to bounce back quickly from Saturday's
Stewart Downing is determined to help the Hammers bounce back from the
disappointment of defeat at Stoke City when they return to action at home to
Manchester United this Saturday. Following four straight wins in February,
Sam Allardyce's men have suffered the blip of successive defeats in March,
although a result looked there for the taking at the Britannia Stadium when
Andy Carroll headed the visitors into a fifth minute lead. West Ham could
not build on that good start however, and Downing was bitterly disappointed
with the final result. He explained: "We started off really well, so we were
disappointed to concede from a set piece [for the equaliser]. At 1-1 I
thought if anyone was going to win it, it would be us. We had the chances -
Nobby had one offside - and then they've counter-attacked us for two goals.
I didn't see it coming to be honest. "At half-time we said if we came out
quickly we could get a goal, because we were pressing them quite well in the
first half and they were giving us the ball back. "It's disappointing
because you want to take at least a draw out of the game if you're not going
to win it, and the way we conceded the goals was frustrating. "We're
confident we can get out of it,. The four wins in a row during February
proves we can get results, but we've lost our last two and we have to
correct that. We've got Manchester United next which will be a big test for
us and we need to get points on the board."
On the positive side, Carroll notched his first goal of the season and
Downing expects the Big Geordie to deliver more goals before the end of the
He added: "Andy did really well. His hold-up play was really good because he
was getting kicked about a bit from the centre halves, but he got his goal.
"That will be good for the confidence with nine games to go, so for him he
just needs to carry on and play like he did on Saturday. He's a real asset
The Big Interview - Sir Geoff Hurst
The West Ham United and England legend on the Hammers and his role in
No footballer has ever achieved what Sir Geoff Hurst did on 30 July 1966.
That afternoon, the West Ham United forward netted a hat-trick to fire
England to a 4-2 FIFA World Cup final victory over West Germany at Wembley
Stadium - the only player to do so. Forty-eight years on Sir Geoff,
alongside club-mates Bobby Moore OBE and Martin Peters MBE, remain in a
select band of players to have won football's greatest prize for the Three
Lions. Last week, Sir Geoff was at the FA National Football Centre at St
George's Park in his role as Director of Football for McDonald's. While
there, he dropped in to meet the present-day West Ham squad, including
fellow England forward Andy Carroll, Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan and Stewart
Downing. Now 72, Sir Geoff spoke to West Ham TV about his role in promoting
grassroots football with McDonald's, Sam Allardyce, Carroll and much more.
Sir Geoff, as always it is an honour to speak to you for
West Ham TV. I understand you are at St George's Park to launch the 2014 FA
McDonald's Community Awards - what can you tell us about them?
GH: "Yes, it is the nomination time for these awards and they recognise all
the grassroots people who give their time to the game, as hundreds of
people do. If you took them away, there would be very little grassroots
football. We're asking for nominations for your grassroots hero, so if you
would like to do so please visit the website here. As Director of Football
for McDonald's, that is something I'm associated with."
Presumably, grassroots football played a part in your development as a
GH: "Everybody had a grassroots guy and the person who was instrumental in
my time was actually a teacher from my primary school called Mr Shepherd. I
still have the pictures from when I was seven or eight years of age up to
eleven and he was always on the pitch in the early years, standing
"He was a history teacher and not necessarily technically good at coaching,
but what he did was organise us. He made sure we were together and looked
smart in the photographs. In fact, for one of our photographs I had
forgotten my boots, so he sent me home to get them so the team looked smart.
He was instrumental and he also stressed the sportsmanship - not getting too
uptight about losing and winning not being everything at that age-group
level. I still practice and preach that today. "He was my grassroots hero -
I understand you are also here at St George's Park to support the McDonald's
Cup five-a-side tournament for restaurant staff?
GH: "This is my fourth visit to St George's Park and it is a fantastic place
and it is great to see the senior clubs like West Ham using it.
"The McDonald's Cup is in its sixth year and all the McDonald's restaurants
in the UK play a five-a-side competition and have qualified to get here.
There are 24 teams - 16 men's and eight women's teams - and the winners from
here will have the opportunity to go to Germany for a European competition.
Those who are successful in Europe will go to Brazil and play over there!
It's great for the staff and I've always strongly believed that it's nice to
get all the people together in the corporate life. "What better opportunity
to get together at this marvellous facility for some five-a-side football in
Talking of the weather, presumably the sunshine reminds you of 30 July 1966?
GH: "It does, but strangely enough it rained in the morning of the World Cup
final a little bit, but latterly we always remember it as a very sunny day!"
West Ham are doing well after a difficult period over the Christmas and New
Year, which must please you?
GH: "Yes, it's fantastic. I went away at Christmas and we were in the bottom
three. During the two months I was away, my wife has an iPad and she checked
and we drew at Chelsea. Then we won and won and won again, so I asked her
'Where are we in the league now?' and she said 'Tenth' and I thought 'That
will do me!'. "It's an endorsement of Sam. He has worked at Premier League
level and has great experience. At every club, if you take the top six out,
they will have a difficult period. If they didn't, they'd be in the top six
competing with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool. It's the ability
of the terrific managers to turn it around. It's difficult to turn it round
when you go a few games without a win, especially like the Nottingham Forest
game and the two Manchester City games, which were shocking. "Sam has great
experience and I would say to the fans who do not always think Sam is the
right man that to get our squad of players into the realms he has got them
last year and this year is a fantastic achievement for a manager. "I fully
endorse Sam's efforts, not that he needs my endorsement particularly,
because he is so good at what he does. "I don't get to Upton Park much
because I now live in Cheltenham but I live an hour from Aston Villa and an
hour from Stoke and West Brom, so I get to games when I can. "The important
thing for me is that we're in the Premier League in a couple of years' time
when we get into that fantastic Olympic Stadium, which I think is a
fantastic move for the Club. I have to say publicly, it is a fantastic
forward movement for West Ham United."
Fifty years ago this month, you scored as West Ham beat Saturday's opponents
Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final on the way to winning the trophy
for the first time. The history books show it was a horrible wet day and the
match was played on a swamp of a pitch! What are your memories of that game?
GH: "It wouldn't have been played today and it shouldn't have been played
then, because the pitch was absolutely shocking at Sheffield Wednesday that
day! It was a magnificent day for the Club. "The history books show that we
played Manchester United the week before at West Ham and five or six of
their top players weren't playing and they beat us 2-0. Everyone thought it
would be a foregone conclusion in the semi-final a week later, so to win 3-1
and score was wonderful. "Bobby Moore made a goal for me and it just showed
the horrendous conditions we played in, which made the game interesting. "To
put it into context of the time, we had not long before come out of the
Second Division, where we had been forever. Within six years we'd won the FA
Cup and then we won the European Cup Winners' Cup the following year - only
the second time an English club had won a European competition. "Then, as
West Ham fans would say, West Ham won the World Cup in 1966. We're standing
in the Ron Greenwood Room here at St George's Park and the great man
developed players to play at the top level and produced the captain and two
goalscorers for that great game. He is probably the greatest coach we have
seen and it's fitting that one of the rooms at this great facility is named
in honour of Ron."
Finally, the 2014 FIFA World Cup is three months away now. Among the players
hoping to make the England squad is Andy Carroll. Has he got a chance of
emulating Martin Peters in 1966 and making a late run for inclusion?
GH: "The answer is quite clearly 'Yes'. Martin Peters is a great example
because he didn't play until May 1966 against Yugoslavia only two months
before the final. He made a great goal in the quarter-final against
Argentina and of course scored our second in the final which would have been
the winner if West Germany hadn't equalised in the last minute. "There is
every chance for Andy. I mentioned him recently while doing some media work
not because he is a West Ham player, but because we talked about people who
have the opportunity. "There are ten Premier League games to go and if he
scores in every game and West Ham continue to rise up the table and he keeps
himself fit, he has the chance. Rickie Lambert is a good player and is
playing well but if he gets injured, we may be looking for another front
player who gives us the option of the high ball and Andy is a difficult
player to mark. "If Andy keeps plugging away, keeps himself fit and he keeps
scoring the goals then, no question, he has a real chance of being there."
Vice-Chairman receives CBE
West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady received her CBE at Buckingham
Palace on Tuesday
West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady received her CBE from Prince
William at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. The Vice-Chairman was awarded the
CBE in HM The Queen's New Year's Honours List for her outstanding
contribution for services to entrepreneurship and women in business, a cause
for which she has tirelessly campaigned throughout her career. Ms Brady, who
has previously won a host of high-profile awards for her work and
championing the cause of women in business, spoke of her pride at being made
Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. "I am truly
honoured to have received this award," the Vice-Chairman said. "I have been
extremely touched by all of the kind messages of congratulations from West
Ham United fans since the announcement was made at the turn of the year. I
would like to thank my Board at West Ham United and everyone who has worked
with and for me over the years. "I am particularly proud that my work for
women in the workplace has been recognised as it is something I feel so
passionately about. We have seen real progress in that field since I began
my career but that work is far from over as I know there is still so much
more that can be done."
Since arriving at West Ham United in 2010, the Vice-Chairman has brought the
Club back to its core values celebrating West Ham's role at the heart of the
East London community through the Moore than a Football Club brand and has
grown the Hammers' fanbase at grassroots and an international level. Her
ability to grow commercial revenue at every operational level of the
business saw the Club record its first operating profit in recent history.
While working tirelessly to attract investment, increase revenue and reduce
the Club's historic debt burden, one of the Vice-Chairman's greatest
triumphs to date came in March 2013, when Her Majesty's Government selected
West Ham United as the anchor concessionaire for the Olympic Stadium
following its transformation into a UEFA Category 4 Football Stadium in
2016. Ms Brady is also an indefatigable supporter of charitable causes as an
Ambassador for The Stroke Association, WellChild and Teenage Cancer Trust.
She adds this accolade to fcbusiness Magazine CEO of the Year, which she
collected for her work at West Ham United in 2012. Everyone at West Ham
United would like to congratulate the Vice-Chairman on her award.
Collison joins Wigan on loan
Midfielder Jack Collison has joined Championship side Wigan Athletic on loan
until the end of the season
Midfielder Jack Collison has joined Sky Bet Championship side Wigan Athletic
on loan until the end of the season. West Ham United's Wales international
could make his Latics debut in Saturday's home league fixture with his
hometown club Watford at the DW Stadium. Collison could also feature in
Wigan's FA Cup with Budweiser semi-final with Arsenal - the club he made his
West Ham debut against on New Year's Day 2008 - at Wembley on 12 April. The
25-year-old is not cup-tied and is therefore eligible for the tie, which
will see Wigan attempt to reach their second consecutive FA Cup final after
winning last year's competition.
Uwe Rosler's Wigan have been in outstanding form, climbing into the Sky Bet
Championship Play-Off places and giving themselves an opportunity to return
to the Barclays Premier League after a one-year absence. The No10 has
already spent one loan spell in the Championship this term, making four
appearances for AFC Bournemouth in October 2013. Collison has played 15
times for West Ham this season, including ten times in the Barclays Premier
League five of the Club's six Capital One Cup ties. He has also played twice
for Wales in international friendlies.
THE DOZEN WEST HAM PLAYERS OUT OF CONTRACT THIS SUMMER
By Sean Whetstone 18 Mar 2014 at 13:41
West Ham Till I Die
The following West Ham players will be out of contract or end of loan by
30th June this year. George McCartney, Matt Taylor, Jack Collison, Joe Cole,
Elliot Lee, Marco Borriello, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Roger Johnson, Pablo
Armero, Abdul Razak, Danny Potts, Jordan Spence and Antonio Nocerino
I understand just two of this list will be offered short term contracts with
one further player offered a longer term contract, the other nine players
will be released at the end of their contract or loan. The move is thought
to see around £177,000 per week reduction in wages meaning just over £9
million of wages per year available to spend in the summer.
It is also thought West Ham will look at ways to cut their losses with
Modibo Maiga, Alou Diarra and Stephen Henderson in the summer maybe buying
them out of their contracts early like they did with Razan Rat or releasing
them for free if other clubs can be found. Incredibly this could release
another £85,000 per week (£4,420,000 per year) off the wage bill before any
compensation is taken into account.
Which players would you keep and offer new contracts?
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